Cook one main meat dish and eat for the whole week from it. Quick and simple meals.
You have probably heard a lot of different cooking shows that discuss cooking once then using the same ingredients to eat all week. It is possible to do however, if you have picky eaters in your home, it could be tricky. You best bet is to think about your family and their eating habits, make a list of some of their favorites. Now, lets get to some cooking. Here are some recipes and fun things that are sure to keep your family smiling all week.
The Main Meal
On the first day of cooking, Sunday, which is the best day to work from, cook a large meat item. For this first list of meals we are going to cook a 20 pound turkey. You can find them all year long, yes, the price is a little higher in the "off" season, but it can be worth it if you are short on time during the week.
Don't forget to make some of the favorites with that turkey like mash potatoes and gravy or how about some stuffing. Don't forget those cranberries.
Okay so now you have had your turkey, its time to turn it into other meals for the rest of the week. Some prep can be done after Sunday dinner to help save you time during the week.
Turkey fried rice
So lets make some fried rice for Monday night dinner. Good old Minute Rice comes in handy, make up enough for the family.
Pull out a large skillet and get ready to fry up a few fresh veggies. Reach for some carrots, celery, brocolli (frozen works too), even green beans. You can also use canned mushrooms if you like and some fresh onion and garlic for seasoning.
In a skillet over medium to high heat, pour in some oil. Olive, Grape seed or Canola are the best to use. After the pan has warmed up, start adding the vegetables. Start with the carrots, they take the longest time to cook. After the veggies have warmed a bit, it is time to chop up some of that turkey and throw it in the mix. You don't need to use much, maybe a half a pound at most.
Once this mix has been cooked up and you have it spiced the way you like. Some people like to throw in some soy sauce to add to the flavor, others a touch of ginger. Finally add the rice to the mixture and mix together well. Serve in bowls and you are ready to go. This dish usually takes around 15 minutes to prepare.
Turkey sandwiches with Potato puffs
Your kids will love you forever when you whip this up for dinner. You may want to pick up some fresh bread on your way home from the nearest bakery to make turkey sandwiches. Pull out all the fixings so that everyone can get creative. Remind the kids to add in some veggies to their sandwhiches as well.
Now, for the fun. Instead of chips to go with those, why not make some potatoe puffs. Here is what you will need. Left over mashed potatoes, about 2 cups will do, 2 teaspoons of baking powder. Mix the two together add a little salt and pepper. In a frying pan, pour about an inch of oil. When the oil is hot begin to drop tablespoon fools of the mix into the oil. Let the puffs brown on oneside then the other. Place on papertowels to drip.
Serve with a little salt and maybe some ketchup.
Time to skip the meat, make a nice large salad for the family to enjoy. If you don't have time to cut up all the veggies, that's all right, the bagged salad will work. Make sure you give the kids choices on the dressings they might like.
Time to use up some more of that delicious turkey. What better way then with some pasta. Make up what ever pasta you have in the house, to include good ol' spaghetti. After you have strained the pasta, add some butter to the noodles in the pan they were just cooked with. Chop up some turkey, mushrooms and black olives toss with the pasta, lightly season with some garlic powder, oregano, salt and pepper. The meal takes roughly 20 minutes. The time to cook the pasta.
If you planned it right, you should have the bones of the turkey and maybe a few bit of meat left. Time to boil those bones up and make a broth. This can be done the night before. Place the turkey bones into a large pan then fill it with water. Over low heat slowly cook up the turkey bones. This will help you make a wonderful broth and also get what is left of that great turkey meat off. Once done, separate the broth from the turkey and bones. It is always a good idea to make sure you have a very large bowl and strainer to work with. Also, an extra pair of hands. Toss the bones in the trash, chop up the turkey pieces into bite size pieces, toss back into a large pan, top with your new broth now add some veggies and maybe some rice or pasta, salt and pepper for a little added taste, you have turkey soup for dinner.
Be sure to judge how much your family will eat before preparing the large Sunday meal, this will help keey you from wasting and help keep everyone happy.
We are back at the beginning time to help you get creative with meat loaf.
So cook up a large meat loaf there are many great recipes you can use. This is great served with corn and rice. Now lets get cracking on the rest of the week.
Cheese burger macaroni
Time to gather up those boxes of mac and cheese from the cabinet. Follow the directions as normal, now simply take some of the left over meat loaf and crumble it into the macaroni, mix well and you are done. Serve with a nice salad on the side.
Get some large tortillas, refried beans and shredded cheese now crumble up some more of that meat loaf. Heat up the beans and then the tortillas in the microwave for about 30 seconds each. You can also heat the meat loaf a little bit in a bowl if you wanted to. Now lay out a tortilla apply the beans, throw on some meat top with the cheese now wrap and you are ready to serve.
Beef and ramen noodles
If you are like many of us, Ramen noodles were a main staple in your college diet, well, keep some around when you are short on time. Make up enough packets of beef flavored ramen noodles drain off the broth when ready add in some crumbled meat loaf, a few mushrooms maybe even some chopped onion. You are ready. Serve with a nice fruit salad on the side, many delis carry some great ones and you can pick up enough for one meal.
That's right now to make chili out of what is left, pick up a few cans of kidney beans, pinto beans, black beans, throw them in a pan, add in some onion and crumble up the remaining meat loaf. Add in some chili powder, garlic, salt and pepper. Let cook for about 30 minutes over medium heat stirring often. You are good to go.
Last but not least, use up the chili from the night before with frito pies. Throw the corn chips in the bowl top with the chili and cheese. Yum!
You can also plan out meals using hams, pork roasts and many other large portion meats, the goal is to get creative with the main ingredient or plan not to use it every night of the week. Also, when you cook it the first time, keep the spices simple, this helps to keep it from throwing off the other dishes.