Meal preparation when you're working

  1. I'm curious--how do you handle meals (at home) on days that you're working? Does someone else in your family make the meals? Do you eat frozen dinners or takeout? Do you prepare in advance and freeze? Peanut butter and jelly?
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  2. 29 Comments

  3. by   puggymae
    I do a little bit of everything - crock pot is good because the food is hot when you get home. One night a week we do a soup & sandwhich (I make the soup homemade and freeze it, but we do occasionally have Campbells), we have a meatless meal once a week (which cuts down on prep), and I have some staples that are not time consuming to fix - like meatloaf. When I was working on my Master's my husband cooked - frozen lasagna, hamburger helper, pot roast in the crock pot, cheese and crackers (beggers can't be choosers!). What really helps is if you plan it out and have everything ready before hand. And have you ever watched Rachel Ray's 30 Minute meals? I get alot of quick ideas off of that show.
  4. by   lovingtheunloved
    Dude, I haven't turned my stove on in almost 13 months. Could be why I lost 10 pounds this semester! Campbell's baby, all the way. I should own stock.
  5. by   DizzyLizard
    Between work and school I don't have time to cook so I usually make a bunch of meals and put them in the freezer so when I come home I can pull something out of the freezer and heat it up.
  6. by   nursekatie22
    I pick a day of the week where I can make up a bunch of stuff ahead of time like soup, breads, etc, then I refrigerate/freeze them until I use them during the week. It saves a lot of time and helps you not spend $$ at the hospital cafe!
  7. by   Imafloat
    I search google for quick meals. I make a menu up about twice a month with about 3 or 4 easy meals a week. I then do a big shopping trip where I get all the meat, staples, and fresh produce for the first week. The second week I make a quick run and grab fresh produce, milk, etc for that week.

    I have a family that I have to feed...otherwise it would be Lean Cuisine all the way!

    There are websites for once a month cooking. I use some of their recipes and make 2 or 3 meals worth of something for nights I don't have time to cook. The once a month cooking sites recommend freezing your meals in disposable pans so that you can thaw the meal during the day in the fridge and toss it in the oven when you get home.

    I fry up about 5 pounds of hamburger at a time and put them in serving size freezer bags and freeze. Weekly we have a ground beef meal on one of our easy nights. I either make hamburger stroganoff, spaghetti, goulash, tacos, or nachos this night. I put the frozen precooked burger in the refrigerator before I leave and set out anything else I might need on the counter (spaghetti sauce, taco seasoning, pasta, etc). That way as soon as I walk in the door I wash my hands and get dinner going.

    The more you have to plan and be efficient the better you become at it.
  8. by   Jules A
    When I make a meal I try to make extra and freeze things. A baked chicken is good for dinner, sandwiches and of course soup which freezes great. I also keep frozen hamburger and chicken on hand as a good meal starter.
  9. by   NeosynephRN
    If you do not own a crockpot...then get one!! This is the best way that I have been able to keep up...5 minutes in the morning and you will have a nice hot meal when you get home!! Seriously the most used appliance in my house!
  10. by   Achoo!
    Those indoor grills work great too. We do chicken and cheese quesadillas, heat up hot dogs or sausages,burgers in 10 minutes, it's great!
    Luckily my kids are still young, so they don;t care if we have mac n cheese or PB&J once a week.
  11. by   WDWpixieRN
    I'm also a crockpot lover, but you have to be careful because after awhile many of the dishes can kind of start tasting very similar!!

    Check allrecipes.com for ideas under "Crockpot" (and also "crock pot"....

    Another favorite is to use the Lawry's Beef Stew mix, using slightly less meat than called for, and adding lots of my favorite veggies (potatoes, baby carrots, celery, onions), to make a kind of soupy stew that's luscious to come home to!! If you're feeding a number of bigger appetites, double the recipe and freeze leftovers for another night's quick meal!!

    One other favorite around here -- make some chicken meat for quesadillas, tacos, burritos whatever -- toss about 3/4 c. of your favorite salsa for every 3 - 4 chicken breasts in a crockpot ....add a small amount of water (maybe 1/2 - 3/4 c.) to ensure they don't dry out, and cook on low for 4 - 8 hours....shred the meat up and serve with whatever your heart desires -- add as many accompaniments as you wish -- flour or corn tortillas, chips for a taco salad, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, etc....yum-O, as Rachel would say!!
    Last edit by WDWpixieRN on Dec 28, '06
  12. by   locolorenzo22
    I make a baked lasagna with sirloin, onion, pasta sauce, prepackaged out of box barilla noodles, ricotta, parmasean, and zuccuhi... Just brown, layer meat & sauce, with noodles, cheese and Zuccuni, bake with foil over it for 45 mins, then 15 mins no foil and I've got dinner for 3-4 days...

    I usually make a big batch of something that I can eat for 2-3 days, or something I can make in around 10 mins or so. pasta, meat, chicken and rice, even toss in some scrambled eggs or french toast once in a while.
    With school coming up and night shifts too, It's going to take sitting down 1x a week and making a menu to keep Breakfast, lunch and dinner on track...
  13. by   mercyteapot
    I make spaghetti and meatballs at least once a week. Jarred sauce. Easy.

    My son's favorite sandwich is cheese, bacon, tomato and pickle and he has that at least one night a week. On that night, I usually cook myself a Lean Cuisine.

    Friday night is pizza delivery.

    Monday night is fish, usually salmon.

    Two nights are either crockpot meals (I cook enough to last for two meals), take away, going out to eat (not often), scrambled eggs, chicken breast cooked on the Foreman grill, etc... something really easy.

    One night is a good home-cooked meal, like something I grew up on... often, this is a meal I make on Saturday or Sunday.

    Dh works in a restaurant and isn't home for dinner 4-6 nights a week, so he either eats at work or heats up leftovers when he comes home.
  14. by   dansamy
    Retarded non-cook question: how on earth do you shred chicken? I'm not exactly Julia Child when it comes to the kitchen and cooking.

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