One Prep, Two Meals: Couscous

Quick meals don’t get any easier than boiling water, pouring it over couscous, and adding fresh veg and canned beans. Get couscous recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Hopefully you’ve been inspired by all of this month’s recipes to look beyond leftovers and use the one prep–two meals formula. If couscous isn’t a staple in your pantry, this week’s post may surprise you as much as risotto did last week. But once you try these recipes, you’ll stock up on couscous for plenty of quick, easy meals. Just as fresh pasta outshines dried in any meal, instant couscous can’t compete with semolina grains steamed in stages in a couscoussière. But for quick meals at home, in the woods, or on the water, it doesn’t get any easier than boiling water and pouring it over the couscous. Add some fresh veg and canned beans, and you have lunch and dinner ready in a snap.

Speed and ease are just two of the beauties of the recipes you’ll find here. As I shared with more than a dozen sailors in a workshop this week, the two recipes here can spawn many days of meals cooked in a galley or over a camp stove and grill: I always travel with several heads of preroasted garlic to serve on grilled pizza, sandwiches, and other meals. The extra half-batch of chermoula can be used as a shrimp marinade. Bonus cans of chickpeas can be mashed into hummus. Extra veg can be grilled or sliced for dinner sides or between-meal snacks. And homemade feta disappears so quickly into hungry mouths you could never travel with too much.
Learn to make Vegetable Couscous with Chickpeas and Feta and Couscous Salad with Raw Vegetables

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One Prep, Two Meals: Risotto

Make-ahead risotto rice holds a regular slot on my dinner menu. Get risotto recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Risotto may seem like an unlikely candidate for the one prep–two meals formula: it has a reputation as a fancy meal that requires time and special care. But if you keep the right rice on hand and understand the basic technique, it simply becomes another fabulous way to stretch leftovers—and impress your friends at the same time.

These recipes build on the ratios given in Fresh Improv Risotto. So if you’ve already made versions of that recipe, or participated in one of my risotto workshops, familiarity will make your meals come together quite quickly. If you have yet to experiment with risotto, follow the recipes here and then check out the improv post for other risotto ingredient ideas.
Learn to make Garden Risotto and Last-Minute Shrimp Risotto

One Prep, Two Meals: Fish

 A bit of extra prep one night means you can have a second meal ready to grab and go. Get fish recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
Photograph by Brenda Ahearn Photography

If we’re lucky, Monday nights are free nights in summer: we are home and can prepare and enjoy a meal without other obligations or projects. It’s the one night of the week that I might make a more labor-intensive meal, like fish cakes. But I always know Tuesday will be a picnic before racing sailboats, and a bit of extra prep Monday night means I have a second meal ready to grab and go.

These fish cakes call for some chopping and mincing and two stages of cooking, but they’re worth the effort. The first time I served batches at a house concert, the host said I could have made three times the amount and the platter would be emptied. They’re less greasy than fried fish cakes and more flavorful than potato-based ones. The recipe here easily serves 4, which means I can reheat the leftovers later in the week. To avoid eating the same meal two nights in a row, I set some fish aside and prep a marinade and the extra vegetables while the fish cakes are cooking. On Tuesday, grilled skewers require minimal effort.
Learn to make Mediterranean Fish Cakes and Grilled Fish Skewers

One Prep, Two Meals

One of my busy summer tricks is to prep once and eat twice. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
In my corner of northwest Montana, July 4 is the unofficial start to tourist season. The University of Montana’s Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research reported that more than 2.4 million people visited Montana last July—more than double the state’s population—and that half of those visitors entered Glacier National Park, Yellowstone, and a long list of other stops. Those numbers downshift quickly: By October, there are again more residents than visitors in the state.

Like these tourists, I try to cram as much as possible into this short summer season, both in the garden and on a sailboat. I’m harvesting and processing at least 3 times a week and sailing just as often. This requires some intensive scheduling and as many shortcuts in the kitchen as possible.

One of my key tricks is to prep once and eat twice. I’m not just talking leftovers, although I make plenty of oversize meals to reheat later in the week. Instead, my “one prep, two meals” plan creates two separate meals from similar base ingredients and freshens them with new flavors. It’s the easiest way I know of to avoid feeling like you’re eating the same meal day after day yet speed up later-meal processes.
Read more about one prep for two meals