Well, thankfully I never get tired so this isn’t an issue at our house.
I adore cooking and consider it to be one of my favorite hobbies, but there are several times a week (whether it’s breakfast, lunch or dinner) that I really don’t feel like cooking. Or I don’t feel like messing up the kitchen. Or the kitchen is already messy and I don’t feel like cleaning it and then making it messy again. Or I’ve been in the kitchen all day making tomato sauce or salsa or applesauce, which makes me feel like I’ve been cooking but there’s still nothing for dinner…and I’m tired.
Then my pitiful, starving children crawl into the kitchen clutching their empty bellies because it’s been like 28 minutes since they last put food in their mouths and they must…have…dinner…
This is when I am so thankful that I have taken the time to prepare food ahead of time and put it in the freezer.
So in answer to your questions about what I do when I don’t feel like cooking: I make good use of the food I’ve prepared ahead of time and put in the freezer. Healthy freezer foods are a life saver for me. I HEART freezer foods!!!
Now, some foods take longer to re-heat from a frozen state (like a lasagna casserole)…so hopefully I am aware ahead of time that I need to grab something pre-made out of the freezer for a meal. (A frozen lasagna casserole takes a good two hours (+) to thaw and cook.) Otherwise, many items just go directly to the oven in their frozen state, taking just a few minutes to reheat (like these burritos).
I encourage you to look through all the posts in my Make Ahead Meals series for ideas, recipes and suggestions for freezer cooking. It isn’t hard to spend a few hours each month making extra food and putting it into the freezer. Just do a little bit every few days until you have a nice freezer stash. You will be so thankful you did! The few hours you spend cooking ahead will save you many hours later. Plus it will save you a load of money and help you eat healthier too!
Here are the foods I’ve been making recently to have on hand:
Sloppy Cornbread Muffins – these can be warmed in the oven
from their frozen state and ready in just a few minutes!
Hamburger buns…and YES, I figured out how to make hotdog buns.
SO EASY! I’ll share the “how-to” soon!
Chewy Granola Bars – also not a freezer food.
I made a triple batch of these so now we have a huge supply in the
fridge ready for Matt or the boys to grab on the run!
I individually wrapped the granola bars and put them in a cute basket in the fridge.
The men in my life don’t so much appreciate my cute basket, but you appreciate it don’t you?
They do appreciate the contents of the basket, of course.
You already know that I had a big chicken party and made four huge containers of chicken broth…
And ten containers of cooked chicken.
I made and dehydrated a double batch of homemade noodles
to go with that chicken and broth – perfect for these chilly fall evenings!
Last but not least, I tried an idea I’ve been thinking about for a while – homemade poptarts!! They turned out so-so (read: tasty but really sticky and messy), so I’ll be tweaking the recipe before I share it with you. But you can look forward to it coming sometime!
A few other fall back meals I rely on when I don’t feel like cooking:
- Salmon Patties with vegetables
- Quesadillas (if I have tortillas on hand)
- Pancakes and scrambled eggs (using this pancake recipe – skipping the soaking part)
- Hamburger patties with vegetables
- Fried eggs on toast with smoothies
What meals do you make when you don’t feel like cooking, but you want to avoid eating out? Have you found that having frozen, premade meals in the freezer has been helpful to you?