A concept I have long understood, but don’t utilize nearly often enough, is the idea of double-duty food.  By double-duty, I mean ingredients — or sometimes, even whole recipes — that can be worked with at least twice in the same week with completely different results, transforming them so totally that nobody minds seeing them reappear on the table.  Double-duty food can be an absolute Godsend if you’re struggling with getting a homecooked meal on the table every night, because let’s face it –already having a step towards dinner practically completed before you even open the refrigerator can be motivating and may make the difference between dragging yourself to the stove or chucking the idea altogether and ordering take-out.  Double-duty food can also be a great way to help the family budget, which has definitely been on my mind lately; J. and I have run into a whole bunch of unexpected expenses in the past month, and while trimming the grocery bill a bit here and a bit there certainly won’t do much to help recoup some of the migraine-inducing sums we’ve paid out, it does seem to be at least the VIRTUOUS thing to do.

So this month, I’m focusing on at least one double-duty ingredient every week in the meal plan.  I’ve noted in the plan just where those ingredients will show up, as well, so you can see exactly how I envision this experiment playing out — now let’s hope it all works in the kitchen the way it works in my head! 

Tuesday, 3/1: Slow cooker — Split pea soup with ham, salad, and bread (Double-duty ingredient: Ham)
Wednesday, 3/2: Breakfast for dinner — waffles, fruit cobbler, and pan-fried ham steak (Double-duty ingredient: Ham)
Thursday, 3/3: Baked stuffed clams, salad, sliced fruit
Friday, 3/4: Fend night
Saturday, 3/5: Farfalle with wild mushrooms, roasted vegetables
Sunday, 3/6: Sunday roast chicken dinner (Double-duty ingredient: leftover chicken)
Monday, 3/7: Sweet potato bisque and grilled sandwiches
Tuesday, 3/8: Slow cooker — Mom’s spaghetti with meat sauce,  salad (Double-duty ingredient: meat sauce)
Wednesday, 3/9: DIY salad platter, bread, fruit (Double-duty ingredient: leftover chicken)
Thursday, 3/10: French bread pizzas, salad, fruit (Double-duty ingredient: meat sauce)
Friday, 3/11: Fend night
Saturday, 3/12: No-fuss chicken, yellow rice, vegetables (Double-duty ingredient: cooked rice)
Sunday, 3/13: Salmon and rice strudel, vegetables, sliced fruit (Double-duty ingredient: cooked rice)
Monday, 3/14: Pasta poulet, salad, roasted broccoli
Tuesday, 3/15: Slow cooker — Corned beef supper (Double-duty ingredient: corned beef)
Wednesday, 3/16: Tuna panini, veggie chips, sliced fruit
Thursday, 3/17: Corned beef hash, fruit cobbler, eggs (Double-duty ingredient: Corned beef)
Friday, 3/18: Fend night
Saturday, 3/19-Monday, 3/21: Birthday celebrations for P. and me, so I’m off duty!
Tuesday, 3/22: Turkey burgers, sweet potato fries, fruit
Wednesday, 3/23: Parmesan chicken cutlets, orzo with pesto, roasted vegetable medley (Double-duty ingredient: chopped vegetables)
Thursday, 3/24: Creamy dill shrimp, cous cous, sauteed vegetable medley (Double-duty ingredient: chopped vegetables)
Friday, 3/25: Fend night
Saturday, 3/26: Chicken tikka masala, naan bread, samosas
Sunday, 3/27: Baked penne florentine, bread, salad
Monday, 3/28: Skillet pork with apples, egg noodles, vegetables
Tuesday, 3/29: Slow cooker — chicken soft tacos, rice, avocados(Double-duty ingredients: rice, tortillas, avocados)
Wednesday, 3/30: “Jeremy’s” Szechuan beef stir-fry, rice, sliced oranges (Double-duty ingredient: rice)
Thursday, 3/31: Sweet potato-black bean enchiladas, avocado salad, corn (Double-duty ingredients: tortillas, avocados)

As always, leave a comment if you have questions or want recipes shared!