Photography: Travis Rathbone
There are few better ways to spend your Sunday than cooking and enjoying a roast, especially when you end up with bountiful leftovers that you can use in different dishes later in the week.
American chef, author and TV personality James Briscione has come up with this plan for a week’s worth of meals which takes little planning, uses very few ingredients and – after the first day – can be made in no more than 15 minutes.
There’s no need to pork out all week though. NHS guidelines suggest leftovers should be refrigerated and eaten within two days, so you’ll need to freeze some meat anyway. Just make sure the meat’s fully defrosted and then warmed through before eating.
Cook Up A Big Pork Roast
Rub a lean whole loin with a mix of garlic, rosemary, thyme and sage or black pepper, and put it in a casserole dish with apple and red onion wedges. Roast till the internal temp is 63°C (about 45 minutes) – the centre will be pink and the meat juicy and ready to eat. Carve and serve with sautéed asparagus and quinoa.
Smart move: Buy enough asparagus for a few meals. To keep it fresh, stand it in a glass with 5cm water, cover loosely and refrigerate.
1. Pack It Into Cheesy Quesadillas
Chop red onion, tomatoes and chillies, mix and leave to marinate for five minutes. Add sautéed mushrooms, chopped courgette and canned pinto beans. Heat two tortillas in a nonstick pan, then add grated cheese, pork slices, veg mix then more cheese on half of each tortilla. Fold them over and when the cheese starts to melt, flip to brown the other side.
Smart move: You can buy canned chopped tomatoes with chillies to spice up dishes fast.
2. Add It To A Hearty Bean Stew
Sauté chopped onions, garlic and ginger in a saucepan, add a can of black beans, 150ml beef stock, some frozen stir-fry veg, ground cumin and chopped red pepper, and cook for ten minutes. Throw in some chopped pork and enjoy.
Smart move: Keep packs of frozen stir-fry veg to add vitamins, minerals and fibre to meals quickly. They’re flash-frozen when picked, so they keep their nutrients.
3. Pile It High In A Sandwich
Mix shop-bought low-sugar barbecue sauce with a little cider vinegar, add some rough-chopped pork and marinate for five minutes. Warm a seeded bun in the toaster or grill, microwave the pork mixture
for 30 seconds, then layer it on the bun with vinegar-based (non-mayo) coleslaw and sliced dill pickles, if liked.
Smart move: For a quick slaw, just mix shredded cabbage and carrots (you can buy these ready-prepared) with chopped spring onions, cider vinegar, olive oil and celery salt. Plus hot sauce if that’s how you roll.
4. Skewer It For Tangy Kebabs
Marinate chopped pork, spring onion and asparagus with olive oil, orange juice, soy sauce, salt, pepper and a little brown sugar for five minutes. Thread pieces onto skewers with fresh nectarine chunks and grill till they start to blacken. Brush with more marinade and serve with rice or quinoa.
Smart move: Soak wooden or bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes before grilling so they don’t burn.
5. Stuff It In A Giant Sweet Potato
Poke one or two sweet potatoes with a fork several times, and microwave them uncovered for five minutes, then turn them and cook for another five minutes. Mix some finely chopped pork with a can of chopped tomatoes and chillies, and microwave for two minutes. Split open each potato, spoon in the pork mixture, and stir it up with the potato. Top with sour cream.
Smart move: Don’t like microwaved spuds? Drive a long aluminum or stainless steel nail into a potato, wrap it in foil and bake at 180°C/gas 4 till it’s “squeezable” (about 35 minutes). The nail cuts baking time.
6. Make A Pork And Veg Sauté
Sauté red and green peppers and onions in coconut oil till they’re tender. Stir in pork slices, chopped garlic, ground cumin, lime juice, coriander and enough water to create a sauce, then simmer till it thickens. Serve over brown rice and garnish with parsley.
Smart move: To peel garlic easily, smash the whole head with your hand (or a “kitchen rock” – it’s surprisingly useful to keep a fist-sized rock in the kitchen) to separate the cloves. Toss them into a jar, close it and shake like hell. The peels will be gone in seconds.
This article first appeared in the US edition of Men’s Fitness