The key to planning ahead and making more than one meal at once is just that ... planning. Wear comfortable shoes, put on some good music, buy in bulk, purchase some disposable containers to freeze and get cooking!
AIMEE FORTNEY DOUBLE DUTY DINNERS
One of my most often asked questions on my "Not the Perfect Cook" Facebook page is, "How can we cook at once to save time for future meals?" This is one way that I like to do just that, and I call it "Double Duty Dinners." Prepare to cook in bulk, then separate your mixtures. I use the colorful Glad disposable containers to separate and freeze these meals.
AIMEE'S MEXICAN SPICE BLEND
Mix all together.
I like to make my own spices whenever possible because packaged seasonings and flavorings have so much sodium.
Sauté your onion and garlic in olive oil. Add ground turkey, then cook until turkey is done. Add spices, stir to combine, then set aside to cool.
Once cool, separate your ground turkey mixture into separate containers and label. You can use this to make chili, lasagna, tacos or taco salad, even! Once you start making the mixture and you take some out to freeze, reserve a portion of the cooked turkey, if desired, to make chili and cook that while you are preparing the other meals, to freeze. (Remember to label everything that goes into the freezer with a permanent marker or label maker because once your item is frozen, you will likely forget what it is!) This mixture is perfect for tacos, taco salad and even lasagna (Even with the Mexican spice blend).
Raw turkey freezer options:
Prepare your meatloaf and meatballs as you would normally, just do not cook them yet. Place your meatballs in muffin tins, then freeze until frozen solid. Once frozen, remove from the freezer and place into large freezer bags. Cover your meatloaf with aluminum foil, then place in a large freezer bag. Do not add the topping until you have thawed the meatloaf and are ready to bake it. You can also mix your seasonings with some vegetables into burger patties and freeze individually. Wrap in plastic wrap, then place the uncooked burgers in a large freezer bag. Thaw, then cook as normal!
Here are some recipes to get you started:
AIMEE FORTNEY'S TURKEY TACO SALAD
Cook and brown ground turkey (or ground beef) and drain. Add taco seasoning and 1 tablespoon water. Stir to incorporate seasonings. Layer tortilla chips, lettuce, meat, mango, black beans, corn, cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole.
Looking for something inexpensive and different yet healthy? This is my take on the old "Sloppy Joe's."
AIMEE FORTNEY'S EASY TURKEY TACO JOES
In a large sauce pan, cook ground turkey over medium heat. Drain then return to heat and add seasonings. Once combined, add drained black beans and salsa. Stir until well combined and heated, then add cheese. Once cheese has begun to melt, add to buns and enjoy!
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