Friday, April 26, 2013

You already have the know-how...

Do you ever find yourself envying those moms who have their meals planned out for the month, keep corresponding grocery lists, and know dinner is in the crock pot on the very busiest night of the week?

Tonight I'm drinking pure, clear, cold water.  It does a body good!

There used to be a show on The Food Network by Robin Miller called Quick Fix meals.  Robin is a nutritionist, food editor, cook book author and she inspired me.  Robin is a pro at taking three meal menus and turning them into a full week of meals.  Her tagline for the show was "Life is crazy, dinner doesn't have to be."  


Robin would take one meal, prep it on the weekend and turn it into two more meals throughout the week.  For instance:

Night one:  Roasted chicken, cilantro rice, black beans and corn muffins



Night two:  Take 1 cup of the left over chicken and 1 cup of the leftover rice, add in some tomatoes and cheese and a tortilla and you have chicken tacos. (using two of the ingredients she prepped from the first dinner.)




Night three: Take left over roast chicken, left over tomatoes and cheese, add in a pizza crust, some sliced onions, a little bbq sauce and a few jalepenos and you have a bbq chicken pizza.





Three easy weeknight meals spun from one major meal.  
I still incorporate the lessons I learned from watching her show in my busy crazy mixed up life.  In fact, she taught me that a slow cooker or crock pot meal is not confined to cool weather seasons.  I now use my slow cooker at least twice a week.



Sound like a lot of trouble?  Think you don't have time to plan and prepare all those meals?  You already have the information!  You already have the plan.  You've already done the work.

How? Here's how:  Start keeping your grocery lists for a month.  Compile them in a file or folder or drawer.  Keep a calendar for a month or two and write down what you made for dinner each night.  Keep track of what you're already doing!  



After a month is over, look for common themes.  How many different meals did you make with chicken?  How many meals called for fresh diced tomatoes? How many times did you use beef tips, or roast?  How many recipes called for diced carrots?



Once you find common themes, you can begin to save time and energy by planning ahead.  Combine meals in weeks where you can use the same item more than once.  If you are using diced carrots for two meals, chop them all at once, save them in separate containers. If you're making a roast on Sunday, plan to make vegetable beef soup or beef stew on Wednesday to use those left overs.  


One more tip, when you make soup, stew, chili, or spaghetti sauce, make a double batch and freeze half.  It's ready when you are, and it's a quick fix when you're running a few minutes behind schedule!



It's hard to complain about left overs when they come dressed in a pretty new bonnet!


Only By His Grace,

Billie

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