PLAN, PREP AND FREEZE MEALS FOR “The Duration”
We call the time I’ll be away on vacation, “the duration”, since my spoiled husband must fend for himself.
My solution is to prepare one-dish meals. I allocated the small freezer in the garage to him and shopped carefully to find a lot of healthy meals he can heat up. Soup is a savior. In addition to loading it up with vegetables, cooked meatballs can be added for protein, or pulled rotiserrie or canned chicken. Of course these helpful notes must also appear in type on the refrigerator. Label the meal containers and storage containers any way you like. I put all the lunch ideas in the door, soup is on the bottom main shelf, the rest is all entrées. Breakfast containers reside in the kitchen freezer.
Now for the recipes:
BREAKFAST Find frittata recipes that make sense to you, prepare in large rectangular baking pan, and cut into squares as you would lasagna. Freezer in your handy dandy square plastic clamshells. A dozen online sites, just google it, or use glass storage in quart or larger sizes.
Hot cereal, dried and/or fresh fruit is not that complicated to prepare just have him watch/learn.
We don’t eat cold cereals, Danish, and skip the sugared breakfast pops. A one- package meal might consist of French toast, sandwiched between uncured Canadian bacon or nitrite free ham and cheese that just needs defrosting and heating. Or, saute onion and/or mushrooms scramble in eggs and containerize/freeze. Put “Egg Bites” (Cost Co) and two breakfast sausages in freezer bags in kitchen freezer drawer for variety. Hard boiled eggs are at the ready along with cottage cheese and fresh or canned fruit.
Prepared homemade muffins fit in freezer containers to go with a blended protein drink. Cottage cheese and fruit is always at the ready in the fridge. All of these ideas I use all year long so Bruce can fix his own breakfast and lunch and dinner if necessary.
Pick from the freezer door, the kitchen freezer containers, protein drinks, or make sandwiches from the nitrite and chemical free lunchmeat and cheese in the fridge. Soup in the pantry is low sodium, and homemade is in the freezer.
The one-dish meals in the designated “Bruce freezer” were cooked, made and placed in containers: (Yes, of course these meals must be removed from any plastic container before heating.)
- Roasted vegetables and roasted chicken pieces in containers.
- Chili, made with beans, beef or chicken.
- bean/chicken/greens meal;
- salmon with baked potato and veggies;
- pork tenderloin (cooked, sliced and placed in larger container with cooked baked potato and vegetables).
- Same idea for pork or beef ribs or brisket.
- For any entrée, Safeway simmer sauces are a godsend if more sauce is needed.
- Soups: green pea is a fav, and loaded with protein.
- Stews: made with beans, beef or chicken often with potatoes and vegetables.
- Salads: greens washed, cut and in container at the ready. Fixings in the fridge drawer. Top with protein such as sardines, canned tuna/salmon/chicken, and you have a one dish meal.
To prevent the entire quart of ice cream from vanishing, I put homemade gelato (sugar free with Xylitol) in the purported “serving size” of ½ cup containers (dollar store). Cookies are in the can or a smaller container, slightly out of reach. Otherwise, he’ll have to wait til I get home and have company for the Tiramisu´.