Reply To: Meal Planning


Resurrecting an old post, sorry, but I had to contribute! My technique – don’t be afraid of the freezer! And store-bought sauces are your friend – don’t listen to the foodies who tell you that you must cook all of your spaghetti sauce from scratch!

Frozen veggies are a god-send. We have a second fridge in the basement and my husband complains because it’s full of frozen veggies!

Chicken breasts in bulk, individually packaged. Costco sells large packages of individual packs, each with 2 chicken breasts. Same with thighs, etc. Freeze it all.

Jarred simmering sauces. Giant bottles of barbecue sauce. Cans of sloppy joe sauce (aka Manwich sauce).

Giant bags of quinoa and/or rice.

If you don’t have an instant pot, get one. Here’s what you do:

Cut up a thawed chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Shape doesn’t matter, whatever. Brown it in the pan, just so it’s not raw on the outside. Throw in a bag of veggies (I like the stir fry medleys or other mixed vegetables). Pour in a jar of your favorite simmering sauce. Put on the lid and cook for, say, 10 minutes. Boom.

While you’re doing this, fire up the instant pot and cook a couple of cups of rice or quinoa on the side. This is optional, because starches aren’t strictly necessary, but it adds bulk.

Cook the chicken, add peas and broccoli. Stir in a bottle of store-bought alfredo sauce and dump it on top of a bowl of pasta. Boom.

Dump 2-4 chicken breasts in the instant pot and cover with simmering sauce, manwich sauce, barbecue sauce, whatever. If it’s thick, add a little water. Cook on high pressure 10 minutes. Put the breasts into a bowl and use a hand mixer to mix it into shreds. Mix with the sauce and throw it on a sandwich. Boom.

Just don’t be afraid of buying store-bought, pre-made ingredients and putting them together. Nobody cares, as long as it satisfies a hunger and provides all the veggies and lean protein your family needs. It wouldn’t be on the shelf if it wasn’t tasty, and why bother reinventing the wheel? Ain’t nobody got time fo’ that!