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

Birthday Cake: Year 3

It’s Twice as Tasty’s birthday month, and that means cake. Get birthday cake recipes at TwiceasTasty.com.
This month, we’re celebrating 3 years of Twice as Tasty! I’ve already shared some of the year’s best recipes and most popular workshops. And since my favorite “desserts” are usually served in a cocktail glass, I was quick to pass on my favorite recipe for homemade liqueur. This week’s post is for those of you who prefer to eat your dessert.

As I mentioned in last year’s birthday dessert post, I think a good celebratory cake must be moist, easy to decorate, and delicious. This ginger cake nails all three. The molasses not only adds the requisite gingerbread flavor but also keeps the crumb moist. The caramel glaze simply pours over the top: no fussy frosting time required. And the three versions of ginger—fresh, ground, and crystallized—replicate the flavors I fell in love with in Triple Gingersnaps.
Learn to make Triple Ginger Cake and Fresh Caramel Sauce