The last couple of weeks have been surreal to say the least. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, many of us are now trying to work from home while homeschooling our kids. We’re all cooking a lot more simply because we have to so I wanted to share 5 of my work night meals and a few tips to help make dinners easier during this situation. Finally, there is also a grocery list to make all of these meals at the end.
- Meal plan: Make a plan so you only have to go to the grocery store once a week. We’re trying really hard to do this just to limit our potential exposures. My guide for how I meal plan is here.
- Make double batches: If you’re getting tired of all the cooking, make double batches of anything you can. Then you get two meals out of one cooking effort. You can then:
- Save the second batch for another meal that week
- Use the leftovers for lunch the next day
- Freeze the second batch for another meal later on
- Eat fresh: There are many items unavailable at groceries store right now but fresh produce has been well stocked. Finding fresh products is easier and has also helped us feel good during the day. We also have our freezer stocked with meats, veggies, and fruit just in case we don’t want to get out for several days but still want to eat healthy items instead of non-perishable items.
- Cook your way through a cookbook: Open up that cookbook you’ve been meaning to cook out of for awhile. Add a couple of different dishes to your meal plan each week and try something new. My friend starting doing this and I thought it was a brilliant way to mix things up. We’re both cooking through The Defined Dish by Alex Snodgrass, which I highly recommend.
The Plan: The 5 meals listed below are lined up for the work week. You could have leftovers/carryout Saturday and something from your favorite cook book Sunday to fill your plan.
If I have fish in my meal plan, I like to make it at the beginning of the week so we’re enjoying it as fresh as possible.
Tuesday: Go-To Taco Meat
You can use different meats or different tortillas/lettuce wraps to mix this up each week.
Wednesday: Crock Pot Chicken Salads
You can turn crock pot chicken into many different meals. I give you the possible variations (from salads to tacos) in the recipe.
This recipe sneaks lots of different veggies into the meat sauce you are used to.
Soak up some fresh air and sunshine while you make this easy dinner. If the weather isn’t good for grilling, switch to a oven roasted chicken and veggies instead (400 degrees for ~30 minutes.)
This list has all the items for these 5 meals for 4 servings each meal. Add your lunch, breakfast, and other staples and you’ll be ready to go for your grocery trip. Make sure you have olive oil, salt, pepper, and butter on hand.
- Salmon (1.5-2 lbs)
- Ground beef (1 lb)
- Ground turkey (1 lb)
- Chicken breasts (6-8 pieces)
- Broccoli crowns (3)
- Carrots (2 lbs)
- Red pepper (3)
- White onion (2)
- Red onion
- Zucchini (2)
- Salad mix
- Pineapple (or container of fresh prepped pineapple)
- Diced green chiles (4 oz can)
- Fire roasted diced tomatoes (14 oz can)
- Black beans (14 oz can)
- Lemon pepper seasoning
- Barbecue chicken rub
- Taco seasoning packet
- Taco shells
- Spanish rice mix
- Box of your favorite pasta
- Jar of your favorite pasta sauce
- Grated parmesan cheese
- Bottle of your favorite salad dressing
- Chicken broth (2 cups)
- Shredded cheese
- Sour cream (small container)
I hope this is helpful during these crazy times!
Happy cooking and stay well!