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Learning how to stretch a meal is a great way to save money, time and energy. With today’s current challenges this homesteading skill is an important one to learn master and enjoy getting creative with. In this post I’ll show you how you can turn that one roast meal into five days or more worth of meals for your family!
Stretching a meal is something that my grandmothers and my mother taught me at an early age and it’s a hack that can easily be learned. It wasn’t until my good friend that told me I’m really good at making a meal from nothing, that not everyone had this skill.
So I’m going to share my secret to stretching a meal with you.
I choose 5 main meals that my family loves and do one big bake on a Sunday night for our family dinner. I then stretch those five main meals into 5 weeks worth of Dinners. Let me show you how it’s done.
Start by choosing a roast you know your family will love, and then it’s all about the fixings and a plan.
HOW TO STRETCH A MEAL
A roast is always less expensive than finer cuts of meat, especially if it has the bone in. Which is a total added bonus because those bones make amazing broth!
A Picnic Pork Roast Shoulder
A Roasted Chicken
Then take that meal and get ready to stretch it!
HOW TO STRETCH A MEAL: ROAST CHICKEN
SUNDAY- Roast Chicken Dinner
Roast Chicken dinner with mashed potatoes, roasted veggies, peas and buns and pie for dessert.
On the homestead we raise our own meat birds, so we essentially raise enough chicken for a years worth of roast chicken. Learn how to raise your own chickens for meat. Other options include purchasing from a farmer or buying a frozen fryer chicken.
I make pie crust so that there’s enough pie crust for dessert and for a chicken pot pie. Apple Pie is by far THE best desert. Who doesn’t love apple pie? Warm sweet apples, hints of cinnamon and vanilla, and a buttery flaky crust. Learn how to make homemade apple pie from scratch and you’ll be asked to make the pie for all the potlucks and family dinners.
MONDAY- Chicken Soup
Sunday night, I take all the leftovers from the chicken carcus and throw it in a large stock pot with a few tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, the onions and garlic from the roast and alot of water. I’ll bring that to a boil and allow it to simmer for the evening or overnight.
TUESDAY- Chicken Pot Pie
With the left over chicken, veggies and gravy I’m able to make 1 or 2 chicken pot pies using the left over crust from Sunday Night’s desert pie. It’s a great crust for sweet and savoury dishes. Serve with a fresh salad from the garden, a jar of winter salad and chutney.
WEDNESDAY- Stir Fry
From the pot of stock, I’m able to peel enough chicken off the bones to make my favourite stir fry. It’s super easy to make with cabbage, carrots, onion, garlic and chow mien noodles. Stir fry doesn’t need a complicated sauce either, I always do a combination of hoisin and soy sauce for the perfect stirfry.
FRIDAY- Chinese Fried Rice
I make Chinese fried rice similar to the stir fry but with a few scramble eggs and a pot of white rice thrown in instead of the chow mien noodles. Thats it!
SATURDAY- Poor Mans Soup
On Saturday, there isn’t much left of the chicken except for the broth. But don’t be fooled. There is lots of nutrition in homemade chicken broth. I use that broth to make a big batch of poor mans soup. The fun thing about poor mans soup is there isn’t much of a recipe other than broth, vegetables, a starch and or protein.
Broth Options; Chicken, Beef, Pork, Vegetable or Fish
Vegetables; Anything fits into this category. Use what you have
Starch; Potatoes, rice, noodles, flour and milk rous for a chowder, barley or other grains
Protein; Chicken, Beef, Pork, Fish, Chickpeas, Tofu, Beans, Lentils
Spices; This is when it all comes together, you can’t go wrong with salt and pepper, try some protein themed spice combinations or a curry combination for a spicier flavour.
TIPS FOR STRETCHING ANY MEAL
Always by bone in meat,
Other ingredients will include vegetables water rice or noodles and really whatever else you have in your pantry.
How to stretch a meal￼