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TOPIC:   HELP! Food To Last for 2 straight days 


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RENATA144
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4/9/13 10:51 A

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I like to make a lot at once & then reheat what I need as I go. emoticon

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IAM53559
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10/29/12 9:23 A

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A tip to help cut costs is to buy meat in larger packages. Meat is often cheaper if you buy bulk sizes or a whole chicken rather than a small package of chicken breasts for just 1 meal. Then when I get my groceries home, I immediately open the meat packages and divide each large package into smaller portions and place in freezer bags - so now I have the small portions for just 2 people again at the cheaper purchase price.

When I buy sweet peppers, onions, fresh mushrooms, and such for a meal, I cut the whole thing up and put the extra amount into small containers and store in the freezer. Then when I am making an omelette on the weekend or spaghetti sauce etc, I can just open the freezer and I have pre-chopped peppers, onions, mushrooms -whatever- at my ready.

Also if you plan the meals you want for the week of lunches and dinners, then sort your grocery list from that, you won't end up with food in your cupboard or freezer for months because you bought it "just in case".



WEYRCAT
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10/7/12 11:15 P

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I love BudgetBytes. Tomorrow we've got this on the docket! 8 servings (which CAN make it that far when you serve a leafy salad and/or cheap veggie side with it, like cucumber in vinegar!
http://budgetbytes.blogspot.com/2012/09/baked-spaghetti-with-sausage-920-recipe.html


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SKINICOOK
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9/23/12 1:01 P

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There is some great advice in this thread. Thanks ladies! emoticon


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MARYHENNIG
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8/26/12 7:42 P

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I try to mix and match my left overs to avoid duplicating the exact meal. Pork, mashed potatoes, and corn one night. Next night might be sausage, corn, and a salad. Third night might be Turkey breast and leftover mashed potatoes (they warm up really well). Next might be sausage and an omelette. Then salad with diced chicken, pork tenderloin, or turkey.


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BRAVELUTE
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8/24/12 7:13 P

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Thanks, Lynn. While I've been preparing tonight's chicken parmesan, I've been pondering the issue of how to manage time and getting out healthy meals. I WAS doing all of that and working up to a year ago and I forgot how difficult it was and how organized I needed to be.

So, while I smelled the delicious sauce simmering on the stove, I tried to remember my shortcuts.



I think the biggest thing I'd do, if I had a family member who didn't want to come home and help after we had both put in a day's work is microwave some leftovers or fix a cold veggie/fruit plate with some good homemade or bakery bread. Light the candles and have a family discussion.

To prepare for the meeting, I'd have the next week of dinners planned and printed out. (use the Healthy Family Dinner Menu Planner on SP)

www.sparkpeople.com/myspark/family-dinner-
planner.asp


I'd choose 7 meals that can be done in a crock pot in big batches. My suggestions are below. Then after your dinner that took no prep, lay out the menu and ask if there is anything else the family would like to have? Once you've agreed on 7 menus, everyone gets up, takes care of dishes, and starts to help prepare Dinner # 2. Get it in the crock pot, turn it on low and leave it to cook all night. In the morning, everyone will want to have it then, but they can't until that night. Get the food into shallow containers so that it cools quickly and refrigerate before you leave for work.

That meal becomes your dinner for night 2. After dinner everyone helps package and freeze leftovers for lunches and future dinners. Then everyone helps get the next meal in the crockpot, set it to cook overnight, and just keep repeating for the week. By the time the week is over, you have several servings of 7 meals waiting in your freezer.

1. Family Meeting Dinner
• agree to meals for next week
• Prepare Dinner 1 in crockpot and clean up kitchen.
• No one watches TV, plays video games, etc. until the meal is in the crockpot and the dishes are in the dishwasher and the sink shines.
• Make it fun and it will get done. Expect everyone to help.
• Even kids who will magically be overloaded with homework once you start this can sit at the table with the grocery list and add to it anything that gets used up while everyone else preps.
• The next purchase the family makes is any items below you don't already own:
a. LARGE crock pot
b. freezer containers
c. vacuum meal sealer and bags
d. possibly a freezer
• I plan one day for Bits and Pieces, usually toward the end of the week. All containers come out of the refrigerator and set out on the counter like a salad bar. Everyone helps themselves to whatever they want, and microwaves their hot plate. Anything left that's over 4 days old gets trashed, or pureed in the food processor for soup base, then frozen till needed.

