Make your food go that little bit further with these smart two-for-one meal ideas for the family
1. Turn Bolognese into burritos
No one can resist a hearty spag bol but by cooking a little extra, you can turn the leftovers into delicious wraps for lunch. This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe can easily be stretched or doubled and once it’s cool, pop it in the fridge until the next day. Then simply season up with chipotle, cinnamon, cumin and coriander, wrap it in a soft flour tortilla with cooked rice and cheese and serve with guacamole.
2. Get the most from a roast
Chicken, turkey and joints of red meat often have leftover meat that can be reused for more than sandwiches. Cut into strips or cubes, you can pop it into a curry sauce, stew or tagine or strew it over a salad for a healthy option with all the rich flavours of roasted meat. Try this Lemon and thyme roast chicken recipe for aromatic leftovers that are fantastically versatile.
3. Bring on the bangers
A plate of sausages and mash makes a delicious dinner, but grill a few more than you need and they can be used for a succulent quick sausage cassoulet the next day. Heat them through in a pan, add vegetables, smoked paprika, tomatoes, stock and beans, serve and top with stuffing. Your cooked sausages can also be sliced up and tossed into a crowd-pleasing pasta salad alongside smoked mozzarella, tomato paste and grilled peppers.
4. Make some fishy dishes
Grilled trout cooked with a little lemon, parsley and capers lends itself particularly well to dishes prepared the next day, flaking easily into salads and pasta. It works especially well in rice dishes, so why not try this filling Risotto with trout & kale recipe? It’s easy to assemble – just make a basic creamy risotto with fennel and kale then top with the flaked fish (reheated in a pan) and garnish with Parmesan and lemon zest.
5. Find new ways with lamb
Beyond the traditional roast dinner, meat can be roasted with fragrant flavours that can really enhance the next day’s lunch. Lamb is especially flexible, so try marinating it with Mediterranean-style spices, such as garlic, cloves, dill, lemon, and oregano to add to an authentic Greek salad or bring in Moroccan influences. This Cumin roast lamb with spinach purée recipe is a delicious way to infuse the meat and should stretch to two more meals after serving four people. Try adding it to a bowl of spiced couscous and grilled vegetables for a quick lunch that can be assembled in less than five minutes.
6. Use your noodle
Sweet and sour dishes, stir fries and crispy duck all go great with egg noodles but cook some extra and the next day can be the perfect opportunity to make a tasty miso soup with noodles. Try this easy Thai pork and pak choi noodle soup recipe for a light lunch – just pop in vegetables, ginger, stock and pork followed by your cooked noodles, before finishing with a little miso paste and coriander for a satisfying, filling broth.
7. Save your sides
Golden, saffron-infused fried vegetable rice makes a tasty meal on its own or as a side to grilled meat, prawns, curries or pieces of chicken, but keep your leftovers to get stuffing the following day. Portobello mushrooms or this Stuffed peppers recipe are delicious with a vegetable rice filling and all you need to add is some halved cherry tomatoes and creamy crumbled cheese to infuse it with fresh flavours. Serve with a salad of peppery rocket, drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar.