It’s about time to head back to school so I’ve been thinking a lot about how to make things easier; yet keep things healthy.  These are the ideas I have come up with so far.  Email me if you have ideas and I’ll add them to the list!

1.  Easy breakfasts:    Cook several pounds of sausage patties all at once on my big griddle.  Put the patties in a freezer baggie and take them out one at a time for a quick breakfast.  Defrost patties in the microwave while cooking a scrambled egg.  Or, defrost patties int he microwave and add to toast for a breakfast sandwich on the run.

2.  Another easy breakfast:  Make a batch of sausage balls.  These will keep well in the refrigerator for about a week.  Think about the ingredients: biscuit dough, cheese and sausage.  Make them with maytree farm sausage and your other fresh ingredients = they are quick to grab and eat on the go and better for the kids than a fast food sausage biscuit.

3.  Easy snacks: Boil a dozen eggs at a time and keep hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator (along with the usual assortment of fruits and veggies) for quick snacks.

4.  Easy sack lunches:  Cook chicken in the crock pot.  Pull the meat off and place in a freezer baggie.  Use instead of nitrate-laden store bought lunch meats for sandwiches.  (I’m doing this with chicken, ham and roast beef;  I have three gallon size baggies full of meat ready to pull out for sandwiches.  I did this last year and it worked great:  you can just pull out the meat still frozen and make the sandwich.  The meat thaws by lunchtime.)  If your family gets bored with plain sandwiches you can also use the meat to mix up chicken salad, ham salad, barbeque, etc.

5.  Easy Dinners:  I am cooking up some sausage (scrambled like ground beef instead of patties) and putting it in the freezer in baggies.  I can pull out the precooked meat for a quick dinner of spaghetti, homemade pizza, or mix the meat in with pasta cheese and veggies. 

6.  More Easy Dinners:  I’m also cooking up some ground beef to use for spaghetti, homemade pizza, “dirty” rice, etc.    Precooked ham can be chopped up for quick barbeque sandwiches. 

If you don’t have a lot of freezer space or you don’t like to cook ahead, here are some other quick, easy ideas…

1.  make individual meatloaves by mixing ground beef and sausage with egg, bread crumbs and spices (I use thyme, marjoram, garlic, salt, pepper and onion)  mix in some ketchup and milk to moisten.  Shape into serving size “loaves” and cook on the stove top in a large skillet.  Brown both sides then turn the heat down to low, cover and cook until the insides are done, about 15 minutes.  Meanwhile steam your veggies for a quick, healthy meal.  The individual loaves cook much quicker than a family size meat loaf and you don’t have to heat up the oven.

2.  Easy beef stroganoof – recipe in the recipe box

3.  Breakfast dinner – sausage patties, scrambled eggs, fruit and toast.  Quick, delicious and nutritious.

4.  BLT’s.   Broil bacon, slice tomatoes and lettuce.  Dinner in less than 30 min.

5. We love tacos and burritos.  It only takes about 10-15 minutes to brown the ground beef.  Load up with plenty of veggies and whole wheat tortillas and it’s a quick but healthy meal.