Sorry about the delay in sharing this post with you. I truly meant to post it last week but had a bad case of the blahs. That’s life. The good news is I’ve got more pep in my step again, like the Max Man does 24/7, and have several food posts in the hopper and ready to go. Yup, I got ambitious last weekend. It’s why I no longer resist blah days or weeks and just roll with them. They always eventually pass. Thank you for your patience and this is a recipe worth the wait!
There are lots of areas that I need to work on when it comes to food, but meal planning is something that I got nailed. In fact, I’m a bit of a nerd. Tuesday is when the store flyers hit my mailbox and I’m always a little too excited to see what’s on sale. However, I recently realized that all the meal planning in the world isn’t going to make a difference on those days where I’m running behind schedule and don’t have the time or the inclination to cook.
Some days I’m in the zone, where everything is just clicking, and lose track of time. Suddenly, my belly starts rumbling and I realize that it’s way past dinnertime. And I’m a hungry, hungry hippo who is too hungry to wait an hour or so to eat. And a hungry Tanya will make a poor decision around food 110% of the time.
If I’m lucky, there are leftovers to reheat. But there is no guarantee that my busy days will fall on leftover days. This is why I’ve decided to set aside a few hours every month to prep some freezer meals. Now I can just pop something delicious and healthy in the oven and keep working without missing a beat.
Make-Ahead or Freezer Meals to the Rescue!
Even better, one of my favorite chefs, Ellie Krieger, just released a new cookbook on make-ahead meals. I like Ellie because she focuses on clean ingredients, but the recipes aren’t fussy and don’t taste like diet food.
If you are eating mostly nutrient-rich, whole foods, there is room for some butter in your mashed potatoes, some brown sugar in your oatmeal, or even a slice of rich chocolate cake once in a while.
Can I get an amen?
This is a philosophy I wholeheartedly support. We need to eat good-for-you foods the majority of time and strike a balance with the more indulgent items, like dessert, versus outright banning them or at least I do. This is doable for me, especially when eating healthy doesn’t taste like punishment. Because sometimes it does, which only makes it harder.
One thing I really appreciated about her cookbook was how many of the meals could go straight from the freezer to the oven. It does me no good to have a freezer stocked full of meals that requiring thawing before heating. This is going to be a lifesaver for those days where I planned to make something else but ran out of time. Now I have no excuses!
Easy, Delicious and Good-for-You Meals
There are a ton of dishes on my to-make list from black bean veggie burgers, blueberry-chia overnight oats, garden penne bake, tuscan seven vegetable soup, chili-spiced sweet potato wedges to grilled chicken with cherry bourbon BBQ sauce.
Admit it. You’re hungry now too. And all those dishes are good for you.
One dish that I did make is her cajun shrimp packets in foil. These are so good and flavorful, thanks to the cajun spice and andouille sausage. She recommends serving the dish with brown rice, which I don’t really enjoy, so I used quinoa instead. It paired beautifully and soaked-up all the tasty sauce. It was also super easy to assemble, and I love having a few of these packets in my freezer for those hectic days.