(Closed) do you plan you meals for that week?

posted 7 years ago in Cooking
Post # 4
Member
3624 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I would love to be able to freeze meals and be able to pop one out if I want a quick dinner. Unfortunately my FI is a BIG eater and usually eats everything, and there isn’t enough left worth putting in the freezer. haha…

I also try and try and try to plan out a weeks worth of meals, and I fail at following through with it every single time I try.

🙁

Post # 5
Member
6010 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

I usually do both freezer meals and weekly meal planning, but I’ve been a major slacker this month.  I started using http://www.allrecipes.com weekly meal planner tool, and I really like it.  You can choose a weekly meal plan other users have created or you can create your own.  It also creates shopping lists based on your planning, which is great.

As far a freezer meals go, I tend to make casseroles, lasagnas, soups, chilis, etc… and then make a veggie side while the freezer meal is baking.  Here’s some of my favorites:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Hearty-Lasagna/Detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Winter-Chicken-Bake/Detail.aspx

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Angelas-Awesome-Enchiladas/Detail.aspx

Post # 6
Member
2442 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

Yes I do.  I’ll freeze just about anything, but what I freeze most often are lasagna, macaroni and cheese and other pasta dishes.  I usually don’t bake them before I freeze them.  I put them in the pan, then bake them when I’m ready to eat them so that the pasta doesn’t overcook.  It’s like popping a Stouffers entree into the oven.  I believe any and all casseroles freeze very well.

Post # 7
Member
963 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I freeze sometimes – like lasagna or pasta with meatballs, but if it’s just for the week, I pack it up into individual containers and put it in the fridge.

This week I made, chicken breast with roasted veggies (carrots, onions, potatoes) and cous cous, and mini turkey meatloaves with corn and peas as the side.

I try to do two dishes that we can alternate between lunches and dinners each week.  Like one week I’ll do tacos (can have for dinner and make either tacos or burritos for lunch the next day) and lasagna. Or I’ll do chicken enchiladas and shepard’s pie.

Post # 8
Member
1205 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

We usually do, although I haven’t been good about it recently.  I fell off the wagon when I had end of semester finals/final projects, FI’s graduation, FI’s surprise graduation party, and FSIL’s bridal shower (I hosted) all in one week.  Then the week after that, I was pretty sick–probably a result of too much stress and not enough sleep!  So next week I’ll get back on track.

I usually plan to make something big early in the week, then use it for lunches throughout the week.  We try to do something new for dinner each night, but when I’m working at night, I will just have a pb&j with baby carrots or something similarly portable.

One of the best things we make and freeze is corn & black bean turkey chili.  Soups and stews freeze really well, and can be defrosted and heated all at the same time.

I also try to keep a few simple proteins in the freezer so I can defrost them the day before I plan to cook them–skinless, boneless chicken breasts; ground bison; ground turkey; fillets of fish; and shrimp all freeze and defrost well.

My most basic go-to meal is protein + spice rub, grilled or baked, served with rice pilaf and either frozen green beans, roasted broccoli, or sauteed chard, with hot sauce to pour on for extra bonus flavor 🙂

Post # 9
Member
682 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I tried to get into freezer cooking with my huge family and all of the after school activities we have but I haen’t been able to keep it up. what I can tell you, is the things I have successfully frozen after doubling the intended amount. Now I will warm you that we are cajun. I was born and raised in New Orleans so most of the food I cook has the holy trinity of seasonings (celery, garlic and onion).

cook a pork roast in the crock pot (the crock pot is key to maintain moisture) with the following sauce. 1 Can black beans-pureed, 1/2 cup sherry cooking wine, 4 tbsp worcestershire sauce, 2 tbsp dijon mustard, salt and pepper. cook all day in crock. Then let it cool, slice roast and freeze it with the sauce. When you want to eat it, take it out the day before and defrost in fridge. Pour contents into 13×9 backing dish and cover with foil. Heat on 350 until warm.

make this yummy sauce ahead of time. cook your favorite pasta and serve with warmed sauce:
26 oz plain pasta sauce (we use prego), 1/3 cup vodka, 1 cup heavy whipping cream, prosciutto (chopped and ready to use) or italian sausage. heat pasta sauce with cooked and prepper meat. add vodka and cream and heat until sauce begins to simmer. watch the sauce because with cream in it you can over heat it and make it turn. Let the sauce cool, and then freeze it. THIS SAUCE IS WONDERFUL. We leave the meat out at my house and do a 4 cheese tortellini. But the sauce is equally as good with the meat.

cook beef roast in crock pot with worcestershire and lots of garlic. I honestly make my own beef roast concoction but I could not tell you what is in it besides the worcestershire, garlic, salt and pepper. As long as you cover the meat in liquid (beef broth, water, etc) the meat will be very tender. Cook it in the lowest setting all day. When you freeze it, make sure it is submerged in the juices. I have made everything from vegetable beef stew, to fajitas with this beef. When it thaws, it shreds beautifully. When roast goes on sale I make about 4 of these and throw them in the freezer. I always have at least 4 in the freezer.

