Most of us juggle work and family chores as smoothly as we can. Despite how well organized we may be, cooking from scratch can involve more work when you may run out of energy. However, making extras of some foods with these meal prep ideas that you can use later can make a big difference in making sure your family will eat healthy, home cooked meals instead of relying on cardboard boxes you may be pulling out of your freezer.
I found what really speeds dinner along for my family is making enough for two dinners. Sometimes, I will prepare a casserole and just double up the portions. One casserole I will serve for dinner and then I can pop the other in my freezer. Other wonderful advance meal prep ideas are cooking a big pot of chili, stew, soup, lasagna, etc.
Cooking a ham, a whole chicken, turkey, and foods like a roast can leave you with leftovers. I like slice roast beef for dishes like hot roast beef sandwiches with gravy and mashed potatoes. Chicken, ham and turkey pieces are excellent for incorporating into casseroles, crepes, pot pies, quiches, etc. After I cut, separate and package the leftovers, I store them in the freezer, labeled ready for when a recipe with that particular meat for make ahead meals.
Hard-cooked eggs are fantastic to keep unpeeled in your refrigerator. Besides grabbing one when you want a low-calorie snack that can fill you instead of turning to something more fattening, I find hard-boiled eggs are great for adding to casseroles, a quick lunch for sandwich filling, having for salads to appetizers.
A lot of people that I know hate onions and garlic. I don’t know how they cook without onions and garlic with all the flavor and nutrition they bring to a recipe. I always have a covered jar in my refrigerator with peeled, diced onion and garlic waiting. It is so convenient instead of peeling, cleaning and chopping those root vegetables when you’re rushed.
Cooking some extra rice comes in handy. In fact, you can keep it in the refrigerator for about a week. Rice takes to being reheated and makes a delicious side dish with sour cream or butter, adding to casseroles, eating as a breakfast cereal with milk and sugar to rice pudding.
Eating healthy meals and saving more money on your food bill is easier when you cook at home. Hopefully, these meal prep ideas will help inspire you. For more kitchen shortcuts and time saving cooking tricks, you may want to read those earlier posts.