We all know that the routine things that need to be done around the house are often harder when living with chronic illnesses. One of those tasks is cooking. The thought of having to cook a meal at the end of a day can be exhausting in itself. But eating fast food or frozen dinners daily aren’t healthy and can actually be expensive. So how can we make the daily tasks like cooking a little easier? Simple…. meal prep and cook more than one meal at a time. The thought of meal preparing can be overwhelming. But there are a million websites out there these days that provide you with recipes that you can prepare ahead of time and then freeze. It’s so handy to be able to run to the freezer and pull out a meal that just needs to be heated up or cooked! Yes, this will take some time in advance. But will save you some time and energy on a daily basis. And it’s something that you get your kids or spouse involved in as well!
There are a ton of different options as far as meal prep. There are meals you can put in the crockpot, meals that you can make in the oven. Simple things as sandwiches that can be prepared and frozen. Another way to meal prep if you don’t want to mass produce meals is to cook something early week and separate them into portion sized containers that are easy to grab and go.
Other things you can do to help make sure you are eating the proper portion size and be ready for meals. Is to prepackaged snacks, like chips or crackers. If you divide the chips into individual serving sizes and put them in baggies then you have them for when you want them. And you aren’t as tempted to eat the whole bag of chips. You can also do this with veggies and fruits. Anything I can do to make the morning easier as I run out the door. Or easier after work I will do.
Below I will include three of my favorite meal prep recipes. One of a slider/sandwich, one of a meal you can make and divide into Tupperware and a prepare and freeze crockpot meal.
Ham and Swiss on Hawaiian Rolls
Prep: 10 Minutes
Cook: 20 Minutes
24 Slices of deli honey ham
6 Slices of swiss cheese, cut into fourths
1/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Poppy seeds
1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 cup Butter melted
1 tablespoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
2 packages (12 count) KING’S HAWAIIAN Original Hawaiian Sweet Dinner Rolls
Cut rolls in half and spread mayo onto 1 side of the rolls. Place a slice or two of ham and slice of swiss cheese in roll. Replace the top of the rolls and bunch them closely together into a baking dish.
In a medium bowl, whisk together poppy seeds, dijon mustard, melted butter, onion powder and worcestershire sauce.
Pour sauce over the rolls, just covering the tops. Cover with foil and let sit for 10 minutes.
Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. Uncover and cook for additional 2 minutes until tops are slightly browned and crisp. Serve warm.
TACO MEAL PREP BOWLS
YIELD: 5 SERVINGS PREP TIME: 20 MINUTESCOOK TIME: 40 MINUTES TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR
This saves you money, time, calories – you honestly can’t beat that!
* 1 cup brown rice
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 pounds ground beef*
* 2 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning
* 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
* 1 (15.25-ounces) can whole kernel corn, drained
* 3 Roma tomatoes, diced
* In a large saucepan of 2 cups water, cook rice according to package instructions; set aside.
* Heat olive oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add ground beef and cook until beef has browned, about 3-5 minutes, making sure to crumble the beef as it cooks; stir in taco seasoning. Drain excess fat.
* Divide rice into meal prep containers. Top with ground beef mixture, black beans, corn and tomatoes.
Slow Cooker Shredded BBQ Chicken
* 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
* 1 cup ketchup (I like Simply Heinz)
* 2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
* 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon brown sugar
* 1 tablespoon chili powder
* 1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
* Create homemade BBQ sauce by combining ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, chili powder, hot sauce, and curry powder.
* Add chicken breasts to your slow cooker and top with BBQ sauce.
* Cover, and cook on “low” for 8 hours.
* Shred chicken and return to slow cooker to mix with remaining BBQ sauce.
BONUS RECIPE – Mango Coleslaw
(My family loves topping our Shredded BBQ Chicken sandwiches with this simple, homemade slaw.)
* 1, 16oz bag of shredded green cabbage and carrots (coleslaw mix)
* 1 mango, peeled and shredded (about one cup)
* 1 cup mayonaisse
* 1 tablespoon honey
* 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon pepper
* Combine all ingredients. (Can prepare day ahead and store in refrigerator.)
Hope you enjoy