That batch cooking weekly is fine, but there are personalities, seasons, and temperatures that encourage looking for quicker fixes in the medium term rather than locking yourself in to cook for a while (even if that means quieting down for the rest of the week). If that feeling challenges you head-on by keeping your mind on the beach or pool—and your body whenever you can—then these unique cook-once, eat-twice dishes can bring you joy. Of course, have your largest skillet or casserole handy, because you’re going to need them; If you don’t have that big of a container, there are a few steps you can do in two batches without it taking much longer. All recipes are for eight servings.
Carrot and green bean salad with quinoa and seasoned hard boiled egg sauce
Boil four eggs for nine minutes, allow to cool, peel and puree with 150ml milk, vegetable drink, yoghurt or whipped cheese and season with a good squeeze of lemon, salt, pepper and your favorite spice and herb mix (made from a blend of Cajun with some Herbes de Provence and Sriracha, whichever you prefer). We refuse to call this “fit mayonnaise” like we do on Instagram and TikTok, but it’s still a good solution for getting a pleasantly smooth sauce, and with a lot fewer risks – especially in summer – than raw egg mayonnaise . If it’s too firm, you can add more lemon or milk, and if you want to make it vegan, all you have to do is replace the hard-boiled eggs with 400g of medium-hard tofu.
Cook 500 g quinoa according to the manufacturer’s instructions, drain and leave to cool. Wash 1 kg of fresh carrots, cut into sticks and place in a saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water. When it boils again, count two minutes and add two onions cut into thick strips and three minutes later a kilo of round green beans (they can be frozen). When it boils again, count four or five minutes and everything is ready to cool – it can stand under cold tap water – and drain. When the vegetables are dry, mix with the quinoa and sauce; if the sauce is still too thick, add more lemon juice, milk, or vegetable drink. Add some olives and voila.
Lentils with chicken and sautéed peppers, eggplant and onions
If you can still turn on the oven where you live and for some reason thought about it, you can use it to cook both vegetables and chicken. If not, you can make it perfectly in a pan. Chop three medium-sized eggplants and place in a large skillet or saucepan with a little oil over medium-high heat. Turn it from time to time for about ten minutes and add 2 peppers and 2 medium diced onions when it softens. Increase the heat and turn for five minutes (the peppers and onion should be crisp and not overdone). Add aromatic herbs to taste towards the end.
When the vegetables are ready, add to 800g of drained lentils and season with oil, salt and pepper. In the same skillet or casserole, slice and season 10 chicken thighs and turn over medium-high heat for about eight minutes, or until the meat begins to brown (it depends a bit on the size of the cut). Due to space limitations, we won’t cook the veggies and chicken at the same time, but if you have a pan the size of the Bernabeu, you could easily do it. Put it all together and voila: it can be eaten cold, hot or at room temperature – in fact I recommend eating it once hot and once cold, if you add a few handfuls of spinach leaves to the second you have a new dish – , and when If you like the acidity, you can also add a dash of your favorite vinegar.
Potatoes with cod, cucumber, lettuce hearts and olive sauce and parsley
Prepare a sauce by grinding 100g pitted green olives, a generous handful of parsley leaves, 120ml olive oil, pepper and vinegar to taste. Taste and add salt if necessary. Cook 3 pounds of medium new potatoes – clean, whole, in skin – for about 25 minutes, or until you can pierce them with a skewer. While warm, remove the ends and half of the skin from four medium cucumber strips. Cut them in half lengthwise and then in half slices.
Peel and roughly chop two spring onions. Mix the spring onions and cucumber with the chopped potatoes while they are still warm – without peeling them – and mix a little more than half of the vinaigrette. When it has reached room temperature, add 600g of desalted cod crumbs. Separate half and serve with three chopped lettuce hearts and half of the reserved vinaigrette. Another three buds – and the rest of the reserved vinaigrette – will be the only thing we will have to add at the last moment, the rest will be perfect overnight in the fridge; The dressing gives the cucumber a very tasty pickled touch. If desalted cod isn’t your thing, you can substitute smoked salmon or trout or canned fish.
Beans with squid, chard and chopped almonds
The sautéed version of a spoon dish, much more appropriate for the summer temperatures but just as appetizing and delicious. In a large pan or casserole, sauté 800g chard leaves with three chopped garlic cloves, paprika and oil until tender (you may need to do this in two batches as they are bulky at first). Take out two onions and sauté them in the same pan. Add 800g chopped squid – they can be thawed – well drained and dried, increase the heat and turn until tender, about six or eight minutes. Meanwhile, prepare a picada with 80g of toasted almonds, a clove of garlic and a handful of parsley. Add a kg of drained cooked beans to the squid with onions, return the chard to the pan and stir for a few minutes until the flavors are integrated. Add the ground beef, stir well for another minute and you’re done.
Chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, sardines and roasted garlic lemon vinaigrette
Using this method, sauté eight cloves of garlic in a pan (you can make more and use them for many things). When warm, mash with 120ml oil, the juice and zest of one large lemon – or to taste – salt, pepper and za’atar (or a mixture of thyme, rosemary and sesame seeds). Halve 500g cherry tomatoes – here’s a quick two-plate trick – and mix with 1kg of cooked, washed and dried chickpeas and four cans of sardines.
You can dress the whole salad at once, or reserve half with no dressing and do it just before eating. Both options are valid: If you season it, the cherry tomatoes will be a little softer the next day, like they were canned, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing if you like that texture. The flavor of the whole salad also evolves with the rest, it becomes more intense and amalgamated, so I recommend you try it: you can always dress it without tomatoes and add it at the last moment.
Couscous, shrimp, red fruit and Greek yogurt sauce
Hydrate 500 g whole grain couscous according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Prepare a sauce with two natural Greek yoghurts, 60ml oil, the juice and zest of two limes – or to taste – chopped coriander, salt and pepper. Chop 400 g of strawberries and get another 300 g of various red fruits (blackberries, blueberries, raspberries). Mix the cold couscous well with the yoghurt sauce and 600 g peeled and cooked prawns. Serve half with half the fruit and more cilantro. Leave the already prepared second batch of red fruits in a container and put them on the salad just before serving: it will take you almost the same effort and you will get an excellent result.