Help with a Week's Worth of Recipes
The deal is that I'm entering a couple of weeks of insane amounts of work and overtime at my job and I was thinking that this weekend, I could go to the market and buy groceries and cook/freeze a lot of stuff ahead of time so that I wouldn't come home late and frazzled and directionless.
Does anyone have any shopping lists/menu ideas they'd like to share? Nothing is off limits in terms of tastes/allergies, etc, although I'm always trying to eat healthfully. It seems that usually, I shop and then I'm stocked and inspired until about....Tuesday or Weds, when I fizzle out in terms of cuisine. By Thursday I'm dialing takeout pizza or Chinese, but I really don't like to do that often, and it's costly. Thank you!
A pan of lasagna is a wonderful thing to have in the fridge - it's filling and delicious - even cold I think! Homemade pizza with sauce, cheese, vegies (cooked eggplant slices, roasted peppers, sauteed onion) and turkey or beef meatballs is another favorite that will last a few days. Chicken, crimini, spinach and swiss cheese enchiladas are another good menu choice. My other standby is good old chicken divan.
All of these dishes can be made in lower fat versions, and can be rounded out with salad and bread, if so inclined - but are perfectly satisfying on their own, if you eat enough of them!
I find lasagne a little time-consuming and cheese-heavy, but a non-layered baked pasta can be quite easy and a little lighter. And it's just as easy to make two as it is to make one so you can "feed the freezer". Double a recipe or take a recipe meant for 9X13 and make two smaller ones for a smaller family.
I have been doing one with whole wheat pasta, tomato sauce (made from canned tomatoes and garlic), mozarella hot italian sausage, and rapini (chopped and blanched in the pasta water). Topped with a little parmesan and panko for crispyness. I buy pre-grated cheese for this purpose. I'm pretty slow in the kitchen but it takes me less than 90 min to do two 9X13s which represents at least 6 meals for DH and I.
I'm thinking of things that freeze well.
1. Large batch of pasta sauce, frozen in smaller containers that can be defrosted for a week night dinner. Make pasta, chicken, or eggplant parmesan. I just made a huge batch of homemade ravioli, froze it, and plan on making it for dinner periodically over the next few weeks.
2. Grill up a couple steaks, with enough for leftovers. Eat one, one night and thinly slice up the second on a salad the next. I do this all the time and it's so tasty.
3. Chicken fricassee, my husband's childhood favorite, keeps very well in the freezer.
First I have to say I love your screen name.
Second, I can completely relate--even though I work at home, I'm facing the same scenario (got a book to finish by the end of the month and I'm taking 4 classes). My solution is to build the week's menu (including breakfast and lunch) with an eye toward multiple usage, so that I can shop/prep/cook on the weekend or use leftovers from one meal for another (or two).
I make one enormous mixed green salad and put it into separate bags with a paper towel--that way that's done when it's time for dinner. Plus I chop up all my vegies and put them in bags so those are ready, too. And I'm going to slice up some chicken breasts so I can make a stir fry one night.
This week my "multi-meal" solutions are:
a big pot of stew (eaten as is one night, and I use some for a shepherd's pie for another night)
a roasted turkey breast (again eaten "as is" one night--probably Sunday--then for sandwiches and salads)
a roasted cauliflower and tofu thing that I love and my husband won't eat which I'll have for lunches
a big batch of multigrain "salad" (equal parts barley, brown rice and quinoa) with chick peas, feta cheese, kalamata olives, chopped celery/onion/red pepper/parsley with a mustardy dressing that I serve as a side dish with baked fish or have for lunch
Does that help?
I make a list on the side of my fridge that has all the dishes I have everything to make included are easy go to meals that require no thinking.
Potato soup / corn bread
Breakfast for dinner
Spagetti / slad
Roast chicken / salad
Leftover chiken for sanwiches
Tomato soup/ grilled cheese
Oh where do I begin!?
THANK YOU! I love so many of your ideas. Seldomsated, I love your lasagna idea. It's quick and cheap especially if I make it with veggies. Upstate, I hadn't though of that with steak. My H is a huge fan of red meat and I'm thinking that a salad with steak will make salad more appealing to him. Elizzie, I think you're superwoman doing all you're doing. Another thing I'd never thought of vis a vis salad was the separate baggies idea. In desperation I've used our local market's (Disgusting) communal salad bar at the end of the work day and that is such a better solution. By the way, I would wear shepherd's pie as perfume if I could, that's how much I love it. What a great idea for leftover stew. And lala...I think the last time I had tomato soup/grilled cheese in combo I was...eleven? It's been WAY too long and I love this combo. THANK YOU EVERYONE