What to cook this weekend to have leftovers for during the week?
I've been trying to be good about cooking something "big" over the weekend that'll translate into tasty (and easily reheated) leftovers for during the week.
Last weekend was pulled pork, the weekend before that was beef stew. Any suggestions for this weekend?
chicken cacciatore or other braised chicken dish.
corn tortilla enchilada casserole
roast chicken (reinvented for sandwiches, chicken a la king or empanadas)
Black beans, chili, lentil soup, short ribs, lasagna, chicken liver pate, meatloaf, marinated soba noodles (to be eaten cold), poached shredded chicken for all sorts of applications, ... and always make stocks on weekends.
I'm planning on doing a ton of cooking this weekend (have Monday off for MLK day) just so I can stock the fridge and freezer with some meals. So far, I'm thinking chili, french onion soup, meatloaf, a breakfast quiche and maybe some muffins.
Soups -- minestrone with tortellini as the pasta, corn chowder with extra bacon, ham.green bean/potato. (Don't freeze soup with potatoes or scalloped pots referenced below -- the potatoes get spongy and watery.)
Scalloped potato casserole with ham chunks and/or cheese.
Stuffed shells. (These freeze well, so you could save for a couple weeks later.)
Stuffed cabbage (I make mine with Savoy cabbage and ground chicken and rice. I use a light chicken gravy, not tomato-based.) These also freeze well.
Salmon loaf sliced for sandwiches or with tomato sauce and pasta. (This freezes well also.)
Veggie pancakes, like latkes, or confetti pancakes. Rewarmed and served with applesauce or sour cream/yoghurt on the side.
Also Google Once a Month Cooking (OAMC). They're pretty heavy on tomato sauce, ground beef and Tex-Mex stuff, but you might find some ideas. They're also a good resource for things NOT to freeze.
I just poached a 6-lb roasting hen, and am in the process of making six cups of good stout broth with the skin and bones. Some of that will be supper tonight - we have a niece dropping by - but with Mrs. O doing a fitness program/diet during the week (and me sorta dieting along in a solidarity move) that's probably going to stretch Miss Bird out pretty well.
Aside from birds and large roasts, gumbo is a thing that I find I can never make less than half a gallon of - usually more - but we like it well enough to eat it up through Thursday, though by Friday we're more than ready to go eat Chinese or something. But most all-in-one dishes tend to wear out their welcome sooner than that, which is why it's almost always better to cook something that'll give you a meal on its own, then serve as the core of several other different ones.
I'd consider brining and roasting a large chicken, so that you can use the leftovers to suit your daily whims/taste... I like to have the basic ingredients to things "leftover," so I can easily vamp them... I can't imagine eating lasagna three days in a row personally.
That said, I always like to make a big batch of veggie soup on weekends, especially when it's cooler out. You can always jazz a bowl up.
Also, turkey or meat meatballs freeze well, and can go a long way for sandwiches, pasta, snacks, etc.
Muffins... great to freeze, or that six week bran muffin recipe.
Not really big things, but as suggested above, roasted chicken can find its way into lots of things (or any other roasted meat, for that matter) I often cook up a bunch of lentils which can then form the basis of several other things (curry, lentil soup, salads, or pasta dishes) Putting on a big batch of onions to caramelize can come in handy for a lot of those uses, too, or roasting a big bunch of other veggies. (Esp squash, which might make a soup, a pasta salad, a gratin, etc.) I tend to think more about cooking something that's the basis for many things, rather than leftovers of the same dish :)
Also, when things are hectic and I don't want to worry about washing rice and setting the rice cooker during the week (for unpredictable dinner times), I make a couple cooker-fuls full of rice and freeze into various-sized portions for microwave reheating on demand, along with lunch portions for the week.
Boneless turkey or turkey breast, chicken breasts. For hot and cold sandwiches, salads, bird a la king, Mexican wraps, stir fry.
I usually have a potful of dried legume something-or-other getting eaten off and on over several days, with any surplus ending up in the freezer. When reheating a serving's worth, I usually drop in a link from my amazing collection of frozen sausages.
This week, it was lima beans and bockwurst. Last week it was black-eyed peas and hot links.