In a previous podcast episode called Simplified Menu Planning, I encouraged listeners to not overthink meal planning. (You may listen to that episode here.)

 

In this audio, I described how my original freezer cooking, in which I plugged all of my entrees into categories (based on meat types), led me to look at meal planning in a more simplified way. I made my master list of most of the entrees that I fix under each category, and then I can see what meats are on sale, scan my master entrée list, and choose meals to make.

 

I know there is a lot more to meal planning and preparing than simply choosing a category and “fixing” it. However, one of the things that people say over and over concerning the whole idea of meal planning includes “I can’t think of anything to make when it is time” or “I feel like I always make the same things over and over again.”

 

This idea of having all or most of your entrees listed under the meat that it is made of gives you a ready list at your finger tips. I found myself saying, “Oh, yeah, I forgot that everybody loves that taco soup. I’ve got taco meat in the freezer. Think I’ll pull it out and make that.”

 

One of the key concepts that Organizing Wizard teaches in her courses (and one that I have been trying to teach long before I heard of her great products in my workshops for moms) is that we often spend too much time thinking about what we want to do. We can spend a great deal of time on decisions and things that should really be decided quickly and decisively. This will free up our brains for the headier decisions—and make those things we do over and over again (prepare dinner, for example) happen more quickly.

 

When we learn to think quickly about those activities and tasks that are repeating in our lives, we make them smaller. That is, they do not remain so large and daunting. I have found this to be true over and over again as I have put systems in place, made quick decisions, etc., on things like Daily Tasks, menu planning, and more.

 

So, once again, I am going to give you those lists and encourage you to spend an hour or so making your own. You can even write them on large sticky notes (one sticky per meat) and place them on the inside of your kitchen cupboards and add to it as you think of more dishes that you make (or used to make).

 

 

Note:

Here are some other podcast episodes about kitchen efficiency that you might enjoy:

Podcast: Tips For Efficiency in The Kitchen

Podcast: Simplified Meal Planning

Podcast: Tips for Efficiency

Podcast: How to Implement Cycle Cooking for Freezer Entrees and Starters

Podcast: Ten Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Freezer Cooking

 

 

Think in terms of meats/cycle cooking and make a master list

 

1. What meats (and in what form of the meats) do you regularly use in your meals?

2. How can these be “grouped” (either for thinking purposes or for preparing bulk entrees for the freezer)?

3. Make a master list of things that you EVER make from various meats, print it, and tape it to the inside of a kitchen cabinet or on the fridge in a sheet protector. You want this handy!

 

 

Shredded Chicken

  • Chicken enchiladas
  • Chicken tetrazinni
  • Chicken broccoli casserole
  • Hot chicken salad
  • BBQ shredded chicken
  • Chicken taco meat
  • Chicken alfredo (or starter for freezer)
  • Cream of chicken soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Chicken rice soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Chicken gnocchi soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Chicken noodle soup (or starter for freezer)
  • White bean chicken chili (or starter for freezer)
  • Chicken tortilla soup (or starter for freezer)

 

 

Crumbled Ground Beef or Turkey

  • Enchiladas
  • Cheeseburger pie
  • Shepherd’s pie
  • Lasagna
  • Spaghetti pie
  • Beef noodle stroganoff (or starter for freezer)
  • Beef-broccoli Alfredo (or starter for freezer)
  • Taco meat
  • Goulash (or starter for freezer)
  • Chili (or starter for freezer)
  • Hamburger Stew (or starter for freezer)
  • Vegetable soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Homemade hamburger helper (or starter for freezer)
  • Taco soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Pasta e fagioli soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Cheeseburger potato soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Mexican pizzas (or starter for freezer)
  • Layered Mexican dip (or starter for freezer)
  • Beef nacho supreme (or starter for freezer)
  • Beef taco soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Maid rite sandwiches
  • Ravioli
  • Hamburger gravy
  • Mexican pizza

 

 

Shredded Roast Beef (or Pork)

  • Enchiladas
  • Beef stew (or starter for freezer)
  • Vegetable soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Beefy potato rivel soup (or starter for freezer)
  • BBQ beef
  • Pot roast w/ veggies
  • Beef carnitas/shredded meat taco (or starter for freezer)
  • Shredded beef nachos (or starter for freezer)

 

 

Chicken Breasts or Thighs (Not Shredded)

  • Chick filet knock off
  • Parmesan chicken breasts/thighs/tenders
  • Cheddar coated breasts
  • Monterey chicken breasts
  • Chicken cordon bleu
  • Smothered chicken (or starter for freezer)
  • Yogurt/parmesan chicken
  • Garlic chicken bites (for Alfredo, chicken spaghetti, stir fries, subs, chicken alfredo pizza etc.)
  • Monterey chicken bites (for fajitas, appetizers, chicken quesadillas, stir fries, subs, etc.)

 

 

Shaped Ground Meat/Steak

  • Meat loaves
  • Ham loaves
  • Meatballs
  • Salisbury steak
  • Florida steak
  • Smothered steak (or starter for freezer)
  • Steak salad (or starter for freezer)
  • Philly cheesesteak casserole (or starter for freezer)
  • Steak breakfast burrito (or starter for freezer)
  • Steak fajita
  • Steak stir fry
  • Dried beef gravy

 

 

 

Ham/Sausage/Bacon/Cheese/Pepperoni

  • Hamarama (sandwiches)
  • Cheesy potatoes with ham
  • Broccoli cheese soup
  • Cheesy potato sausage soup
  • Soup beans with ham
  • Ham steak
  • BBQ ham steak
  • Grilled ham and cheese sandwiches
  • Grilled cheese sandwiches
  • Cheddar soup
  • Pizza (or starter for freezer)
  • Pizza subs (or starter for freezer)
  • Pizza casserole
  • Pizza soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Chicken pork creamy soup (or starter for freezer)
  • Goulash (or starter for freezer)
  • Sausage breakfast sandwiches (or starter for freezer)
  • Sausage gravy and biscuits
  • Pizza dip
  • Sausage cups ((or starter for freezer)
  • Pizza cups (or starter for freezer)
  • Sausage biscuit balls
  • Egg roll skillet (or starter for freezer)
  • Kielbasa stir fry (or starter for freezer)
  • Egg skillet (or starter for freezer)
  • Omelets (or starter for freezer)
  • Egg casserole (or starter for freezer)
  • Pancakes and sausage
  • Sausage sandwiches
  • Loaded baked potatoes
  • Breakfast pizzas

 

Seafood

  • Tuna casserole
  • Tuna balls
  • Salmon patties
  • Salmon loaves
  • Baked salmon
  • Baked cod
  • Skillet white fish
  • Shrimp scampi
  • Shrimp Alfredo
  • Clam chowder

 

 

 

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