Help! I Don't Have Time to Cook!

Updated on October 29, 2008
S.D. asks from Sneads Ferry, NC
53 answers

I was just wondering if anyone had a great recipe for a meal that would freeze easily. I am a teacher and work an hour away from my home. So, by the time I get off of work (if I can leave on time), pick up my son, and get home it is about 5:30 or so before I can even begin cooking anything. I have frozen baked ziti and chili, but was hoping for a little more variety. Do you have any recipes that once frozen they are still good when you heat them up?

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L.S.

answers from Nashville on

Has no one mentioned "Saving Dinner" yet?! I also used the menu-mailer, but she has a whole section of freezer meals. I understand that you make them in advance and then eat off them all week/month/year.

http://www.savingdinner.com/about/dinner_freezer_recipes....

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M.Z.

answers from Charlotte on

I usually bake chicken breasts that are marinated in Italian dressing -- 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. I cut them up into cubes and freeze them. I thaw them the night before if I remember and you can make chicken quesadillas with these or chicken ceasar wraps. I also love to make chicken pot pie ahead and I freeze that as well. There are a few skillet dinners in the freezer section that aren't bad either. For a quick dinner, I do canned chicken noodle soup and grilled cheese with fruit on the side.

Mel

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A.U.

answers from Asheville on

Hi S. - I don't have freezer recipes to pass along, but my favorite cookbook for a fast and yummy dinner is "The Best 30-Minute Recipes" published by Cook's Illustrated and America's Test Kitchen (see: http://www.cooksillustrated.com/bookstore_detail.asp?PID=.... The food is all really good and they literally do only take 30 minutes to make. You can also make-ahead some of the recipes or portions of them. Everything we've had in the book has been excellent and my 21 month-old loves the food.

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C.O.

answers from Raleigh on

Herb and Tomato Chicken- Super Easy
I base my measurements off 3 large chicken breasts.

Lay Chicken breasts in a baking dish.

Mix about half of a can of Cream of Celery soup, a tbsp of minced garlic, and 1 or 2 tbsp of dijon mustard in a bowl. Rub it generously over the top of the chicken.

Slice a tomato and lay them on top of the mixture.

Sprinkle some bread crumbs over the top of all of it. Season with salt, pepper, parsley and rosemary.

Bake on 375 for 40-50 min.

Freezed well! I got it out of the Dream Dinners cookbook.
Be sure to thaw completely before cooking.

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L.P.

answers from Memphis on

Okay...I shall shamelessly "plug" here, too!=) I sell a Mississippi product thru 'at home' parties called Taste of Gourmet. SO much easier than some of the other direct-sales food companies and TONS cheaper! I'm assuming you need something economical since you mentioned you work out of necessity. I stay home with our 5 children, my husband has a good job that pays the bills just barely sometimes, and this is what we eat 75% of the time!
All that to say - I freeze everything that they sell! I take a Saturday and make up several soup mixes and freeze some as-is, and then I make lots of casseroles and bonus meals with the remaining soup! All you add to these mixes is broth or milk, maybe a can of tomato sauce...basic stuff. And they send you lots of recipes to stretch the meals! You can e-mail me (I've got this listed on the Mom's business page) or visit the web-site: www.tasteofgourmet.com! You can even call the 800# and talk to the sweet people that own the company!
Hope this helps!

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A.A.

answers from Lexington on

Try the crock pot for more variety!

The night before, clean a whole chicken, stuff it with diced onion, and rub whatever spices you like on it, then put it in the fridge. The next morning you can stick it in the crock pot on low on your way out the door. When you get home it will smell amazing and all you'll have to cook is maybe a pot of rice (wild rice is good with it) and a veggie or salad.

You can also put a pork tenderloin in the crock pot with veggies and spices, or even just with a little water, salt, and pepper. If you boil red skinned potatoes the night before and refrigerate them in the pan, you can pull them out when you get home and smash them up on the stove on medium heat with some salt, pepper, butter, and milk (cream cheese too if you want extra creamy) and you'll have mashed potatoes! It takes about 10 minutes to do. The skin on the red potatoes is so thin you don't have to peel them. If your son doesn't like the skin it's very easy to just pick around, that's what my daughter does.

You can make ribs quickly too, just boil baby back ribs the night before until they are done, and refrigerate. When you get home the next day lay them out on a baking sheet, add salt and pepper and/or BBQ sauce, and broil until crispy. Simple and yummy!

You can also make mac and cheese the night before, or even a day or two ahead of time, and then bake that when you get home from work.

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K.R.

answers from Charlotte on

S. D,
Get a croc pot and put a roast in it with carrots, potatos, and some onion or that packet of onion soup mix. Sprinkle with garlic if you'd like and add some water or veg. broth or beef broth- enough to cover the meat. Set it on low first thing in the AM and make sure nothing is touching it so it won't set the house on fire. Come home after work, make a salad and be prepared to enjoy your meal! There are a ton of croc pot recipes out there.... one for BBQ beef/pork/chicken.... it is excellent! Otherwise most Italian foods taste great twice! Good luck!
Kelly

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T.R.

answers from Clarksville on

My sister used to do this all the time, and still does when she need to. She has a cookbook (I do not know the name, but you could google it) it tell her about freezer friendly receipes. She takes a few hours and cooks ahead, and prepares the main course of the meal. (meatballs, chili, enchaladas, taco meat) whatever you like. She then freezes it. When she needs a fast meals she pulls it out defrosts and warms, adds a quick side (toast, corn greenbeans..) and wow a homecooked meal in just a few minutes. You could take it from the freezer to the fridge the night before and save defrost time.

Most foods you can freeze so you do not really even need the cookbook - look at the frozen food section and get some ideas.
-- Also Sams club has some really great fish ready to warm and eat!

Good luck!

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A.C.

answers from Wilmington on

I've had really good luck cooking with Homemade Gourmet items. I don't know if they are available in your area. There are several varieties of meals with chicken breasts, for instance, that you can put in the crockpot in the morning.

-Although it's not a "quicky meal": I made their guacamole this weekend and it was the best guacamole that we had ever eaten.

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L.

answers from Charlotte on

Crock pots are great for your situation too, especially now that it's getting cooler again. My husband is always so happy for "crock pot" season to start again after the summer. There are lots of great crock pot cook books out there - and you can find recipes on line. If you really want to cook ahead of time, though, and freeze it, you can do things like cook whatever meat you want in the spices or sauces you like and then freeze that. It's usually fairly easy and quick to prepare the side dishes (noodles, rice, potatoes, veggies, etc.) For example, you can fry some hamburger and add the taco seasoning and then freeze that. Then you can have tacos for dinner and just get out the shells and toppings. Sometimes I bake chicken in pasta sauce and then freeze that. Then it's a simple thing to boil some pasta, heat the chicken and melt some mozzarella on top. But my favorite for this season is crock pot stuff, definitely - just throw it all in there in the morning and by the time you get home, you'll have a great meal waiting for you!

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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Get yourself a Crockpot and a good crock pot recipe book and go to town! You can leave all kinds of meats, soups, sauces and even dessert in your crockpot while you are at work. When you get home you can quickly microwave some frozen vegetables or cook up some minute rice, they even now have already cut up and ready to microwave potatoes for mash potatoes and within no time you've got a delicious meal that is hot and good for you! You could look into any of Rachel Ray's 30 minutes meals, prep as much as you can the night before and then when you get home put everything together and you'll have dinner after 6. You could also look into the different companies out there that advertise cooking all your food for you and you assembling it and then putting them in your freezer. Get home, take them out throw them in the oven or boiling water and instant dinner too! Lots of different things out there....good luck!

A. B

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C.C.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi S.. I have a couple of quick cooking recipes you can prep the night before I'd be glad to share with you. Also, have you ever heard of dinners at home? It is a place you can make 8-12 meals in 2 hours (they provide all the ingredients ready to assemble and recipes) for a fee that equals about $3.30 a serving. You take the meals home to freeze and take out when you want to eat them. I think they change their menu monthly, too. Maybe this would work for you?? http://www.dinnersathome.net/index_WakeForest.php
I think they also have some grab and go meals ready for purchase as well.

If you'd like the recipes, please let me know. Could I send them to your email address instead? They may be too long for mamasource.
C.

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P.L.

answers from Greensboro on

Hi S.!
My husband & I are full time working parents of 4 children. (Yet the two older ones have moved out already, ages 18 & 19). We both get home at odd times of the evening (after sports, PTA meetings etc.) and come home rushing to do homework and cook supper so we all can relax. I had found that Pillsbury.com and Betty Crocker.com have become my favorite websites for working parents like us. Every week they send me simple and easy meals that my family enjoys. Some meals you can prepare on Sundays (or when you get your day off) and you can freeze them for those days you're in a "fast fix". Hope these sites help you.
P.

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H.M.

answers from Raleigh on

Spaghetti sauce freezes well, and you can just cook noodles when you get home. I have also grilled chicken and frozen it, then just defrosted during the day and heated up at night. And this isn't a meal to freeze, but it's easy to make: buy kilbasa or smoked sausage (like Hillshire farm) and cut into coins place in pan. Add frozen stir fry peppers and cook until heated through. While this is cooking you can make rice and serve sausage/peppers over rice. I have also bought frozen lasagna and cooked it at night since it takes about a hour usually, then heated up when I got home. There's a cookbook out there by Robin Miller that uses some of the same ingredients in 3 to 4 recipes thoughout the week, so you can cook turkey once for example and have quesedillas on night, and soup one night, and turkey piccata one night. Good luck!

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R.D.

answers from Jackson on

Definately learn to use the crock pot. I use it almost everyday during the fall and winter. I have three of them!! There are some great site online...just google recipes and crock pot and start exploring. You put it on in the morning...I sometimes put all the ingredients together the night before...and then turn it one and let it cook all day. it is ready by 5.. or what ever time you need it. Def. a time saver.

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S.J.

answers from Knoxville on

S.~
I am a full time working mom. I work five days a week. I cook every single night for my family of four. I make quick and easy meals. I use my crock pot ALOT...there is so much you can do in it....chicken, roasts, london broils, soups, chili, and so many different ways to cook it all. I make it the previous night, put uncooked in the fridge and when I leave my house in the morning, I put it in the pot and turn it on to low. Its done when I get home, so all I have to do is cook the sides--Betty Crocker Mashed taters, mac n cheese, canned veggies....makes a fast finish to a meal....takes me no more than 20 minutes when I get home to finish it all up. I have never frozen food to eat except cassroles, spagetti sauce or chili and soups. Good Luck but get creative. A family meal every night is great family time. Get your kids to help you cook. Its never too early in my opinion. My daughter at age 9 loves to help me cook!

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M.B.

answers from Johnson City on

I do not but if you get some good ones through this request, I hope you will post them...I am in need of the same thing!

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L.T.

answers from Fayetteville on

HI S.,

I have one word for you: Bertolli! Their frozen dinners are awesome. You mentioned that you like ziti, so Italian should fit right in. Even my husband likes them. Some of them cook on the stovetop for only 15 minutes and some cook in the oven for 45. A few don't have as much meat as we'd like, but I just add some of my own. (I'm feeding 4 people.) They've been a lifesaver for me. - L.

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M.L.

answers from Nashville on

Buy a crock pot it will become your best friend. You can cook alot of chicken dishes or pot roast etc. Check out the Food Network channel for more ideas. Good Luck!!!

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G.M.

answers from Raleigh on

OH wow! you should try one of those Dream Dinners places. There are several around here. You go in and they have all the recipes and ingredients all chopped up and you just put it together (or you dont' even have to do that if you don't want to) and box it up and put it in your freezer. Then when you want to make it, you follow their directiosn that are printed on the lids and there you go!

When Ifirst did it, I thought it was a little pricy but when I really sat down and figured in the groceries I didn't have to buy and broke it down by how much it costs per serving, it was about 2-3.oo per serving.

There are several business that do this. I know that Dream Dinners is one and there is one in the Sams club shopping center right across from SAS in Cary but I cna't remember the anme of it. but anywho, there are several businesses. A lady at my church owns the Dream Dinners in Raleigh so I cna remember that one :)

You can go online and look at that month's meals and then amke an appt to go ina nd put your meals together or they can do it for you.

good luck with that!!!

