Tuesday, January 28, 2014

How We Do Dinner.

Being a working mom, it makes the nights go by in the blink of an eye... just having a few precious hours with my men during the work week.  Which, I am sure, is the same for most of you.  So, I knew I had to do dinner differently.  Do it in such a way that I would not have to cook something each and every night of the week, but still be health-conscious.  Allowing more free time to spend with my family.

So, the hubs and I agreed on our current process: cooking one big meal on Sunday that will carry through until Thursday (leftovers Monday through Wednesday).  With this method, I have time to cook something delicious on Sundays that is an easy reheat-able meal the next three nights.  Why through Wednesday?  Because Thursday nights we have family dinner night at my parents' home and Friday is a "weekend day" for me, with more time to cook (same with Saturday).

We plan our meals in such a way as to not get sick of them... sure you may be tired of the recipe by day four, but you won't have it again for another month or two.

This week I tried a new recipe: Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole.  It was pretty good, I have to say.  I didn't follow the recipe 100%, only using the following to create a pretty tasty meal:

4 Chicken Breasts
1 pkg. Black Forest Ham
1 pkg. Swiss Cheese (thin sliced)
Panko Bread Crumbs (I used 1/4 pkg... use as much or as little as you prefer)
Dehydrated onions (to taste)
Garlic Salt (to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
First, I boiled the chicken for approximately 20 minutes.  Once the chicken was heated to about 160*F, I shredded the chicken into chunks and placed it into my large pyrex casserole dish.  To the chicken, I added the dehydrated onions, garlic salt, and ground black pepper. 
Next, I added two layers of black forest ham.  
On top of the ham, I added two layers of swiss cheese and sprinkled some panko bread crumbs on top, mixed with a little more garlic salt and ground black pepper.  I then placed this dish into our pre-heated oven to cook for approximately 15 - 20 minutes at 375*F.
I have to say, the finished product was pretty delicious and moist.  

The best part about cooking a large meal that needs to feed our family for four dinners is the need to portion control everything.  So along with our main course, I add a vegetable and a pretty large salad to make sure everyone gets enough to eat (i.e. the hubs).  This week we had a large green salad with fresh avocado on the side.  Yum, yum.  

So there you have it.  Monday through Wednesday, our dinners only take about 15 to 20 minutes to prepare and eat, leaving much more time to spend together and even squeeze in a little workout time. 

How do you meal planning for your family?


  1. This is a great idea. Thanks for sharing. Might have to try to put it into practice at our house.

    1. Thanks Carla! Yeah, it works pretty well in our home. We've been doing it this way since Fall and have had no complaints yet! :)