How to Get Organized for Dinner: Batch Cooking

Of all the months of the year, September and October are when I buckle down and get serious about batch cooking.

Inspired by the bushels of tomatoes and peppers at the market, the sacks of corn and the crates of squash, I can’t help but transform the seasonal ingredients into vats of soup and deep-dish casseroles.  The produce is at its prime, and yet at its lowest price. It makes sense to go big.

Batch cooking is essentially making multiples of a dish that can be frozen and reheated. It can also mean duplicating recipes of anything from bread to condiments, but for this specific post I’m going to focus on dinners.

I can’t tell you how many times batch cooking has saved the day; it’s an absolute necessity for busy families. [Read more…]

How to Get Organized for Dinner: Part 2 – Meal Prep

We’re on a mission to simplify family dinner and today’s post is all about setting yourself up for success by meal prepping.

If you thought a meal plan was the same thing as meal prep, don’t worry, most people confuse the two life hacks, and truthfully, you need one to do the other. Your meal plan outlines meals and helps organize your grocery haul for the week, but your meal prep is the pre-processing of those groceries into ready-to-go elements for dishes throughout the week.

If you are able to put in an hour or two of meal prep after you bring the groceries in, your life will change. You’ll be two steps closer to getting a wholesome meal on the table on a busy weeknight, because you will a) already have decided what to make, and b) have prepared a portion of the meal in advance.

Read on for a clearer explanation about this gift to your future self, as well as a list of some of my favourite meal prep foods and recipes.

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Comfort food for somber days: Red Lentil Lasagna

A simple vegetarian red lentil lasagna for when you need a quick weeknight dinner.

Canadians from coast to coast are mourning the loss of half a junior hockey team and their crew after a tragic accident last Friday in rural Saskatchewan.

Geographically, we’re the second largest country in the world but when in crisis, we’re a small, tight-knit community.  

I lost two friends when I was in my twenties – one to cancer and one in a freak car accident. That pain of loss is impossible to put into words, but I have experienced it. Twice.

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The best serve-yourself weekday breakfast ideas

This winter was the first time I’ve had to change up our breakfast routine since the children were babies.

Up until last fall, we’d always start our weekdays together as a family, as school and work were both close enough to afford a somewhat relaxed morning. Then everything changed.

My eldest is in junior high school, so he’s the first kid up and out the door in the morning. Danny started a new job in the new year and eats breakfast bright and early. My two youngest are just waking up as their dad is leaving – one of them is famished and the other needs to wake up slowly before eating. They wander into the kitchen on their own time.

Since I’m usually busy prepping bagged lunches and checking on homework, I tend to only sit down to eat after everyone has left. Five people, five breakfast slots. At the beginning, when we were adjusting to the new schedules, I found myself preparing multiple breakfasts to accommodate everyone. Until I got smarter, that is.

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Aimée’s big batch Chicken Noodle Soup recipe

It’s currently a white-out on the homestead, as the first big storm of winter is blanketing the place in powder. I’m thrilled at the prospect of a white Christmas – and even happier that I have a stash of homemade chicken soup in the freezer for snowed-in suppers like tonight.

I always make an enormous batch of this simple soup before the holidays as it seems like a necessary antidote to all the rich food and sweets to come. I also simmer it in hopes that it will help us combat the seasonal maladies that are always going around. This nourishing soup is such a well-rounded family meal, and that certainly aids my intentions to eat better this month.

In addition, is there anything more comforting than a bowl of chicken noodle soup? Mine uses fennel alongside celery for a fragrant mirepoix and occasionally has a grating of ginger in the broth (and/or turmeric) to help fight colds. I think this soup is special, it’s certainly practical, and today I’m sharing my method for making a nice big batch.

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