I have learned a thing or two over the past 15 years of teaching... I know that August and September will mean I have a hard time throwing decent meals together after a full day at school. Just on Mondays alone (staff meeting days), I tend to come home with a headache, and no amount of coaxing will get me in the kitchen to do serious cooking.
So instead of cooking, I prep beforehand. Before school even starts I fill up my freezer with meals to keep my family of 5 nourished when I come home and just want to sleep. :) That's what I've "made" this past week - tons of future meals.
Taco Soup is a favorite. My dad's recipe makes double, so when I cook it up we automatically have 2 meals worth. Just brown some ground beef in a pot, add onions, then dump in a can of corn, pinto beans, kidney beans, stewed tomatoes, salsa, a package of Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix, a package of Taco Seasoning, and some chicken stock. It's so easy that even I can't mess it up! It simmers for at least an hour, then we serve it with cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream. YUM! Can you tell we're having it for dinner tonight?!
I LOVE using my crockpot too at least once a week during this stressful season. I get tons of recipe from the Six Sisters Stuff website and mix up the "sauce" that will be poured on top of the meat. I stick it in my plastic containers, and store them in my freezer for one of those crazy mornings. In the morning I coat the crockpot with Pam, load in the frozen meat or chicken, and dump the frozen liquid sauce on top. Then after school it's just a matter of throwing some noodles in a pot, or making up Minute Rice or Instant Mashed Potatoes as a side dish. My family uses those steamable veggies that we stick in the microwave too. It's great for a fast dinner.
Some of our favorites are:
and we're going to try out Sweet and Sour Chicken (I'm hoping it's good too).
During the big stock up for school grocery trip, I grab quite a few packages of chicken and meat for the freezer, and stick them in single meal pouches so it's so easy to just grab when it's time.
When all else fails, we have a go to Lasagna in the freezer. :)
Linking this up with Tara's Monday Made It!
What are your fast family friendly meals for those busy nights?