Cook This!

10 Ways to Cook Once And Eat Twice

By The Editors of Eat This, Not That!

You might not use the terms "pizza box" and "serving dish" interchangeably, but if you’re like most people, you probably could.

That’s because 64 percent of people spend little to no time preparing their meals. Unfortunately the inexpensive, time-saving foods that people choose most often are also the ones that are the highest in sugar, fat, and calories. Thankfully, we have a culinary solution that’ll perfectly fit your budget, schedule, and diet: Set aside 20 minutes on Sunday to check off our 17-item shopping list (listed at the bottom of the article), then forget about your collection of takeout menus.

With our 5-day menu, you’ll have the precise number of ingredients to create 10 fast, flavorful meals, all of which are designed to help melt fat while saving you money. (The average price of ten meals eaten out: about $120; the total price of our meals: $47.96.) Each night, you’ll simply prepare a quick and easy dinner and then creatively use the leftovers to assemble the next day’s lunch. Call it the mixologist’s guide to eating. These double-duty meals are surefire ways to save cash and keep leftovers from making it to the trash. Looking to get even more bang for your buck? Don’t miss these 30 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store.

1a
Rotisserie Chicken
with Mushrooms
and Asparagus

On your first day, the only cooking you’ll need to do is roasting the vegetables. Serve them alongside a rotisserie chicken you picked up from the grocery store. Asparagus is one of our favorite veggies because it’s an excellent source of B vitamins that enliven your body with energy and vitamin K—a nutrient that helps to build strong, healthy bones.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

3/4 bunch asparagus (about 8 spears)
3 portobello mushroom caps, sliced 1/4" thick
2 onions, cut in 1/4"-thick rings
1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 rotisserie chicken breast or leg
1 cup mixed greens, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar
Note: you can also used carrots, potatoes, onions and other root vegetables in place of the asparagus

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the woody ends of the asparagus by gently bending each stalk until it breaks.
2) In a baking dish, toss the vegetables with the oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until the vegetables have developed a light brown crust. Serve half of the vegetables with the chicken and the salad.
3) Reserve the rest of the vegetables and chicken for other meals. Remove the chicken skin and use a fork to pull the meat from the bones. Then cut it into bite-size pieces—it should yield about 3 cups’ worth for later in the week.

1B
Chicken
Portobello Wrap

For lunch the next day, this Chicken Portobello wrap is sure to hit the spot. Although most store-bought tortillas are particularly salty (and will be sure to play a role in that post-meal belly bloat you typically experience), try picking up a packet of Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Tortillas. Not only are they low in sodium (140 milligrams per tortilla), but they’re also made with sprouted grains, which have more bioavailable nutrients to nourish your body than regular grains.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken (left over from yesterday’s dinner)
3 large bell peppers
1 clove garlic, minced
1 Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 whole-wheat tortilla
2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella
1 small handful mixed greens
1 cup leftover asparagus, mushrooms, and onions

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Measure out the chicken and put the rest away for later in the week.
2) Chop the peppers into 1/2-inch pieces: They should yield about 4 cups; use 1/2 cup today and save the rest in a plastic bag.
3) Mix the garlic, mayonnaise, and vinegar to make the aioli. Brush the tortilla with the aioli, then put the cheese down the middle, followed by the greens, chicken, and vegetables. To make a tight wrap, fold the bottom of the tortilla up first, then roll it from the side.

2A
Pasta with
Chicken, Veggies &
Sun-Dried Tomato
Pesto

Nothing quite hits the spot like a pasta dinner. Instead of just filling yourself up with empty carbs, we bulk up this dish with fiber and protein—two macronutrients that help fill you up quicker and keep you fuller longer so you don’t eat more than you need.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

6 oz 100% whole-wheat ziti
1/2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup chopped rotisserie chicken (leftovers)
1 cup roasted vegetables (leftovers)
1-1/2 Tbsp sun-dried-tomato pesto
Salt and black pepper
Parmesan cheese
1 cup mixed greens, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Cook the pasta according to the package directions. Drain.
2) Toss half of the pasta with the oil and reserve in a container for Thursday’s lunch.
3) Mix the chicken, vegetables, and pesto with the remaining pasta. Season with salt and pepper. Grate some Parmesan and sprinkle on top. Serve with the greens.

2B
Italian Quesadilla

Don’t shun cheese just because it’s high in fat. In fact, the mozzarella we use in this quesadilla is what we named the best cheese for a post-workout snack due to it being highest in protein for the lowest calories: perfect for building muscle and blasting fat.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 Tbsp sun-dried-tomato pesto
1 whole-wheat tortilla
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup chopped rotisserie chicken (left over from Sunday’s dinner)
1 cup roasted vegetables (left over from Sunday’s dinner)

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Spread the pesto on the tortilla. Top with the cheese, chicken, and vegetables.
2) Microwave open-faced for 1 minute, until the cheese has fully melted.
3) Fold over and slice into quarters. If you have time, try cooking it over low heat in a skillet for a crispier result.

