6 Make Ahead Meals

6 Make Ahead Meals

Last weekend I made 5 lasagnas, 4 dinners of pasta sauce and 4 dinners of tacos. And I feel ORGANIZED 🙌

When it comes to making healthier choices, planning ahead is a game changer.

I know you KNOW this, but are you doing it?

Think about what may happen when you come home from work, mentally exhausted and you don’t know what you’re going to have for dinner.  Do you think you’ll whip up a nutritious meal made of whole foods, complete with protein and veggies?  

Struggling to make food choices, especially when you are tempted with foods that you know you shouldn’t be eating, can be exhausting.  Could you imagine if every night you debated whether or not you’d brush your teeth, or lock up the house before you left for the day?  You automatically do it, and that makes the process so much easier. 

Most of the pain of making healthy choices comes from the inner struggle of deciding whether or not you should eat something.  I struggle with this myself. 

 The fewer decisions you have to make, the better.

To help, today I’m sharing a few of my favourite make-ahead meal. They all keep really well in the freezer.

  1. Pasta Sauce: I follow some version of this recipe: https://www.tanjashaw.com/spaghetti-sauce-with-lots-of-veggies/. I often serve with a big green salad and over regular noodle or spaghetti squash.
  2. Lasagna: Using the sauce (above) I layer lasagna noodles, sauce, Bechamel sauce (https://www.marthastewart.com/1142809/bechamel-sauce-lasagna-bolognese)- though I don’t use nutmeg, grated cheddar, and then that sequence one more time. This weekend I purchased a few small, deep dish glass containers for my lasagna dishes. I covered it with tinfoil and now have 5 in the freezer.

    Note: You might be thinking ‘lasagne isn’t healthy’. And sure, it’s full of butter and cheese and pasta. But here’s how I make it work: I don’t eat it everyday. I have just enough to satisfy me, and I serve with a big ass salad. And most importantly, I love every bite.

  3. Dahl (dal?): There are so many recipes on the web AND lots of help at the grocery store (spice mixes, etc.). https://www.tanjashaw.com/dahlrecipe/

  4. Stew: something like this: https://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/winter-oven-beef-stew/. (though I never actually follow a recipe). I add more veggies when I can and cook in the oven on low, covered for a LONG time. I come from a family of hunters, so my stew is made with game meat. Shanks are AWESOME for this recipe.
  5. Chili: I make something like this: https://www.ambitiouskitchen.com/seriously-the-best-healthy-turkey-chili/

  6. Soups: Yesterday I made Swiss Chard soup (pureed so that my son will eat it). Basically I sauteed A LOT of vegetables: onion, garlic, celery, celeriac, carrots, sweet potatoes, added water, a soup cube, parsley and simmered in a large stock pot. After an hour(ish), I added A LOT of Swiss Chard (probably 10 large leaves) and cooked a bit more. I cooled it, and pureed it in my VItamix. 

 

Does this take time? Of COURSE. But instead of thinking about the time it takes to nourish your body with healthy, whole foods as an expense, think of it as an INVESTMENT. The return is energy, a healthy body, and feeling GOOD.

I think it’s worth it. And I think you’re worth it!

-Tanja x