Simplifying Meals

by | Oct 10, 2018

Because of our busy dance schedule, I’ve found some little things to plan ahead on our meals. This is not to say I have it all together. I’m not that amazing, but I know that if I don’t have a few standard things pre-prepped, I’ll never make those recipes.
And none of these involve spending all day Sunday in the kitchen. I’ve never gotten into doing the whole week’s/month’s meals in one day.

What I do:

  • bacon: a lot of recipes need a small amount of crumbled bacon. I like to cook up a package, and freeze it in 2-3 little containers. Often I’ll cook it up so I can use half that day, and then freeze the other half for a quick addition later.*
  • chicken. So many recipes call for cubed cooked chicken, which is such a pain when all the chicken in the house is frozen and raw. Even with my Instant Pot it’s still more work than I’m willing to do. So I do a bunch at once, boiling it with my favorite spices (or throwing them in the Instant Pot), then cubing and freezing in one-cup portions.
  • Ginger: If you like Asian food, you probably use fresh ginger a lot. I buy a big piece of it, peel, and chop the whole thing. Then I can just grab a little bit. It thaws quickly since it’s tiny pieces.
  • If you’re making a recipe later in the week that needs cooked rice (like this week’s meal), that’s something you can do on a separate burner while you make tonight’s dinner. I have to admit, I’ve always liked this idea but I’ve never actually pulled it off. But it helps the consistency if it’s not fresh for this kind of recipe.

*We like turkey bacon. I know it can be not as crispy as “real” bacon, but I’ve gotten it closer lately. When it’s getting close to being finished, I add about a tablespoon of oil to the pan. This gives it a crispier texture that’s closer to what everyone expects out of bacon.
What’s your favorite shortcut? I’d love to hear!

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