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S.D.

answers from Nashville on

We get home from work between 6:30 and 7 every evening. One of the things we do is grill on Sunday evenings. My hubby grills enough meat for three meals-Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. He cooks three different meats and we have a different meat every night--he grills steak, fish, chicken, pork chops, and/or bratwurst and hotdogs. Then I just have to come home and put something quick like macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes, or french fries with it. I warm up a vegetable and cut up fruit or use one of those salads in a bag. Warm up rolls or french bread or another kind of bread to have with it. By cooking the meat on Sunday evening it really helps those first two nights of the week go easier.

My sister-in-law cooks and freezes food on the weekend. She makes double what she needs for a meal and freezes the rest. She freezes spaghetti, lasagna, goulash, chicken and rice, beef stew, etc. Anything she cooks she freezes. She also has little individual divided containers that she can put one meal on. That way if her husband is really late getting home she can warm up one of those for him. That has never worked for me because my boys are 18 and 16 and if I cook double the food they EAT double the food and there isn't anything left. :o)

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L.B.

answers from Greensboro on

Whenever I cook, I always try to cook double meals and freeze one. I freeze cooked chicken pie and uncooked quiche (both with uncooked crust), cooked meatloaf, cooked beef tips in red wine sauce, vegetable or bean soup, taco meat with black beans, sloppy joe meat, spaghetti sauce and lasagna (uncooked). The one food that does not freeze well is potatoes. Good luck.

L. B.

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K.S.

answers from Hickory on

Here's my Chicken Casserole recipe that I am actually famous for at work. I have made it for so many potlucks and new babies that it gets requested, and when I recently took another thing I got some complaints.

The original recipe calls says to make this in one 9x13x2 pan, but you can do 2 8x8 pans and freeze them, then thaw them overnight before you need to heat them up.

Chicken Casserole

about 2.5 lbs. chicken breasts (6 large breasts), enough to make 4 cups pieces
1 stick butter or margarine
1 8 oz. (or ½ 16 oz.) package Pepperidge Farm Herb Stuffing Mix
1 cup chicken broth (make your own or use ready-made or mix the two)
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can Healthy Request Cream of Chicken soup
(using the regular kind of soup makes it more salty)

Cook chicken; let it cool, and tear it into bite-sized pieces.
In one bowl, melt butter and stir in stuffing mix. Set aside.
In another bowl, mix broth and both soups. Set aside.
In a greased pan, alternate layers: chicken, soups, stuffing,
chicken, soups, and stuffing; ending with stuffing on top.
Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes.

You can make this in one 13x9x2 pan or 2 8x8 square pans.
You can freeze this and then thaw and bake it.

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L.W.

answers from Clarksville on

S.,

At my house, we will cook a huge pot of meat in the crockpot over a weekend and freeze it in seperate lil seal bags. They are so easy to pop out and fix for tacos, burritos and we even do it with spahetti meat!! Also my neighbor who does a lot of dinners for church friends fixes up an awesome white chicken spaghetti and freezes tons of trays, so they are there when needed!!! Check out alot of the casseroles on line ... you could do that with them!!
Hope that helps some!!!!

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N.L.

answers from Raleigh on

I swear by Dream Dinners. They have a cookbook, but you can also go into their store at Sutton Station in Durham off of Fayetteville. You make as many meals as you would like -- all different kinds of foods: pork, beef, chicken, pasta, fish... in three or six serving portions. We've been going since they opened two and a half years ago and I can't imagine life without them! All the meals go into your freezer, and are on the table or in the oven in about twenty minutes.

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J.M.

answers from Lexington on

Learn to use the crock pot!!! You can make some easy one dish meals from the crock pot. Your local book store will have a cook book with some good recipes. Also, if you have the enegery put together a lagsana (not sure of the spelling) the night before and pop it into the oven when you get home. I have the same problem with getting home late. I but the frozen chicken breats from tyson and pop them into the oven with a potato and have a gardern salad with it. You can season it however you want. Just look around for cook books, and ask your family to help prepare a weekly menu to help take out the guess work.

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L.J.

answers from Lexington on

I used to be a teacher and I never got around to cooking and freezing on the weekend, but I did get a lot of use from my crock pot. In the morning I would give the kids breakfast, make their sack lunches, and dump a meal into the crock pot all at the same time. I put it on low and when I came home I had a great meal waiting for us.

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M.T.

answers from Grand Junction on

Get you a crock pot. I stayed home with my children when they were little, but I didn't have an education and if I worked I couldn't make that much money to cover day care anyway. My sister on the other hand, had an education and was very career driven. She made all sorts of stuff with the crock pot. You would be amazed how that thing can cook for you and how creative you become.
She would cook her chicken and her rice in it all at the same time and have an entire meal.
She even made hamburger patties and put in there and were done when she got home..... you wouldn't beleive all that you can do with one of those things. She would even have 2 of them going at one time.
Go to the bookstore and get you a cookbook on crock pot meals.
Also, she had these stackable pans from tupperware that she could put her meat in one, vegetables in another, and desert in another and in 20 minutes or less it was done. Don't know if tupperwares still has that or anything comprable to that now but it sure worked out great for her.

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A.W.

answers from Goldsboro on

S. if you do a search for freeze ahead meals you will be amazed at what you can find. I am part of a book club that does a meal exchange group and it is really neat. We use a cook book called Girlfriends on the Go that is ALL freezer meals that are homemade. You could probably do a search for the cookbook and find it. Hope this helps. A.

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M.B.

answers from Louisville on

Try some slow cooker meals. There are quite a variety of meals you can put in the slow cooker in the morning and they'll be done by the time you get home. Invest in a slow cooker and a good cookbook. Good Luck.

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T.P.

answers from Nashville on

Soups freeze really well. You can put them into a freezer bag and put the bag into the pot to freeze, then take out the pot. That way when you're ready to make it, the soup bag fits into the pot. It works with all but cream soups.

Also, have you considered trying a slow cooker? I never used mine until about a year ago and now I'm spoiled on it. I get recipes online for the kinds of meats I like to buy then put it together in the morning so it's ready when I get home. If you don't have one, they're not expensive. We've been making fajitas and French dip sandwiches this way and they've become favorites.

Good luck.

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R.R.

answers from Stationed Overseas on

Do you have a crockpot? I love to make things from the book "Fix It and Forget It". Also, it's wonderful to walk in and smell a nice hot dinner waiting!

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C.C.

answers from Raleigh on

There's a yahoo! group called freezer-friendly. They have a ton of recipes as well as message posting so you can ask a question, or share a recipe. They've got a lot of great ideas in the files on the group site, I think you have to join the group before you can get to them but it's a great resource.

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A.C.

answers from Memphis on

Hi S.,

I'm a single mom and I too get home around 5:30 every evening. One thing I like to cook (because it's good and easy) are chicken breasts. I'll put it in the fridge before I leave for work and it's usually thawed by the time I get home. I rub a little olive oil, salt, and pepper on each side then I bake it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Add a couple of vegetables and you've got a tastey meal!

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L.B.

answers from Knoxville on

Brown a beef roast in the skillet, then put it in the crock pot with onions & carrots & beef broth. Add salt, pepper, & a wonderful seasoning I found at Food City called Tiger seasoning. It's extra wonderful on hamburgers on the grill.
Hey how about the husband cooking sometimes; you both work outside the home, you can both work inside the home -good luck!

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R.C.

answers from Raleigh on

OK- For all the working Mom;s out there you are seriously going to have to share this list of all of the ideas out there. I have a few things that I like to freeze and a few things that are quick fixes that I can share with you.

1. Brown ground meat with diced onions and freeze. Personally, I use ground turkey. I dice the onions and cook them together. I do a few lbs at a time. i seperate into a few portions- make one big portion with mexican flavors (for quick burritos, taco salad or "spicy spagetti"- taco meat with red pasta sauce and cheddar cheese with black olives)it also makes great italian dinners like quick meat pasta with sauce or stuffed shells. etc- which you already know freeze great.

2. Crock pot- I will cook a pork roast and potatoes or sweet pot. and carrots for a meal one night. Place the leftovers in a container with a jar of salsa for quick enchiladas or taco salad the next night. OR take leftovers and place lots of tomato sauce or BBQ sauce in container overnight and make sloppy joes or BBQ pork sandwiches for another meal. these also freeze great.

3. Crockpot #2- I will cook a lot of chicken with cut onions and carrots for a meal one night and use this base for a tasty homemade soup with wild rice or pasta for another meal.

4. Lemon chicken- I do not have the recipe with me but I take chicken pieces and very thinly sliced onions and brown them together in large skillet- cover with chicken broth and a tbs of honey with juice from at least one lemon and let simmer. I thicken the sauce with a bit of milk and corn starch (not too much). For whatever reason this one happens to be exceptional after freezing!

Not sure these were exactly what you were looking for but I hope they helped a bit! Good luck!!!

Please do share the list!!

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B.K.

answers from Raleigh on

HI S.,

Here are a few suggestions about meals. #1-you honestly can freeze just about any meal (the main course anyway). #2-the crock pot is a wonderful thing, becasue you can put your meat in it before you go to work and let it cook all day on low and you will have tender, juicy meat when you get home. You can cook barbecue chicken, a roast, ribs, and a vast variety of other things. Honestly any meat I don't really know what to do with, I put in the crock pot with a can of cream of mushroom soup and onions and it always turns out great. Then when you come home you can just heat up a quick side dish and dinner is done. #3-most of my meals take about 30 minutes to make so that I don't feel like I'm in the kitchen forever. I've gotten great ideas from Rachel Ray's show and just things I've come up with myself. If you'd like some recipes, just let me know. I hope this helps.
B.

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B.L.

answers from Raleigh on

My husband and I do Super Suppers. It is so easy, and allows you the time you need to spend with your child and your husband. You just pop it into the oven and you get a gourmet meal. You can go to the Super Suppers store and make the meals, but we don't have time for that, so we order our meals and pick them up. We order around 12 meals or so at a time once a month, so we only do one pick up. I don't think I will ever go back to making my own meals, at least, as long as I am working. You can also choose sides, desserts, and appetizers. You can also be in the Super Suppers club and receive a discount on all your meals. We typically get, like I said, around 12 meals for us (1/2 orders - which serves 3 to 4 people) and we spend around $150. This is just for the entrees, and then I usually fix my own sides, but sometimes we get the sides too, which are delicious!

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L.W.

answers from Wheeling on

What a common problem for many of us.
I would suggest looking on line for Once a month cooking recipes or ordering those type of recipe books. there are lots of book sites that offer CHEAP books, I love Amazon, abebooks, and alibris for buying used books.
Think ahead when making up a shopping list, plan on cooking a large amount of meat that could be used in different ways - such a roast one night could have plenty of left overs to make BBQ sandwiches another night. Just by changing the type of meal you make with the same main ingredient can save you time and not make you feel burned out on eating the same thing.
I never totally managed the once a month cooking but would do so about two weeks at a time. When I was cooking in this fashion I had never the immediate money or freezer space to handle a full months worth.
But cooking this way saves you money from the temptation of eating out -- better for you and your budget. Saves you time not only from being in the kitchen every night for a hour or more but time shopping. Gas money saved from less trips to "run out to pick something up" for the night.
Hope you have found some suggestion that help.

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M.M.

answers from Louisville on

There is a dinner preparation group in Crestwood if you live anywhere near there. It is called Dinner Solutions and we meet at Crestwood Baptist Church (there is another group that meets in the St.Matthews area). We meet once a month. I create a different menu each month and you can choose which meals you want to make and order them ahead of time. I buy all of the ingredients and have the kitchen set up when the women arrive. There is free childcare provided. The cost is $65 for every 5 dinners that you order. Each dinner is enough to feed 6 adults (if you have a smaller family you could spit them into smaller portions or just have left overs). All of the dinners are prepared in zip loc freezer bags and ready to go into your freezer for when you need them. Most are meant to be cooked in the crock pot or baked in the oven. If you want me to e-mail you a brochure including the monthly menu, contact me at [email protected]____.com... someone mentioned Homemade Gourmet, we use all of their seasonings in our preparation and they are delicious. Let me know if you want more information about Homemade Gourmet.

