Hey there! Today I'm going to share a few tips that I use on a weekly basis, in order to keep my sanity intact when it comes to feeding my family, & not having to spend hours in my kitchen daily.
My weekend, meal planning in review: Saturday, I thawed 4 lbs of grass-fed, beef hamburger. Saturday evening I fried it up & divided it up into multiple meals.
I added taco seasoning to 3lbs. of the meat, & 1 1/2lbs of that was put in the crockpot & into the fridge for Sunday lunch Tacos. The other 1 1/2lb. was put in a freezer container for Taco night next week.
...The remaining lb. of plain/fried hamburger was put in the fridge for a casserole, for Monday night supper. Today I took out that lb of hamburger & made a macaroni casserole & doubled the batch. Half of the casserole will be served for dinner tonight & the other half was put in a freezer container, to be thawed for a busy night when I don't have time to cook. The leftover lettuce from Taco Sunday, was used to make a quick tossed salad to go with the macaroni casserole.
I cook many of my meals in double batches & put half in the freezer. The same goes for baking.
Not everything can be frozen well, & there are days when I have the time to cook a nice meal & make it happen, But I'd say at least 50% of our meals are made ahead & frozen.
I use the 80/20 rule in cooking healthy for my family. 80% is healthy, organic-20% is convenient, ready-made foods. It's all about balance & not stressing about it too much.
Homemade bread is just a given here. Since I've started baking our own bread, the store bought just tastes like cardboard. The homemade bread is filling & nutritious, & keeps my kiddos full longer.
The children are all home today, celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.... So for lunch,
I sliced up some of that homemade bread, & made sandwiches, & cut up some apples to dip into peanut butter. (This lunch is the perfect example of my 80/20 rule) :)
Here is a list of a few staple items that are always in my kitchen, that make for quick, wholesome meals & snacks.
- Homemade bread-for quick sandwiches or a snack of buttered bread
- Deli meat & cheese-gasp! I know that it's not the healthiest thing in the world, but it's quick & easy & makes up part of that 20% I was talking about.
- Soft tacos-for wraps, quesadillas etc.
- Apples & peanut butter-we love our apples! & eat them almost daily.
- Bananas-another quick, filling & healthy snack
- Hard-boiled eggs-for salads, deviled eggs, or just as-is.
- Pasta & Rice-2 items that have a vast amount of possibilities in the kitchen & freeze well.
There are also bulk items I purchase through boxed.com that give me a break when the munchies hit.
- Nature valley granola bars
- Organic Z-bars
- large containers of stick pretzels
- Baked Sun-chips, in portion controlled packages
- Organic fruit gummies
Having canned & frozen foods that I've preserved from my garden every year, makes a huge dent in cooking times as well. We love Taco & Chili soup & I make that there are an abundance of each, every year...
I'm hoping this was even a little bit helpful to all you Mamas out there.