Prepare ahead: Buy ingredients that can be incorporated into all kinds of dishes.
- Soups and stews: This is a great way to get healthy meals in ahead of time. Make a variety of pureed soups (e.g., squash, broccoli, pea, mushroom and lentil) and freeze, defrosting when needed. Or make two soups on Sunday and keep in the fridge for at least two dinners or lunches. Big batches of chili or hearty stews will also come in handy; these kinds of dishes always taste better the next day anyway. Soups and stews are a great way to stretch a buck, as well.
- Casseroles: Assemble these on a Sunday when you have more time, leave in the fridge and pop in the oven right when you get home. Great options include lasagnas (no-boil noodles help), sliced portobello and eggplant stacked with tomatoes and shredded cheese, and chicken and rice.
- Braising meats: Slow cooker to the rescue! If you have 15 minutes in the morning to drop a brisket or pork shoulder in your slow cooker, you'll come home to a fantastic meal that evening. Or braise some short ribs on Sunday and use them the whole week long in sandwiches, pasta sauces, burritos and quesadillas. Added bonus: Braising cuts are much cheaper than the more tender cuts of meat.
- Oatmeal or grits: Make a huge batch, store in a resealable container and eat in the morning with different additions all week long: dried fruit, toasted nuts, maple syrup, honey or brown sugar, fresh berries and more.