Monday, May 20, 2013

make ahead meals = EASY family dinners on the busiest of days

Our school year is wrapping up, and after school activities have me busier than ever. Unlike months of May past, I find myself driving from fields to courts, late after school pick-ups from appointments and team practices that go well into the evening. Still, I want family dinners as often as we can make them happen. It's not even that my kids are into eating... it's just the grounding nature of a family dinner. 

To get ahead of the curve, I spent 2 hours last night stocking our freezer. I had every intention of getting the cooking done during the rainy Sunday, but somehow the day slipped away. I had gotten the marketing done early in the day, but then totally ran out of time to actually cook. While tempting to come home in the evening and curl up with a book, I started cooking at 8pm and still wrapped things up / had the kitchen cleaned up by 10:30. Not bad!

First up: organic beef and veggie lasagnas (a variation on-- and multiplication-- of this recipe).

Start to finish, I had those lasagnas assembled in less than a 1/2 an hour. (The key is to use oven-ready lasagna noodles.)

Then I hauled out a big pot and make my go-to turkey chili, knowing that would take the longest to cool down. Since that's a "pop it in the pot and let it do its' thing" recipe, again, it was made in less than a 1/2 hour.

Next up, a giant batch of my chicken enchiladas, made with 2 rotisserie chickens and loaded with extra veggies. 

Last, but certainly not least: my greens and cheese pie, which freezes beautifully and is a hearty veg option. 

I cooked everything in a precise order, so everything had time to cool down.

And after 2 hours of cooking I had a plethora of wholesome family dinners ready for us, and a set to share with a family who I thought could use a variety of homemade meals made with love and nourishing ingredients. 

Do you have favorite freezer-friendly meals? I'd love to hear how you get ahead of the cooking curve on the busiest of days!


  1. Wow! Now that is a cooking marathon. I am impressed and inspired! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Wow! I'm so impressed! Even though we are just two in my house- every great meal I make, I wish I had made double. That's an incredible feat but in the end you prooved that it takes way less time when batching it. I have my one go-to meal to freeze but I definitely need to step it up a notch! Only problem is 'American' freezers (as they call them here in France) just don't exist on this side of the pond.


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