Planned Overs; the ultimate in planning ahead

On Monday, I started the charcoal grill with a goal of making burgers for supper – bacon cheeseburgers, if you want details. Don’t judge me; I served them on whole wheat buns, okay?

But back to the charcoal grill. If you’re like me and you prefer the charcoal grill to gas, you know that when the meat is done, the coals are still hot. In my kitchen, that’s the golden opportunity for planned leftovers, or planned-overs. On Monday night, the burgers shared the coals with chorizo (Mexican style sausage) and a Polska Kielbasa ring sausage.

Tuesday I made spaghetti and meat sauce – lots of both. The remaining spaghetti might become part of a side dish with the kielbasa or a batch or spaghetti carbonara. The meat sauce, with a little chili powder and jalapeno pepper, could be the base for a crock pot full of chili. If I decide to make that chili in true Wisconsin chili mac style, diced leftover spaghetti is right there in the refrigerator waiting for me.

Potatoes make great planned-overs. When I jump start a batch of baked potatoes on the grill, it takes hardly any time at all to finish them in the oven or microwave. If I make the planned-over potatoes into twice baked, complete with good Wisconsin cheese and green onions and chives from the garden, they’re not only delicious, but they carry a little of that charcoal flavor into another meal.

In conclusion (did you think I’d say “The moral of the story”?), planning ahead and cooking ahead meant that I only needed to light the grill once this week, and we had the potential for at least three meals from one charcoal fire. Like it? I did.

Side dishes, if you’re curious, included fresh asparagus and a mixed fruit salad, also fresh. Gotta love the farmers’ markets. We eat well in the summertime!

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