Pre Prep? No Pre Prep, Simple Meal Ideas, Count Me In For Both!!
I have several people on my blog who are fairly new to doing a lot of cooking for their families because of the virus. I also have several people who food prep because they are working and feeding/cooking for their families now most of the time. Once again, the common problem they are facing is what to make, something simple and quick being the most required/requested. I must confess, I am not either because I am lucky enough to be retired and we are now a family of two, but having fed a family of 5 plus half the neighborhood kids through the years, I understand completely!!
Here are a few things I learned through the years and still adhere to today, maybe a few of my ideas can help you. In my photo you will notice 3 items that I just whipped up fairly quickly. I really have no idea what they will become, if anything. I generally do this type of cooking the day after I shop if possible. I also shop the sales if possible. Today I simply roasted a small head of cauliflower at the same time as a small spaghetti squash. At the same time, I cooked up some raw shrimp I had in my freezer. One of my biggest tips is to do simple ingredients then go from there. Casseroles and such are great, but you cannot create from a casserole, you create a casserole, it is what it is. Make the casserole from what you already have cooked and your time will be cut in half. In Other words, keep it basic and simple. I did toss some diced black olives, mozzarella pearls (balls), parm cheese and a little rosemary olive oil in the spaghetti squash, using up things hanging out in my fridge.
Here are a few of the ideas I might do with these 3 simple items:
I might eat a small dish with all 3 as my meal, as is
I might use some shrimp as a shrimp cocktail
I might slice the shrimp lengthwise in half and make a grilled cheese and shrimp quesadilla
I might make shrimp salad on a croissant or tortilla, or lettuce wrap
I might add spaghetti sauce or fresh diced tomatoes to the spaghetti squash and toss in the oven
Or just add in all different veggies, cheeses and sauces, this is one ingredient so versatile and tweakable it speaks for itself, proteins work great here too, scrambled ground turkey kicks it up to another level
Or add a little flour and egg and some spices and shredded cheese and make some fritters to reheat for another meal
Try some lightly fried and topped with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a nice fried egg
Lastly, my veggie of choice here (cauliflower) can be eaten as is, chopped and tossed in the spaghetti squash, chopped and sauteed with other leftover veggies and tossed over leftover rice, made into a cauliflower mac and cheese and so much more. Don't like cauliflower, do a different vegetable, heck do two, after all it is your kitchen, your family, your likes, their likes, your choice.
I had one motto I stuck to in my cooking and baking, never run your oven for just one dish. You can get a lot in an oven, and have plenty of pre prepped items to get you through your week!!
Stay safe everyone!!