This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, Army wife, and a Simply Recipes recipe tester and developer!
I might spend a couple of nights in the house this week. Maybe. Okay, I’ll still spend most of my time at home. But, after being cooped up for so long, I pine for the days when one of my friends would call me for a meetup and I could pick up and go without a care in the world. There’s no shame in my game—I miss the good ol’ days.
I am a huge fan of freezer meals because on those nights when I didn’t plan accordingly, or on nights when my friends and I are waiting things out at home, I want something that’s easy to thaw and cook. Each of the meals from this week’s plan can be made well ahead of time and frozen for later.
One last thing: Looking for dinner ideas? You're in the right spot! We just launched our new paid meal plan service. We have delicious meal plans to suit every taste and lifestyle -- Healthy Eating, Family Favorites, and Vegetarian just to name a few. These one-week plans are $1.95 and, with them, you get a dessert and weekend prep recipe and a shopping list. They're beautifully designed and perfect to print and save or simply load and cook right from your computer!
- New to Meal Planning? Start here! 10 Things to Know If You're a First-Time Meal Planner
- Looking for Last Week’s Meal Plan? Here you go! (Plus, all past meal plans!)
I’ve taken to making this recipe at least once a month and doubling it to freeze for later. Instead of going the route you’d expect and serving it with pasta (I mean, it is an Italian skillet chicken after all), I serve it over creamy polenta or quinoa to switch things up a bit.
Why aren’t pork burgers more of a thing? I’m always looking for a change of pace, and pork burgers freeze just as beautifully as beef. They taste great, too! Why not make this a movement? I’m not serving these babies on a bun, no way! With the amount of flavor in these patties, I want to allow them to shine. Sliced, pan-fried potatoes (using the same pan I’m frying the pork burgers in), and a side salad will round out my meal.
Are you still making your meatloaf in a big ol’ pan? Well, my friend, let me blow your mind with this recipe hack. If you have a family that eats on different schedules – say, a mom who bolts at the mention of girls' (Zoom) night out – making your meatloaf in muffin tins should be your new normal. Bake these mini meatloaves and pop them into freezer storage bags for even more convenience. When you’re ready to serve them, each family member can remove their serving(s) from the bag and reheat them on their schedule.
Is there anything more convenient than going from the freezer to a pot and walking away while dinner does its thing? I think not. The sauce is easy to prepare towards the end of the sous vide cooking time. A bed of arugula and a couple of slices of crusty bread are all you need to round out this meal. If you haven’t jumped on the sous vide train yet, thaw the salmon under refrigeration and broil the filets for 10 to 12 minutes or until flaky.Continue to 5 of 7 below.
If 20 years as a military wife has taught me anything, it’s that there’s always a reason to have a pan of lasagna in the freezer. If someone’s had a baby, recovering from an illness, or handling a deployment solo, lasagna will come to the rescue. Double the recipe tonight and freeze one of the lasagnas for later.
Slice and Bake Pistachio Cookies store in the freezer for days when your sweet tooth just won’t quit screaming at you. Simply divide the log of cookie dough in half, freeze half for later, and you’ve got a dessert that’s around for six months, or until you can no longer resist the temptation.