Sunday, June 09, 2013
I have a pretty hectic schedule. Or at least I do at times.
When I started at SparkPeople I thought I ate healthier than most people ( and probably did), but when weeks came where I had something to do every evening after work, I'd hit the drive thus and tell myself I had no choice. Or when I got stuck at work, which happens regularly, I'd think, "There goes my time to cook" and hit the drive-thru again. And let's face it, even if you're trying hard, there are only so many healthy options at the drive-thru.
That's where I've really changed things and made a huge difference in my eating. I enjoy cooking, but starting a healthy dinner at 6:30 pm when everyone is starving is a recipe for excuses and good intentions going bad. Two nights a week I work until 6. On those nights I plan a crock pot meal and a pre-cooked frozen entree so that dinner is already cooked and ready to dish up when I walk in the door. No way i'll detour by the drive-thru if dinner is ready at home. I also plan at least one super-quick prep meal in case one of my theoretical early days turns into a later one.
Here are some of my (and my family's) favorites. My recipe collections are public, so anyone can link to the recipes via my favorites (I think!):
Slow cooker marinara -chef meg (lots of chopping, but worth it!)
Slow cooker salsa chicken
Mexican crockpot chicken
Spicy taco soup
Slow cooker beef roast with vegetables
Slow cooker buffalo chicken soup
I also have a rice cooker that I can program to start during the day, so the crockpot meal and rice are ready when I get home
Big batch freezer meals:
I cook about once every 4-6weeks to stock the freezer. Generally doesn't take any more time than cooking a regular dinner. It just makes multiple family servings so I can freeze 2 or 3 casserole size aluminum pans for later use. I sometimes add to my freezer supply just by doubling a regular recipe, too. I am super lucky to have an oven that I can program to turn on while I am gone.
Pasta primavera Alfredo-big batch
Batch cooking-Mexican chicken
Unchained recipe contest-lasagna
Baked pasta casserole
My favorite quick cook meals:
Burgers-a variety of recipes, chop veggies small and mix with meat
Pasta with extra chopped veges added to sauce
Stir fry (with minute rice or rice cooked in rice cooker)
Eggs for dinner with sautéed veges added
Bean or meat tostadas or burritos
As I created this list I came across several that I haven't made for a while. I think I have next week's menu already planned. Yum! I love trying lots of new recipes so I go though the The Spark People Cookbook, The Spark Solution recipes and the online SparkRecipes fairly often to find new ideas. I try to save the biggest hits to my favorites so I don't forget where I found them. Also LOVE that all of these recipes can be so easily added to my nutrition tracker!
Good eating and easy tracking. Awesome!