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

Caring for Cravings

By finding the root of your craving, you can prepare a solution high in satisfaction and low on guilt. Learn more at TwiceasTasty.com.
When I wrote about redefining comfort foods and shared some of my favorite “new comfort food” recipes this time last year, I quickly discovered I couldn’t have picked a better topic for March. Spring officially arrives late in the month, but for a few more weeks many of us are still bogged down by winter weather and yearning for warmer, brighter days. Seed catalogs and fairs arrive to tempt us with garden dreams, but at my house, feet of snow still blanket the beds and the Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts a “cooler than normal” spring for these mountains.

No wonder food cravings have set in. Solutions for dealing with the intense desire to eat high-fat, energy-dense, sweet, and/or salty foods—in other words, typical comfort foods—range from mind tricks to improving overall health. But what if you simply give in to your craving by making a recipe from scratch that uses real ingredients and includes the component you crave?
Read more about caring for your cravings

In the Pantry

The secret to a well-stocked pantry is to keep small quantities of a large number of basic ingredients. Discover pantry essentials at TwiceasTasty.com.At 500 square feet, my house has a smaller kitchen and less food-storage space than most. Yet at any given moment, I can conjure a dozen of meals for a dozen people—I just need to find places for them to sit.

The secret to a well-stocked pantry is to keep small quantities of a large number of basic ingredients. Instead of buying prepackaged meals, sauces, and mixes, you can store fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, proteins, and flavorings individually and mix them in endless variations. I dedicate at least half my pantry and most of my freezer and fridge space to such items. I fill the rest with homemade items that let me shortcut regularly used recipes, from stocks to pestos to condiments.

The advantages go beyond versatility. Stocking your pantry in this manner means your ingredients stay fresh, you can spend your money on quality items instead of large quantities that go stale before you finish them, and you’ll always open the fridge or cupboard and find something you want to eat.
Read more about improving your pantry