Since summer is over and home schooling and work have kicked back into high gear, not only do I need to get back into monthly menu planning, I need to prepare some shortcuts to ease meal preparations. One of my tricks is to prepare make ahead mixes, such as instant oatmeal mixes (here and here), Buckwheat Pancake Mix, Multi-Grain Blueberry Pancake Mix, Brownies, Mix ‘n Match Muffins, waffles, Ranch Dressing Mix (because my kids eat a lot of this w/ veggies).
As well, call upon my culinary friend, the pressure cooker. In the pressure cooker, I cook up several batches of garbanzo beans, black beans and pinto beans. I use these on salads, in soups, and to make homemade hummus and other bean dips. I used to purchase canned beans, but it’s so easy to pressure cook, cool and freeze them in storage bags. Then, I just go to the freezer and take out what I need. No added chemicals, additives or sodium. Plus, I really do think they taste better. It’s something about the texture, I think.
Although, it does take a bit of time in the beginning, I have found the effort to be worth it, especially on crazy-busy days. So, guess what I’ll be doing at some point this week?! 🙂 Now, onto this week’s menu!
Jon’s Famous Loaded Nachos. (Seriously, my husband makes the best nachos in. the. world.)
Clam Chowder, Rolls & Fruit Tray
Moroccan Chicken Thighs w/ Chickpeas & Cumin (from Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Cookbook, page 277), Couscous & Moroccan Carrot Salad
Spicy Black Bean* Soup, Zucchini Corn Fritters
First Friday Life Group Potluck
Homemade Pizza and Salad