This question gets asked a lot on the group, fanpage, site and through emails.
How can I make something healthy to eat on shift night when my firefighter is the cook in our house?
I've been cooking since an early age, so this question can be difficult for me to wrap my head around at times. I've just always cooked and I've always enjoyed cooking. Some days more than other days of course, as life gets crazy. But there's never a time I don't come back to loving to cook.
Instead of constantly answering this question, I figured it was past time to address it in an article.
#1 – I'm a huge believer in freezer cooking and meal planning. So much so that I own a site about it. OnceaWeekCooking.com is my baby 😉 If you help your firefighter prep meals ahead then all you'll need to do is reheat and add a veggie and or salad. Each weeks meal plan is already figured out for you, including directions for the day you are going to eat it.
#2 – LEFTOVERS! Now I've already professed that I love to cook. But, the kids really don't give a crap about what's on their plate. I'll get some thanks here and there and every once in a while a request to make something. Otherwise, it's just eaten and I see empty plates.
In other words, I cook for the firefighter and I because we appreciate it. I'm a chronic over-cooker because I never know how many will be eating in my house. 4 adults live here but they might not all eat here on any given night lol Over cooking on nights the firefighter is home means that there are leftovers for lunches AND for shift night dinners. Last night was the first night in ages that I've cooked on a shift night. The last two shift nights I've cooked new meals and it was ANNOYING! lol
If your firefighter is the cook in the house, then have them make extra. Instant dinner for shift nights now.
#3 – The crockpot! I love my crockpot. To the point I have 2 of them. When I am doing marathon freezer cooking I have both of them going at the same time. See, told you, a little crazy about this freezer cooking thing. I'm not a real fancy chef, I just love to cook. I have a lot of meals you can toss in your crockpot…then do the above. Freeze the leftovers for more meals. When I make spaghetti sauce it's four meals for four adults lol Cook once, eat many meals.
#4 – Easy meals. There are so many ideas for easy meals that are still quite healthy. I'm going to end with some ideas.
Sandwich w/soup or salad. Grab your fav roll and toss a lot of veggies on it with your favorite meat. Cheese is optional. I can't have it and you'd be surprised how much you don't taste it on a sandwich lol Open a can of healthy soup or just throw a side salad together.
Burritos or tacos are a big staple in our house. With older kids the schedule can get insane. I can make up the taco meat from lean ground beef or turkey. Cut up veggies and everyone makes their meal as they get home at different times.
The first meal I learned to make was hamburger gravy and rice. I know others serve it over mashed potatoes but I grew up in a rice family. The ingredients are cheap and the steps to making it are easy. Use the leanest ground beef and you can use the low fat cream of mushroom soup.
Overwhelming you won't help. I'll keep it to these suggestions. Ask questions if you've got them. Don't forget I have a weekly meal plan available that will take the guess work out of “What's for dinner?”