I think your weekend plan is great. As far as what to do during the week, longjourneyjudy had a great idea with the crockpot. Putting them on before you leave or while you sleep is one way. Also, I try to plan what I want during the week and quick fix something. If your looking for meals, you are doing the right thing. There are many 10-15 minute meals if you have that time.
I have two crockpots and make enough to freeze in individual containers for dinners. There are some awesome turkey and chicken based recipes that will give you the protein you need. One of my favorites is chicken chili.
Fitness Minutes: (88,216)
11,742 10/14/12 8:21 A
I normally spend Sunday afternoons cooking for the bulk of the workweek. A large piece of meat (whole chicken, whole salmon, beef, etc.) is cooked and the preparation work is done for small dishes made during the week. Then I have vegetables and cheese pizza on Friday nights! Saturday is left-overs (if there are any left!)
Example: I can get at least six meals for two from a whole salmon. Salmon loaf, chowder, alfredo sauce and pasta, salmon pieces on lettuce and tomato for salad, salmon sandwiches (use it like tuna fish), and salmon patties (hot sandwich). Clean head and guts from the salmon. Combine lemon, 1/2 cup butter, one chopped onion and some garlic and dill in a small pan on stove to melt butter and mix. Lay salmon in a large pan covered with foil (enough to cover the entire fish). Fill the salmon with the seasons and mixture. Cover salmon with the foil and bake at 350 degrees in oven for 1.5 hour. Add a baked potato and salad, and dinner #1 is ready. Remove salmon from the bones and you have about 8-12 cups of flaked salmon for the remaining dishes. EASY dinners!! And easy means they are fast!
Chicken is incredibly versatile food. I have three chicken cookbooks with few recipes repeating in them! Cook one whole chicken in the crockpot or oven (look online for directions and recipes), then you have enough chicken for salad, casseroles, sandwiches, and much more.
It takes time and practice to learn how to do this. Start with one main meat dish and take it from there. Hope these ideas help you get started.
Slow cookers are good, since you can just dump everything in and go. Something like diced beef with a few onions and potatoes and some sauce would be quick to pull together. Having a big salad prepped saves time during the week. It doesn't take long to prepare a big bowl, and then you can grab some every night. Most veggies will hold up for a couple of days. Then you can throw a chicken breast ( for example) in the oven when you get home and have dinner nearly cooked by the time you get out of the shower.
Fitness Minutes: (2,531)
822 10/13/12 10:36 P
Soups, stews and chili are great make ahead meals that heat up quick for weeknight suppers. You could make a huge batch and freeze portions too. There are lots of recipes for them on Spark Recipes. The white chicken chili one seems to be a hit here.
I'm really glad you are trying to cook, rather than fall into the fast food trap.
You seem to have weekend cooking down, and you want something you can do on weekdays...
Hmm. Early morning salads. Just break off and rinse lettuce leaves, chop up cukes, tomatos, celery etc, plus some earlier-cooked protein. I can assemble in about 15 minutes in the morning. For about two more minutes, make your own salad dressing -- extra virgin olive oil and either vinegar or lemon juice. I bought small containers for this stuff, and I just add it at lunch.
Another option: a slow cooker/crock pot. I use mine overnight rather than while I am at work -- I'm sleeping less than the hours I spend at work (including the commute, too). Overcooking many items makes them stringy and dry. A lot of things are possible in one of these. Get one with a timer so that when you wake in the morning, the thing has started to cool down, so you can transfer some of the contents into a container for the fridge.
Just a start on thoughts here.
Fitness Minutes: (7,857)
797 10/13/12 9:28 P
To be honest, the biggest time saver for me is just knowing what I am going to eat for every meal. I plan out dinners for 2 weeks at a time and always have leftovers the next day for lunch so the only thing I do on the fly is breakfast... pretty easy meal.
I know you said you wanted more time on the weekend, but another of my time savers that I use sometimes is preparing meals in freezer bags for the crockpot. I'd prepare a few on the weekend and then over the next month or two whenever I didn't want to cook dinner that night.. put the meal in the crockpot before work and it's finished when you get home. I tried a couple of these: www.six-cents.com/2012/06/crockpot-freezer -cooking-101.html
A pretty quick favorite of ours (non crockpot) is turkey burgers. Can season with anything really (onion, garlic, worchestershire, pepper, etc).
Fitness Minutes: (23,806)
1,053 10/13/12 9:11 P
So I cook only for myself, but I am so busy during the week I don't have time to cook anything at all. I get home at 9pm, take a shower, and throw "dinner" in the microwave. I also like bringing my leftovers in for lunch at work. What I've been doing lately and has been working great for the week is cooking 3 meals on the weekend that are 4 servings each. That gives me 9 tupperware containers in the fridge full of homemade, high protein meals.
Its just taking up too much of my weekend, so I'm looking for some quicker options. Seems like each of these is taking me a solid hour or more to make, even when they seem like they shouldn't from the recipe. (I am new to cooking) I'd like to hear your best ideas for quicker meals, links to sparkrecipes or otherwise are greatly encouraged haha.
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