Stair step meals are meals where what you cook today, meets up with another meal later. Its not leftovers; but rather, planned double batching to cut the work in the kitchen. I'm all about cutting work for in the kitchen while attempting to make scratch cooking easy. My mantra is spend more time planning a shopping trip and shopping for RBP, and less time in the kitchen. With tricks you can make semi scratch cooking and save a lot of money. I do a lot of prep and batch cooking early in the day or on weekends so that I don't have to cook an hour meal at dinner time. ( I'm old and I have a toddler to watch at meal time. ) sometimes we cook together. She loves to count and stir.
I digress, stair step meals. ( written some time ago)
Anytime you are chopping anything that could go on a pizza, put it in a bag or box that you keep in the freezer door. Ditto meats ( keep them separate). Mark the containers and reuse them. Anytime you are ready for pizza, the hard work is already done. I call this almost free pizza. O
1) impossible ham and cheese pie. Green salad, or salsa of salad greens are too expensive. At the time of the original writing, lettuce was three dollars a head. Ham cubes are anywhere from 4-5 dollars a package. A package can stretch to three or four meals depending on whether or not it's the only protein in the meal. ( use 1/3 of the package)
2) pasta bake - use sausage and cheese. Serve with salad or fruit cup.( not in an individual cup) ,
Save some pasta sauce for pizza. ( freeze)
3) roast chicken or pork mashed potatoes, green beans, salad. Save some,chicken or pork for sweet and sour chicken or pork later in the week.
4)sweet and sour chicken or pork.
1 lb chicken or pork cut into cubes
1/4 cup Dijon mustard, divided
3 T soy sauce , divided
1 pkg chicken flavored ramen noodles
1-8 ounce can pineapple, reserve juice.
1/2 cup water
2T brown sugar
1/2 tsp ginger, 1 T cornstarch
2 cups broccoli, cut
1/4 cup chopped red paper.
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 cup shredded cabbage
2T vegetable oil ( or olive)
In bowl, combine chicken , 2T mustard and 1 tsp soy sauce. Set aside
I'm small bowl combine remaining mustard and soy sauce, chicken flavor packet from noodles, reserved pineapple juice, water, brown sugar, ginger, and cornstarch,
This is where I wing it because my notes from forty-five years ago, got up a split from my 70s cookbook.
Stir fry broccoli, onion, cabbage, red pepper on the oil. Add chicken, add pineapple mixture. Heat through.
Serve over rice. ( reserve rice)
5) stuffed green or colored peppers ( from the bag of peppers? ) use reserved rice, cooked hamburger, chopped peppers. And a can of diced tomatoes, drained. Reserve juice to add to tomato or pasta sauce to bake the peppers in.
6) almost free pizza. Use reserved past sauce for the pizza sauce. Add saved pineapple, ham, or cooked hamburger, peppers, onion, chicken and cheese, or any combination you prefer for pizzas.