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Cook Once – Eat Twice Weeknight Dinners

Cook Once – Eat Twice Weeknight Dinners



This is the time of year when we all get busy and sometimes downright overwhelmed with all there is to do to prepare for the holidays (And in my family we have six birthdays in December!)   So, I have come up with some strategies for keeping weeknight meals fast and easy.  With just a little bit of planning you can cook once and eating twice (or even three times) so you can make sure your family gets fed well while you’re in the midst of your hurried shopping, baking, and wrapping this holiday season.


1.     Roast a chicken for aweeknight dinner.   Add carrots and potatoes and you have a whole meal in one pan.  Serve with a tossed green salad.  After dinner remove the remainder of the chicken from the bones.  Divide in half.  Cut half in strips and the other half in ½ inch cubes.  On the second night stir-fry any fresh veggies you have on hand, add the chicken strips, and make a quick sauce from chicken broth and soy sauce thickened with a tablespoon of cornstarch.  Serve over brown rice.   On the third night, add chopped celery and onion to the diced chicken with enough low-fat mayonnaise to moisten.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve on lettuce leaves or on toasted whole wheat bread with a bowl of soup.  (See #2 below).


2.     Make a large pot of your favorite soup.  On the day you make the soup serve soup and grilled cheese sandwiches.  Freeze the remainder in meal size portions appropriate for your family.  Then you have an instant meal by serving with a sandwich or a salad.


3.      On day one enjoy your favorite pot of homemade chili.  The next night serve chili over baked potatoes.  On day three make chili burritos by filling whole wheat tortillas with chili, top with chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and sprinkle lightly with low-fat shredded cheddar cheese. 


Grill a flank steak or sirloin.  Serve grilled steak with rice pilaf and roasted asparagus the first night.  On the second night make steak and spinach quesadillas by placing strips of steak on a whole wheat tortilla, top with spinach and a very light sprinkling of low-fat mozzarella cheese.  On the third night make a simple Asian soup.  Saute onion, bok choy, and celery, add beef or chicken broth, bean sprouts, and mushrooms, season with 1 tsp. Chinese five spice; add remaining grilled steak.

Nancy Hintze

About the author

Nancy Hintze, originally from St. Louis, Missouri, began her career as a Foods and Nutrition teacher in Lehi, Utah in 2003. At the time she began teaching middle school students about nutrition, she weighed 286 pounds. She quickly became aware that if she expected her students to believe her, she had to be an example of what she taught. Over the course of the next several years, as she eliminated 125 pounds by changing what she ate and how she cooked, Nancy became passionate about sharing her healthy lifestyle keys with her students and their families. Along the journey of her transformation, she also became an avid chef with a zest for good old fashioned food preparation with a modern twist – healthy ingredients and ease of preparation.

Nancy is a licensed Family and Consumer Sciences teacher as well as a certified L.E.A.N Health Coach. She has developed and produced Community Nutrition Fairs, mentored students in the Fuel Up to Play program and accompanied one of her students to represent Utah in the National Fuel Up to Play summit in Washington, D. C. In addition, she has coached individual clients to achieve greater levels of personal wellness. And now we have the privilege of announcing Nancy as our very own Culinary Nutritionist here at Reams.

When she’s not sharing her passion for great eating with others, you can find her in her vegetable garden, or knitting or sewing, reading a great novel, hanging out with one of her 21 grandchildren or on the road in the RV that she and her husband love to travel in.