Cheesy Garlic Zucchini Casserole
Guess what? Another zucchini recipe is up! This one is an easy casserole you can whip up in no time provided you have some ingredients ready to go in your fridge. I am going to take some time today to share a few tips I use to make meal prep faster throughout the week. I know we all lead really busy lives and if you can set yourself up for your weekly meals when you get home from the grocery there is a good chance you will take the time to cook at home as opposed to going out which is healthier for everyone. When I sit down to do my meal plan I figure out 4-5 meals a week that we are going to eat. The other days will consist of leftovers, maybe dining out or a party, or something really easy like sandwiches or breakfast for dinner. I don’t really plan what days we will eat because well, life happens and sometimes you have to just go with the flow. However, when I get home from the grocery I know that I have the ingredients to make at least 4 meals in my fridge and freezer not including the easy stuff mentioned above.
- I am certainly not above taking shortcuts from the grocery but there are a few things the just taste better fresh, cheese is the big one for me. Yes, I know shredded cheese in a bag and the stuff in the can makes it easy but trust me in most cases fresh grated cheese is far superior. They have to put starchy anti caking ingredients in the bagged variety that is why it is never as creamy or melty as fresh. So, the solution to this is buy the block of cheese, bring it home, grate it on your box grater, and store it in a Tupperware in the fridge. Now you have extra creamy cheese ready to go all week or longer. For parmesan just buy a wedge and keep it in the fridge, when you need some just take the wedge and use a handheld grater to grate it right into the recipe you are making or into a bowl if you need a certain amount. It lasts a really long time stored in a bag in the fridge so now you always have fresh parm when you need it.
2. Wash your veggies when you get home from the store and place them in your fridge ready to be cut up, this drastically eliminates prep time during the busy weeknight.
3. Instead of mincing up garlic with your knife just grate it right into the recipe with a handheld grater. There is a whole post about this here.
I know that doing these tips adds more time to your weekly grocery trip but with the time you save throughout the week it is worth it. It is so nice to be able to grabs the veggies and cheese knowing that they are ready to go and there is no prep work involved! On another note since this makes it easier there is more time to maybe invite the kids into the kitchen and let them measure a few things out and be part of making dinner, they might just be more interested in taking a bite of that zucchini if they had a hand in making it. I say might because I have 2 small kids and it is hit or miss whether they will eat the veggies I make that day! If you have any time saving tips I would love to hear them. One day I will dedicate and entire post for time saving tips in the kitchen and I would love feature some tips from you! Let me know in the comments area.