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The ideal 5-in-1 meal

Updated: March 10, 2011 11:49 AM EST
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  • RecipesMore>>

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    Gluten Free, Reduced Carbohydrate Chocolate Cobbler, 7/24/14

    Friday, July 25 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-07-25 12:00:44 GMT
    Brandon DouglasPrep Time 30 minBake Time ~35 minCool Time Serve Instantly for Ideal Texture2 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweetener, Divided into 1 ½ cups and 1 cup2 cup Gluten Free Bisquick All Purpose flour6 Tbsp ½ cup cocoa, divided respectively4 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt2 cups Whole Milk2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted3 teaspoons Gluten Free vanilla extract½ cup firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar blend3 cups hot waterPreheat oven to 3500FStir Together 1 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweeten...More >>
    Brandon DouglasPrep Time 30 minBake Time ~35 minCool Time Serve Instantly for Ideal Texture2 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweetener, Divided into 1 ½ cups and 1 cup2 cup Gluten Free Bisquick All Purpose flour6 Tbsp ½ cup cocoa, divided respectively4 tsp baking powder½ tsp salt2 cups Whole Milk2/3 cup unsalted butter, melted3 teaspoons Gluten Free vanilla extract½ cup firmly packed Splenda Brown Sugar blend3 cups hot waterPreheat oven to 3500FStir Together 1 ½ cups Splenda Zero Calorie Sweeten...More >>
  • Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Raspberry Lemonade, 7/23/14

    Wednesday, July 23 2014 10:09 AM EDT2014-07-23 14:09:04 GMT
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
    Michael LanariKitchen Bath Concepts4 cups fresh lemon juice3 cups sugar1 bag frozen raspberriesIce cubes, for servingSqueeze the lemons and pour the juice into a pitcher. Mix together the sugar with 3 cups water and stir to dissolve to make a syrup. Add the syrup to the lemon juice and top it up with 8 cups water. Taste to make sure it's sweet enough for you, and then add the raspberries. Mix the lemonade together and let chill in the fridge. (Keep in mind that the raspberries are tart, so b...More >>
  • Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Blueberry Cheesecake Bars with Oreo Cookies, 7/22/14

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 11:12 AM EDT2014-07-22 15:12:24 GMT
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>
    Alan BennettYield: 32 servingsIngredients:1 1/4 Quart Oreo Pieces-small, divided6 Tbl. butter, meltedCup Original Cream Cheese, softened2 Cup sugar4 Ea. eggs1 1/4 Cup fresh blueberries1/3 Cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate, meltedDescription:Cheesecake bars made with fresh blueberries and Oreo Cookie Pieces.Preparation Steps:Combine 1 lb. of the Oreo Pieces and butter; press evenly onto bottom of 1 parchment-lined half-sheet pan. Place cream cheese and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer fitt...More >>

By Gail Belsky

What dish can you cook once -- and eat five different ways on five different nights?

Answer: braised short ribs.

The initial one-pot meal takes less than an hour to prepare, followed by three hours of slow cooking in the oven. But if you double the recipe, you'll have enough left over to create four more ideal meals to finish off the week.

Just shred the beef and keep it in the fridge along with the braising juice and leftover vegetables. Or, separate and freeze for later use.


Night 1: Braised short ribs

There are plenty of ways to cook braised short ribs, but the classic includes a combination of red wine, carrots, celery, onions, garlic, thyme, and canned tomatoes or tomato paste. Look through your favorite cookbooks or search online to pick out a recipe you like.


Night 2: Short-rib shepherd's pie

  • Saute one chopped carrot and one chopped onion, or heat leftover short-rib vegetables in a little braising liquid.
  • Add 2 cups of shredded meat, sprinkle with flour, and continue to saute, stirring for a few minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of red wine, bring to a boil, and stir until thickened.
  • Add 1 cup of frozen peas. Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Pour into a 9-inch square or small, rectangular baking dish and top with creamy mashed potatoes.
  • Bake at 350 F until bubbly and slightly browned on top (around 30-40 minutes).


Night 3: Pulled short-rib sandwiches

  • Pile shredded beef onto rolls.
  • Add your favorite condiment or sauce: pesto, hoisin sauce, Korean barbeque sauce, coleslaw, relish, horseradish mayo, etc.
  • Optional: grill on crusty bread with cheddar (or provolone) cheese and thin-sliced red onions. Kids can eat theirs plain on hamburger rolls as Sloppy Joes.


Night 4: Short-rib ragu over pasta

  • Put shredded beef, leftover vegetables and braising liquids in a large pot.
  • Add:
    • 1 can of crushed tomato (with juice)
    • 1 bay leaf
    • 1 or 2 sprigs of thyme and 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 20 to 30 minutes.
  • Remove bay leaf and thyme, add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cream or milk. Simmer another minute.
  • Pour short-rib sauce over pappardelle or rigatoni.


Night 5: Short-rib tacos

  • Reheat shredded meat in the microwave and load into soft or hard tacos.
  • Top with various taco condiments, like corn salsa, avocado, chopped cilantro, chopped raw onions, shredded Monterey Jack or other cheese, shredded cabbage or lettuce, sour cream, etc.


Gail Belsky
has worked on a variety of women's publications, including Parents, Working Mother and All You. She recently wrote a book for women entitled The List: 100 Ways to Shake up Your Life. She is the managing editor of Ideas That Spark.

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