dinner prep …

December 2, 2010

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, many of us probably find ourselves un-prepared when dinner time comes around.
I have found that when I do the prep work for a weeks worth of meals all at once, it helps make dinner time a cinch, and all I have to do is throw together the ingredients.  This saves us a lot of time, and money that would have been spent on a meal out.
Here are a few tips and tricks to help get dinner on your table during these busy times.
{Dinner Prep Tips}
  • Plan you menu for the week-  By listing at least 3-5 meals you would like to prepare and eat during the week, you can get all your grocery shopping done in one trip, and save time by not having to make those last minute trips to the grocery store.
  • When planning your menu, try to use the same ingredient in more than one meal, this saves money if it is something that requires buying a lot of one ingredient for the recipe.  (I find this happens a lot with produce, and I end up throwing out a lot of veggies that go bad before I can use them)
  • Take out the recipes for the meals you would like to prepare for the week.  Break down the ingredients and make a shopping list.  Shop all at once at the grocery store for all your items.
  • Now it is time to do the prep work.  Do all the chopping, dicing, slicing, browning, or cooking of any items that can be prepared in advance.   This is nice, because I find that I use a lot of the same ingredients for many of my recipes: onions, garlic, etc.  It is nice to only have to chop them once, only getting one knife dirty and one cutting board.
  • Place all of the ingredients for each recipe in a ziploc bag, or storage bin, so you can easily throw them together when it is the actual time to prepare the meal.  You may need to use little baggies or separate containers if certain ingredients cook before others.
  • Label the containers with the name of the meal that it will be used in and, place all the prepped ingredients in the fridge.
  • When you are ready to cook your meal.  Pull out all your prepped ingredients and throw it together.
  • And, there you have it!   Hopefully this will save you a lot of time, and head scratching wondering what is for dinner.
Here are a few of my favorite recipes that are regulars at our house for dinner: (they are all great recipes that you can prepare the ingredients in advance!)
  • Chicken Tomatillo Soup with Hominy- a favorite!
  • Lemony risotto with asparagus and shrimp
  • Italian Sausage Red Spaghetti Sauce
  • Sweet and Sour Meatballs
  • Chicken and Wild Rice Soup
  • Penne Pasta with Chicken, Mushrooms, and Asparagus in a White Sauce
  • Polenta with kale, mushrooms, sun dried tomatoes
  • Couscous with Garlic Shrimp, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Sun Dried Tomatoes
  • Tortellini Vegetable Soup
  • Chicken Curry with Sweet Potatoes
  • Zuppa Toscana Soup – we’ve been making this like crazy lately (a little trick, if you dice the potatoes in advance, store them in water so they don’t brown while in the fridge, then drain the water before adding to recipe)
  • Chicken and Vegetable Chowder
  • Ginger Carrot Soup
  • Chicken Tikka Masala

One thought on “dinner prep …

  1. chloe

    thank you for these tips! they are super helpful- getting dinner on the table can be a battle especially this time of year and i dont even have kids yet!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *