Y'all I am not a cook.
I can cook. I make really good lasagna. I can make pretty much any type of bread you want (including bread that looks like a crocodile). I make amazing chicken and dumplings.
But cooking every night...that was hard. I can eat the same thing every day and be perfectly happy, but regrettably, The Wonder Sweetie (dh) doesn't think popcorn constitutes a real meal (he's so picky).
Honestly, it isn't even cooking, though. It is cooking at night. I am a total morning puppy. I love waking up. 6 am has to be one of the most beautiful times of the day. If I could make lasagna and chicken and dumplings for breakfast, I would be completely in my element.
Evening is my worst time. No energy, completely drained from the day, can't put a coherent thought together with both hands and a roll of duct tape.
Back in the day, when 5pm rolled around and the family was ready for, you know, actual food, you could find me thoroughly done, energy spent, eyes darting frantically around the kitchen for something "not popcorn" to feed my family.
Then I discovered Batch Cooking/Freezer meals.
See, not only am I a morning person, but I'm also a project person. If I can do an entire week of cooking in one big project day, I am gloriously, deliriously happy.
Not only does it save time, it saves dishes. It saves money. It saves sanity. Not since the electric refrigerator was an idea so perfectly efficient and a boon to the homemaker, whether she works in or out of the home.
Even now, though my kids are young adults and I can eat popcorn for supper if I please without mom-guilt, I still do massive batch cooking about once a month.
Yesterday I made (all low carb, by the way):
-Asian lime beef (5 servings)
-Beef stroganoff (8 servings)
-Ranch pork chops (10 servings anyway, these chops are huge)
-Baked chicken thighs (10 servings)
-Parmesan boneless/skinless thighs (15 servings)
-No bake sunbutter balls
-Fathead cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing.
48 servings of food, plus snack and dessert, for a few hours in the kitchen (it would have been even less time if I hadn't had to clean up 2 lbs of spaghetti that fell out of an unglued box in the pantry).
Honestly friend, if you want to cut down your grocery bill, save some time, have a wide variety of food for people to eat (or if you have folk with specific dietary needs), and want to only have to do dishes once, I beg you to try batch cooking.
Here are a few other things that I have done as freezer meals/foods:
-Chocolate Zucchini Bread (hey, that counts as a real food--it has green veggies in it :D ).
-Lumpia (Philippine egg rolls. People LOVE these, they reheat wonderfully and are so easy!)
-Chicken and Dumplings
-Tex Mex Soup
-Lasagna (tip: get disposable 8x8 aluminum pans to assemble the lasagna in. Those pans fit perfectly
in a gallon zip top baggie. AND you don't have to cook the noodles first! Yes, really!)
-Broccoli Cheddar Rice (ooohhh this is so good!)
-Grits Coquettes (left over grits mixed with veggies and cheese and fried)
-Fried Pork Chops
-Fried Mock Chik-Fil-A
-Fried Chicken (we're from the south, y'all)
Almost every food can be frozen. Even if you don't do a massive cook like I do, just double what you make in one night and freeze some. (Though I would recommend a big batch cook. It seems more intimidating than it is. You are doing the same thing you always do during the week, just in rapid succession :) )
Let me know if you want any recipes, tips, or if you have any ideas or recipes of food that freezes really well!