Catching up with summer means creating carefree recipes for those days that slip by while we are having fun in the sun or working until not one more ray of light streams from the day. I've been experimenting with some make ahead base recipes and this week I actually made it all work. I started with proteins from our grass fed beef, pastured pork and chicken. Even if this is all the meal prep you can accomplish, it's worth it. Protein bases are a fantastic way to inspire any meal. Honestly, a good pantry list and seasonal/staple vegetables can carry you through busy day or a lazy day!
I also prepared vegetable bases and dressings for a largely paleo inspired matrix of mix and match meals. If you have a stockpile of Mason jars, no need to buy extra containers. I prefer not to use plastic, but what you have on hand will work.
Here's my big picture outline: I'll list the specifics for you, also. This is 1 - 2 weeks of prepped food depending on number of meals and how many you are feeding. Since most of the time, all of our families eat together, this is one week.
*Ground meat base - 3# of grass fed beef and 1# of pastured pork
*Meatball or mini burger base - 3# of grass fed beef and 1# of pastured pork
*Shredded meat base - pork/ beef /chicken
*Bacon - 2#
*Sausage - 2#
*Eggs - 1 or 2 dz
*Optional Sliced meats - steak, chicken, pork tenderloin
*Sweet potato dice
*Seasonal - strawberries this past week
Vinegar & Oil
Homemade ranch (because the kids love it)
Here's How it Works:
Meatballs or mini burgers (or both) - meals: Avocado/Bacon meatball or mini burger bowl on a bed of greens w/tomatoes; Greek meatball or mini burger bowl with cucumber/olives and feta cheese on a bed of greens; Sliders (if you are good with breads - we use Everyday Goodlife sourdough); Meatball or mini burger vegetable soup; Sour cream stroganoff over vegetables or noodles, and the list can be as creative and extensive as your own family favorites.
Ground meat meals: Street tacos with slaw and favorite combinations; Taco salad; Wraps; Sweet potato hash; Soup with seasonal vegetables/greens; Marinara meat sauce over vegetables or noodles; Juicy burgers (a kid favorite); Stuffed peppers, Chili.
Shredded meat base meals: Casseroles; Wraps, Sliders; Soups; Sandwiches; Tacos; Nachos; Soup; Enchiladas; Pulled pork; Buffalo sauced everything; Stuffed potatoes.
Bacon, sausage, eggs... practically prepare themselves in Omelettes; Scrambles, Sausage gravy bowls; Breakfast casseroles; French pancakes.
Vegetable bases are prepped and cooked according to family preferences. We love sweet potatoes! We chop 6-8 sweet potatoes with onion, fry up a few slices of bacon and saute the mixture all together to add to wraps, breakfast scrambles, lunch and dinner.
A root roast of beets, carrots and potatoes make an easy side or recipe ingredient.
Greens and cabbages are prepped for salads and slaws
Fruits can be salad ingredients, breakfast ingredients (like our favorite banana crepes) and desserts.
At the end of this week, I had a little bit of meatball, ground meat and vegetables left over. I cleaned the refrigerator and put it all in one pot with marinara for a nice simmer. We ate it over spinach greens and it was a perfect Saturday night, don't have to think about it meal. I also have a clean refrigerator to start out my next round of meal prep!
Interested in the simple recipes I created for the bases?
I can't wait to share them with you...
See you soon with all the good stuff to build your own meal bases!