Posts Tagged ‘Make Ahead Meal Ideas’

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 5)

Monday, October 19th, 2015

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 5)

They say it takes 30 days to make something a habit. If that is the case, I am so proud to have made it through my first month of make-ahead meals. Our activities schedule has slowed down considerably, but I still saw the value in it this week. I am able to put in more work on the site and I also am squeezing in more time to read thanks to the preparations that I have made for the week. Overall, I still am finding lots of value in it, especially in our family’s dining out budget.

Have you used Mint before to track your spending? If you aren’t sure how much you are spending on the different categories in your life, you can link your bank account to it and it will compartmentalize all of the areas of your spending for free. You can look at little pie charts at where you money is going and it can be incredibly enlightening especially when it comes to your food budget. It is through this program that I am able to see what a benefit these preparations have been for us and managing my other spending in the process. I’m a big fan especially of the email alerts when spending is out of hand. Especially when you are on vacation (GULP!) and the alerts are flying- ha!

Let’s get cooking!

Approximate Time for Preparation- 3 hours plus clean-up! 

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 5- see previous weeks here)

Carnita Meat (prepped the seasoning mix ahead in a container to pour over the pork in the morning)

Homemade Pizza Sauce (I stole one from our freezer this week!)

Pizza Dough (I bagged the dry ingredients for my homemade pizza)

Roasted Chicken (NEW TUTORIAL!! for salads & wraps)

Grapes (removed from the vine, but I didn’t rinse so they don’t get moldy!)

Brown Rice (four cups)- (NEW TUTORIAL!!)

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili (had this simmering away while I prepped)

Chopped Romaine Hearts (for tacos and side salads)

Spaghetti Sauce

Brussels Sprouts (trimmed)- to be made into Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Broccoli (chopped and bagged)

Cracker Barrel Chicken Tenders (triple-batched the tenders and put in a bag to marinade)

Chopped Carrots & Celery (I store these in water)

Chopped Bell Peppers

Green Smoothie Packets (I use this recipe and froze the strawberries, bananas, and fresh spinach in packets for the morning.)

Meal Plan

Breakfasts- Green Smoothies

Lunches- Leftovers , Chicken Wraps or Salads, Pumpkin Chili

Dinners-

Gluten-Free Slow Cooker Carnitas

Monday- Gluten-Free Carnitas with Tortilla Chips (we also created rice bowls from our prepared rice)

Grilled Chicken Tenders

Tuesday- Cracker Barrel Style Chicken Tenders, Brown Rice, & Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Wednesday- Spaghetti Night, Steamed Broccoli, & Grapes

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Chili

Thursday- Homemade Pumpkin Chili & Grilled Cheese

Spinach, Tomato, & Mushroom Pizza

Friday: Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday- SAYSFN (Seek and Ye Shall Find Night)

Sunday- SAYSFN (Seek and Ye Shall Find Night)

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 5)

I hope you enjoy this make-ahead feast inspiration! Happy Monday, friends!! xo

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 4)

Monday, October 12th, 2015

make-ahead-meals (1 of 1)

I hope you all had a great weekend! Since we had a wedding to attend last weekend and my daughter is starting her Nutcracker rehearsals, weekends are no longer working for me to get these meals ready for our week.

My make-ahead day has now moved to Wednesday (with a grocery day on Tuesday). Since I got started so late though, I had a hard time capturing a picture so I apologize for this week’s blurry image, but I hope you will find these make-ahead ideas inspiring!

Once again, we still have not dined out as a family and my husband & I only logged in one meal last week out so I am really thrilled how much this has improved our entertainment budget. Thanks to this great audiobook this week, I didn’t dread this task as much as other weeks, and moving this to a day while the kids are at school also helped it not feel so chaotic in the kitchen. Is it easy? No. Am I thankful all week long? You bet.

Approximate Time for Preparation- 4 hours plus clean-up! 

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead

Pulled Pork (had this in the slow cooker while I made the rest of the dishes)

Homemade Pizza Sauce (I stole one from our freezer this week!)

Pizza Dough (I bagged the dry ingredients for my homemade pizza)

Roasted Chicken (NEW TUTORIAL!! for salads & wraps)

Grapes (removed from the vine, but I didn’t rinse so they don’t get moldy!)

Brown Rice (four cups)- (NEW TUTORIAL!!)

Gluten-Free Chicken Noodle Soup

Italian Meatloaf (minus breadcrumbs for a gluten-free loaf, pulled this one from the freezer!)

Gluten-Free Meatballs

Caprese Pork Chops (marinated in pesto and sliced the mozzarella for topping)

Baked Hard Boiled Eggs

Brussels Sprouts (trimmed)- to be made into Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sliced Mushrooms & Green Beans (trimmed & stored in separate bags)- planning to roast them like this

Slow Cooker Chicken Italiano

Chopped Carrots & Celery (I store these in water)

Green Smoothie Packets (I use this recipe and froze the strawberries, bananas, and spinach in packets for the morning. This week I added some blueberries that were on sale!)

Meal Plan

Breakfasts- Green Smoothies or Hard Boiled Eggs & Fresh Fruit

Lunches- Leftovers or Hard Boiled Eggs, Chicken Wraps or Salads, Chicken Noodle Soup

Dinners-

Pulled_Pork_Stuffed_Sweet_Potatoes-1

Monday- Pulled Pork Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Fresh Fruit & Chopped Veggies

5_Ingredient_Caprese_Pork_Chop-Header

Tuesday- Caprese Pork Chops with Balsamic Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms, and Brown Rice

Gluten_Free_Chicken_Noodle_Soup_Header

big_batch_toasted_cheese_sandwiches_1

Wednesday- Chicken Noodle Soup with Big Batch Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Pizza

Thursday- Homemade Pizza Night

Roasted_Brussels_Sprout_1

Friday- Italian Meatloaf With Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Saturday- SAYSFN (Seek and Ye Shall Find Night)

Sunday- SAYSFN (Seek and Ye Shall Find Night)

make-ahead-meals (1 of 1)

I hope you enjoy this make-ahead feast inspiration! Happy Monday, friends!! xo

Pin It

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 3)

Monday, September 28th, 2015

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead (Week 3)

When grocery day used to come, it would be the day of trashing perfectly good food that would have been perfectly delicious if I ever would have gotten around to cooking it. This week we threw away a little celery and some hard boiled eggs for the entire week of wasted food. If I questioned if making the food ahead was worth the effort, this helped me understand LOUD AND CLEAR that this family needs this to save money and waste less.

We also did not eat out this week (other than a work engagement my husband had) so that is two weeks in a row that I have felt more in control of our family finances.

That is NOT to say that I did not drag my feet this week. This takes a ton of effort and I started this incredible book and it pained me every minute I was away from it. The reward though is that I will have loads more time to read this week with ZERO guilt because I am ahead of the game this week.

I’d love to hear if you tried anything from our make-ahead ideas or what your favorite make-ahead dish is. I am sure I am going to be needing some new recipes soon!

Approximate Time for Preparation- 4 hours plus clean-up! 

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead

Homemade Pizza Sauce (double batched- popped one in the freezer)

Pizza Dough (I bagged the dry ingredients for my homemade pizza)

Roasted Chicken (NEW TUTORIAL!! for salads & wraps)

Blueberries & Strawberries

Brown Rice (four cups)

Slow Cooker Stuffed Green Pepper Soup

Cantaloupe

Baked Hard Boiled Eggs

Chicken Enchiladas (stored sauce in a separate container)

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

Slow Cooker Italian Beef Sandwiches

Brussels Sprouts (trimmed)- to be made into Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Sliced Mushrooms & Green Beans (trimmed & stored in separate bags)- planning to roast them like this

Broccoli- to make into Microwave Lemony Broccoli

Slow Cooker Chicken Italiano

Chopped Carrots & Celery (I store these in water)

Green Smoothie Packets (I use this recipe and froze the strawberries, bananas, and spinach in packets for the morning. This week I added some blueberries that were on sale!)

Meal Plan

Breakfasts- Green Smoothies or Hard Boiled Eggs & Fresh Fruit

Lunches- Leftovers or Hard Boiled Eggs, Veggies, & Fresh Fruit, or Stuffed Green Pepper Soup with Salads

Dinners-

Monday- Roasted Chicken Wraps With Broccoli or Salads (Topped With Berries, Balsamic Dressing, Slivered Almonds, & Chicken)

Tuesday- Chicken Enchiladas, Brown Rice, & Tortilla Chips with Salsa

Wednesday- Italian Beef Sandwiches on Hoagie Rolls with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Fresh Fruit

Thursday- Chicken Italiano served over Brown Rice Pasta with Balsamic Roasted Green Beans & Mushrooms & Fresh Fruit

