Prep Once, Eat Twice: Double-Duty Ingredients


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  56 comments   :  33,778 Views

The key to getting a nutritious and delicious dinner on the table in under 30 minutes is not a culinary degree or a team of sous chefs. It's one short French phrase: mise en place.

In the kitchen, mise en place means everything in its place. The vegetables are chopped, the herbs are washed, and the pots are clean and ready to go. When you're short on time, using prechopped vegetables (either chopped ahead of time or purchased that way) is a huge time saver.

In these two videos, I used one set of ingredients--chopped vegetables and precooked chicken breasts--to create two very different meals: Veggie Chicken Stir Fry and Spring Rolls. Watch now!

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For a two-cup serving (including 1 1/2 cups of vegetables), this dish has 149 calories and 2.3 g fat. Add a half-cup of brown rice, a cup of milk and a half-cup of melon balls for a meal that clocks in at 375 calories and 4 g fat, plus four servings of fruit and vegetables.

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The next night, use the leftovers to make spring rolls. If you're nervous about using rice paper, don't be. I show you how to use it in the video. I created three sauces that can be used with a variety of fillings. Take your favorite leftover protein and chopped vegetables and turn them into a light and healthy dinner.

What is your favorite stir-fry vegetable combination? What ones do you always have in your house?

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  • 56
    nice - 1/13/2018   10:47:33 PM
  • 55
    I just added the broccoli carrot slaw to my grocery list and I am surely going to try my version of this dish! - 10/26/2010   6:35:34 PM
  • 54
    i have always wanted to try making spring rolls. i hope the video helps me to be more gungho about it all! it seems so easy! and soo much cheaper than going to a restaurant! - 5/25/2010   9:16:18 AM
  • 53
    I really love carrots in my stir-fry. Big chunks of them and not the little pieces. I also have started to like boc-choy (I think that is what it is). I now get a steamed veggie, chicken and shrimp from our local chinese resturant and love it! - 3/8/2010   6:58:31 AM
  • 52
    I think I would really like these double duty meals. I would have to use a rice wrap instread of a wheat wrap. I am Gluten & Dairy free. I just purchased my first tofu pkg in many years-hoping I like it better than I did years ago.

    Has anyone tried this with a rice (Thai) type wrap? - 2/17/2010   5:16:31 PM
  • SUNSET09
    My favorite is vegetables with chicken; no matter how its made or mixed. Don't keep it in the house and enjoy being creative with leftovers. Have a girlfriend who makes the best spring rolls however, I'm quite thirsty after indulging! - 2/14/2010   3:26:38 AM
  • 50
    picture pretty. Which means everything when sitting down to eat. - 2/11/2010   5:41:26 PM
  • PAYDAY10
    This is a wonderful way to save time and be prepared for those days when you only have a few minutes to prepare a meal. You stay on track and are still free to accomplish other things. - 2/11/2010   2:01:48 PM
    I will try these one day they look good. - 2/11/2010   12:17:13 AM
  • 47
    My favorite combination is shrimp, brown rice, sweet/sour sauce, whatever frozen bag veggies I have on hand and a can of beans (kidney, garbonzo, chick). I make enough to freeze so I can grab a serving for lunch whenver I don't have time to pack a lunch. - 2/10/2010   11:28:35 PM
  • 46
    I'm making Shrimp Pad Thai tonight for the first time. Don't have a wok, but will use my well seasoned iron skillet! It will take about 45 minutes because the noodles have to soak for 30 minutes. already peeled the shrimp and I'm adding snow peas and canned bean sprouts. Easy stuff! - 2/10/2010   6:26:53 PM
    This look's wonderful! - 2/10/2010   12:34:00 PM
  • 44
    My favorite is Beef, brocoli, - 2/10/2010   9:21:25 AM
  • 43
    Sounds good! I'm making stir fry tonight and spring rolls for lunch tomorrow! - 2/10/2010   9:14:18 AM
  • 42
    My favorite stir fry combo - onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, asparagus, bok choy, and broccoli... yum! - 2/9/2010   10:54:23 PM
  • 41
    I love chicken breast, mushrooms, celery, and bell pepper as a stir fry. Yummy!
    - 2/9/2010   8:25:09 PM
  • 40
    Thank you, thank you...I love these quick, yet great tasting recipes. - 2/9/2010   5:36:07 PM
  • 39
    Bok choy, mushrooms, scallions, carrots, broccoli, bean sprouts, fresh spinach, garlic, water chestnuts, bambooo shoots, green bell peppers, celery. - 2/9/2010   5:09:16 PM
  • 38
    My nickname in the kitchen (and my housekeeping really) is Mise en Place Girl! lol - 2/9/2010   4:34:51 PM
  • 37
    These look very good. I will have to try them. - 2/9/2010   4:27:03 PM
    mmmm.... these recipies look so good! I love making stir frys with broccoli, sugar snap peas, carrots, green beans, really any type of veggies. I never thought about turning the leftovers into spring rolls though. I might even add a little cabbage next time. - 2/9/2010   3:36:46 PM
  • 35
    So healthy & yummy! Can't wait to find the wraps and make these!
    - 2/9/2010   3:23:08 PM
  • 34
    This looks so easy and good! Can't wait to try this out!! - 2/9/2010   1:00:09 PM
  • 33
    yum yum i am going to get the stuff to make this today both look sooo good - 2/9/2010   12:55:13 PM
  • JMLEE509
    My fave stir fry--tofu, mushrooms, snow peas, water chestnuts, bamboo shoots, carrots, baby corn, fresh spinach, hot chili sauce, ginger, ketchup, reduce sodium soy sauce, and corn starch for a thick sauce topped with unsalted peanuts and sesame seeds! Yummy! - 2/9/2010   11:58:39 AM
  • 31
    Favorite stir fry combo? Onions, summer squash, pea pods with some sort of meat.
    Always have on hand: brown rice, whole wheat spaghetti (lo mein), eggs ("fried" rice), ginger root, soy sauce, 5-spice powder.

