Post # 1
I’m a college student, a mom with one child entering kindergarten and the other child entering pre-school. They both are in tumbling and Fall soccer. I take care of the grocery shopping, house cleaning, and bill paying. I’m very nervous about this Fall!! Not sure how I’m going to successfully do it all which got me thinking of ways to make my life easier. Dinner!!! Dinner takes up about 2 hours of my night. I had this great idea of cooking double meals the remainder of the summer and freezing them for the upcoming school year.
Please share your freezing tips and recipes as well as meals that are quick and easy(ex. spaghetti).
Post # 3
Slow cooker!! I LOVE mine. You can do so much with it – not just stews.
Otherwise: Chicken breasts cut into strips and grilled is pretty quick/easy. Stirfrys, and pasta, of course.
Post # 4
@thursdayschild: Thank you! I’m actually making pulled pork right now in the crock-pot. I plan to freeze the leftovers too.
Post # 5
Post # 7
One of the easiest things to freeze are meatballs – my FI and I do this all the time! I will make a ton of them and double bag them in the Freezer bags. It makes for a really quick meal (get the “Perfect Portions” bags of pasta and they are only 8 minutes in the pot!).
Post # 8
I use Once A Month Mom. I have done their menus for a few months now, they are really good and it usually takes my husband and I a full afternoon to prep a whole menu (not that you have to do it all at once though).
Post # 9
@thursdayschild: I totally agree. Crock pots saved my life in grad school.
I find that pasta sauce freezes well, pasta not so much. The same for potatoes, they don’t defrost the same. Beans in chili freeze really well, as does casserole. Soups and stews work great.
What I would do in grad school was do all my prep on one night. I would plan my meals for the week, cut the veggies, hard boil chicken breasts, and make sure I was ready. Then I would crock pot or prep each morning and freeze the rest for leftovers. The meals I lived off of were:
– Chicken curry casserole (with greek yogurt and mushrooms instead of soup and mayo)
– Veggie bean chili
– Chicken, quinoa, spinach, and feta casserole (1 bag of frozen spinach, 1 cup quinoa, and 3 cups water. Boil for 15 minutes. Add a shreded chicken breast and 6 oz of feta. Stir and enjoy).
– Pasta primavera (2 cans of crushed tomatoes and 3 bags of frozen veggies, freeze the rest)
Post # 10
I feel like I must be a freakishly fast cook. I can put dinner on the table in 30-45 minutes every night. Granted, only for two people, but still.
May sound totallly cliched and lame, but I taught myself to cook watching Rachel Ray. My roommate and I used to watch it in the evenings while we ate dinner. I definitely scale down her recipes (I think she makes HUGE portions) but her cookbooks are pretty good for fast meals.
Post # 11
@hotchildinthecity: lol, me too.
I just make very simple meals- usually a meat & a vegetable. If I have time, I roast the veggies (just toss ’em really quick with olive oil & seasonings of choice- cook at 350-400 until they caramelize). If I want them done faster, I just sautee them in butter & seasonings. For meat, I either grill, or pan fry most things. I also love the crock pot for even lazier days!
I only occasionally make a more intricate meal- say coconut milk chicken curry (OMG this gets rave reviews everytime!), or meatza (essentially a meatball rolled out like a pizza and topped with pizza toppings), or something that requires more work for sauces/prep. When I do that, I try to make extra, and freeze in portions (either individuals for lunch, or larger portions for everyone’s dinner).
In all honesty, I tried the OAMC thing, and I felt that it caused me to spend a lot more time in the kitchen than just simplifying my meals at home.