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Each month, we provide one special Sunday recipe that yields a bit extra, then two quick and easy recipes to transform those leftovers during the week. This is get ahead cooking at it’s most inventive: instead of repeats night after night, our strategic recipe trio gives you three completely different dinners and zero food waste. Cook a little extra now, and save time and money later!
Eating healthy should still be delicious.
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This month, make your own batch of turkey and pork chorizo. This super savory browned and crumbled meat mixture takes minutes to make, and is much lower in fat and sodium than store bought Mexican chorizo. One batch can be piled on many dishes (spuds, taco salads, nachos) or stirred into sauces (think tomato, enchilada, or even cheese sauce). The big, bold flavor of the chorizo will instantly kick up whatever it’s added to, great for get ahead cooking.
Start with the ground turkey and ground pork mixture as a topper for roasted sweet potatoes, a perfect balance of sweet and heat. Sprinkle more fresh chorizo over loaded nachos for family night. Stir the rest into a veggie-fied tomato sauce—a hearty base for poached eggs (think Italian Eggs in Purgatory with Mexican flare). This is the make ahead protein that just keeps on giving.
Weeknight 1: Loaded Chorizo NachosUse 1 2/3 cups reserved cooked chorizo to sprinkle over nachos.
Weeknight 2: Saucy Chorizo and Egg SkilletUse 2 cups reserved cooked chorizo to stir into tomato sauceWant less? If you want just enough chorizo for tonight, sauté 8 ounces each lean ground turkey and ground pork with 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tablespoon paprika, and 2 teaspoons cumin.
More Ways with Ground Turkey:
24 Easy One-Skillet Meals
Looking for some easy one-skillet meals? Take the guesswork out of dinner with one of these delicious recipes tonight!
The worst part about cooking has to be the dishes!
That&rsquos where easy one-skillet meals are here to help.
I&rsquom not saying I&rsquom lazy, but if I can put together dinner with just one dish?! Sign me up!
And with a good oven-safe skillet, it&rsquos not all pasta and noodles.
For those days when you just don&rsquot have the energy for something restaurant-worthy, this list of 24 easy one-skillet meals has you covered!
Chorizo Sheet Pan Breakfast
This chorizo sheet pan breakfast is full of flavor and perfect for prepping for breakfast for the week ahead!
- Author: Cassy
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 6 1 x
- Category: Breakfast
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Mexican
- 2 red bell peppers, deseeded and cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 1/2 pounds potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons avocado or olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pound ground chorizo, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 avocado, sliced, for garnish
- 1 lime, sliced, for garnish
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro, for garnish
- 1 jalapeno, sliced, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Toss the bell peppers and potatoes in the avocado oil until evenly coated. Spread them out on a rimmed baking sheet in an even layer (divide between two sheets if too crowded). Sprinkle the top with the salt and pepper. Nestle the pieces of chorizo evenly among the peppers and potatoes. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes, or until the potatoes look cooked through, but not burnt.
- Squeeze the lime juice over the entire sheet pan then garnish with the avocado, jalapeno, and cilantro.
Keywords: meal prep, egg-free, paleo, breakfast, sheet pan
Week of Meals: Food blogger and author Jonathan Melendez’s recipes
This is the second installment in a series called “Week of Meals,” which will give you five weeknight dinner recipes with all the planning and strategizing built in. Each meal will make four servings, come together — start to finish — in less than 60 minutes, and require 10 or fewer ingredients (not counting cooking oil, salt and pepper or water). The groceries for all five meals can be bought from a single grocery store in a single shopping trip (remember, we’re looking to alleviate your frustration) and will cost less than $100 total.
Food blogger and cookbook author Jonathan Melendez provides the recipes for this second installment in our Week of Meals series. Here’s how he plans out his weekday meals and what ingredients inspire his food, full of creative spins and mash-ups of classic dishes.
“When I go to the grocery store, I like to make the trip as fast and as painless as possible. I have a rough idea going in of what I want to make throughout the week, but I typically base my recipes on what is on sale that week or what looks particularly good that day. So my proteins will typically change based on what is available.