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W.M.

answers from Nashville on

lasagna is good after being frozen and makes a lot when you make it. You can make it and after it is cooked, break it into 4 different nights of meals. Also, not tried it but I heard you can freeze meatloaf and make several nights of it as well. You can also try one of those dinner places where you pick up your meals and can freeze them. I would not suggest often b/c it can get pricey but you can go and either pick up what you want or make it yourself with their ingredients. You can go for 2 hours and make 6-12 meals and then pack and freeze them. You get the recipes from them and their recipes all freeze. After that round is gone, use the recipes again! Soups and casseroles really freeze well. You can go onto Kraft.com or recipes.com or bettycrocker.com or foodnetwork.com or you can just google a specific recipe or just google casseroles and soups. You can also make your own pizza. You can get french bread, sauce, and cheese and bake it at 350 degrees for 10 mins...so easy and quick.

W.

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S.F.

answers from Charlotte on

http://www.fixfreezefeast.com/ it's a great book w/ lots of fix/freeze meals!

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K.

answers from Charlotte on

How about going to http://www.suppersensations.net/
?
They work well when you're in a bind.

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E.R.

answers from Jackson on

I dont know what foods you like but creamed chipped beef over toast or biscuits makes a simple and fast meal,quick hash using left over potatoes add cubed ham,hotdogs or polish sausage then fry a couple eggs on top for another fast meal,meat loaf can be prepaired and frozen until you choose to cook it,homemaid chicken pot pie can be made and frozen until you want to eat it also theres crock pot dishes that cook all day for a nutrishis meal,a roast with potatoes ,carrots and onions or homemade beef stew,scalloped potatoes with hot dogs mixed in.lasagne can be made and frozen
jambalaya can be made in a crockpot and make the rice when you get home or gumbo in your crock pot theres also hamburger helper you could make for a fast meal you should be able to print out recipes from recipeczar.good luck

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A.W.

answers from Raleigh on

Oh, you have to try www.dinnerafare.com Takes 2 hours, lots of portion options, lots of dinner choices. Cost averages about $13 a meal (not bad for a "fancy meal") Most take 15-30 min start to finish, others only take longer due to time in the oven. Most are 2 pot meals and now clean up. A girlfriend and I tried it last month, we split 12 meals...and scheduled that day for the next month to get 12 each..very easy, very good!

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C.B.

answers from Parkersburg on

i had the same problem when the kids were young. i made pancakes by the 100's and froze them so the kids had the healthy thing i put in them. pies all fruit pies make the crust put in the fruit and then top crust last freese it is easy to make 7 or 8 pies and then freeze nice deserts, any time when you make cookies make double the amonut then put them in the balls or shape and freeze meatloaf, make 3 when you make it. veg. beef soup. freezes well beef strognof is wonderful make doulbe the amt. and freeze the meat and sauce not the noodles, roast with vegies. or gravy both freeze even today when i cook it is easier to make 2 or 3 i call it abc food all ready been cooked then when we are busy we always have something or the extra surprise guest desert is in the freezer have fun and enjoy good luck cindi

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P.T.

answers from Charlotte on

hi S.. I too don't get home till late or often work third shift and go in at seven but I have come to realize that the vast majority of what you cook can be frozen. As you said chili is great as are all other soups frozen which is why I always make extra. This way we have leftovers for someone's lunch and I have enough to freeze for later when I know I won't have time to cook dinner. My DH doesn't cook so I will set frozen food in the fridge to thaw in the morning and he can heat it up at night when he gets hungry. I have precooked, ground hamburger and frozen it for quick meals such as a hamburger helper or to toss in some spaghetti sauce and noodles. When you grill or bake chicken make extra and when you thaw it out later all you have to do is take ten minutes to make sides. Hey I even do this for breakfast. On weekends that I have time to make a big sit down breakfast I make extra pancakes and waffles and freeze them to get popped in the microwave or the toaster for another day. Just think of all the frozen stuff you see in the grocery store and thats about what you can do. I just think that it is extremely convenient to freeze leftovers plus by the time you serve it again they won't remember that it's leftovers. So on those few nights that you have time make extra and it will be dinner next week. By the way the best place I've found on the internet for recipes [email protected]____.com Hope I helped you.

