I enjoy eating. Sorry but that’s out there. Ever since Sweetpea marched into our life, that thing called ‘free time’ has slightly decreased — imagine that?! In an effort to “have it all” and not eat cheesy fries daily, I made the inevitable decision to give up my 1-2 hours cooking routine (particularly when George works the 12 hour night shift) and find a reasonable solution. I have a few things that limit my day: a 2-3 hr commute (door to door), I make George’s lunches every day, and I value quality time with our lovely little lady.
Drum roll……..AMAZING DISCOVERY: FROZEN CROCKPOT MEALS MADE AT NIGHT!
I am testing several recipes and will share the results but for now here are some of my finds:
1. Crock pot liners: streamline cleaning…just throw out the bag after you remove your dinner
(such as reynolds slow cooker liners but oven bags work fine as well)
2. Cook your dinner at night!
Most days I’m gone for greater than 8 hours. The crock pot we have is programmable with a manual or temperature probe dependent (Hamilton Beach® 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker $49 from Bed Bath and Beyond). The issue with long hours is after the 8 hour cook time the crock pot kicks to warm, which still cooks the food READ: dried out dinner. So I usually am home in the evening for atleast 8 hours (including sleeping) so… a) Cook at night b) refrigerate in containers during the day and c) warm up at night.
3. Make a huge thing of rice for the week or if you get sick of rice use Seeds of Change (http://www.amazon.com/Seeds-Change-Quinoa-Brown-6pack/dp/B00GRT9PZY/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389587597&sr=8-2&keywords=Seeds+Of+Change)
4. Use microwavable veggies or steam fresh veggies in the microwave (http://www.amazon.com/Sistema-1103-Large-Microwave-Steamer/dp/B005D6XZ4O/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1389587700&sr=8-7&keywords=steam+container+microwave)
5. Have everything delivered! But I’ll write about that one another day.