One Chuck Roast, Three Meals


Does the recollection that Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away or that Christmas is only six weeks away make your head spin? Me, too. With all of the myriad of items on our collective To Do Lists, let’s make our cooking do triple duty.

We’re going to purchase one large chuck roast (or two if one will not yield leftovers for your family) and use it to make three meals, one of which can be frozen for a quick dinner during the holiday season or for a nutritious lunch in the thermos on a cold day.

Meal 1
Pioneer Woman’s Perfect Pot Roast, served with Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, and Green Peas.

Retain any fat that you trim from the roast and pan drippings in your roasting pan. Return any leftover onions and carrots after the meal is served back to the pan as well. Add about 16 cups of water to the pan and cook right on the stove-top over medium heat until it reduces to a nice rich color. Let cool. Pour broth through a strainer and into quart jars, leaving an inch or so of head space. Freeze.

Meal 2

Beef Stirfry

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Leftover roast beef, sliced (Save half of your beef for Meal 3)
1 t. minced garlic
¼ t. ground ginger
½ c. soy sauce
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
1 broccoli crown, cut into spears (or snow peas, zucchini, or whatever veggie you have in the fridge)
4 mushrooms, sliced

Mix soy sauce with garlic and ground ginger and pour over leftover roast beef to marinade.

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Cut all of your vegetables. Saute vegetables in olive oil over medium-high heat, beginning with the onions for about 5 minutes first.

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Then, add in the carrots and stirfry until almost tender.

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Add remaining veggies last as they will take less time to get tender, adding beef with marinade as the broccoli and mushrooms cook. Serve over brown rice for a quick weeknight meal.

Meal 3

Vegetable Beef Soup

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Remaining leftover roast beef, shredded
2 T. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
3 ribs celery, chopped
2 large potatoes
1 bag, frozen mixed vegetables
1 small can tomato paste
2 quarts beef broth
1 t. salt
1 t. sugar (to reduce the acidity of tomato paste)
½ t. pepper
½ t. parsley flakes

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Saute onion, carrots and celery in olive oil until tender.

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Add potatoes and one quart of beef broth and simmer for 15-20 minutes before adding remaining ingredients. Simmer over low heat until all vegetables are cooked through and flavors blend.

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Serve for a meal. Transfer leftovers to pint or quart jars, leaving an inch or so of headspace and freeze.

Frozen Meal Helpers

Beef Broth and Vegetable Beef Soup


Hawaiian Chicken


Last night, I braved the wind to face the grill again before it gets too cold. This is one of our family’s signature dinners, always a favorite.

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Hawaiian Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c. packed brown sugar
½ c. soy sauce
¼ c. ketchup
1 t. yellow mustard
4 pineapple slices, fresh or canned
4 slices, provolone cheese

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Mix together a marinade of the brown sugar, soy sauce, ketchup, and mustard and pour over the chicken breasts in a mixing bowl. You can grill it immediately or put it in the fridge for a few hours to soak up the flavor, whatever your timeline.

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Grill the chicken until done, flipping once during the cooking process.

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Add pineapple slices to the grill for a minute or two.

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Top the grilled chicken breasts with pineapple slice and a slice of provolone cheese. Cover the grill again for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese.

Serve over Uncle Ben’s Long Grain & Wild Rice. We always have mandarin orange salad with it, but will substitute fresh pineapple for the mandarin oranges since we just cut one up for this dish anyway.

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Roasted Chicken

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 carrots, cut into pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into pieces
  • 1 T. butter or olive oil
  • Your choice of seasonings, from seasoned salt and pepper, to fresh herbs, to my choice of homemade taco seasoning for a little more flavor.

Begin by placing a whole chicken in a roasting pan and removing the neck and giblets from the body cavity.  Save those icky parts for broth-making in a zipper bag in the refrigerator.

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Cut the vegetables to use for stuffing.

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Stuff body cavity with vegetables, adding any that won’t fit in the roasting pan around the chicken.  Smear butter over the top and sprinkle with a liberal dose of your favorite seasonings.

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Bake at 375 for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the internal temperature reaches 180 degrees.

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Voila!  You now have dinner for the first night.  Hold on to those vegetables in the roasting pan, though.  After you have served the roast chicken, pick the remaining meat from the carcass and save for a casserole, soup, sandwiches or salads.

Then, add the bones and skin back to the roasting pan with the vegetables you roasted it with and those neckbones and giblets you saved in the fridge.  Drown them in about 16 cups of water and place over medium-low heat until the liquid reduces by about half and becomes a nice rich golden colored broth.  Strain the liquid and discard everything else.  Allow broth to cool before storing in an assortment of pint or quart jars in the freezer.  Be sure to allow about 1″ of head space so your jars don’t crack.

The byproduct of homemade chicken broth is one of the best parts of this chicken!  You get to control the sodium content, eliminate the preservatives, and the cost.  Since you’ve already paid for the chicken, the broth is free.

Teriyaki Chicken

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken tenderloins
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar
  • 1/2 c. soy sauce
  • 3 T. cider vinegar
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1/2 t. minced garlic
  • 1/8 t. pepper
  • 2 t. cornstarch
  • 2 t. water
  • 2 c. broccoli flowerets
  • 2 carrots, sliced
  • 1 sweet onion, quartered and sliced into strips
  • 1 green pepper, sliced into strips
  • 1 c. sliced mushrooms
  • 1 c. fresh pineapple chunks (may substitute canned)

Stir together brown sugar, soy sauce, cider vinegar, ground ginger, minced garlic, and pepper.  Pour over chicken to marinate.  Heat olive oil in a large skillet.  Stirfry chicken, reserving liquid in a small saucepan.  Remove chicken from the skillet.  Add more oil if needed and stirfry vegetables.  While vegetables are cooking, place saucepan with reserved marinade on medium heat and bring to a boil.  Stir cornstarch and water together.  Reduce heat and add cornstarch mixture to the sauce.  Once vegetables are tender, add chicken back to skillet with the vegetables and pour sauce over it.  Serve with brown or white rice and enjoy!