Now that the shopping is all done this is where the fun begins. Not only does this menu provide a relatively low cost week to soften the impact on your budget but it can also be a MAJOR time saving device! If you have an entire 3-4 hours to devote to cooking a weeks’ worth of meals you will have very little to prepare each day and almost nothing to clean up (except the dishes you eat off). However, even if you only have an hour you can still make a HUGE dent in your cooking time and the number of preparation dishes you have to clean. I recommend enlisting the help of your husband on a weekend.
- About 3 hours before you actually ‘begin’ your cooking spree place a 2lb pork roast in a crock pot with 1 cup water and 1 cup BBQ sauce.
- In a small sauce pan bring 3 cups water to a boil, add 2 cups rice (1 cup for frozen burritos 1 cup for Sweet and Sour Meatballs). Cover, reduce heat to low and allow to cook for 15 minutes or until water is absorbed and rice is tender. Set aside. When cool divide in half, place half in a sandwich bag and store with meatballs, reserve the other half for frozen burritos.
- Place 10 eggs in a medium sauce pan and cover with water. Bring water to a boil and set the timer for 11 minutes. Rinse eggs under cold water to stop cooking. Mark as ‘boiled’ and return to the refrigerator. (5 for egg salad sandwiches, 5 for creamed eggs on toast).
- Cook bacon in frying pan over medium heat until desired crispiness. Allow to bacon to cool, place in a ziplock bag and refrigerate. (6 slices for breakfast, 6 slices for creamed corn with bacon).
- In the same pan you cooked the bacon in quickly brown the pork chops (the bacon drippings will add great flavor). Allow to cool, place in a ziplock bag with 1 cup of uncooked rice and refrigerate. (to serve you will simply place pork chops and rice in a large casserole dish, cover with 2 cans Beef Consommé and cook at 350 for 1 hour. Dinner prep for this night literally only takes 60 seconds.)
- In a medium sauce pan (the same one used for the eggs) bring water to a boil . While the water is boiling peel sweet potatoes (or regular potatoes if your family prefers) and cut into 1 inch slices. Add to boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and run under cold water. Place in a ziplock bag or a plastic container and refrigerate.
- In a large sauce pan bring water to a boil. Add a nickel size circle of spaghetti and cook al dente (not too soft).
- While potatoes and spaghetti are cooking wipe the bacon grease out of the frying pan and brown 1lb ground beef. Chop an onion and a green pepper, add 1/2 cup each to beef (save remaining veggies for other meals).
- When spaghetti is done, drain and return to a warm saucepan. Stir in 1 tbsp butter, 1 egg and ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Stir well until egg is evenly distributed and butter and cheese are melted. Spray a 9inch pie plate with pam. Press spaghetti mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of the pie plate forming a crust. Spread cottage cheese and beef mixture (from #8) over crust. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Allow to cool, wrap with tinfoil and refrigerate or freeze.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine 1lb ground beef, ½ tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper, 1 egg, 2 tbsp milk, 2 tbsp flour. Mix well by hand and roll into 1” meatballs. Cook in frying pan (the same one you browned the 1st lb of beef in) until all sides are brown and cooked through. Allow to cool, place in a ziplock bag, refrigerate (or freeze) next to 1 ½ cups cooked rice from step #1.
- Wipe out frying pan. Cut chicken breasts into 1 inch cubes. Melt butter frying pan. Cook chicken in butter over medium heat until cooked through. Remove chicken. Stir 2 tbsp flour into drippings. Add 1 cup chicken broth and ½ cup half-and-half to the skillet. Stir and cook until the sauce bubbles and thickens. Add 2 tbsp mustard. Allow sauce and chicken to cool then place in a ziplock bag. Refrigerate or freeze. (Option 2 – prepare sauce just before serving, it only takes a minute if the chicken is already cooked!)
- Remove pork from slow cooker. Shred and divide in half. Place one half in the refrigerator or freezer for Grilled Cheese and Pork sandwiches. To the remaining half (for lettuce wraps) add; 3 tbsp soy sauce, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp onion powder, 1 tsp ground ginger and a dash of pepper. Store in refrigerator near sweet potatoes or freeze.
You have now successfully prepared 5 meals and paved the way to quickly assembling 10 more. If you are out of time or are simply tired of being in the kitchen go ahead and be done. Follow the menu plan for the remainder of the week and you will be surprised how quickly your meals come together. Or, if you are feeling ambitious continue to the next set of instructions.
- In a large strainer empty the contents of 2 cans black beans, 1 can pinto beans, 1 can chicken, 1 can corn, 1 can diced tomato with onion and 1 ½ cups cooked rice (from step 2 of the cooking section). Mix contents well. In each flour tortilla place ¼ cup shredded cheese and a large spoonful of bean mixture. Fold into a burrito and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Continue with remaining tortillas, freeze.
- Dice ½ bunch of celery, romaine lettuce and any other veggies you might have in your crisper that you would like in your salad. Place 1/3 cup celery in a sandwich bag for egg salad sandwiches. Place other salad ingredients in a large mason jar to go with spaghetti pie and sweet and sour meatballs.
- In a small sandwich bag combine 2 tbsp of chopped onion and 2 tbsp chopped green pepper to add to tuna salad.
- Pulse 3 cups of quick oats in a blender until the consistency of flour. Fill a 8 sandwich bags each with the following:
2. Pancakes: In a medium mixing bowl combine the following ingredients. Place pancake batter in a gallon size zip lock bag and refrigerate or freeze.
3. Repeat step 2 with the waffle ingredients:
- Make Fantasy Bars: Allow to cool, cut into squares and refrigerate (or freeze) until the day assigned.
- Make Oatmeal Muffins: Allow to cool, refrigerate (or freeze) until the day assigned.
- Make Oh Henry Bars: Allow to cool, refrigerate (or freeze) until the day assigned.