twitter facebook stumble upon rss

Back-to-School Dinners: It's in the Bag

sign up for the momlogic newsletter Tweet This
Susannah Locketti: As the summer winds down, I start switching gears with dinner. Gone are the easy, breezy days of summer where you have a little extra time to whip up meals. Once school starts, we will have to balance work, school, activities, lessons, and all those other unexpected obligations that come up with kids.

stir fry dinner and ziploc freezer bags
Before back-to-school catches you unaware, try a new trick for meal planning that will save you time and money: this year, master mealtime with meal bags. Large seal-and-lock bags serve as an easy start to supper, and will make your life so much easier and stress-free. Here are a few tips to make it happen:

Boil Up Whole Grains Twice a Week
Two days a week, I boil up whole grains, such as pasta, rice, or orzo to serve as the base of the meal. Precooking grains does not compromise the flavor or texture at all. I usually boil up pasta on Sunday and brown rice midweek. Store the grains in the Ziploc baggie, with a touch of olive oil to prevent sticking. How many times do we tell our kids "Dinner will be ready as soon as the pasta is done"? This way, pasta is always cooked and ready to go, which means avoiding that annoying after-work rush that comes with dinner.

Stretch the Grains with Veggies
In the last few minutes of boiling your whole grains, add fresh or frozen veggies to the pot. Whenever I cook up penne, I throw in broccoli crowns. After you strain and cool, add the mixture to a storage baggie and you have the beginnings of a quick chicken, broccoli, and penne dinner. Slightly undercook the veggies to maximize nutrients. When boiling brown rice, throw in a frozen bag of stir-fry veggies. Now a shrimp or tofu stir-fry is minutes away midweek.

Pre-Cook Protein
Two days a week, cook up some chicken, shrimp, beef, or tofu. Slice or cube and bag it for quick protein choices throughout the week. Simply season with salt and pepper so you can keep the possibilities endless as far as sauces or seasonings go. Once or twice a week, add canned beans to save even more time and money. Not to mention, the beans require no cooking whatsoever and are loaded with protein and fiber to fill your family up!

Get Saucy
Stock up on several bottled or canned sauces to pull the meal bags together. Orange sesame stir-fry sauce would taste great with a shrimp stir-fry combo, salsa is great with a black bean and veggie rice combo, and Thai peanut sauce is terrific with just about everything. If your family has simpler tastes, simply add olive oil, chopped garlic, and fresh herbs to the bagged combinations for a simple and healthy twist on dinner.



next: Home Based Hoax
38 comments so far | Post a comment now
Morgan October 7, 2009, 9:36 AM

These ideas are great for saving time and cost during the school year. Another great idea is to buy pre-made dips that can be used to spice up leftovers or everyday sandwiches like Santa Barbara Bay Caramelized Onion and Roasted Garlic Dip.

Simply spread on a classic club sandwich to give the family a new flavor they are sure to love. Or spread on your classic chicken BLT or steakhouse sandwich to give a twist to your lunch made with leftovers from the night before.

Anne October 8, 2009, 3:30 PM

This approach is practical and smart.
I never would have thought to precook pasta. The bags are a great idea too because they store well in the fridge.
Good article.

Risky Diet July 19, 2010, 10:44 PM

Between me and my husband we’ve owned more MP3 players over the years than I can count, including Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. But, the last few years I’ve settled down to one line of players. Why? Because I was happy to discover how well-designed and fun to use the underappreciated (and widely mocked) Zunes are.

auto trader auction  November 2, 2010, 4:21 PM

Great Blog. I add this Post to my bookmarks.

when did trojan remover v6.8.0 come out November 5, 2010, 7:42 AM

I’ve been visiting your blog for a while now and I always find a gem in your new posts. Thanks for sharing.

best diet for constipation  November 6, 2010, 7:30 PM

I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon.I enjoy reading your commentaries.

spyware checking November 9, 2010, 5:16 AM

I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon.I enjoy reading your commentaries.

nti backup November 9, 2010, 7:56 AM

You certainly deserve a round of applause for your post and more specifically, your blog in general. Very high quality material.

dog food for healthy fur November 9, 2010, 1:42 PM

You certainly have some agreeable opinions and views. Your blog provides a fresh look at the subject.

used cars for sale in ashtabula ohio November 10, 2010, 3:32 AM

I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

public car auction Danville November 20, 2010, 6:15 AM

I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the point where my visits are almost daily now!

microsoft reg cleaner November 20, 2010, 11:42 AM

Very Interesting Post! Thank You For Thi Post!

deniseaustin November 21, 2010, 8:21 AM

I find myself coming to your blog more and more often to the point where my visits are almost daily now!

Hyun Hoop November 25, 2010, 2:18 PM

Zune and iPod: Most people compare the Zune to the Touch, but after seeing how slim and surprisingly small and light it is, I consider it to be a rather unique hybrid that combines qualities of both the Touch and the Nano. It’s very colorful and lovely OLED screen is slightly smaller than the touch screen, but the player itself feels quite a bit smaller and lighter. It weighs about 2/3 as much, and is noticeably smaller in width and height, while being just a hair thicker.

Kristopher Morsell November 27, 2010, 10:41 AM

Apple now has Rhapsody as an app, which is a great start, but it is currently hampered by the inability to store locally on your iPod, and has a dismal 64kbps bit rate. If this changes, then it will somewhat negate this advantage for the Zune, but the 10 songs per month will still be a big plus in Zune Pass’ favor.

Alveo November 29, 2010, 4:16 AM

You certainly have some agreeable opinions and views. Your blog provides a fresh look at the subject.

student shipping November 29, 2010, 9:37 AM

I just book marked your blog on Digg and StumbleUpon.I enjoy reading your commentaries.

Moja Dieta November 29, 2010, 10:31 AM

Very Interesting Blog! Thank You For Thi Blog!

healthy food for road trips November 30, 2010, 1:40 AM

I just sent this post to a bunch of my friends as I agree with most of what you’re saying here and the way you’ve presented it is awesome.

journal November 30, 2010, 8:08 AM

Very informative post. Thanks for taking the time to share your view with us.


Back to top >>
advertisement