For the original post, click here.
Sometimes life gets in the way of your good intentions to plan your meals out ahead of time and fix delicious balanced meals for your family. When that happens it is so easy to just order in a pizza or hit the closest fast food place. If you have a few staples that you keep on hand all the time, you can avoid that and still quickly feed the hungry hordes. I am not posting WW points here, because there are so many variables in the ingredients. This may also be a good time to use some of those extra bonus points to minimize your stress level. Here are a few suggestions (I have included what you need to have on hand):
Breakfast for dinner (eggs, bacon or sausage, bread, pancake mix, frozen waffles, French toast) This, too, was a family favorite when my kids were growing up. Let your imagination be your guide – even a bowl of cereal can work. Add some fruit to make it even more special.
Here are some previous posts in the Weight Watchers series:
Although I love to cook, when the weather is hot and the days are long, the last thing I feel like doing is standing over a hot stove. Clam spaghetti is a good choice since it comes together in minutes, and it is also a perfect solution when cooking for company. It is something I have been making for years, and it has become a family favorite. For the original post, click here.
- 2 cans (6.5 oz) chopped or minced clams with their liquid, divided
- 1/2 cup butter (you can substitute up to half of it with olive oil if you prefer)
- 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
- 4 tablespoons dried parsley
- 16 oz. thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta
- Lemon pepper (to taste)
- Parmesan cheese (to taste)
If you really want to get fancy, you can add some white wine and/or small shrimp to the sauce.
Here are a few of my favorite things to make in the pressure cooker.
|Chicken Tacquitos. Photo courtesy of SkinnyMs.|
|Rachaelle’s frozen 1 oz. chicken broth cubes|
|Shredded pineapple carnitas ready for the freezer.|
Pot Roast (recipe coming soon)
Spaghetti Sauce (recipe coming soon)
|These ribs make me really happy.|
|Sasuke- Handsome, but a bit evil.|
|I’d marry my instant pot if I could.|
|A messy kitchen|
We divided the shopping, with Mary checking the sale adds, then going to Costco and Publix, and Kayte hitting Bi-Lo and Harris Teeter. We spent a total of about 30 minutes on Friday prepping and cooking the rio chicken in the pressure cooker, and the spaghetti sauce in the slow cooker. We got down to business on Saturday, and spent about 3 hours completing everything. Kayte’s husband was very helpful, taking the kids out of the house (it’s really hard to be efficient with a toddler hanging on your leg, being very helpful with the raw meat, etc.).
|Rio chicken in pressure cooker|
|Packaged up, broth in jars|
Rio chicken, fully cooked – great as a filling for tacos or taquitos, or would be delicious on a bun. A great side dish, especially with the tacos or taquitos, is rice cooked in the broth – no other seasoning needed. This is a slow cooker recipe that we made in the pressure cooker.
|Free form meatloaves ready for the oven|
Meatloaf, frozen raw – a wonderful Alton Brown recipe that you really should try even if you don’t like meatloaf. His recipe says to smoke it, but it is good cooked in the oven instead. In the interest of keeping the carbs low, we substituted BBQ pork rinds for the potato chips. We also used ground beef only instead of the mixed meats to keep the cost down. A double recipe was made and divided into 3 large loaves for Kayte and 3 small ones for Mary. The glaze for the tops (to be added before cooking) was packaged in small ziplock bags and packaged with each loaf.
Meatballs, fully cooked – once again, I don’t really have a recipe. Let me know if you need one by commenting, and I will try to write down how I make them. Usually I use bread crumbs, but in the interest of going low carb, we substituted almond meal. We used 3 pounds of ground beef for the meatballs, and baked them in the oven without browning in a skillet first. The meatballs ended up being pretty big (I was getting tired and just wanted to get them finished!). If they had been more normal size, we would have had more packages. We will put them in our spaghetti sauce, but they could also be used for Swedish meatballs or other recipes.
|Carnitas, ready for the freezer|
|Freezer meals all together|
|In the freezer|