Hello everyone! I’m excited to let you all know that I will be going back to work full time as a social worker at a center that provides services and counseling to women in need. I’m super excited about this, and thrilled to have found a job that is so in line with my values.
In preparing to go back to work, I am naturally thinking about how this will affect the flow of my week and, specifically, how I will cook. I will continue to post new recipes as regularly as I can. But, for now, I am compiling a list of easy, make ahead meals that I can put together on weekends, and then cook or rewarm in the week to come. See below for my favorites.
Favorite Make Ahead Meals
What makes a great make ahead meal? Something that you can compile ahead of time and, when you’re ready to cook it, it takes just 5 minutes to come together. With my husband and I arriving home now at the same time, we want dinner hot on the table with little to no fuss when we come home. For this to happen, I will either put something in the slow cooker before going to work, or have the nanny slide a casserole into the oven an hour before we get home.
I plan to marinate meat and chop potatoes and squash on Saturdays, slide it into freezer bags, and then thaw it in the fridge the night before I plan to cook it. On the day of, I simply empty the freezer bag into the slow cooker and turn it on low. Dinner is ready and waiting when I arrive home. Each of the following two meals can easily be paired with rice (made ahead and rewarmed), bread, or a salad that has been made the night before.
These short ribs can be roasted in the oven, but for a make ahead version, dump them in the crock pot and they are just as tasty!
Casseroles are a bit more work on the weekends, but they freeze beautifully and can feed a lot of people. I plan to double every casserole I make so we can get a rotating variety from week to week. Each of the following two casseroles can easily be paired with rice (made ahead and rewarmed), bread, or a salad that has been made the night before.
Soups and Stews
Soups are so versatile! A big pot of soup goes a long way. Make a batch on the weekend, then freeze in quart containers with labels on top. Take it out of the freezer and place in the fridge the night before you plan to use it, then rewarm it in a pot on the stove before dinner. Each of the following soup recipes can easily be paired with rice (made ahead and rewarmed), bread, or a salad that has been made the night before.
Other Make Ahead Meals
I like to make salmon burgers in large batches, then freeze them. During the week, it’s as easy as choosing your bread and toppings to provide a quick dinner.
This Instant Pot Whole Grain Rice with Chickpeas is a quick recipe to pull together on a Saturday while you’re prepping other meals. You can spread it into a casserole dish and freeze it, or store it in quart containers in the freezer, then rewarm in a pot with a little broth or water.
Make Ahead Now
What will you choose to make ahead in order to provide a better flow to your week? A couple hours or less of food prep on the weekend can go a long way to helping you stay on track with your goals.
Thanks for reading, everyone, and I hope you got some good tips from this post. Don’t forget to leave me a comment below.