I was watching episodes of Rachael Ray's "Week in a Day" yesterday morning and I was completely inspired to cook some meals ahead. Off I went to do some grocery shopping and got myself organised. Then I got to work. Above is a photo at about the mid-point of my cook-fest.
Can I just say, cooking ahead in one day = very hard work.
Despite my sore feet and back and needing a nice long nap afterwards I now have in my freezer:
- 3 meals of chicken burgers + 3 extra patties for a light-on-people night
- 1 roasted vegetable lasagne (I made two, only one made it to the freezer!)
- 1 vegetable pasta sauce (from making the lasagne)
- 3 meals of sloppy joe mince
After getting all that together I was too tired and sore to make the risotto I had planned on, so we ate one of the two lasagnes for dinner. It was so much better than I imagined it would be! You know when you take ideas from a few places and then make it up from there to suit yourself? Yes. That was my lasagne. I'll post a recipe another day because it was just beautiful. The best part is that I managed to hide eggplant and red capsicums by finely dicing all the veggies instead of leaving them as thin strips or rounds. All together you just got a beautiful rich veggie sauce. Any other way there would have been complaints and picking things out. I am the winner!
As much as I love the protective layer that meals in the freezer gives me I think doing so much in one day is probably not my favourite way. I suspect I would rather just double and triple recipes on the day I intend to make them. Which is good to know about myself. Or I could just sit on the other side of the bench for all the chopping, rather than be on my feet for hours.
What I am looking forward to? A term's worth of "Fend for Yourself Friday" meals, courtesy of the burgers and sloppy joe meat. I stopped planning Friday nights because two of the kids would be gone before I could even think about getting home so they had toasted sandwiches or eggs on toast or leftovers. Or nothing. I have no idea! This year I'll be able to get home by 5pm, but they'll still be dashing off not long after I get home. This way they'll have something they can pull out and when they need it and there will be food for others who come along later.