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Time-saving meal prep + cook once, eat twice recipes

If you are in a busy family, odds are you do the best you can when it comes to feeding your family—whether family be defined as yourself, you and your other and/or your kiddos. We do the best we can.

these are NOT normal circumstances

Normal is routine. During pandemic, routines are broken. Let’s make that a good thing. One thing you CAN do is embrace the kitchen. Really…get in there and be happy about it. I find that cooking under pressure to get dinner on the table is awful, stressful and not fun. But, what if you didn’t have the time pressures and you could enjoy the meal prep process?

small steps to homemade dinner success

Here’s what I suggest, and do regularly with my own family.

meal prep + planning

  1. Brainstorm what sounds good. Ask your family what they want for dinner. If it’s just yourself, look online or look in some cookbooks. Ask friends for their family favorites. Ask us, we’re happy to brainstorm with you.
  2. Make a laundry list of options for veggies and proteins that you like or have on hand.
  3. Keep it simple. Basic is the bar. No need for fancy these days.
  4. Make sure you have all ingredients handy or order or pick up any ingredients you need. OR use the ingredients you have to create or tweak a recipe. It’s really OK to sub ingredients and color outside the lines.
  5. Read through the recipe before you start cooking. Collect the utensils (measuring cups and such) and ingredients. Put them on the counter.
  6. Use your time in the kitchen wisely, so you don’t spend all day. Make sure multiple burners are doing work. As you bake something in the oven, you’re prepping another thing on the stovetop. My norm is two to three things happening at one time for efficiency.
  7. Set the table while things cook. Clean up while things cook.

cook once, eat twice

chicken + veggies two ways

When cooking, some of the prep will be for tonight’s dinner, and some for tomorrow (another meal). Cooking for today and prepping for tomorrow is a great way to make tomorrow’s meal prep a snap.

dinner one

green salad + italian baked/grilled chicken

The spices make it Italian; use any assortment that you have. Dried (1 tsp) or fresh (2 tsp) oregano, basil, parsley, rosemary, olives, lemon, garlic, onion for tonight’s dinner.

At the same time, make extra chicken for tomorrow. Make quinoa for tomorrow.

dinner two

quinoa, chicken + veggies

For tomorrow’s meal, cut up a cucumber, red onion or scallions and chop a tomato. Add olive oil and salt and pepper. Cube the chicken from last night. Mix all ingredients into the quinoa from last night. Dinner two is done.

Enjoy! You’ve created a couple of meals without a lot of stress!

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