One of the biggest secrets to success, when it comes to feeding ourselves well?
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Having a fridge filled with food that's prepped and ready to go
A universal dilemma. On the one hand, we want to feed our families well. On the other, there are so many things going on in our days. Between planning, shopping, prepping, and cooking, it's non-trivial to carve out the time it takes to do it right.
How great would it be to have meals at the ready? Those we can home to, put into the oven, throw into a pan on the stove-top, and not even have to think about.
There would be no
“I have to stop by the grocery on my way home from work.”
“I didn't have time to cook dinner. That means we get to go out instead.”
“I'm starving, what's the easiest thing to grab? Cheese? Crackers? Chips? Something sweet?”
There are also other advantages. Making a few meals on a Saturday afternoon somehow seems less daunting than cooking something new every night.
Or when surprises happen, and they always do (ex: A brown-in-the-middle onion. Who drank all of the milk?) I'm far more relaxed, there's time to fix them, especially with a sweet husband who's willing to walk to the store.
The idea? Fifteen of us showed up, were handed recipes, knives, measuring spoons, and containers. (Maybe a small glass of wine at the end .. nothing to see here!)
After all of the of prep was finished, we all went home with a care package filled with five different meals (all freezable), along with the recipes and cooking instructions.
The meals were well planned in advance, and geared toward the group, with all considered clean-eating. (No vegetable oil, heavy cream, high-sugar ingredients to be found)
Each served four to six people, which made them perfect for a family, or in our case (just the two of us) we came home and split them further, ending up with ten meals instead. These were meals that would be familiar to most, with a nice blend of cooking techniques, everything from the slow-cooker, grill, stove-top, or oven.
All for a cost of around $2.50/serving(!)
I have to admit I was pretty skeptical, although after ten minutes I'd been won over. For the next hour and a half, we were there; everybody told funny stories while we learned new techniques like how to peel ginger (who knew?).
Plus, if we needed something, all we had to do was ask one of The Two Chefs to grab more for us from the store. No I-forgot shopping list required(!)
It's been great to know the top shelf of the freezer is filled with healthy meals at the ready. Though, of course, any of the dishes could be made and served right away
What did we get to go home with? Jambalaya, Meatloaf, Caribbean Pork kabobs, Stuffed Peppers .. and
Beef Broccoli Stir-fry
Which was the dish we made first and loved. It brings all of the flavors of traditional Chinese cuisine, with a much healthier approach. Simple, bold flavors, and easy to make. A bonus: one-pan cooking.
We served ours over rice
ps: I can't wait to see what we get to bring home next time
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Beef and Broccoli Stir-Fry
- 1 ½ lbs steak, sliced (boneless sirloin or sirloin beef tips work well)
- 2 cups beef broth
- 2 Tbsp white wine
- 2 Tbsp soy sauce (or coconut aminos if you're avoiding soy)
- 1 tsp garlic, minced
- 1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
- ¼ tsp red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your heat preference)
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)
- 1 head broccoli, chopped
- 1 can water chestnuts, drained
- ½ can baby corn, drained
- ½ can bamboo shoots, drained
- 2 - 3 cups cooked rice, for serving
- Prepare as a Group
- Slice the steak (It will be easier to slice if you put it in the freezer for 20 minutes or so prior)
- Prepare the marinade with the remaining ingredients, except cornstarch. Add the meat and marinade for a couple of hours
- When ready to cook, remove the meat, saving the marinade for the sauce
- In a separate bowl, whisk the cornstarch into the marinade
- In a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, add the beef, and saute until cooked
- When the steak is nearly cooked through, add to the pan the broccoli, baby corn, and water chestnuts. Continue to cook until the broccoli is bright green
- Add the prepared marinade mix to the beef and broccoli mix and continue to cook until the sauce is heated through.
- Serve with Rice