Saturday, June 6, 2020

Make Ahead Meals

There was a  time when I cooked everyday and huge amounts of food because it seemed as if I always had a crowd to feed. Kids and grandkids, friends, family and neighbors. For the last several years after Baby O moved out it was down to just  O Wise One and myself. Yet I was so used to cooking large amounts. So I got wise. I cook now about 2 times a week. I love having meals available all the time so that we can go out in the garden or whatever is on the agenda for that day and just pop in and have a home cooked healthy meal waiting for us in the refrigerator. 

We went to the small Mennonite farm stand down the road and spent about $20 on fresh veggies. We bought some fresh tomatoes and cucumbers from their greenhouse.

Broccolli and a big bag of mustard greens

 And a fresh head of cabbage. During the spring and summer we pretty well live out of our garden and the local farm stands and farmer's markets in our area.  

While I cleaned, chopped and washed my mustard greens and cabbage I put on 2 skillets of bacon chopped and onions for seasoning. 

I then cooked down the mustard greens and cabbage.

Then I emptied a pint of home canned purple hulls, a 15 oz can of corn, and black beans and rinsed them all. Then I added a can of Rotel tomatoes to drain. 

Chopped half a medium onion. Finely chopped a bell pepper and added that to a bowl with the bean mix.

Then I added about a cup of Mojo Cuban marinade. You can also use a zesty Italian Dressing.

Throw in some cilantro and salt and pepper and mix. There ya go Bean Salsa. 

Then I roasted both the carrots and broccoli in the oven with a little olive oil then put a couple pats of real butter and some sea salt. 

Then O Wise One threw chicken breast, pork loin chops and some plain hamburger patties on the grill. 

I filled them out with a bag of corn from the freezer.

When it is all said and done we have 10 meals to eat on for the next 4 or 5 days. I can work in the garden or do whatever I choose and not have to worry about cooking. Simple meat grilled and fresh veggies. Notice that the meals are very vegetable heavy compared to the meat. No sauces really or cheese. 

10 meals in the fridge!

To the garden I go for a fresh head of lettuce.

Cleaned out the bottom drawer in the fridge. 1 breaded chicken breast sliced. A hand full of left over ham chunks. A small heel of Amish farmers cheese. Add some cucumbers and tomatoes and salads to go. I love salted pumpkin seeds for croutons and a simple vinaigrette dressing.

The first year we did this O Wise One lost 70 pounds and cut out 2 meds. I lost 30 pounds. We eat like this 6 days a week. Sunday is a free day and we eat what we want. We try to limit bread, potato and pasta. We also go really light on the dairy. Just butter and I drink half and half in my coffee every morning. 

Blessings from The Holler 

The Canned Quilter


  1. Where did you get your meal containers and how long do they hold up to being heated in the microwave? Love reading your blog

    1. The meal containers came from Walmart and come in packages of 10. They are supposed to be BPA free. However we do not reheat in them but rather transfer our food to plates to reheat just to be safe. Hand washing them they will last a couple months but they are supposed to be dishwasher and microwave safe.

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  3. This is great. I'm going to do something similar as frankly, I hate to cook, even though I've cooked for over 40 years. I'd rather do up a batch of meals at one time.

    1. WE love it! Portion control and healthy food ready to go. Sometimes I do cups of soup as well. I only do about 3 to 4 days worth at a time.

  4. Wow! Impressive! And I thought that I was doing pretty well with a few make ahead meals in my freezer...You've raised the bar, that's for sure! LOL! ;-)

  5. What a great idea!! Now that's what I call 'prepping'!!!! I do love to save time in the kitchen, but I want to make sure we eat a healthy meal with variety. You have it figured out!

    1. As I make them from week to week I will post pictures to give you ideas. Add some cups of soup and a few salads and it cuts meal cooking to 2 times a week.

    2. That would be great!! I told my husband I need a meal planner!! You are so kind to share ideas!!

      I keep thinking about your ducks! Asked husband about ducks and he said the bob cats or the mountain lion that been spotted around here or the black bears would get them and that would break my heart. Guess I'll just enjoy yours!!

  6. Thank you, thank you, I love all your ideas! So glad you are back!


  7. I have heard of this before, but it sounded like so much trouble. Actually you showed it's pretty easy. I think I will follow you and try this. It would be so great now, because I hate to stop working outside to come in and cook. This way hubby, Tom can heat up what he wants if I'm still messing around outside. I usually am the last one in. lol
    Plus on days we babysit, it would be a Godsend to come home to. Thanks for showing us~


    1. Darlene not counting the shopping at the farm stand the prep took about 4 hours. Like you it is so nice when I am working outside not to have to come in and cook. Or when I am canning hubby has food waiting when I have the kitchen tied up. I find we snack less also. We always have lunch waiting. I think we eat even healthier because of it.

    2. Wow, I would have thought it would have taken longer than that. The more you talk, the better it sounds! ;-)

      Like you, when our three children were home, I cooked big batches of food. It's very hard to cook for just two. But by doing this big batch cooking, we could eat better and I won't have to cook each day.

      Hubby is a diabetic and I have been trying Keto and The Wheat Belly diet. He lost weight on both diets and his numbers came way down, but it's the "staying on it" that's so hard. I think if I did the big batch cooking, there would be no excuse to eat out and that would be a big help with his health problems. Congrats to both of you on your weight loss and better health! Thanks again for sharing.


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