“I like to think that I have a specific way of picking what dishes to cook, but honestly it’s solely based on what I’m craving. I tend to not eat a lot of red meat on a regular basis and so every once in a while, I’ll indulge in a steak. I’ll normally go for a flat iron steak because it’s easy to cook, won’t break the bank and has a great flavor profile. A simple taco seasoning mix can transform a steak from bland to flavorful without any effort. Just use a low-sodium version so you can control the amount of salt going into your dish.
“I grew up eating a lot of tuna sandwiches because they were economical, and so now as an adult I like to grab a can or two and keep it in the pantry at all times, for those nights when I don’t really feel like cooking. Instead of a mayo-based salad, I like to make a more grown-up version with all of the classic Niçoise flavors in a simple vinaigrette. I’ll pile it into baked potatoes for a satisfying dinner.
“If there’s one pantry staple I can’t live without, it would have to be rice. I often joke that I can eat rice every day, which isn’t necessarily a joke. I love to cook up a batch of long-grain rice on Sunday and then will use it to make a Spanish-inspired paella fried rice with shrimp and chorizo. This dish is always best with rice made a day or two before, as it will have a chance to dry out a bit in the fridge.
“The rest of the week I try to force myself to eat relatively healthy. This way I won’t feel so bad when I’m indulging over the weekend. I’ll focus more on vegetable-heavy recipes, which allow me to use up any produce fighting to survive in my fridge. Sautéing or roasting various veggies like mushrooms and onions, along with a can of black beans, and adding it to a quesadilla is a great filling vegetarian meal without a lot of effort.
“When it all comes down to it, cooking shouldn’t be a tedious chore without enjoyment. Utilizing the grocery store in these clever ways maximizes your time and ensures success in the kitchen.” — As told to Ben Mims
Jonathan’s neighborhood grocery store:
Ralphs, 2675 Foothill Blvd., La Crescenta-Montrose, (818) 249-5448
Here’s everything you need to make the first Week of Meals recipes:
When you have saucy braised tofu and warm fluffy rice, the vegetables are optional.
Photo by Laura Murray, Food Styling by Susie Theodorou
Back to granola over yogurt (unless you have some boiled eggs leftover that you’d rather eat instead).
Why aren’t there more recipes for squash sandwiches? That’s the question you’ll ask yourself after making this recipe, the most laborious part of which you already completed. Let the squash you roasted two days ago temper on the counter while you quickly pickle some onions, make the mustardy sandwich spread, and toast the bread.
Butternut Squash Sandwich with Cheddar Cheese and Pickled Red Onion
If you steamed extra broccolini a couple of nights ago, now’s the time to take it out of the fridge. Have another vegetable (bok choy, Napa cabbage) around? Get it in the steamer. But even if you have no vegetables in your fridge, this dinner is going to satisfy, because it’s really all about that saucy, sweet-and-spicy tofu and fluffy rice.
Money Saving Tip!
Before you hit the grocery stores to buy the ingredients for these delicious cheapest meals for families, make sure to sign up with Ibotta!
Ibotta is a fantastic grocery app that’ll pay you cashback on a huge number of grocery items–from meats and bread to canned goods and fruits! A bonus? Ibotta will give you up to $20 FREE for trying it. You can check out and join Ibotta for free here.
I’ve saved over $1000 using this FREE app!
Savvy mum batch cooks 57 meals for just £75 – they took seven minutes to prep and are super healthy too
A SAVVY mum has shown how you can batch cook a huge 57 meals for just £75 - and they take just seven minutes to prep.
Rhian Allen, 43, who is the founder of The Healthy Mummy, a popular healthy eating and weight loss program, has proved it doesn't take much to be creative in the kitchen.
The Sydney-based mother-of-two, took to her Instagram recently and shared a series of snaps showing off her stash of cooked meals.
Each of the budget-friendly meals are easy to make and super healthy too with recipes such as Spanish rice with chorizo, beef Chow Mein, peanut pork curry and red Thai pumpkin soup - which are all dairy and gluten free.
“All of these healthy meal prep recipes come straight from the Healthy Mummy’s 28 Day Weight Loss Challenge and are super popular in the Healthy Mummy community,” Rhian said in her blog.
“They are perfect recipes to cook in bulk for the freezer,” she added.
Rhian shared the recipes and ingredients needed for all 14 of the meals, with each averaging at about seven minutes to prep and between 15 minutes and 45 minutes to cook.
“Using different cooking methods and gadgets is a great idea when meal prepping, especially the slow cooker,” she said, adding that her meatball recipe is just 225 calories per serve, and takes just 15 minutes in the slow cooker.
Rhian revealed she made the huge batch for Aussie model and former Biggest Loser host Fiona Falkiner, who is due to give birth in three weeks.
“Adjusting to life with a new baby can be pretty overwhelming, especially in the first few weeks,” Rhian said.
“For Fiona, knowing she doesn’t have to think or worry about cooking is a huge bonus, and was over the moon about this amazing meal prep and the prospect of having all these go-to healthy meals.”
The Healthy Mummy is a popular network for mums and other woman looking for cheap and healthy meal ideas.
Most recipes are super easy to make and are family friendly too, so even your little ones will enjoy them.
Low-carb Chicken, Chorizo and Broccoli Bake
This dish is perfect if you want a keto-friendly freezer meal that packs a lot of flavour, but doesn’t require too much effort to prepare.
- 8 ounces of cream cheese (make sure you check the label, as some cream cheeses are loaded with carbs)
- 5 lbs of chicken breast or chicken pieces
- 1 cup of chicken broth
- 2 oz chorizo, chopped
- Half a cup of cream
- 1 teaspoon of mustard powder
- 1 lb of broccoli florets. Chopped
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar or mozzarella
- Bake the chicken breasts in the oven at 350 for half an hour
- While the chicken is in the oven, cook the broccoli in the microwave in a plastic container (with the lid on) until tender but still crisp
- Whisk the cream and chicken broth together, then add the mustard powder and cream cheese, whisking thoroughly until fully combined
- Take the chicken out of the oven and transfer to a casserole dish
- Pour in the broccoli, cream cheese mixture and shredded cheese
- Bake in the oven at 350 for around 25 minutes until the cheese starts to bubble
- Once cooled, portion up and place into zip lock freezer bags
- Write on the date with permanent marker, and freeze
Chicken and Chorizo Pasta Bake
Chicken and Chorizo pasta bake is a perfect midweek meal. It’s incredibly easy to make and takes very little time. This recipe is full of flavour as it combines tender chicken with spicy chorizo, which is then bound together plenty of cheese.
- 400 grams Penne Pasta
- 200 grams Chorizo
- 3 whole Chicken Breasts, Diced
- 1 whole Yellow Pepper, Chopped
- 12 whole Cherry Tomatoes
- 400 grams Tinned Chopped Tomatoes
- 150 grams Shredded Cheese
In a saucepan, heat some water and cook penne pasta according to package instructions.
Preheat oven to 200ºC (390ºF).
Whilst pasta is cooking, add some oil into a saucepan. Once hot, add sliced chorizo and stir to coat with oil. Fry chorizo for 5 minutes.
Add diced chicken and stir to coat in the juices from the chorizo. Fry until edges of chicken have browned.
Add chopped pepper and cook for 5 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and chopped tomatoes and cook for 10 minutes. Stir in cooked pasta and continue to stir to fully combine.
Add half of the cheese and continue to stir until all of the cheese has melted. Pour pasta bake into ovenproof dish(es) and top with remaining cheese.
Put in the oven and cook until cheese on the top has browned and edges are bubbling.
Another batch-cooking option
There’s more than one way to batch. Gaby Chapman and Jan Petrovic published Plan Buy Cook (£15, Hardie Grant) in January to share their 4+2+1 method, under which you cook four meals from scratch each week. Two of these are the sort of hearty one-pots that freeze well (chicken and chorizo braise, lamb curry, dahl). You double up on these recipes and freeze half, defrosting and eating two from previous weeks for variety. Another two meals are “fast and fresh” ideas cooked in under an hour, like carbonara, a stir fry or fish cakes. The final meal is a “simple supper” like eggs on toast, baked potatoes or leftovers.
What if, like me, you prefer to linger over a meal? As you were with your four-hour ragu, but quadruple the recipe.
Chapman and Petrovic say that you need to put two meals in the freezer each week to “achieve freedom from the daily dinner grind”. I wholeheartedly agree with them and Mulholland that, when faced with the tyranny of feeding a family, little compares to the rush of knowing you’ve got a delicious dinner ready to go. Tragic but true. I’m going to need a bigger freezer.
The Batch Lady: Shop Once. Cook Once. Eat Well All Week by Suzanne Mulholland (£20, HQ) is out now