Prepare ahead meals

Prepare ahead meals

Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 1st, 2012, 4:52 pm #1

I need ideas for prepare ahead meals.

What are your family favorites?
glendaMO
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Joined: June 5th, 2006, 5:33 pm

January 1st, 2012, 5:01 pm #2

I guess you are talking about making ahead & putting in the freezer?

Lasagna, and meat loaf and mashed potatoes come to mind. I'm not really good at preparing a whole meal ahead Edited to add: Almost any soup freezes well.

What is easiest for me is to prepare parts of a meal (the hard parts) and keep them in the freezer for quick meals. For example, chicken tacos. I cook the chicken, shred it, and put it in the freezer in bags. Then, on that day, just pull out a bag of chicken, thaw it, add the other ingredients and it's a meal.


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The road to success is always under construction.
Last edited by TxNet on January 1st, 2012, 5:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 1st, 2012, 5:08 pm #3

but somethings that I can prepare on my day off, that will make having dinner ready easier tomorrow, or the next day.
glendaMO
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Joined: May 24th, 2006, 12:50 pm

January 1st, 2012, 5:27 pm #4

I try to make at least twice what I need so I can put the rest in the freezer and always have a meal ready when I need it. I think as far as prepping a day or two before, the main thing is just to know what you are going to cook so you get started on it. Menu planning is the hardest thing for me. Do you still have some of Debi's once a month cooking recipes? Don't know that I am that motivated and can't remember any of them. But if you know what is on your menu, there are always things you can do ahead to save time when you cook.
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Joined: May 21st, 2006, 4:46 am

January 1st, 2012, 6:48 pm #5

but somethings that I can prepare on my day off, that will make having dinner ready easier tomorrow, or the next day.
Marge worked full time and always cooked at home. She went grocery shopping on Saturdays and prepped her food as she put it away. She would start that night's dinner, put a chicken in the Crock Pot, etc., chop up onions, grate cheese, etc. By the time she was done--and it only took her an hour and a half or so, including that night's dinner--she had all of the time-consuming parts done for a week's worth of meals. Kind of like what Tnetter said. The key was having a menu so she knew what to do.
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Joined: October 28th, 2005, 8:35 pm

January 1st, 2012, 7:25 pm #6

I need ideas for prepare ahead meals.

What are your family favorites?
Veggies are easy so I do not plan meals ahead - just the main course. When I was cooking for a family I found it easy to cook double meals and eat or freeze leftovers for prepare ahead meals.

I also always have cooked hamburger and boneless cooked chicken in the freezer that I can throw in a box rice or noodle dish.

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Joined: May 24th, 2006, 5:17 pm

January 2nd, 2012, 12:52 am #7

I need ideas for prepare ahead meals.

What are your family favorites?
Have chicken breast, ground beef ,etc cooked ahead of time. Adding some cooked meat to some pasta, takes about 15 minutes. This also tends totake the meat away as the centralfeature,and cut down portion size.
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Joined: October 28th, 2005, 10:05 am

January 2nd, 2012, 1:45 am #8

I need ideas for prepare ahead meals.

What are your family favorites?
they are good for breakfast and a snack, and a good way to use up any fruit that is going soft or even some leftovers- like left over oatmeal or applesauce, canned pineapple....

Soups make up well and keep, casseroles, lasagna, stuffed peppers, stew....

I know what you mean tho, sometimes you just need something at the ready for when you walk in the door so everyone does not end up eating grilled cheese (again)....
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Joined: May 25th, 2006, 12:05 am

January 2nd, 2012, 3:52 pm #9

Marge worked full time and always cooked at home. She went grocery shopping on Saturdays and prepped her food as she put it away. She would start that night's dinner, put a chicken in the Crock Pot, etc., chop up onions, grate cheese, etc. By the time she was done--and it only took her an hour and a half or so, including that night's dinner--she had all of the time-consuming parts done for a week's worth of meals. Kind of like what Tnetter said. The key was having a menu so she knew what to do.
I often am preparing tomorrows dinner while dh is fixing tonights dinner - but with the holidays and SIL in the hospital, and dh getting off work at 7, and not being able to see her in ICU until after 8p, (both in the same town, while we live 35-45 minutes away), we got out of our routine...

I think we need to find our routine again!
glendaMO
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Joined: May 28th, 2006, 3:48 am

January 2nd, 2012, 6:48 pm #10

I need ideas for prepare ahead meals.

What are your family favorites?
Of all kinds. They keep well and often taste better the next day, reheat easily and I usually make a quick bread to go with them. I used to make double batches of things and freeze them but don't have room for that right now with our big freezer unplugged - lasagna, meatballs, soups. If I'm cooking ahead, it's usually meatless because we don't like the taste of reheated chicken or meat very much.
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