Cook Smart Strategy 6: Weekend Make-ahead


Weekends are perfect for roasting as it does take some time, but can offer leftovers that set you up for speedy meals during the week. Roasting is also hands-off cooking so you are free to do what you want while dinner cooks by itself.

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Roast Beef with Sheet-Roasted Ratatouille


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 lb (1.5 kg) Beef Sirloin Tip or Inside Round Oven Roast
  • 1 tbsp basil pesto
  • 3 plum tomatoes, cored and quartered
  • 8 oz (250 g) zucchini (about 2), cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 small Spanish onion, cut into 12 wedges
  • 1 baby eggplant, cut into chunks
  • 1 EACH sweet red and yellow pepper, seeded and cut into chunks
  • 4 oz (125 g) cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • 3 tbsp basil pesto
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp liquid honey
  • ¼ cup pitted Kalamata olives


  1. Ratatouille: In large bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini, onion, eggplant, peppers, mushrooms, garlic and pesto; toss to coat. Spread on foil-lined rimmed baking sheet lightly coated with vegetable cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Heat oil in heavy sauté pan or ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Season beef with pepper as desired; brown all over, turning with tongs, about 10 minutes. Spread pesto all over roast; place on rack in same sauté pan. Insert oven-safe meat thermometer into centre of roast. Place roast and pan of vegetables, in a 275°F oven and roast until the thermometer reads 145°F(63°C) for medium-rare; about 1 ½ hours.
  3. Remove roast to cutting board. Cover with foil and let stand for 5 minutes. Lift foil and vegetables from pan and use rubber spatula to scrape vegetables into large bowl; toss with vinegar, honey, and olives, if using. If desired, set aside about 1 lb (500 g) cooked beef and 2 cups/500 mL of vegetables for Roast Beef Wraps. Thinly carve roast across the grain.


Smart Cook Tip: Make up a big batch of steamed rice or couscous to go with the roast meal, reserving about. 2 cups (500 mL) to use in the Roast Beef Wraps the next day.

Next Day Meals…

Roast Beef Wraps: 1. Combine 2 cups EACH remaining Ratatouille vegetables and cooked rice or whole wheat couscous. Flavour with 3 tbsp bottled sun-dried tomato vinaigrette dressing; set aside. 2. Spread each of 6 large spinach tortillas (warmed) with 1 tsp pesto. 3. Layer each tortilla with 1/2 cup EACH shaved roast beef, baby spinach leaves and vegetable/rice mixture. Roll up and cut on diagonal to serve.

…WITH the Super Salad: In large microwave-safe bowl, microwave 1-1/4 cups sodium-reduced chicken broth to simmering hot. Stir in 1 cup whole wheat couscous; cover tightly and let stand 5 minutes. Stir in the reserved leftover coarsely chopped Sheet-Roasted Ratatouille and slivered sliced roast beef. Stir in 1/4 cup EACH crumbled feta cheesechopped fresh parsley, Italian-style black olives (optional) and calorie-reduced Greek vinaigrette dressing. Season to taste with pepper and juice from 1/2 a lemon. Makes 6 servings (6 cups).

Cook Smart Tip: When using the oven for roasting, add a heat of garlic wrapped in foil to make roasted garlic or add some potatoes or sweet potatoes for baking.

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