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Cook once, eat twice

Last week we were talking about eco-friendly food prep.

Of all the tips I gave you, the idea of “cook once, eat twice” is probably one of my favourites – because it’s good for the environment and your overall sanity!

There is nothing worse than coming home in the early evening, dragging in tired children and all the detritus from a full day (gym bags, lunch boxes, school bags, water bottles, groceries, books, trash and all the mystery objects that somehow accumulate) … only to walk in to a pile of laundry and dinner that needs cooking – it’s pretty hard to resist the wine at that point!

Wouldn’t it be nice to just shove the laundry in, unpack the day and just chat with the kids while dinner heats up on the stove? I tend to make one large dish of something at the weekend that I can use twice through the week with the kids. If I do a bolognese, we have it once with spaghetti and once with jacket potatoes. If I do a curry, we’ll have it once with brown rice and once with quinoa. If I do a casserole, we’ll have it once with quinoa and once with pasta. However with this one, the kids want it just as it is and they’re happy to have it twice – it’s a firm favourite! Give this a try and if you have time, steam some green veg to throw in on the side.

Catherine Burns’s chicken, apple and butternut squash casserole is a dish you can cook once and serve twice - or more

Chicken, apple and butternut squash casserole (serves 4)

Ingredients: (multiply as appropriate!)

1-2 tbs light olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 clove garlic, crushed and chopped

8 skinless chicken thighs (ideally organic)

2 apples, peeled and chopped

1 medium butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, chopped

½ – 1 cup organic apple juice, or white wine!

Organic chicken stock (plenty, enough to cover)

2 bay leaves

1 tbs low sodium Tamari sauce

black and white pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 325F.

2. In a medium/large cast iron pan, soften the onion and garlic in the olive oil over a medium heat.

3. Add the chicken pieces turning occasionally so the chicken colours (but not too brown).

4. Add the butternut squash and apple, stir, turn down to low, partially cover and allow to sweat for a few minutes.

5. Cover the chicken/veg with the juice and stock. Start with half the juice and add the rest at the end if you’d like to sweeten. Add black pepper, bay leaves and Tamari sauce. Bring to the boil (just for a second.)

6. Immediately place in oven for 2.5 to 3 hours. Check occasionally. It should be simmering but not bubbling vigorously. This makes a casserole with a broth-based sauce but offset the lid in the oven if it looks too liquid.

7. Casserole is done when the chicken is extremely tender and the veggies are soft. If you would like to thicken the sauce, do so with a little cornflour.

Catherine Burns is a qualified nutritional therapist. For more details:, 505-4725, Natural Nutrition Bermuda on Facebook and @naturalbda on Instagram

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Published October 16, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated October 15, 2020 at 8:53 am)

Cook once, eat twice

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