How to Cook Once and Eat Twice: Save Time with Bulk Cooking
This week is very busy for my husband and I. Our neighborhood is having a huge neighborhood garage sale on Saturday morning so we are busy organizing, pricing and getting everything set for that. Then, on Saturday night, we are heading south…..driving 13 hours from PA to FL for a two week vacation. My husband and I have been taking road trips since our first “married” summer, the summer of 2014. This summer’s road trip will, by far, be the furthest drive we have done. It will also be a whole new experience with a baby! (There’s also a LOT more things that need to be packed!) The pre-vacation excitement is definitely here though! Between preparing for the yard sale and packing/organizing/preparing for our road trip, there’s a lot on the to-do list this week. The last thing I want to do is stress about what we are eating for dinner.
Last weekend, when we went grocery shopping at our new favorite store Aldi, we bought a 2 lb package of ground beef. I always purchase my ground beef in bulk because it is much cheaper per pound. We paid $2.87 per pound for this particular package of ground beef. Our plan was to use the ground beef to make burgers for a cook out this past Saturday, but the cook out didn’t happen. It turned into a pizza night with our good friends who happen to be our neighbors 🙂
Planning our dinners for this week involved using what we already had in our refrigerator and pantry. We didn’t buy too much at Aldi because we are trying to empty the fridge before leaving on Saturday! Emptying the fridge included making dinners using a 2 lb package of ground beef. I decided to use the beef for two of my favorite meals…a meat sauce over pasta and tacos.
I browned the ground beef in a large saute pan. While the ground beef was browning, I was warming up marinara sauce in a saucepan. I seasoned the ground beef with two of my favorite go-to seasonings…..Garlic Garlic and Onion Onion from Tastefully Simple. I use these seasonings in EVERY meal. They are all natural. They add the flavors of minced garlic and diced onion without the mess of chopping and crying eyes from the onion. You can learn more about these seasonings here.
Once the ground beef was all cooked and brown, I drained the fat off using a colander and then split the meat in half….half of it went directly into the marinara sauce and the other half stayed in the original saute pan. I let the meat sauce simmer away on low. Easy peasy! For the meat in the saute pan, I added a jar of salsa that was open in my refrigerator. I love adding salsa to ground beef or ground turkey when making tacos because it makes the meat moist and is a mix of tomatoes, onions and peppers. This makes for a flavorful taco!
There you have it, two meals prepared and I only cooked ONE time! We ate the pasta with meat sauce for dinner and had the tacos the next day. Preparing the tacos was so easy because I did the hard work the previous day. The meals actually lasted more than those two days for my husband and I….the remaining pasta with meat sauce became lunch for my husband and me (our baby girl too!) for the remainder of the week. The remaining taco meat will be used to make nachos for dinner. Yummy!
What are your favorite go to meals? How do you save time when prepping dinners for the week? I’d love to hear about your dinner time savers in the comments below!