Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Cook Once, Eat Twice

Janet here:
Much of my current cooking life involves cooking ahead because I work out of town part of the week and I want to make sure my husband and son don't starve. I mean a duo can only eat so many hamburgers and fries, I don't care how delicious Peter's version is. So I assuage some of my traveling guilt by cooking ahead.

What I have realized in the two-plus years I've been doing this is that it's actually a brilliant idea to cook ahead one day of the week and ensure you've got stuff to heat up easily when you come home from a trying day at work. I can remember my children asking me in the car on the way home from school/music lessons/sports/day care what was for dinner. My standard response, because I hadn't really figured it out and was feeling kind of tired myself, was, "Arsenic" or "Ardvaark noses," depending on my mood. Why didn't I think of cooking ahead decades ago? Imagine the peaceful bliss of walking in the door, popping something in the oven and everyone happily playing together while the food warmed up ... or something like that.

At any rate, this recipe I've adapted from the original Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen is great the first time and reheats beautifully. I hope you learn something from my story and cook at least one meal ahead. It'll change your life.

Russian Macaroni
serves 6-8


1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 cups cottage cheese
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups shredded cabbage
1 carrot, chopped
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
worcestershire sauce to taste
salt and pepper to taste
2 cups macaroni

Boil the macaroni in water until al dente. Drain.
Heat oven to 350 degrees.

While the macaroni is cooking, combine the sour cream, cottage cheese, cheddar cheese and onion in a large bowl.

Saute in butter the cabbage, carrot and caraway seeds until the cabbage is wilted and just beginning to brown.
Add the sauteed ingredients and drained pasta to the large bowl. Stir until combined. Place in a casserole. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Easily microwaved for reheating.

Rachel here: Ah...reheating. I have three midterms this week, in addition to a paper due and 600 pages of reading. It's one of those weeks that the mere anticipation of is enough to make my stomach churn a bit. It's also one of those weeks that leaves me wanting to eat quick and easy comfort food. While I can't say that pizza won't be ordered in my house in the coming days, I can say that tonight it will be nice to sit down to a warm bowl of reheated homemade chili (for the recipe, see my post here). When I originally made it a few weeks back, I made a giant batch. John and I ate a bit of it, I gave a bit away to a friend of mine with two kids (oh, dinner is the best surprise), and I froze the rest in portions in microwavable containers that just need to be pulled from the freezer. Tonight, healthy heartiness (as opposed to the greasy deliciousness that is pizza) will fill our bellies and it will feel good. What do you stockpile in your freezer for these crazy weeks?


  1. Russian macaroni what's for dinner tonight....I actually have all the ingredients and it sounds delicious.....all my favorite food groups!


  2. It could be made with yogurt instead of sour cream to make it a bit healthier. I would also saute the onions and then add the cabbage, carrots and caraway seeds, rather than adding it raw to the cheese mixture.