The hubs and I have a definite routine to our weeknights. We both workout just about every day. I get home a little before 7, maybe have a protein shake, shower quickly and change my clothes. I might take just a few minutes to relax before starting dinner, and it’s usually ready around 8. He gets home around 7:30. After we eat, he’s the one who cleans up, and by then you can see it’s getting pretty late and we only find ourselves with a little time to chill on the couch before bed. Last week, we had a little meltdown about how stressed we’ve both become, and my hubby suggested that I don’t cook dinner every night. WHAT?! Though he’s a big fan of my cooking, it turns out that he wishes we didn’t spend so much time cooking and cleaning every night. I thought a little bit about trying to cook meals that would be enough for two nights, but really I don’t think I want to eat the same exact thing two nights in a row – or even twice in a week. Many people like to make extra portions to freeze, but I don’t think many of the meals I make are conducive to freezing (except turkey burgers, and I think from now on I’ll try making extra to freeze when we have those!) I decided I could try thinking of some meals I could stretch into two, while changing the ingredients slightly.
The first opportunity came when I saw boneless chuck shoulder (aka, London Broil, though I hate to call it that since we all know that’s not the name of a cut!) on sale for $1.99/lb. I then remembered a Thai Steak Salad from Cooking Light we had made before. I usually shy away from buying large cuts of meat because they’re way too much for the two of us, but then I thought, why not cook the meat, make the salad one night, and find another use for the rest of it?
And that’s what I did. I used the Cooking Light recipe to marinate the beef and grill it. No real recipes to share, as I just improvised from there. One night we had the steak sliced atop a bed of romaine, edamame, onion, carrots, tomatoes, and cucumbers in a (bottled) ginger tamari dressing. Two days later, I sauteed some zucchini, onion, carrot, and red pepper, threw in some cilantro-peanut sauce (conveniently blended from some leftover cilantro pesto (cheeseless) and peanut butter), and served it the the beef over warmed corn tortillas for quick Thai-beef tacos. Both meals were simple and enjoyable, quick to prepare and used less dishes and utensils than normal, so indeed our evenings were a bit less stressful.