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D.L.

answers from Raleigh on

Order from Schwans. I stay home and have 3 kids and order from them constantly. www.schwans.com Lots of frozen meals large enough for a family of 4. Their food is wonderful. A delivery man will come to your house every other week and bring it to you. You can order online and he'll bring it right to your door. they have everything! I highly recommend them!

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M.S.

answers from Johnson City on

Hey S., It sounds like you have gotten some pretty good ideas so far. I would have to agree with the ones about using a crock pot/slow cooker. I use mine all of the time if I am going to be out late. You can always just put in a turkey breast & some seasoning to cook, a pot roast with some carrotts & potatoes & onion soup mix, boneless skinless chicken breast with bbq sauce. The Fix It & Forget It Cookbook is a good one that was suggested. Good luck with your new recipes and meals.

M. Street
Independent Candle Distributor
www.gourmet.candlebizfromhome.com
Enter Drawing For A Free 16oz Gourmet Candle
www.soyveggiescents.com

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J.P.

answers from Memphis on

I S.. I sell Pampered chef and we have something called power cooking. You take one day and cook for 3 meals. There is about 6 recipes in this style of cooking. Tacos, stoganoff, pasta etc. If you are interested in getting the recipes you can contact me thru www.pamperedchef.biz/jenphelps
Jen

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D.M.

answers from Nashville on

There's a book called, Once-A-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg. It's fairly old, but perhaps you could find it on Amazon or something. It's not as hard as it sounds. The authors have a method that makes cooking your whole months meals in one day very easy and time-efficient. They even offer a two week trial menu.
I try to make a little extra each meal to use for left overs or freeze. The crock pot has been my life saver! Another good cookbook is, Fix-it and forget it.
Try to get your husband to fix at least one meal a week. It might be hot dogs, but hey, he tried!

Good luck!

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A.B.

answers from Nashville on

Meatloaf freezes. Set it out of the freezer of a morning, putting it in the refrig. When you get home, stick it in the oven. It is already cooked (near done but not overdone)so it only needs to heat thru. Make up two on weekend.... eat one freeze one.
Cheesy Potatoes..sometimes called potluck potatoes can be fixed ahead of time and frozen. Again, take out of freezer and put in refrig in the morning and bake 30 min after work. Recipe can be divided into two or three casserole dishes...giving you two or three meals.
Brocolli and Rice caserole is another item that freezes and can be done same as above. Freeze potatoes and brocolli in casserole dishes uncooked since it only takes 30 min to cook them. can divide recipe into two or three meals also.
Stir fry is a great meal that doesn't take long.
Buy a rice cooker and put your rice on to cook in the morning. It will stay warm all day and when you get home all you need to do is stir fry your vegetables, adding your sliced chicken or beef or pork to the skillet before the vegetables. You would be able to put that meal on the table in roughly 15 to 20 minutes.
BTW...if you put your dishes straight from the frig into the hot oven, they could break. Take them out of frig as soon as you get home and set on counter and then after you get baby situated and back into kitchen you can put them in a cold oven when you turn it on to warm the oven...thereby preventing breaking the casserole dishes... or buy foil pans and then you don't have to worry about breakage. Also a crock pot is a wonderful thing and there are several great crock pot recipe books.
When I had a housefull of hungry kids and and worked away from home, they liked what we called goolasch but wasn't really. Brown hamburger meat in skillet with onions, drain, and add big can of pork n beans, little brown sugar, bbq sauce and ketchup. Cook till all is warm thru and simmer 10 min. Serve with salad and buttered bread or garlic bread. Could serve another veg like green beans or peas or brocolli etc.
Another thing is to make spaghetti sauce night before and put in frig. That way when you get home, all you have to do is heat up the sauce while you cook the spaghetti. Serve with salad and buttered toast sprinkled with garlic powder.
If you want recipes, e-mail me. Be glad to furnish them. I remember what it was like to be coming in from work, tired and facing a housefull of hungry kids....and needing to feed them quick because somebody had an activity that nite. Enjoy it because they grow up and you do find time to rest and money to go out and eat someday. :)

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S.M.

answers from Clarksville on

Sorry, don't have any recipes off the top of my head. Go to allrecipes.com and look around. They have TONS of recipes and maybe they'll have something to freeze. What a great idea, btw!

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