Friday, March 6, 2009

Provident Living: "Fast" Food

I have noticed that one of the big money-wasters in our house is food. Not that we shouldn't eat--but when the meals haven't been planned ahead of time or the baby needed fed about sixteen times when I should have been preparing dinner, or I worked an eleven hour day with a baby at work with me and didn't have the ability to cook . . . the list goes on. In times like this, the options come down to: eating out (very, very expensive--and generally not an option for us. Plus McDonalds isn't big on vegan) or generally what we do: wander around Smiths and pick up a bunch of things that look good because we are STARVING! . . . but don't go very far towards meals during the week. One solution I have come up with to avoid such moments: creating my own "prepackaged" meals when I cook for the two of us during the week--things that are easily frozen, easily reheat-able, and filling. Our favorite is probably homemade frozen burritos.

How I do it? Well, when I make burritos for dinner one night I'll cook up some black or "refried" beans, some chipotle rice, and chop up some fresh veggies to add in. Then when we are done eating, I'll pull out the George Foreman grill--still useful even for a Veg--and start rolling up bean and rice burritos. A few minutes on the grill seals them shut, plus adds a nice crispy flavor to the tortilla, and then I let them cool for about ten minutes. All I have to do is wrap them in a sandwich bag, toss them in the freezer, and we have little meals ready to go. They work great for lunches too . . . One will fill up Randy pretty well. If you aren't vegan you could easily enough add chicken or cheese. If you are vegan, a nice variation is to smish (yes, the technical term) a couple of veggie burgers, add some taco seasoning, let it simmer . . . and voila. Some meatless taco meat.

The great part about this is that since I already cooked the ingredients for dinner, this really doesn't take that much more time. Plus I don't have to worry about wasting the leftovers. :o)
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