A mother’s job never ends and nowhere is that this extra true than on trip! I’ve all the time thought it was ironic how a lot work it requires to go “relax” … planning the place to go and what to do, packing luggage and kit, and making all of the wholesome meals for trip.
I as soon as learn a satire article referred to as “Mom Spends Beach Vacation Assuming All Household Duties In Closer Proximity To Ocean” and whereas it was meant to be satire, it additionally rings considerably true!
In reality, often after we get residence, I really feel like I want a trip from trip!
Don’t get me mistaken: I completely love the time our household spends collectively. From one thing so simple as tenting within the woods to a week-long keep on the seashore, getting away from common work and routine in addition to getting high quality household time collectively can’t be beat … with one sticking level, till now …
How I Actually Got a Vacation from Cooking
So what lastly introduced me some peace of thoughts (and physique!) on trip?
For these of us who select not to eat at a restaurant for every meal on vacation (each for funds and health causes), making a meal on trip can look like much more work than it does at residence.
In reality, I got here to dread it!
The hectic journey to the grocery retailer after we arrived (often hungry and with all the children) … staring on the grocery receipt in disbelief … hauling all of it to our vacation spot and organising an unfamiliar kitchen whereas unpacking every little thing else …
Something had to change.
Recently, I lastly did what I ought to have finished years in the past and utilized my normal meal planning and bulk cooking to trip time. For the primary time in eternally (cue Frozen song) I truly felt like I acquired a while off too!
The Strategy: Bulk Cooking Healthy Meals for Vacation
I actually can’t imagine it took me so lengthy to start pre-planning wholesome meals for trip. At residence, I meal plan on a regular basis (utilizing Real Plans … test it out for those who haven’t… it saves me sooooo a lot time!).
Most weeks at residence, I additionally batch cook dinner to save time and simplify just a few meals.
By making use of these identical strategies to trip I acquired every week off from cooking (and we even had further members of the family on the journey so I used to be cooking for extra folks).
We pre-made all the dinners for the journey, deliberate straightforward lunches that didn’t actually require prep, and we had leftovers or different no-prep meals for breakfast.
I additionally did one thing I nearly by no means do:
I used foil pans in order that I may pre-make and freeze the meals in my deep freezer. As an additional step I lined the pans with natural parchment paper to cut back aluminum publicity. Even although I’m not a fan of utilizing foil in any respect and don’t use it at residence, I noticed that if we had to eat out, we’d doubtless be eating non-organic meals cooked in a non-stick skillet, so this was nonetheless much less publicity than eating out (and cheaper too).
The different choice (that I’d attempt sooner or later) could be to use half-size stainless steel table pans for making and freezing since they stack compactly when empty and could be straightforward to convey residence.
Now to fill them!
The Logistics: Prepping and Packing
Here’s what I did:
I pre-made all of the meals (scroll down to see my meal plan) and froze them in my deep freezer. I purposefully made sufficient of every meal that we may repurpose the leftovers for breakfast and lunch most days. (Yes, we generally eat dinner for breakfast!)
On the morning we left for trip, I used a big laundry basket and a few seashore towels to create a makeshift cooler. Of course, a daily ice chest would additionally work, however I wanted to match a variety of meals in a small house and was bringing towels and laundry basket anyway.
I stacked the frozen meals (individually wrapped in towels with ice packs) within the basket and put the entire thing into the again of our car (surrounded by suitcases for further insulation and safety). The meals we have been planning to use the primary two days have been on the highest and backside since I figured these would defrost first.
When we arrived (it was a 9-hour drive) the highest and backside meals had started to defrost slightly however have been nonetheless largely frozen and really chilly. These went into the fridge at our rental so we may use them, and the remainder of the meals went into the freezer.
Every evening I merely took out the meals we would wish for the following day, set them within the fridge to defrost, and put them within the oven after we wanted them.
The Plan: 6 Days of Healthy Meals for Vacation
These are the meals I made for our journey. Really any meals would work, however these have been ones that have been straightforward to make and freeze.
Day 1 (Arrival Day):
Slow-cooker Chicken Fajitas (double batch) with salad and store-bought guacamole
Breakfast – Leftover stroganoff
Lunch – Tuna sandwiches on gluten-free bread with fruit and uncooked veggies
Dinner – Zucchini Lasagna (double batch)
Breakfast – leftover lasagna
Lunch – Reuben salads made with nitrate-free pastrami, sauerkraut, lettuce, and selfmade thousand island dressing
Dinner – Beef and Cabbage Stir Fry (pre-made double batch)
Breakfast – Quiche made with leftover beef and cabbage stir fry
Lunch – P.F. Chang imitation lettuce wraps made with floor beef, water chestnuts, and selfmade hoisin sauce
Dinner – Pre-made taco meat on lettuce tacos with all of the toppings
Breakfast – Leftover taco meat scrambled with eggs
Lunch – Salads with leftovers from the week
Dinner – All the leftovers (We deliberate to exit to eat this evening if wanted however we ended up having sufficient leftovers!)
The Reward: An Actual Vacation!
In the top, pre-cooking 6 wholesome meals resulted in a real trip from cooking with minimal dishes and cleanup. It wasn’t as clear as we might have eaten at residence, however it was positively a lot better than eating out for each meal.
The better part?
I didn’t cook dinner on trip, we didn’t have to take all the children to crowded eating places that price a small fortune, and we ate scrumptious meals all week!
Not Sure Where to Start?
This trip meal plan could be straightforward to customise together with your favourite recipes. I’d actually advocate utilizing Real Plans for this! It already has all of my recipes pre-loaded and it creates a very easy-to-use procuring checklist. You can even customise any meal plan, eradicate meals you’ll be able to’t or don’t eat, and alter for household dimension. It is significantly one in every of my finest time-saving ideas! Check it out here.
Do you ever really feel like trip is extra work than staying residence? Do you may have ideas for bulk cooking wholesome meals for trip?