Thursday, October 08, 2015

31 Days to Surviving Sports Seasons Sanely: Planned Overs

I always try to do planned overs.  These are leftovers I plan on.  If you’re afraid they won’t be left, only serve what you want eaten for that day!

One of my favorite planned over is to make a pot roast for dinner one night.  Load your crockpot with the good things you like - beef; potatoes; carrots; onion; celery; a fennel bulb is tasty and different; herbs (that herb pack I put in the grocery list post and some bay leaves are a great start!); salt and pepper (if you flour, salt, pepper and brown your roast first then use a little red wine to clean the pan into the crockpot, so much the better).   Cover it all with some water (not beef broth or stock!) and cook all day.  When you get home from your event, your family will love you.

But, save some back.  Save half the meat (this means you might need a big roast or you need to cook two in two crockpots!) Save the liquid, save some veggies. A few nights later, you’ll make Shepherd’s Pie with the leftovers.

N-boy up to bat; feeding him good meals is important! Making it easy is necessary!
Shred or dice up your meat and veggies (but not the potatoes!) If you need more veggies, a bag of frozen mixed veggies goes beautifully. Or just peas. Put all of the meat and veggies in a casserole dish (or your oval crockpot) Melt butter, cook some flour in it, add a couple of cups of the reserved liquid from your original pot roast (or half a box of beef broth) and reduce until it’s a beautiful gravy.  Pour the gravy over the meat and veggies. You want just enough to not quite cover them. Boil more potatoes and add the leftover potatoes to get hot. Mash them however you choose (milk, butter, a little garlic?) Scoop the potatoes over the top of your meat, veggies, and gravy.  I like shredded cheese over the top of that.  Bake at 350 until the cheese is melty and a little brown OR put it in your crockpot on low for 2-3 hours to heat everything through.

Knowing I have everything for two separate family-favorite meals - even if they happen in different weeks - is always a happy, sane saving thing for me.

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