When I saw this idea on Pinterest, I knew I had to give it a try. I love a good salad for lunch, but usually don’t have time to put a good one together every day. I’ve tried making them ahead, but I hate to have veggies that are even a little wilted or soggy.
I was skeptical about this one. But I had my fingers crossed.
I decided to test them out for 7 whole days before sharing this with you. And I’m thrilled to say that even on day 7 the salad was as good as the day it was made. In a word, Perfection.
The secret is in the layering.
You want to have the dressing at the bottom.
Cover it with some crunchy vegetables like shredded carrots or celery.
Then goes the cucumbers, tomatoes, cheese, etc.
With a top layer of lettuce.
Just be sure to keep the softer veggies away from the salad dressing, and the lettuce at the very top. I used Wide Mouth Quart Jars, which can be found in many stores for around $10-$12 per dozen.
I also cooked some bacon and boiled some eggs so they were ready to go in the refrigerator. You can find dozens of salad ideas by searching through the Pinterest pins.
I’m a sandwich girl. Always have been. I love me a good sandwich any time of the day.
This recipe was born from my sandwich-love and my need to find ways to use up the shredded chicken I keep in my freezer. It has a nice little kick with the addition of a little hot sauce and garlic powder. Find the right loaf of bread and you’ve got yourself a family favorite – guaranteed!
Shredded chicken is a great thing to have on hand. It keeps well in the freezer, it’s easy to defrost and it’s a huge time saver. We use it to create easy casseroles, soups and sandwiches like the ones I listed HERE. This recipe is a relatively new creation, and one of my favorites.
Having Grilled Chicken Strips on hand in the freezer is one of my secrets for saving time in the kitchen. Whenever I can get a good price on chicken breast I stock up, then grill 8-10 lbs at a time, slice into strips and bag in meal size portions.
I came up with this idea after falling off the once-a-month-cooking bandwagon…mostly because the idea of spending a full Saturday each month in the kitchen was something I always dreaded. I decided I could accomplish the same thing by spending a few minutes making a little bit extra whenever I prepare dinner. It has worked like a charm for us! These Chicken Bacon Quesadillas are one of our favorite ways to use up our grilled chicken strips. Head over HERE for another delicious idea.
If you’re interested, you can stop over HERE to read more about my Gradual Make-Ahead Method™.
Here’s an easy recipe using my very own Gradual Make-Ahead Method. I generally buy enough sirloin to triple this recipe, then set two batches aside for future use. That’s where the make-ahead comes in. It’s such a time saver to have the meat already sliced and ready to go in the freezer. Just be sure to move it to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before cooking. As you can tell from the photo, the kids love this one.
They also love sneaking their mugs into any photos I happen to be taking.
This recipe was born to be a make-ahead meal! It is easy to prepare, freezes well, and tastes great going from freezer to crockpot to plate! Whenever I prepare it for dinner, I simply make enough for an additional three or four dinners, and then freeze the extra in meal size portions. The following recipe is one 8-serving meal.
2 lbs Ground Beef
1 1/2 cups Ketchup
1/4 cup Worchestershire Sauce
1/4 cup Mustard
1/4 cup Vinegar
1/4 cup Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1 small onion, minced
In a skillet, cook ground beef and onion until beef is evenly brown.
Add remaining ingredients to the skillet and stir well.
Cook covered on low heat for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve on hamburger bun and enjoy!
Scroll through HERE (past this post) to view more Gradual Make Ahead Method™ recipes.
I’ve finally come up with the perfect taco seasoning recipe to use with my Gradual Make Ahead Method™! This method allows you to make your weekday meals as usual, preparing part of the meal (usually the meat) in large enough quantity for an additional 3-5 dinners!
I have found this to be a great time saving alternative to once-a-month cooking, which usually requires long days in the kitchen to do all your cooking at once. This way, I am able to stay ahead on some of my cooking without giving up an entire weekend.
With a stash of taco meat in the freezer, I am able to make an easy meal of tacos, nachos, taco salad, taco pizza, burritos or enchiladas with little effort. It even goes nicely from the freezer to the crockpot!
2 teaspoons Chili Powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Corn Starch
1 teaspoon Beef Bullion Granules
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/4 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Black Pepper
1/4 teaspoon Dried Oregano
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
Mix together and store in airtight container until ready to use (up to one year).
To cook, add 1 lb ground beef and 1/3 cup water per 2 tablespoons taco seasoning. Simmer uncovered on low for 5-10 minutes.
Gradual Make Ahead Method:
To freeze taco meat, allow to cool completely. Then add meal size portions to freezer bag or container. Label and date.
When ready to serve, remove from freezer and cook in covered skillet on low until heated through.
Alternately, you can add 2 tablespoons water to frozen contents and cook on low in a slow cooker for 4-6 hours or until heated through.
Scroll through HERE (past this post) for more Gradual Make-Ahead ideas!