    My favorite fresh spring rolls are Vietnamese and are shredded lettuce, lemon grass, and fresh basil served with finely chopped peanuts and a sauce I have yet to figure out. These spring roll creations of Chef Meg's just don't have a comparison to that. The sauces sound interesting though. - 2/9/2010   11:53:35 AM
  • 30
    They look really really good - 2/9/2010   10:56:47 AM
  • 29
    Sounds good. I usually buy frozen stir fry veggies, & add them to chicken. I will have to try this recipe, & possibly the spring rolls. - 2/9/2010   10:49:31 AM
  • 28
    We don't really stir fry because I have never found a recipe with a sauce I like.

    I can't stand soy sauce or worcestershire (however it's spelled) sauce. And every recipe I've found has some sort of sauce like that. Yuck! - 2/9/2010   10:33:41 AM
    Sounds yummy. We grill a bunch of skinless chicken breast and break it down for meals. I cut up zucchini, onion, peppers,asparagus, mushrooms for future meals. We make vegetable omelets, spice up simple sandwiches, make stir fry. Last night we had some raw crunchy vegetables and steamed others with a bit of whole grain pasta. Yum o....... - 2/9/2010   10:26:22 AM
    Voila Garlic Chicken - 2/9/2010   10:21:01 AM
  • 25
    I love to mix red/yellow peppers, zucchini, carrots, onion, garlic ~ add cumin, chili powered, salt & pepper to taste. I'll add brown rice, scrambled egg/egg whites for what I call my Mexican Fried Rice! With the veggies and rice pre-cooked and stored in the frig it makes a quick and easy meal. - 2/9/2010   9:42:38 AM
  • 24
    I love stir fry . . . I throw in whatever I have left over at the end of the week. Everything seems to work, and I haven't found a combination of vegetables that I don't like. - 2/9/2010   9:02:21 AM
  • 23
    I have a real hard time finding spring rolls in the stores. These recipes sound great! - 2/9/2010   7:15:59 AM
  • MOM210
    Super yummy sounding. Thanks for sharing!!! - 2/9/2010   6:51:44 AM
  • BIRGUL8084
    Is Stir Fry better than mongolian? I love the neighborhood Mongolian place but not take smaller portions. - 2/9/2010   2:11:06 AM
    The one with red sauce looks nasty in the picture. But I love oriental food even though I have never had "red" sauce in them before. - 2/9/2010   1:10:29 AM
  • 19
    Love that recipe with the summer roll..going to try it. - 2/8/2010   11:54:26 PM
    Thanks - 2/8/2010   11:38:42 PM
  • 17
    my video has no sound ;( - 2/8/2010   11:35:49 PM
  • 16
    sounds absolutely delicious as well as healthy. Thanks! - 2/8/2010   11:15:14 PM
  • SHERI0303
    Rice paper isn't hard to work but it takes a little practice to get a nice tight spring roll. Thanks for the great idea for a double duty meal! - 2/8/2010   11:08:55 PM
  • 14
    I like to make a big pot of all purpose red sauce on the weekend. Then I can use it with pasta, enchiladas, meat loaf etc. during the week and still control the ingredients. - 2/8/2010   9:49:03 PM
  • 13
    Planning ahead is the only way to go. I often roast a pork tender loin and two chickens in my oven then i use the poark as a nice looking roat often for company. Leftovers go great in stir fry or salads for myself. Sandwiches for DH, Chicken becomes stir fries , chicken stew and salad fixings. For us this saves on prep time and electricity. I even freeze the cooked chicken and pork nothing is wasted in our household that would be wasting money. Pat in Maine - 2/8/2010   8:21:30 PM
    Looks great and easy! Can't wait to try it! - 2/8/2010   7:45:29 PM
    I make a stir fry meal once a week,it is quick and easy and it is a great way to get your veggies. - 2/8/2010   7:25:26 PM
  • 10
    Mise en place goes a long way to making the meal easy, nutritional and tasty. - 2/8/2010   7:13:06 PM
    I cook all my meals on the weekend- when life is really busy during the week I can nuke what ever sounds good! - 2/8/2010   6:53:04 PM
    I love stir fry and other oriental foods. I am going to try and make the spring rolls-my fav! - 2/8/2010   6:29:35 PM
  • 7
    I love rice paper Spring rolls. - 2/8/2010   6:20:29 PM

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