Monday, November 26, 2007

Post-Holiday Quick Meals

Sorry I just realized I have been absent and have not posted since Halloween. Where did the time go?!

I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend, enjoyed themselves and ate a lot of good food. As the weekend closes, the holiday season officially begins. I know it is a busy time of the year and thought I would post some ideas on how to make it through, eating healthy and avoiding take-out as much as possible.

Making an extra large pot of soup is an excellent idea for getting through these cold winter nights. On the weekend, make a large pot, doubling or tripling the servings to either give you a few meals into the week or freeze one-serving portions to eat in the upcoming weeks. You could grab these single serving portions to take for lunches or a couple for a quick dinner. Keep in mind that potatoes do not freeze well, so if you are going to freeze soups omit the potatoes.

This concept of freezing entrées works well with other things besides soups. You could make extra servings of a casserole or your Sunday dinner and freeze portions for later. If you were going to roast a chicken, why not roast two instead. It is minimal extra work and then you could either freeze the roasted chicken or shred the meat for meals later in the week. With the meat, you could make chicken salad sandwiches for lunches; a chicken soup with some vegetables, stock and pasta added; add enchilada sauce and wrap in flour or corn tortillas, cover with cheese for wet burritos; the possibilities are endless. Instead of chicken, prepare an extra pork or beef roast.

Weight watchers has several ideas for cooking ahead:

Using 5 ingredients or less has become a popular item on several cooking websites, surf these sites for some quick ideas:,,_9v38sk44,00.html

The slow cooker is also a way to make dinner easy. I suggest prepping all the ingredients the night before, then in the morning the slow cooker can be loaded and dinner will be waiting at the end of the day. Most manufacturers do not recommend taking the crock straight from the refrigerator to the heating element. If you would like to reduce the number of dishes, you could let the crock sit at room temperature for an hour or so before turning it on. Or simply transfer the contents from another dish.

Oh the possibilities are endless. I hope I have sparked some ideas.
Bon appétit!