One thing every member of my family loves is cheese. We top every salad with it, add it to our baked potatoes, and we won’t eat a burger without it. We also love to eat it plain with some crackers as a snack. My refrigerator is usually stocked with several types of cheese. This week, however, it is overflowing with cheese. The small grocery store near my house had a cheese sale this week, and I stocked up. Shredded cheddar, shredded mozzarella, sliced provolone, sliced muenster, and grated Parmesan were all in my cart by the end of my trip. That’s why I decided to make some super cheesy make-ahead meals this week.
Parmesan and Herb-Crusted Haddock from Erica at Erica’s Recipes will be our dinner Monday night. I found a great deal on haddock. Since I don’t like to keep fish too long, I decided to make it first. Everyone in my family loves fish, and with Parmesan cheese in the topping, this recipe is sure to be a favorite. Erica suggested serving the fish with asparagus, but I didn’t get any at the grocery store this week. I’m going to roast some broccoli and carrots as a side. This is the meal I’m most looking forward to this week. It’s healthy and simple.
Several years ago, I was watching an episode of Giada at Home with Giada De Laurentiis. She was making Grilled Vegetable, Herb and Goat Cheese Sandwiches. They sounded absolutely delicious, but I didn’t have all the ingredients at the time, and goat cheese is the one type of cheese my kids don’t like. I took her idea and tweaked it a bit to fit our tastes. A big loaf of ciabatta bread, some eggplant, and zucchini were what I had on hand. I grilled them and layered them with balsamic mayonnaise and sliced provolone. The sandwich turned out so delicious that I’ve made several different variations of it since. I’m making it again on Tuesday night because the farmer’s market still had some eggplants and zucchinis. Here are the step-by-step directions for making my Grilled Veggie Panini. Even though this technically isn’t a make-ahead meal, it comes together quickly and is really easy.
One of the first recipes that comes to mind when I think of super cheesy make-ahead meals is alfredo sauce. I used the rest of the grated Parmesan cheese to make the Perfect Homemade Alfredo Sauce from Nikki at Chef in Training. I combined it with some penne pasta, chicken, and frozen peas. Miss M walked in as I was mixing everything together. Her eyes lit up when she saw the cheesy sauce. “I have some noodles, please?” she asked. How do you say no to that? She devoured an entire bowl in about two minutes. She wanted more, but I told her she needs to wait until Wednesday night. At least I know dinner will be a hit that night.
In addition to cheese, potatoes were also on sale at the grocery store. I bought an 8-pound bag and decided to use some of them to make the Loaded Chicken and Potatoes from Kathryn at Singing Through the Rain. I’ve made this recipe before, and it always turns out great. I added some broccoli to it this time to make sure we get some veggies that night. I also omitted the bacon, since I didn’t have any. My kids love how the cheese melts all over the chicken and potatoes. I love how easy and quick this recipe is to throw together. It does take a little bit longer to bake than most of my make-ahead meals. That’s why I chose to make it Thursday night. We don’t have soccer practice that night, so we can eat a little bit later.
Pizza night this week will be pizza bagels. Giant had a special coupon for Thomas’s Bagels in their circular. I bought a pack of plain bagels, and I’m going to put sauce and mozzarella cheese on them for Friday’s dinner. If anyone wants any toppings, we can add them to the top. Each person gets a super cheesy personal pizza. That will be a great end to the week.
Mornings last week were crazy. I was scrambling to get breakfast for everyone. Granola bars, rice cakes with peanut butter, and breakfast bars were grabbed as we ran out the door. I wanted something easy and healthy that I could give everyone to start the day off right. I found the recipe for Apple Cinnamon Baked Oatmeal Muffins from Amanda at The Wholesome Dish. The farmer’s market had some beautiful apples, so I bought two baskets of them. I had all of the other ingredients in my pantry. I quickly mixed them up and popped them in the oven while my children were playing outside. As soon as J came inside, he asked what smelled so yummy. Both he and Miss M had one as a snack before bed. They loved them! I think the mornings this week are going to be a lot easier.
What do you use for quick and easy breakfasts before school or work?