Cook once, eat for a week

MARCH 3, 2016

Imagine cutting down kitchen time to one cooking day, so you could relax the rest of the week. You’d have more time for family and more time for yourself. And you’d use less and waste less.

The secret to a super-efficient kitchen and a well-fed family is planning. Put some time aside to make one ‘base’ meal that you can make ahead, freeze, and then tweak for a different, delicious dinner every day.

A basic tomato stew is a great foundation for a week of meals. You can add ingredients as you need, and use it in a variety of filling, nutritious meals.

Simply fry onion and garlic until tender, then add three or four tins (depending on how many people you’re feeding) of peeled, chopped tomatoes. Cover with vegetable or chicken stock, add a sprinkling of mixed herbs and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for 20 minutes or so, until you have a glossy, thick tomato stew.

Once cooled, pour the tomato mixture into seven different smaller containers or Ziploc bags, to use throughout the week. Place them carefully in the freezer and use as and when you need them. Here are a few ideas on how to use the tomato stew in your meals for a week:

  1.       Monday: scrumptious soup

Reheat the tomato mixture with a tin of sweetcorn until piping hot, for an affordable and mouth-watering soup. Serve with freshly toasted Blue Ribbon Classic White or Classic Brown Bread and butter.

  1.       Tuesday: endless pastabilities

Boil macaroni noodles or spaghetti until cooked but firm, drain then add a knob of butter and the defrosted tomato mixture. Toss together and top with some grated cheese (if desired) for a yummy pasta dinner.

  1.       Wednesday: perfect potato

Boil potatoes or sweet potatoes until completely cooked. Place on a baking tray, cut the potatoes open and pour a little of the tomato mixture over each potato. Top with some grated cheese and mixed herbs, then grill until golden and bubbling.

  1.       Thursday: brilliant beans

Heat the tomato mixture with a tin or two of mixed beans and a tablespoon of sugar for homemade baked beans. Serve hot, over toasted Blue Ribbon Brown Sliced or White Sliced Bread. 

  1.       Friday: succulent chicken

Fry chicken pieces until crispy on the outside. Place in a baking tray with some cooked, chopped spinach. Pour over the tomato mixture and bake until the chicken is completely cooked.

  1.         Saturday: mince magic

Fry some mince until brown, then add the tomato mixture with some mixed herbs and a teaspoon of curry powder (depending on the heat you prefer). Serve with thick slices of Blue Ribbon Unsliced White or Unsliced Brown Bread.

  1.       Sunday: breakfast for dinner

Toast a few slices of Blue Ribbon Toaster White or Toaster Brown. Butter the toast, then top with fried or scrambled eggs and a generous spoonful of the tomato mixture – everyone loves breakfast for dinner.

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Image: Tomato Stew - Blue Ribbon