I enjoy cooking.
Really, I do.
But cooking dinner every evening, even with leftovers for lunch the next day, is too much work for me. Working a full-time job, running my stationery company, and now increasing my evening krav classes, there’s not enough time to eat dinner, let alone time cook one!
I’ve been a fan of once-a-week cooking marathons for a long time, making 6-10 servings of dinners, lunches, and snacks for the week. Then a couple of weeks ago, I decided we should give up “school night” dinners.
It makes my Sunday Cooking easier (only one recipe to cook, yay!), plus our increased evening workouts means a proper dinner is out of the question so it’s just wasted effort, and we all know appetizers are the best foods anyway, right? So two weeks ago I recruited T as my, somewhat reluctant, sous chef and we spent a couple hours one Sunday chopping, dicing, mincing, mixing, shaping, baking, and flash-freezing a bunch of PP (primarily paleo) “dinners.”
What’s in My Freezer
- Asian Meatballs
We pull 4 or 5 from the freezer and reheat for a pre-workout “dinner.”
Yum! An interesting mix of ingredients and very flavorful.
- Chorizo-stuffed Mushrooms
Homemade chorizo = ground pork + apple cider vinegar + chorizo seasoning from a paleo cookbook.
- Buffalo wings
Seasoned wings tossed with Frank’s Original Hot Sauce, baked, and frozen. No additional sauce needed. Pull serving from freezer to thaw in fridge during the day, reheat 10m at 350*. Yum!
- Jalapeno poppers
Used a new-to-me cheese, Panela I think, instead of cream cheese. Haven’t had one post-freezer yet, but out of the oven was great. (This is PP because I love cheese and won’t give it up. As I have no health issues with it, I’m keeping it!)
- Extra Chorizo
To quick-thaw and throw in with scrambled eggs
- Cauliflower rice (+ another bag of frozen cauliflower for “faux-tatoes” or rice)
- Forbidden rice, cooked a while back.
- And random leftovers, like a pre-cooked chicken thigh, some gnocchi from last month, and lots of sauces and creams. And a huge bag of frozen lemonade, leftover from a party, which i really should just take to the day-job since I don’t need that much delicious sugary beverage in the house.
I haven’t tried all of the new recipes yet so am not sure how some things will reheat but, so far, it’s working. It sure made this past weekend easy- stock up on one “dinner” to add to the mix, cooked lunches for us, and breakfasts. Plus, eating fewer “meals” means I can spend more money on those “higher quality proteins” the cookbooks recommend.
Lunch this week is grass-fed beef mixed with Mr Newman’s Marinara + seasoned tomato sauce + zoodles + some frozen broccoli for extra veggies. Personally, I prefer my spaghetti with Italian sausage, but the ground beef was on sale so that’s what I went with. Since we’re having lighter dinners, I went heavier on the portion size for lunches. But as it’s mostly veggies, I figured it’s okay.
Breakfast is scrambled eggs + bacon (as usual) but I also slow roasted some roma tomatoes for me. Delicious:
Unless T is doing the class before the regular krav class, we still eat our “dinners” together, have a glass of wine and visit, but then we’re able to get to work on our projects (his comic and my business) and still get to bed early. Date night is Fridays, and I cook a decent Sunday early-dinner, post workout (this week it was seared ahi tuna steaks with portabella strips), and Saturdays we eat whatever leftovers there are and now, a light “dinner.”
Here’s hoping that this new dining style is easier on the wallet, the waistline, and the goals.
Do you have any great make ahead/freezer meals? Or is doing dinner every night more your style?