One week last month I found myself in a cooking binge. I had a friend (a parent from my kids' school) in the hospital for much of the month (with a wife at home with 3 young kids), a client friend who had hip surgery, a healthy potluck for the Eat Move Lose group weight loss class wrap-up party, and a family to feed. So one week, I made a list of easy, healthy, yummy recipes, stocked up on to go containers for the friends, and went to work in the kitchen. It surprised me how relatively easy it was to pull SEVERAL meals together for my family and two others!
Monday: I was going to make turkey sloppy joes for the family that had Dad in the hospital. I gave that family a choice, however, and they picked BBQ pulled chicken instead. No problem, I made the sloppy joes anyway, and doubled the recipe. My family and I had the sloppy joe's Monday night, and threw the other half in the freezer. The sloppy joes recipe
is easy, and sneaks in some veggies that nobody will even notice. Throw the veggies in the food processor to chop, use ground beef or ground turkey (or a package of each like I did this night since I was doubling the recipe). Serve on whole grain buns, and steam some green beans on the side.
Tuesday: The Eat Move Lose class party is tonight. It's a healthy potluck, so I threw the Sun-dried Tomato Basil Hummus
ingredients in the food processor and whipped that up, and served with Triscuits and baby carrots. It's also delicious as a sandwich spread. For dessert, I made these Chocolate Haystacks
, a great sweet treat with just two ingredients. I doubled that recipe too, in order to store some leftovers. (Tip: sprinkle with a little sea salt for extra flavor.) ALSO, my kids weren't going to the party with me (daddy was out of town), and they do this totally annoying thing where they ask to eat three meals a day too. So, I made this chicken tortilla soup
for them for dinner. They love to top it with cheese and crumbled tortilla chips. Guess what? There were leftovers to save!
Wednesday: It's my day to deliver dinner to the school family. By the way, if you ever want to organize meal delivery for a family in need of help, Meal Train is a great way to do it (Google it!). I threw lots of skinless, boneless chicken breasts in the crockpot with some Fat Guys barbecue sauce
, made a delicious Mexican street corn salad
, cut a watermelon and packaged up some of the chocolate haystacks that I threw in the fridge after making them yesterday. I bought some whole grain buns for BBQ chicken sandwiches. I made extra chicken for my family too, and we made BBQ chicken quesadillas with the chicken, and we enjoyed some of the corn salad too.
Thursday: I'm taking dinner to my client who just had hip surgery and has very limited mobility. Last night I started browning some ground turkey and shredding some cheese so I could make this beef, cheese and noodle bake
using whole wheat noodles instead of enriched. The nutmeg gives it such a yummy/interesting flavor. Again, I doubled the recipe and then used 8x8 containers, so I got 3 pans put together. My family ate one for dinner, I delivered one to my client friend, and I threw one in the freezer. I also took my client friend the leftover Chicken Tortilla Soup, the remaining corn salad from my Wednesday meal delivery, and the rest of the chocolate haystacks.
Friday: Honestly, I don't remember. We may have had hot dogs at the ballpark. But, we did go on vacation this weekend and were gone for a week. When we came back from vacation, we had sloppy joes and the noodle casserole in the freezer, so we could ease back into our routine while enjoying some home cooked meals! This was my favorite part!
Now that my kids are back in school, I'm planning another week like this to prep some good meals, freeze some extras, and build a stockpile of lunch-packing options, like these meatballs
that I make with ground turkey and roll into balls instead of using the mini pan they suggest (I'm certain I've posted these before). I've never tried these taquitos
before, but they are on the list too for lunch packing. A little bit of planning can create many, many meals from just a few recipes. Cook more food less often and enjoy for days! Give it a try and let me know how it goes!