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Home Cooking

What is an elaborate cooking project that will give me diverse meal elements for a week of eating?

ali_eats | Apr 30, 202006:53 PM     45

Hello, home cooks. I'm in Australia, where it is a) heading into winter, and b) we are locked down and currently eating every meal at home.

I would absolutely love suggestions for what other meals one can make that follow this model: top-loading lots of effort in the front for a delicious weekend meal, and coming out of that with a variety of leftovers and sauces that can be used to make a wide variety of tasty things in the days following.

As an example, last week my household accidentally hit on what turned out to be an excellent week's worth of food: we wanted an involved, new-to-us cooking project for distraction, and decided on ramen. We made tonkotsu broth, tare, chashu pork and marinated ramen eggs. Our ramen turned out great, we had lots of leftovers, and we also kept all the marinades and cooking liquids. Those marinades, cooking liquids and leftovers turned up in every lunch & dinner for the next 5 days, and all of those leftovers meals combined with pantry staples to create meals that were as delicious as our original ramen was. We made fried rice with the pork cooking liquid as flavouring. We used it to make a gravy to have with a chashu don bowl. We kept marinating eggs and had those on the side of stir-fries. Super-tender chashu pork turned up in many places. Our flavours & ingredients stayed ramen-adjacent, but because we had a variety of flavour bases to work with, it wasn't like eating the same flavours at meal after meal. It was, in short, an extremely rewarding project that not only gave us the distraction we were after, but also kept us eating very well in much less time-consuming ways through the week.

I thought this would be an easy to come up with more projects like this, but I'm actually struggling for inspiration- my meal prep is usually based around working outside of the home, so it's all about winding up with lots of neat & tidy lunch boxes, rather than having a variety elements to combine into diverse meals through the week. Most meal-prep plans I've found are understandably all about the convenience/quickness factor, so are lacking in the creativity and learning I want in a big cooking project. So, what would you do, if you wanted to lose yourself in a day of highly-involved cooking and set yourself up for food for the week as a side-effect?

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