I decided to give you an idea of how our Eat Right Away Packets work, so I thawed 6 pounds of hamburger and took some really bad pictures of raw meat. My life is glamorous.
Knowing that your life is probably glamorous also – meaning you might have interruptions in the form of nursing babies, important phone calls, teenagers needing a ride, siblings who need to learn that nice words go a long way, or any other variety of real life stuff – we all know that 45 minutes can turn into an hour and an hour can turn into are you kidding me. So don’t set a timer on this. My 45 minutes of work began at 12:00 noon and didn’t end until 1:30 pm because someone stopped by to pick something up a few minutes after I started, my husband and 10 year old had some questions, and somewhere in there I realized I needed lunch because what was I thinking starting this project on an empty stomach?
In other words, I did 45 minutes of kitchen work, but those minutes were broken up a bit by life and lunch.
The beauty of the Eat Right Away Packets is that they help you be efficient with your time, they help you make the most of your effort in the kitchen, and they help you turn out some pretty awesome meals with very little effort. But there’s no right or wrong way to go about putting these meals together. Case in point:
Here are the five beef recipes in the Eat Right Away: Beef Edition Packet ~
- Cheesy Salsa Burgers
- One Dish Cheesy Beef and Potatoes
- Bacon-Wrapped Individual Meatloaves
- Easy Hamburger Soup
- Baked Ziti
But seeing as we’re not into soup this summer, and knowing I was low on time – I decided to skip the Easy Hamburger Soup and the One Dish Cheesy Beef and Potatoes. I went with the crazy easy Cheesy Salsa Burgers, the almost as crazy easy Bacon-Wrapped Individual Meatloaves, and the no-brainer Baked Ziti.
I doubled the Baked Ziti. Why not, right? So when all was said and done, I had spent 45 minutes of work time to make 6 meals. Sweet!
NOTE: If your family is smaller than mine or eats less – these Eat Right Away Packets are going to turn out way more than 5 meals for you. How’s that for a bonus return on your time investment?!
So here’s an ugly picture run-down of my Eat Right Away: Beef Edition meal prep…
I threw 2 pounds of meat into a pot to begin cooking (for the double batch of Baked Ziti).
Side Note: My dad and his wife got me this amazing meat squisher
(spoken like a true professional) for Christmas. I super love it.
Before shaping the patties, I put a pot of water on to boil. (Had I not taken the time to snap a picture, you all would surely be left in the dark as to what this step looks like. You are very, very welcome.)
I shaped 18 Cheesy Salsa Burger patties – in a variety of sizes. See how great this is? You can make different sizes to accommodate different sized appetites. That, and you can just be a total non-perfectionist who really doesn’t care if all her patties are uniform in size. This may not work for you Type A’s. Shape your patties according to your personality type. We can all still be friends.
Somewhere in there, my water hit boiling point. I poured in the pasta and continued shaping patties.
The meat was finished cooking on the stove, so I added sauce ingredients.
If you look at my Baked Ziti recipe in the beef packet, you’ll see that I didn’t follow my own instructions correctly. I blame it on the fact that I hadn’t eaten lunch.
And it was at this point that I stopped my work and ate some tuna salad and cole slaw.
Revived by food, I stirred in other Ziti sauce ingredients, then began to build the casseroles.
Having this done, I went to work on the Bacon-Wrapped Individual Meatloaves. Two pounds of meat in a bowl, other ingredients dumped in (because life is too short to get out measuring spoons).
Meatloaves were shaped and wrapped in bacon. Husband walked in and said some really nice things about my bacon. ;)
I put the pans of Meatloaves and Salsa Patties into the freezer. Then, I loaded the dishwasher and hit “start.” While the meat froze and the dishes washed themselves, I took Malachi to meet some friends at the swimming pool because life is hard.
So much glorious vitamin D later, I came home and put the frozen meat items into freezer bags. I labeled them and put them back in the freezer for a quick meal another day. YAY!!
That night, I threw some of the Cheesy Salsa Burgers on the grill for our dinner (meal #1). In the freezer I have another meal of burgers (meal #2), two meals worth of bacon meat-loaves (meals #3 and #4) and two zitis (meals #5 and #6).
You guys – this is not hard!! If you don’t love cooking, I believe you will really love this way of prepping ahead to make your kitchen life easier. These recipes are super simple, and once the work of preparing these foods is done (and cleaned up after, woot!) – all you have to do at meal time is pull something out of the freezer and cook it. You don’t even have to think at that point. (I’m not ashamed to say that the not thinking is my favorite part of this.)
I’ve got many pounds of chicken coming in a Bountiful Basket order Friday, so this weekend I’ll be pulling out my Chicken Edition and taking more bad pictures to show you how that one works.
Get all the details on these Eat Right Away Packets here. Ready to add them to your kitchen collection? Download them right away and get started!
Eat Right Away: Beef Edition
Eat Right Away: Chicken Edition
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