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Old 08-03-2005, 12:24 AM   #1
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Ideas for dh's work meals?

My husband is a firefighter and works 24-hour shifts. Every shift that he works, I send him off with three meals and a bunch of snacks. Ideas for dinner is the main issue. Breakfast is usually some kind of pastry or bagel and lunch varies in sandwiches.

You are all probably shouting "leftovers" at the computer but a lot of the days he's off he usually goes to an evening class and it is only me for dinner. I don't quite have the energy to cook myself a big meal so we don't often have leftovers. He's also working some overtime this week, so he will be working two 48-hour shifts, I will definitly need some ideas for those days!

These dinners require little or no cooking, he needs to be able to cook and eat fast just in case they get a call. Ideas I'm asking for can also be things that I can just pick up at the grocery store and he can throw them together at work. Ya know, like rice er roni type things. There is a full kitchen at the station as well as a gas grill. He doesn't like seafood but he likes eating carbs and healthy meals. Any healthy snack ideas would be helpful too.

I'd appreciate any ideas and thoughts you guys have! Thanks a lot!


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Old 08-03-2005, 12:54 AM   #2
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Actually, here's what I would do:
I have a cooking day, where my friends and I get together for meal prep for a month's worth of meals. Really! It's easy and fun, and best of all, it's only one day. The kids play together and the moms chat while they cook. Once the food's prepared, it gets bagged in ziploc freezer bags. This is where you could make the sizes appropriate for your husband's needs. Some dishes are cooked, then bagged, such as beef stroganoff (you just reheat on the stove), some are uncooked, such as chicken cacciatore (you cook in the crockpot all day on low), while others are ready to bake in the oven, such as cheese manicotti.
I think this would be great for your family. If anything sounds good, I can post some recipes, or at least give you some ideas.
For starters, check out my link to my chicken scampi in the "I'm getting a crockpot" thread that mrsmac posted a day or two ago.

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Old 08-03-2005, 09:34 AM   #3
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I send grilled chicken or chef salads with my DH for his lunches a lot. Your hubby could keep a bottle of dressing at the station and either grill the chicken himself or you could cook up a few at home and slice it over the salad ahead of time. I also make large batches of soup or chili, freeze them in individual portions and then send them for his meals, too.

For snacks, easy things that he dosn't have to mess with much (he's in an office and only has access to a fridge and a microwave) seem to work best. Pieces of fruit or a container of fruit salad that I've mixed up, cut up veggies with a small container of dip (or the dressing he already has at work), sliced apples and peanut butter, cheese and crackers, jello or pudding, individual cups of apple sauce, a baggie of nuts. All these seem to go over pretty well. Plus, so many of these can be bought already packaged single-serve if you don't have the time to make up your own.

I'll keep thinking and see if I come up with any other easy ideas for you.
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:01 AM   #4
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The first thing that came to my mind was burritos. They can be stuffed with so many different things and can be very filling. They can be made ahead and don't need to be heated. They can be nutritious and are also very portable.

Stuff them with rice, beans, cheese, meat, veggies, and anything else you can think of.
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:28 AM   #5
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Jkath, your cooking day sounds like lots of fun! That's a great idea.
Corozon, I'd recommend that you whip up some easy one dish meals when you have some free time, and freeze in suitable size portions.
Check out the pasta section for my Texas More and Sausage and noodles.
Here's one using Rice-a-Roni that can be varied lots of ways.

C's Rice-a-Roni Casserole

In a large deep skillet, saute the rice vermicelli mix, replacing butter
with olive oil, until lightly browned. Add seasoning mix and liquid called
for. Add Add 1-1/2 to 2 cups cooked chicken, beef, turkey or pork. Let cook
according to directions until about half done. Add fresh, frozen or canned
vegetables, cover, and continue to cook until all is tender.


chicken flavored Rice-a-roni
cooked chicken, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can mushrooms, drained (use liquid as part of water called for)
2 cups fresh broccoli florets
OR 1 cup frozen peas

chicken flavored Rice mix
cooked pork, chopped into bite size pieces
1 can mushrooms, drained
1 16 oz package frozen stir-fry vegetables
soy sauce to taste

Beef flavored Rice mix
cooked beef, sliced thin
1 can mushrooms, sliced
1 can green beans, drained
baby carrots

The combinations are only limited by your imagination. If you don't have
any pre-cooked meat, brown lightly seasoned boneless chicken breasts or cubed
meat in a couple of tbls olive oil before you add the rice/vermicelli mixture.
It will finish cooking and get very tender by the time rice is done.
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Old 08-03-2005, 08:53 PM   #6
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Buy him a big jar of peanut butter and a big jar of jelly along with a loaf of bread! lol
How about a baker that he can pop in the microwave and some keilbasa or hot dogs...maybe some sauerkraut?
Cook up a big pot of ham and beans...they freeze well....and can be microwaved.
Some macaroni and cheese?
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Old 08-03-2005, 10:54 PM   #7
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i was thinking you could just boil a batch of pasta, seal it in little ziplock baggies and remove all the air, make up a few batches of hub's favorite sauces when you have the time, then freeze the sauce in little containers. then you could send him off with a container of sauce and a bag of pasta, and he can just microwave them.

hearty soups like lentil, or casseroles or chili all freeze well.

and if you make a roast, there are a bunch of things you could make for him on different days. we freeze shredded and cubed roasts and use them for stir-fry, roast beef and gravy, sandwiches, that sort of thing. same thing for roast pork.
you could make some freezer meals for him so he can microwave them.
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Old 08-05-2005, 11:32 AM   #8
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How about buying a rotisserie chicken and a bag of frozen french fries, pretty quick to cook both.
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Old 08-05-2005, 12:27 PM   #9
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I have to say that I do make a lot of burritos with all kinds of fillings in them for my truck driver hubby. He was a paramedic for many years and he liked the burrito meals than too. As GB said you can put all kinds of food in them and they don't need to be reheated as long as the filling is already cooked. Plus they are more portable if in a hurry. Otherwise I agree on the one-dish/casserole type meals that can be frozen in the right serving sizes.

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