Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Meals at My House!

I’ve been asked to start sharing more meals that we prepare from our pantry.  This is something I’ve thought about doing several times over the last few months but for time restraint reasons just couldn’t make it happen.  For 2019, I’m ready to make it a reality, but before I do, I need to share a few things about meal preparations at my house.
We intentionally cook more than we’ll eat at any one given meal so that we can have leftovers.  Leftovers usually show up as lunch the next day, incorporated into another meal or if they haven’t been used after a couple of days, frozen for the purpose of being used at a later date.
We are grab-and-go kind of people so for snacks I like to keep quick foods on hand.  I’d like to say that I always have healthy homemade snacks on hand but that wouldn’t be true.  One of my goals for 2019 is to plan and prepare two homemade snacks each week (possibly on Monday and Thursday), if at all possible, for snacking purposes.

When it comes to breakfast I like to keep things simple!  I’m all about the ‘make/cook ahead breakfast’ idea. For example, when I cook sausage patties, I cook several and refrigerate them.  One of my favorite quick breakfasts is to cut in half a low-carb flour tortilla, warm up a couple of already cooked sausage patties and slap them between the flour tortillas.  Fold the halved tortillas over the sausage patties making a sandwich and I’m ready to eat. This is quick, easy and tasty!  That’s not to say that we don’t ever do the full breakfast with all the trimmings because we do, but more often than not we’re reaching for something quick while we get ready for the day.
Another meal prepping idea that I’m focusing on this new year is getting ahead with freezer meals.  I really want to have several in my freezer at all times ready to thaw, cook and eat when the occasion warrants.
I like using my crockpots in meal preparation as well.  This is another hands free way of preparing our meals.
I like being able to open my jars of home-canned foods and heating and eating them.
It’s not uncommon for us to have ‘leftovers’ from a previous meal for breakfast either.  We do not have to have only breakfast foods for breakfast, lunch type foods for lunch and dinner type foods for dinner.   We are very much a mix and match our meals to best suit what’s going on in our lives kind of people.
As you can tell by reading this, I’m not someone who likes to spend a lot of time cooking.  Does that surprise you?  I like my food to be good, as healthy as I can make it and I like there to be plenty of it, but I also like to accomplish these things as easily with the least amount of work as possible … and as frugally as possible.  I’m not someone who loves to cook; I don’t hate it but I don’t love it either, cooking for me is a means to an end!  My husband on the other hand loves to cook (when he has time) and I love that he loves to cook.  My only requirement for him when he cooks is that he cleans up after himself!!!
In short, I’m all about getting healthy meals on the table for my family as quickly and easily as I can and that’s what you’ll find in this new weekly feature, Meals at My House.
Look for this new feature to start next week!

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27

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  1. I am looking forward to being nosy in your kitchen! :) Isn't it fun to see what other people eat?

    I am 100% with you on the quick and easy. No fiddly recipes for me. I used to do that but after 40 plus years of being the chief cook I am over it. At least half of our meals come from the freezer stockpile these days.

  2. Patsy, I already like your style of cooking. Fast and easy are my favourite kinds of meals too! I also love making extra to use in another meal or for the week. It's why I boil a half dozen eggs at a we can use them heated up for a quick breakfast or make them into egg salad or devilled eggs as part of a lunch. Cheap, easy and healthy! I'm definitely looking forward to learning some new ideas from this weekly feature. Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. Rhonda, yes, boiled eggs can be made into several quick meals, sides or even snacks!

  3. Looking forward to this. We, too, cook extra to use the leftovers for breakfast or lunch. My hubby is diabetic so he has oatmeal one morning and yogurt the next. For lunch he has leftover taco salad or apple salad. I make a very large batch of those for a dinner and he uses it for lunch till it's gone..It all works well for us. So, basically, I only cook one meal a day.

    1. Grammyscraps, one meal a day is about all that I/we cook too!

  4. Patsi, my favourite 'recipe' is leftovers. If a recipe is for two serves I double it so that there will be leftovers. Don is happy to eat the same meal two nights in a row which means every second afternoon there is no need to cook dinner. I don't mind cooking and I quite like chopping veggies, but I do prefer to be doing other things.

    I do wish though I was more diligent in preparing cooked breakfasts, but I try to get out into the garden as early as possible in summer.

    1. Sherri Mac, during gardening season quick and easy breakfasts are a must! We have to beat the heat of the day too!

  5. Dear Patsi,
    I think my main issue is when Colton and I are on the go, or we have been working late on a project, or outside all day, or in the kitchen all day (you can see the list is quite long lol) I just don't much feel like making a big fuss in the kitchen at the end of it all, especially if I am short on time. This is one of the reasons I want to preserve more of my own food. It's quick, convenient, healthier, and cheaper to open a jar of homegrown goodness than it is to rely on processed junk or take out. I need to build up my supply of freezer meals again too. It is really no more trouble to cook double and the cleanup is the same, only I just have it one night instead of several.
    I am really looking forward to this series!
    Love, Kelsey

    1. Kelsey, we have the same issue so being prepared for being out and about or involved in a big project, etc is very important when it comes to our meals. Otherwise, we wind up grabbing takeout food which can get really expensive!

  6. Love to get an insight into what you do there Patsy in your kitchen for cooking meals.

    We also cook ahead and usually bake things like 2 chickens at a time and break off the flesh into meal sized portions for the freezer and lunches. When we were in our cottage before we moved we blanched and froze most of our garden produce to use over time as some seasons we were unable to grow certain things. In summer (which we are in currently) we also like to make a big batch of pasta or potato salad to last 2 - 3 days and then we have this with our cold meat portions that we have frozen for lunches and also if it is hot enough for dinners too. Likewise we do the same and have a weekly treat cooking session such as cakes, biscuits, muffins or brownies that last us the week too.

    I agree it saves so much time to cook in bulk and then you are only cooking every couple of days.

    Sewingcreations15 (Lorna).

    1. Lorna, that's my thinking too, I need our cooking methods to fit our lifestyle and what's going on each day.

  7. This is something that is at the core of our routines and each year we try to “up our game” and incorporate new ways to prepare ahead to make meals/snacks convenient and frugal at the same time!
    Last year we started diversifying our storage to include meals in a jar using things that we dehydrated ourselves and additional home canned meals to go for those busy times!
    I’ve converted several meal in a jar recipes that contained freeze dried commercial ingredients to DIY frugal alternatives that use what I dehydrate and keep the idea but not the cost!
    Meal/snack prepping and freezing/canning/drying ahead are what keep our food budget lower while giving us a wide variety of food options!
    I’ll enjoy getting ideas from you and the others to add to my resources! Thanks for a great way to start th e new year!!

  8. Hi Patsy, I do some of this but looking forward to new things to do. Thanks for sharing. Nancy


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