I feel like at least once a month I have an unplanned meal situation that ends up really throwing me for a loop. Things like FIL will come by to help with things and then he and DH come in looking for lunch(FIL is not the type i feel comfortable feeding odd bits and ends). Last week we had some friends over for lunch last minute and I ended up going to the store for chips and sandwich fixings. $30 later...we had lunch. :/
I don't like to turn people away and I don't like dropping so much at the store for a meal I can throw together quickly. I want to be able to welcome people into my home! However, since I don't know when these things will come up I am not sure how to plan for them. We eat fresh food and if I buy extras of things it's expensive and it may spoil. Lunch especially is a tricky time for it to happen for me because I don't plan lunch, we eat left overs or odds and ends of things. Even beyond just feeling comfortable serving other people "whatever" there usually just plain isn't enough of it.
Sorry for rambling.
I am looking for ideas on food I can keep around that are real foods, maybe can be kept in the freezer or pantry and can be warmed up quickly at a moments notice.
All I can think of is making some burritos and calzones to freeze (for times when it's just FIL as an extra) and maybe keeping a spare jar of spaghetti sauce around to feed a crowd since I usually have some pasta in the pantry. Any other ideas? Thanks!
Becky- Wife to DH, Mama to "Nani" (July '08) "Coco" (July '10) and Decker the Wrecker (May'13)
Soups, stews, chili and casseroles all freeze well
For last minute lunches, with little time to prep -
Omelettes, frittata and other egg dishes with some toast or muffins are great for lunches and they are quick and easy to prepare
Wraps (use tortillas or pita) made with grated carrot, beets, zucchini, sliced bell peppers, lettuce or sprouts, along with brown rice or quinoa and zippy peanut sauce are very tasty and filling
Spread a tortilla with chevre and caramelized onion and sweet pepper (and maybe some roasted cubes of sweet potato or squash), sprinkle with a little fresh thyme or chopped rosemary, fold in half, and heat in oven. It makes a nice side to soup or salad. The caramelized onion and roasted squash take a little time, so this may not be quite so last minute.
Corn or cauliflower fritters are also nice sides for soup or salad. I've never tried to freeze them because we always eat them up, but I think they freeze well. The most time consuming aspect is dicing and cooking the veggies, otherwise they are ready in the same amount of time it takes to make pancakes.
I do a freezer meal stashbuilder party every month where a group of women get together and we make 4-8 meals for each of our freezers. The last one I did was gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free and vegan. :) I'm planning another 2 that revolve around chicken, although most of them are "add your own protein" (so could be tempeh or the like). I'm a big fan of freezer meals. And I'm finding that the freezer weight ziplock bags can be thrown in boiling water to defrost and cook if I forgot to take stuff out the night before. BPA-free, too.
What about soups? Broth based soups are freezable.
I am also a lover of books , treehugger , and occasional soapbox stander!
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