As I've said, I like to do make-aheads on Sundays if I have the time so that on nights when I have boot camp or do a long run after work, Justin can throw dinner in and it will be ready when I get home...this week it took me 15 minutes on Sunday to make my meals for Tuesday and Thursday night boot camps! To emphasize that: FIFTEEN MINUTES (and not much of a mess)!! I also really enjoy meals that take 5 ingrediants or less and everything this week has landed in that category as well. Here's a quick guide to throwing 15 minutes at dinner for 2 nights of the week:
Tuesday night we had beef roast. This is a pretty standard recipe, most everyone has done a roast. This is probably one of the least good for you meals on this blog but everybody's gotta cheat once in a while, right? Anyway, the point of this is not what goes in the crockpot...I used whatever was in the fridge: we had carrots and celery left over from making the bolognese sauce on Saturday so I threw them in there. Added an onion and a few potatoes since I always have those on hand during grilling season....throw a beef roast in on top and you're good to go! Here is the reason for posting though...as Ive told you, I am a spice packet freak. If I can get something to have flavor by adding a packet instead of a million and a half spices, Im all in. These are the absolute best for crockpot roasts, Ive used the pork one and the beef one and will be trying the italian chicken one at some point in the future. I wont mention that Ive sometimes caught Justin drinking the juice alone before with both the pork and the beef variations....whoops, I just cant keep my big mouth shut, can I!
Mix that packet with 2 cups of water and pour it in your crockpot:
Cook on low for 8 hours while you are at work, and dinner is served!
Like I said, pretty self explanatory but try those packets sometime and you will know why I posted this! There's really not much better than walking into your house after work or the gym, smelling dinner, and being able to dish it onto your plate immediately...whoever invented crockpots can seriously have my first born.
Next make ahead meal (for tonight's dinner) is my own smothered pork chops. This is one of Justin's faves as well, I used to do a chicken variation and just switched out some of the ingrediants to come up with this. There is literally 4 ingrediants in this dish but its packed with flavor!
2 pork chops
1 bag wild rice (pictured below, Ive raved about these a million times...if there is an Uncle Ben and I ever meet him, Justin should be worried)
1 can mushrooms
1 can 98% fat free cream of mushroom soup
This recipe is super duper easy to double or triple if you need to feed more people...just grab a bigger baking dish. (Yes, 28 year olds can use the term "super duper", dont judge me!)
From here, DO NOT COOK the rice (it will cook in the oven and you dont want to overdo it), just spray your baking dish with Pam and layer the rice in the bottom. Put the thawed pork chops on top of that, the drained can of mushrooms spread on top of that, and the can of mushroom soup spread on top of that. That's it. Seriously. A little cracked pepper and you're well on your way to pleasing the crowd. Here's what it looked like before:
Put tin foil on top and throw in the oven for 35-40 minutes on 450 degrees and you are set. Or you could put it in the fridge to have ready to throw in at a moment's notice throughout the week...do as you wish!
As I said, I've made a chicken variation of this dish. Sub the pork chops for 2 chicken breasts, sub the mushrooms for fresh broccoli florets, sub the cream of mushroom for 98% fat free cream of chicken. Wham, bam, thank you to my oven!!
I will edit this post to include a pic after dinner tonight....you'll thank me :)