Meal Prep isn’t a part of my lifestyle.
However, I took a few hours yesterday to work on some dinner prep for the family. Our 12 year old son helped out last night and really enjoyed it. I don’t usually prepare foods in advance unless we are going on a road trip or camping. But I figured I’d give it a try.
We bought 6 pounds of ground beef earlier in the week. So I divided it into meatloaf, seasoned fried beef for burritos and an amazing recipe for cabbage roll casserole. The meatloaf got eaten last night and the cabbage roll casserole is for tonight. The fried beef will be mixed with refried beans and rice for another family favorite. This was all made last night within an hour.
Today I went shopping at the grocery store because they were having a “Caselot Sale“. Besides canned soups, tuna and toilet paper, I also stocked up on about 18 pounds of pork loin. We now have a couple dinners of schnitzel, pork kebobs, and thin sliced Japanese bbq style pork. I divided it into six different meals and tossed those into our big freezer. Labeled and packed away, I’m glad that I did it now instead of trying to thaw a large pork loin later on.
Over the Christmas break, our dinners weren’t planned out. There was a lot of what we call “Fend For Yourself” nights. Where the kids would eat bowls of cereal, Mr. Noodles or toast and sometimes leftovers. It took this week for my wife and I to realize we need to get back to a routine of planning dinners and buying the appropriate groceries ahead of time. I have gone through the freezer in order to use some of our older meats first. All the pork I bought today will go to the back and get used in the upcoming weeks. Having a family of five with three teens is expensive when it comes to foods.
Buying processed or prepackaged foods may be easier, but it is not the healthiest of options. The time it takes to prepare meals or divide up large quantities of meat is minimal. Plus it messes the kitchen up really bad only once.
Here’s to healthy choices! And here’s the Cabbage Roll Casserole recipe if you want to try it:
Cabbage Roll Casserole
1.5 lbs Ground Beef
2 medium onions
1 clove minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 – 14oz can of tomato sauce
1 – 14oz can of water
1/2 cup of uncooked long grain rice
4 cups of shredded cabbage (1 head)
Brown beef, onions, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add tomato sauce and water and bring to a boil. Then stir in the rice. Cover and simmer for about 20 mins stirring occasionally.
Place 1/2 of the shredded cabbage on a greased baking dish. Cover with 1/2 the beef and rice mixture. Repeat layers. Cover and bake in 350° oven for one hour.
Serve with sour cream. Casserole may be refrigerated before baking.