3A
Shrimp Fajitas

Shrimp is one of the most protein-dense foods you can find. In fact, each gram of meat packs a whopping 25 percent protein. Translation: this seafood is one of the best proteins for those looking to lose weight. That’s because high-protein foods help to extend feelings of fullness, maintain muscle mass, and boost metabolism.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

¼ cup instant brown rice
½ can black beans, drained and heated
½ Tbsp canola or other cooking oil
1 onion, sliced
1 cup chopped bell pepper (left over from Monday’s lunch)
2 garlic cloves, chopped
8 oz frozen shrimp, defrosted
Cayenne pepper, crushed red pepper, or Tabasco to taste
½ tsp cumin
Salt and black pepper
½ avocado, pitted, peeled, and thinly sliced
1 whole-wheat tortilla, warmed

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Cook the rice according to the package directions, then add the beans. Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok over high heat.
2) Add the onion, the bell pepper, and garlic; cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the vegetables begin to brown.
3) Mix in the shrimp and spices; cook for another 3 minutes,until the shrimp are pink and firm. Serve half of the shrimp fajita mix with a small scoop of the rice and beans, the avocado slices, and the tortilla.
4) Reserve the rest of the rice and beans in a microwavable bowl or plastic container along with the leftover fajita mix and use them for tomorrow’s lunch. Wrap the leftover avocado well and refrigerate to minimize browning.

3B
Fiesta Rice Bowl

Who said you needed animal protein to keep your muscles lean and toned? When eaten together, rice and beans are a plant-based, protein pair that help dial up your weight loss. Find out which other duos boost fat burn in our exclusive report: 32 Food Pairings That Double Weight Loss.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

Rice, beans, and fajita mix
(left over from Monday’s dinner)
1/2 avocado, peeled and thinly sliced
Salsa (optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Heat the leftovers in a plastic container or a microwavable bowl for 60 seconds. Top with the avocado and salsa to taste, if desired.

4A
Herbed Pork Loin
with Peppers and
Balsamic Onions

Feeling like no matter what you do, you just can’t lose weight? Try incorporating more bell peppers into your diet. And you can start with this meal! Rich in vitamin C, this fruit (yes, peppers are fruits) can help reduce levels of cortisol: the stress hormone that tells your body to store—rather than burn—fat.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 pork tenderloin, about 3/4 pound (herb or lemon-garlic marinated)
1 onion, quartered
1-1/2 cups chopped peppers (left over from Monday’s lunch)
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a baking dish, toss together the pork, onion, peppers, garlic, oil, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the tenderloin (to an internal temperature of 150°F, if using a meat thermometer).
2) Enjoy half of the pork and vegetables tonight.

Eat This! Tip:

If you want a bigger meal, prepare 1/4 cup of instant brown rice, measured dry. It’ll add 170 calories, 4 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, and 2 g fiber to the nutrition information.

4B
Roasted Pork Wrap

Using leftovers from yesterday, roll up some roast pork with a refreshing sun-dried tomato pesto aioli, roasted veggies, and some creamy, melted mozzarella.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

½ Tbsp sun-dried-tomato pesto
½ Tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
1 whole-wheat tortilla
2 Tbsp shredded mozzarella cheese
Vegetables and pork tenderloin, thinly sliced (leftovers)

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Mix the pesto and mayonnaise and spread over the tortilla. Layer the cheese, pork slices, and leftover vegetables on top and wrap it up.

5A
Turkey Meatloaf

This is not your mother’s meatloaf. Rather than use beef, we lower the calorie and fat content of this loaf by used ground turkey.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

MEATLOAF
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
½ red bell pepper, stemmed and quartered
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 ½ lb ground turkey
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup low-sodium chicken stock
1 egg, beaten
1 Tbsp Worcestershire
1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper

GLAZE
½ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

How to Make It

1) Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2) Combine the onion, bell pepper, carrot, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until finely minced. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this by hand.)
3) Combine the vegetables with the turkey, bread crumbs, stock, egg, Worcestershire, soy sauce, thyme, and salt and black pepper in a large mixing bowl. Gently mix until all of the ingredients are evenly distributed.
4) Dump the meat loaf mixture into a 13" × 9" baking dish and use your hands to form a loaf roughly 9" long and 6" wide. Mix the glaze ingredients together and spread over the meat loaf.
5) Bake for 1 hour, until the glaze has turned a deep shade of red and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the loaf registers 160°F.

5B
Meatloaf Sandwich

You know that half of the reason you make meatloaf is so you can use the leftovers for sandwiches the next day. Besides this open-face sandwich with caramelized onions, there are more than a few ways to reinvent meatloaf the next day: Try topping with a fried egg or cover with sautéed peppers and onions.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED

1 slice leftover meat loaf, ½ inch thick (from Thursday’s dinner)
Caramelized onions
1/3 cup shredded smoked mozzarella
1 slice sourdough bread, toasted
Handful of arugula (optional)

HOW TO MAKE IT

1) Preheat the broiler.
2) Top the meatloaf slice with the onions and cheese. Place underneath the broiler until the cheese is fully melted, about 2 minutes.
3) Line the bread with the arugula (if using), then place the meatloaf on top.

The Grocery List

A balance of protein-packed meats, fresh produce, and a few versatile extras is all you need to feed yourself well week after week.

Frozen shrimp, 1 pound uncooked, medium size
Rotisserie chicken
Pork tenderloin, 1 herb-flavored or lemon-garlic marinated (about 3/4 pound)
Ground turkey breast, 1-1/2 pounds
Bell peppers, 1 tray tricolor (or pick out 1 red, 1 yellow, and 1 orange)
Yellow onions, 2-1/2 pounds, medium
Baby mixed greens, 4-ounce bag, washed
Portobello mushrooms, 3 large caps
Asparagus, 1 bunch
Garlic, 1 head
Sun-dried-tomato pesto, 8-ounce jar
Avocado, 1 ripe
Mozzarella, 8-ounce bag of shredded
Instant brown rice, 1-pound box
Black beans, 12-ounce can
Ziti, 100% whole-wheat ziti 16-ounce box
Tortillas, 100% whole-wheat, 1 package, 10" size


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