meals in a hurry

No medical updates this time, so let’s just jump into this….

We need fast meals here… this means either a meal that can be completed in less than an hour from scratch or pulling something out of the freezer and adding a salad.

We have already established some “old standbys.”

Slow cooker meals

Oh my – I don’t believe I ever used my crockpot as much as I have  in the last few months! At first I was making these recipes, and we were eating them all week…until we were tired of them and still had food to throw out.  I do not like to waste food, so I quickly discovered that these stews and chili meals freeze beautifully!

Breakfast

Let’s talk breakfast.   Yep…Breakfast.  I make overnight oatmeal, starting my smaller slow cooker (yes, we are now a TWO slow cooker couple!) around 11 pm…setting it on WARM, not Low….  and we wake up to hot oatmeal at 7am. I spoon out my portion then head downstairs to work out. Usually by the time I have finished, John has finished his breakfast, so I start portioning and bagging the oatmeal for freezing.

In food planning, my yellow container is 1/2 cup…perfect for oatmeal! I pull out my sandwich baggies, a spoon, and my yellow container, and start bagging leftovers. Each baggy gets one serving of oatmeal, and I let the baggies cool down on the counter. Once a baggy has cooled, I squeeze the air out, zip it up, and fold it in an effort to fit as many servings into a gallon size bag as possible, labeling the gallon sized bag as well.

 When we are ready for a serving, we pull one baggy out of the freezer and put it into a microwaveable bowl, adding a little almond milk.Then, adding additional fruit, nuts, almond milk, or maple syrup is easy. Hot breakfast in less than 5 minutes during the work week!

FYI right now I have 5 servings of an experimental chocolate cherry oatmeal – still working on this recipe  – and 8 servings of apple cinnamon date oatmeal…that is 13 breakfasts!!!!

Dinner
On to dinner! I love my stews and chili.  Smelling them simmering away all day is sometimes tantalizing, but oh so rewarding!

Basically, I treat them the same way as oatmeal.   After dinner, I remove the ceramic part with  the stew, soup, or chili and let it cool. Later that evening, I once again divvy up using a 3/4 cup measure as one serving

One serving per baggie, and as many baggies in a gallon size ziplock as I can fit, and we have dinners ready to go!   I also tend to make a lot of rice at once and keep a large bowl of cooked rice in the fridge. When it is time for a meal, I select a baggy and thaw it in cool water.   I use my yellow container to measure out the coked rice and add the rice to a microwave-safe bowl, then add the thawed chili, stew, or soup, and heat it up for a minute or so in the microwave.  Add a salad, and we have a healthy dinner. It takes me longer to make the salads – 30 minutes  then to do the rest of the reheating.

At this point, we have 22 servings of dark rum baked beans (our favorite), 15 servings of black bean soup, 8 servings of red lentil and pumpkin chili, 6 servings of lentil stew with quinoa, and a whole crockpot full of black bean pumpkin chili to bag up…….  that’s quite a few weeks of meals ready for companion salad and bread…..

Hmmmm…. we need to find a way to grow our own salad in the basement with grow lights, and we will be quite self-sufficient!

Double portion pancakes and waffles

Sometimes we want a change from oatmeal for breakfast, so, on weekends we make double portions of our pancakes and waffles, allowing us to freeze some for use during the week. One pancake or homemade waffle easily fuels me up for my workout!

One word of warning – be sure to let pancakes and waffles cool completely before bagging as the steam condenses and forms ice crystals, making your homemade delights soggy when you reheat.

 Other Speedy Food Techniques

Of course, I also look for quick recipes, saving the frozen approach for evenings when I am either exhausted. I come home late, or I only have a short break for dinner.  The Minimalist Baker provides some great recipes that take 30 minutes or less to prepare, and, to be honest, every dish I have prepared from other sources has taken around an hour or so to prepare and cook….

We love fast and easy meals!

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Author: mduggan10

I have lived in a Victorian-era house, spent several years living on a boat, and now live at the top of a mountain. Throughout his all, I have been a coffee snob, a whole foods snob, and an instructional designer.

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