Meal Suggestions (chosen because of versatility in creating other options later, and the olfactory benefits while you sleep)

Crockpot Meal 1 fry 5 pounds of ground beef with onions and garlic. Use 21/2 pounds for spaghetti sauce, spaghetti first meal 2. lasagne 3. sauce for stuffed shells 4. sauce for tortellini

Crockpot Meal 2 pork or ham roast dinner with potatoes, onions, celery, carrots, and cabbage 2 au jus sandwiches, 3 pulled pork sandwiches, 4 pork and baked apple slices, 5 soup

Crockpot Meal 3 3 pounds chicken, boneless, skinless, cooked with carrots, onions and celery for flavor and aroma, serve with fresh or frozen veggies and fruit 2 chicken on green salad, 3 chicken salad sandwiches, 4 barbecue chicken with pineapple, 5 chicken pot pie with crust baked on cookie sheet and laid on top of serving, 6 soup, 7 stir fry, 8 wraps, 9 curry

Crockpot Meal 4 chili with kidney beans and chickpeas 2 taco salad, 3 baja lasagne

Crockpot Meal 5 Ground beef from #1 and make sloppy joe sauce for sloppy joes 2 Sloppy joe casserole with tater tots on top, 3 Barbecue bean soup

Crockpot night 6 Apple butter: 3 large jars of applesauce, 1/2 c. cinnamon, 1 c. splenda This is for spreading on toast, side with pork etc. . This is NOT a meal because everyone is going out for dinner tomorrow night.

Crockpot Meal 7 Dried chick peas: Do the quick soak and get into the crock pot WITIHOUT SALT. Use in salads, hummus, baked or dried for snacks

Crockpot Meal 8. TVP stew


Other things which can be prepped as family members need jobs:

Man the food processor to chop onion.
Roast veggies: carrots, onions, tomatoes for pizza, mushrooms,
Hard boil eggs and shell them.
Chop/ Cook veggies needed for the next night
Prep/chop fresh fruits and containerize for future meals
Pack lunches.
Prep breakfast needs.

Prep veggies for roasting, put in a ziploc bag with a small amount of olive oil, shake, place on cookie sheets and roast for at least an hour while you watch TV.


During the 2nd week, you can do some creative things with the frozen leftovers, or eat the same way you originally fixed them, and use that night after dinner to make the next set of meals.

Once you get really good at this, you'll be making casseroles or other types of meals besides slow-cooker menus. Some people do all this make-ahead prepping on Saturday, but then you are left out of family activities.

The other thing you will have to prepare for is grocery shopping with a list you prepare from your family dinner meals list for the week, and who is going to shop, and when.

Hope this helps someone.
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LYNNWILK2
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8/24/12 1:25 P

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Sue, what a great idea about the poaching of the other four servings, you've got 8 meals there, or 8 servings and a multiple of choices.

And I love the idea of you starting a winter garden, I wish I had land to do my own veggies and I could grow my own... and the raised beds will allow better access.
Perhaps, depending on where you live in the US you can make on into a green house, using heavy plastic, there are tons of options to choose from on a google search. That why you could keep fresh herbs and perhaps a tomato plant or peppers...
Good luck, keep us informed.

be authentically you...
it's journey, not a one day hike.



BRAVELUTE
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8/24/12 1:05 P

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I cook meals for my mom and me at least 3 time a week, and on those nights, we pack up all of the leftovers into divided containers or Bento boxes for lunches.

I am defrosting chicken tenders for tonight, I had taken out 8 servings to defrost and was going to prepare 8 servings of Cornflake Chicken Parmesan because she likes to have spaghetti on Friday. It's an old habit from going out to dinner with Dad to Gigi's Italian restaurant every Friday.

But now, thanks to a couple of posts here (wish I could see them so I could give you both credit) I'm going to poach 4 servings to turn into another dish, Probably my garlic dried cherry chicken salad which we enjoy taking on a sunset picnic. So I not only have the meal planned for tomorrow, I've also planned our fun, unless the hurricane sends advance storms tomorrow evening.

What a bunch of helpful, creative people.

I wish I could find even a u-pick farm near me. I used to have one 20 miles north, but they went out of business. So I'm starting my own fall garden with 4 four-square gardening boxes full of organic veggies. I'm not bragging, just writing it down so it will really happen.

Paying it forward at
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CINDILP
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8/23/12 11:33 P

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I love my crock pot. I use it to cook meats, stews, soups, etc. I make enough to freeze food for future meals.
Cindi

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LITTLEWIND53
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8/23/12 8:39 P

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Something I used to do way back when I was working, was spend a weekend and make large meals, like roast dinner, or turkey, or something, make 3 or 4 pans of Lasagna, etc, big pots of stews.....
I would make up TV dinners and freeze them. When I wanted a meal, I just pulled out of the freezer and heated. The stews I would put in single portion freezer dish and when I wanted stew, just pull out a container. The lasagna I would cut into serving portions and wrap and freeze. Just add a quick salad and piece of fruit and dinner was on the table.

In those days I did not have a microwave, but I did have a toaster oven which was convenient for those TV trays....

I have always hated the term "leftovers" I prefer to think of them as "Planned Overs"

P.S. When you don't have enough veggies to make a second meal, you can always put into an ice cream bucket in the freezer and when it gets full, have a nice tasty soup in the making....

