Prepare Dinner for Later
Preparing Your Meals for Later
In addition to being a single mom, I take care of my nieces and nephew. Having a fresh dinner every is an important family event to us, but it is so time consuming. There are great ways for you to prepare your meals prior to the night you would like, or you can even cook items to freeze for later. These things can save you so much time during the week, and it will save you money having home cooked meals rather than take out.
Pots great for Stew
Beef Stew is Perfect for Serving Later
Beef Stew is a great meal for you to actually make and freeze. Preparing a great beef stew does take a little time, but you can make a large pot of beef stew, allow to cool, then put in freezer safe containers. When you are ready to serve the beef stew all you have to do is heat it up. This is a beef stew recipe that I use, and I love it.
Nona's Beef Stew:
You will need
2 Pounds of Stew Meat. You can use the pre-cut or cut your own. Compare prices to see what is better for you.
1 Cup of all purpose flour
2 One Pound Bags of Frozen Veggies (I prefer the corn and pees, but you can choose your favorite)
1 Small package of fresh baby carrots (washed and cut)
1 Small package of fresh mushrooms (Washed and cut)
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 cup of ketchup
4 Large potatoes pealed and washed
1/2 Cup of vegetable oil
Salt, Pepper and garlic powder.
Get a large stew pot on a large burner set at medium heat. Pour the vegetable oil in and allow to get hot.
While the oil is warming, place the flour and some seasoning in a large bowl. Mix them together well.
Place the meat in the bowl with the flour and seasoning, coat the meat very well, then place in the stew pot to cook. You should also include the remainder of the flour.
When the meat is crusted very well, then you will add water slowly. Be sure to stir well while you are adding the water. I fill the large stew pot about half full. I have never actually measured it, but it is approximately five to six cups of water.
Add the potatoes, season to taste, then cover and allow to cook for 30 minutes.
After the 30 minutes you can put the remainder of the ingredients into the stew pot. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat to simmer and allow to cook for about an hour. Stir regularly.
After the stew is prepared you can either serve it for your meal or allow to cool and freeze. When you are ready you can place the container in boiling water to get the stew to come out. Then place it in a small pot to heat. This method keeps the veggies from becoming mushy.
Freeze Your Food for Later
Prep Veggies for the Week
If you are a veggie eater you can prepare your veggies in advance for the week. Cut and prepare all of your veggies then place in containers to keep them fresh for the week. This actually works very well with almost all veggies as long as you will be preparing them during that week. You can even make your salads for the week, just do not add the dressing until you are ready to serve them. Preparing your veggies once a week can truly save a lot of time on those nights when you get off work late, and just want to hurry up and cook.
Italian Roast Beef
I use this recipe mostly for camping, but it is also a great thing that you can prepare and cook later. It is a great roast beef recipe that you can throw together, put into a container, and cook when you are ready.
You will need:
1 small to medium sized roast beef
4 small potatoes (peeled and washed)
1 bag of baby carrots ready to cook
1 bottle of Italian dressing
1 tablespoon of garlic
Salt and Pepper
Get a glass pan that is large enough to hold all of your ingredients.
Place a large piece of foil over the bottom of the glass pan.
Place your roast beef in the pan after washing it.
Cut slits in the top of the roast beef.
Place the potatoes and carrots around the roast beef
Mix the salt, pepper, garlic, and Italian dressing together in a small bowl.
Pour the mixture on top of the roast beef, potatoes and carrots. Rub it into the slits of the roast beef.
Cover and it is ready to cook when you are. You can leave this in your refrigerator for as many as 4 days and it will taste delicious. If the Italian dressing gives your roast beef too intense of a flavor you can leave it off until the day you are ready to cook.
Soups and Sauces
All soups and sauce can be made and frozen for later. This means anything from chicken soup, stocks, bisque's, creole, and other foods such as these can be made weeks in advance and frozen. There are a lot of great recipes online, and most of these recipes are pretty easy. You can take one day to make 3-4 different dishes, freeze them, then have them on hand when you are ready. You can even put these into individual containers for your kids to have for lunch or a quick snack.