The Secret to Turning 1 Meal into 7

No more excuses about how you don’t have time to cook! With a little advance planning you can use bulk cooking to leverage your time and have healthy and good-tasting meals all week that require hardly any time in the kitchen.

The starting point is a big-ass pot of whole grains and a bunch of sauteed vegetables. My top choices for the grain are brown rice and quinoa. Then pick from the 7 options below to morph these into quick meals and snacks all week!

Step One: Cook grains.

Basic Brown Rice
2 cups brown rice
4 cups water (check package directions, water to rice ratio can vary slightly)
pinch of salt

Bring rice and water to a boil. Add salt and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 40-45 minutes. Take off heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes, still covered.

Basic Quinoa
2 cups quinoa
4 cups water

Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer until you don’t see little bubbles anymore. Bring quinoa and water to a boil. Add salt and reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Take off heat and let stand for 5-10 minutes, still covered.

I love quinoa because it’s high in protein and has a short cooking time compared to other whole grains, so you can have it together even if it’s a game-time decision.

Step Two: Saute the vegetables of your choice. See below for suggestions.

Step Three: Pick from any of the options below to make meals (even breakfast) all week!

7 Meals You Can Morph Them Into:

1. Add to a large quantity of stir-fried vegetables (like broccoli, onions, carrots, spinach, mushrooms, ginger) with tamari soy sauce. Throw some chicken, beef, tofu, or shrimp in there too if you’d like and save some veggies for later meals.

2. Hot breakfast: throw a cup of leftover rice or quinoa into a pot with a cup of water, raisins, cinnamon, chopped walnuts, and bring to a boil. Lower and cook until soft and creamy. Add maple syrup and a pat of butter for a warm breakfast porridge.

3. Fried rice: scramble a couple of eggs in a pan, add sauteed vegetables and leftover rice. Season with sesame oil and tamari soy sauce.

4. Burrito: wrap up leftover grains, black beans, sauteed veggies, and salsa in a whole grain wrap.

5. Sprinkle grains into a salad for a substantial meal.

6. Add to a soup to make it heartier. See here for directions on how to improvise a soup with any leftovers.

7. Wrap in a toasted nori sheet (the sushi roll seaweed) with sliced avocado and shredded carrots.

Was this helpful? Leave a comment and let me know how you’re going to leverage bulk cooking or share some ideas of your own!

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