Friday- Homemade Pizza Night

Saturday- SAYSFN (Seek and Ye Shall Find Night)

Sunday- SAYSFN (Seek and Ye Shall Find Night)

make-ahead-meals-1

No more cooking for this girl ALL WEEK- YAY!! Happy Monday, friends!! xo

 

 

 

 

 

Make-Ahead Tutorial: Roast Chicken In Bulk For Your Week

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Make-Ahead Tutorial: Roast Chicken In Bulk For Your Week from MomAdvice.com

If I had to point a finger at where I began to realize the beauty in make-ahead meals, I would point it to my bag of chicken I cook each week for our family.  This small kitchen tip truly takes just a few moments of effort to have a container full of prepared meat for sandwiches, wraps, or to be eaten on it’s own with veggies and fruit to round out the meal. The best part is that with my easy technique, you can prepare chicken in bulk for your week right from it’s frozen state.

For our family of four, I prepare three pounds of chicken each week (one frozen bag of chicken breasts from ALDI, to be exact!) and we usually plow through these three pounds by Wednesday or Thursday of the week. I never have any leftover because it is my go-to for making wraps for my husband to take for his lunch and it is the go-to for my kid’s busy activity nights. I started making a habit of taking the chicken out first when I brought in my groceries and getting it roasting as I put the rest of the food away. For five minutes of prep work, it has saved us at least a hundred bucks a month if I had went with my impulse to just run out and grab something at Panera instead of preparing a meal at home.

Make-Ahead Tutorial: Roast Chicken In Bulk For Your Week from MomAdvice.com

My secret ingredient (and this is no endorsement- just a HUGE fan!) is this Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic seasoning mix. The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea. I found it in the spice aisle and it makes such a fantastic dry rub on the chicken that it tastes as good as anything you would get in a restaurant. Since it is salt-free, I layer on the salt just the way I like and this helps to enhance the flavor of the chicken.

Now that you know the secret, I encourage you to try this technique as your first baby step towards the make-ahead meal life.

Make-Ahead Tutorial: Roast Chicken In Bulk For Your Week from MomAdvice.com Make-Ahead Tutorial: Roast Chicken In Bulk For Your Week

Make-Ahead Tutorial: Roast Chicken In Bulk For Your Week
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8 servings
 
An easy way to prepare frozen chicken in bulk for salads, wraps, and as the main attraction for your family's week.
Ingredients
  • 3 pounds frozen chicken breasts
  • Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Seasoning
  • Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven for 375 degrees and spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Spread the frozen chicken breasts out over one or two cookie sheets.
  3. Drizzle a little olive oil over the chicken breasts and then sprinkle liberally with the seasoning mix, kosher salt and fresh black pepper.
  4. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  5. Allow the chicken to rest ten to fifteen minutes (to allow the juices to redistribute within the meat). Dice or shred for your recipes for the week.

 

Pin It

The MomAdvice Make Ahead (Week 2)

Monday, September 21st, 2015

The MomAdvice Make Ahead Meal Ideas

The first week of my make-ahead feasting went so well that we didn’t even eat out once last week despite a grueling activity schedule! I will be sharing make-ahead tutorials as I have lots of techniques to share with you about how we are accomplishing our make-ahead feasts! Today you can catch my tips for hard boiled eggs in the oven!

Since we have another crazy week (who doesn’t it?), I wanted to share what is in our fridge this week.  I hope this can help inspire you for making ahead a few dishes for your week too.

The MomAdvice Make-Ahead

Fresh Berries (Strawberries & Blueberries)

Chopped Broccoli (to be made into this easy Microwave Lemon Broccoli  for a side)

2 Pounds Taco Meat

4 Cups Brown Rice (for taco bowls)

Chopped Lettuce (for tacos/taco bowls)

2 Italian Meatloaves (Prepared minus the breadcrumbs to make it gluten free. I popped one in the freezer for another week!)

Gluten-Free Orange Chicken (I cooked the chicken and have the sauce set aside in a separate container for warming)

3 pounds Roasted Chicken, sliced (for wraps & salads this week)

2 dozen Hard-Boiled Eggs Prepared in the Oven

Chopped Carrots & Celery (I store these in water)

Green Smoothie Packets (I use this recipe and froze the strawberries, bananas, and spinach in packets for the morning)

The MomAdvice Make Ahead Meal Ideas

No more cooking for this girl ALL WEEK- YAY!! Happy Monday, friends!! xo