Edited by: LITTLEWIND53 at: 8/23/2012 (20:41)
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LYNNWILK2
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8/23/12 6:01 P

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I'm so glad that helped. I come from a large family where we rarely had leftovers. But when we did it was never enough for a full meal, but my mother would get quite creative with them, and casseroles were are mainstay. We always had a well rounded meal and good food was always available to us. So when I married I was always cooking HUGE amounts of food, it took me a few YEARS to get the hang of making our favorite meals for just two (and always had left overs). My husband has passed away and I am now cooking for ONE... it freaks me out sometimes but I have finally figured out how to shop for just me. I know that my workout on Saturday will be the hunting, gathering, and preparing for food. I eat only organic and got to two farms to get my meats and veggies and most of my dairy and then to a farmers market for breads and other needs. I rarely go to a commercial grocery store. I stock up on paper products and cat foods/needs when I do go so I don't have to go back for another month or two.
So, when I run out of something I am simply out of it. I spend far less on food when I buy directly from the farmer at their farms even though it is grass/free range meats, and farm grown organic veggies. I do get extra about this time of year and spend an extra hour blanching and freezing some of my favorite fruits and veggies to have through the winter. Life is fast paced for me on Saturday but when it is done, I am for the week. I know what I am going to eat, I never have cravings and I can, if I want, switch things up from the menu through out the week without a great deal of rearranging... so there is some freedom.
It allows me time to spend exercising longer, hanging out with friends longer and relaxing without much thought of what is going to happen the next day.
The organics are still quite new to me, but it is well worth the extra miles out to the country but it's a relaxing and pleasant drive and I get out of the city for a few hours.
I know the farmers well and I have seen their operations and trust their products. I made the decision to go this way because I wanted to be more in control of everything I put in my body- for both health and safety reasons.

It is a bit extreme for most people, but I have made it work for me. It's a day that I actually look forward to every week.

be authentically you...
it's journey, not a one day hike.



MRSDIZ
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8/23/12 5:48 P

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LOL, my dad is GREAT cook, and VERY old fashioned European, he would not even leave the house without going to the Grocery store first. But the idea for me and my husband take cooking classes, would be tons of fun.. Great idea lol


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GEMINI-SKY
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8/23/12 5:39 P

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Wouldn't it be fun for you 2 (or 3, include Dad) to take a cooking class together?

Patti / NE Ohio
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Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.



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GEMINI-SKY
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8/23/12 5:37 P

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Lynn that's a Great Explanation and some Great Ideas....
I do that and expand on it.
I make extra of everything when making dinner. Then I freeze dinners for 2 for the next week or when we have a taste for it.
Granted I have 3 freezers but I mostly use them for frozen veggies and meats.
I love going shopping in my freezer for easy dinners.
Just pop in the micro or oven and dinner will be served in short order.

As an example...
I made stuffed peppers yesterday for dinner. I made four. We ate 1 each =2...Froze the other 2 with the juice for later.

Edited by: GEMINI-SKY at: 8/23/2012 (17:38)
Patti / NE Ohio
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Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass... it's about learning to dance in the rain. Vivian Greene

Even if you are on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.



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MRSDIZ
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8/23/12 5:34 P

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You helped ALOT..... Thanks.

A very good explanation, never thought about using the remaining extra to make something else, The vegetables I toatlly understand, but meat was a different story.

I am still new at freezing things also, because I come from a family where my Dad COOKS, alot, so now i am on my own without his help and my Husband does not cook much, so its like a different Life style way of living now.

Thanks a Tons...... :))))


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LYNNWILK2
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8/23/12 3:10 P

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My suggestion would be, in my humble opinion, is...
say you are making a chicken meal, cook extra chicken before you add all the extra stuff to it to make it taste a particular way... save the plan chicken to make a salad for lunches or to add to a different meal a few days down the road. If you brown ground beef, and you are going to spice it... before you spice it, say for spaghetti, take out enough for an extra meal, then use it the next night for say enchiladas or something like that, totally different taste, same basic ingredient.
You can do this on Saturday (which is when I do it, right after I buy it, and if it is going to be in something I am using at the end of the week, then I freeze it and pull it out that day. But if it is only going to be a day or two (maybe three) then I just put aside in a glass container and keep it well covered to add to a meal another day.
I plan my menu around 3 basics every week.... chicken breast, beef or some sort, and a fish. I usually get the fish used first as it doesn't last as long as the other stuff, but if I make salmon steaks for dinner, and then cook an extra one (or in your case, two)... then the 2 days later you can make salmon cakes. Or add the salmon to a great salad...
anyway, you are buying the same amount of food you would be for a week... well, not if you are banking on left overs for 3 meals (dinner, lunch, dinner) but you would be more prepared ahead of time and you wouldn't be spending your evenings in the kitchen and could have a menu you follow all week long and you don't waste anything. The same goes for veggies... just cut up everything one day and use it accordingly throughout the week.
Does that help? I hope it at least gives you a different perspective on meal planning.

be authentically you...
it's journey, not a one day hike.



MRSDIZ
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8/23/12 2:00 P

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I am confused but then again I am not, but at the same time, I am like Lost.

I am married, yes, like many of you are, Sept 10, 2012 will be one year.

I have been struggling trying to find ways to make my left over last. I make food, we et food, we have left over for lunch, and then I am struggling again trying to think what to make for lunch and dinner the next day. It really expensive to buy food and so tiring to make and cook food in the kitchen everyday. One time my Husband complained that he ate that for lunch already and does not want it again, when the time came we actually had left over for dinner once upon a time.

Kind of a Struggle, and kind of need a little better understanding of my Situation on what to do....


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