Etoufee sauce. Sautee garlic, onions, celery in butter. Then add tomato sauce and heavy cream until you have a nice balance. We like ours a little on the cream side, while my dad likes it more on the tomato side. I make this and freeze it. I can use the thawed sauce with chicken, over rice. Or with shrimp, over noodles. Or with crawfish over rice. Any white meat pairs well with this.

Red Beans and Rice-

1 package of red kidney beans
1 package sausage (optional)
3 celery stalks
1/2 small white onion
1/2 tbsp minced garlic
salt, pepper and tony cachere’s (or any new orleans/Cajun spice blend) to taste

wash red beans. soak overnight in water. drain the next morning. put in large stock pot and cover with water about 2 inches above beans. boil on med for about an hour stirring frequently. you may have to add more water (1/2 cup at a time) because as they boil they will soak up water. finely chop onions and celery and add those plus the garlic to the soup. *if you are lazy like me get the pre-chopped stuff from the freezer section in the grocery*. continue to boil the soup with the top on for 2-3 hours stirring frequently so the beans don’t burn on the bottom of the pot. Boil until the beans are soft and the water looks brown from the beans breaking down. When the beans are soft cut and add sausage and add salt, pepper and cajun spices to taste. Cook for another 20-30 minutes. If eating the beans that night, pull about 1/2 cup of beans out and mash them up and add back to the soup. This will thicken the beans and make it have a gravy like consistency. It’s better to put them in the refrigerator overnight to let the beans cool down and sauce thicken.

I freeze MASSIVE amounts of this. It thaws and reheats well. If going straight to the freezer there is no need to put int he fridge overnight). When friends come over I whip it out because they think it’s a novelty to have someone from New Orleans make them Red Beans and Rice lol.

Post # 10
Member
3521 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: March 2012

We’ll generally grill a bunch of stuff on the weekend and put it in tupperware to eat during the week.  I made a giant salad on Sunday and it should last a couple more days too.  Throw in a night out and one eff-it-go-to-wendy’s day, and your week is set!

Post # 11
Member
1995 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

yep each week we plan our meals after we get home from the grocery store.  I blog about most week’s menus.  We also write it up in the kitchen.  It helps use all the food we bought so none goes to waste and keeps us on track each night.  Most nights we dont even get to start cooking until 7:30pm and dinner not till 8:00-8:30pm so its key to have everything planned out.  We always make as much as we can for that nights’ meal + 2 lunch leftovers for the next day.  We hardely ever freeze stuff, just make it fresh daily. 

Post # 12
Member
2142 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

Every Saturday or Sunday we plan out our weeks-activity and food wise. It helps keep FH accountable with his WW program and makes shopping easier. If it’s something that’s going to take a lot of prep time then I usually do it as I can be home for at least some time in the afternoons.
We found that crockpot recipes work really well, as do soups. I can make a big pot on the weekend then portion it out so we have have the leftovers for lunches. Works for most “pot” recipes.

We tend to fall back on the same things: pasta with broccoli and chicken or seafood, mushroom fajitas, and shakshuka.

Post # 13
Member
2496 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 1991

I’ve been trying to.  Generally speaking, I am a spontaneous cook and so is DH, so meal planning isn’t fun for us, although I think it’s probably the best way to save time and money.

I generally buy lots of shelf stable products every two weeks, then go to the store for fresh produce and dairy every week.  I do plan my meals based on what I already have, and I think it helps me to save money to shop the sales, cook based on that, and keep a large stock of pantry items.

I also use Supercook.com if I am stuck on what to cook from my pantry.  It’s fabulous to use up little items or find new recipies with stuff you already have.

Post # 14
Member
929 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I’d say about 1/2 our meals are spontaneous and 1/2 are planned. I really enjoy the “european” way of living – after work i’ll think of a meal i want to cook and visit the butcher, greengrocer and providore and buy what I need, cook it up and eat it all that night!  But its expensive and not really doable every day, so at least twice a week we have standbys like stirfry and spaghetti that we buy supplies for on the weekend. 

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