I’d like to tell you that midway through December I’m clinging tightly to my end of the year goals and my healthy eating habits. I’d be lying. I’ve been relaxed on my meal prep. I’ve not cooked much, which leads me to last-minute meal decisions. I found myself standing in the kitchen last night wondering what we were going to eat for dinner and deciding that we simply could not eat pizza again.

I thought about breakfast for dinner and scrambled eggs. But then I realized that was what we had for breakfast.

I thought about soft tacos, but I really didn’t want to divide up the 4 lbs of raw ground beef and cook it.

While I was debating all of this, Abi asked if she could make noodles with meat sauce for her and her brothers. I had a bit of cooked ground beef already in the fridge, so I let her run with it.

Then I made coffee.

See, coffee is a time-sensitive thing in my life. It cannot be rushed. It must be planned. We drink cold-brew – which may be a completely separate blog – but it requires at least 12 hours to steep, so I can’t make it in the morning.

Anyway, while I was making coffee I realized that I had several dinner options and several other things I could easily make while in the kitchen. So I got to work.

Bacon

I make diced bacon on the stove and strips of bacon in the oven or Air Fryer. I had about ¾ of a pound left from a previous meal so I diced it up and popped it in the frying pan. Here’s where I want to take a moment and talk about how much I miss my cast iron skillet on a gas range. One day. I hope.

Sausage and Potatoes

While the bacon was cooking, I remembered I had four white potatoes left from Thanksgiving. So I washed them and cubed them and tossed them in the Instant Pot. I added a package of chicken apple sausage, a cup of water, and put it on Manual for 10 minutes with a natural release. This is what I actually ate for dinner – and I have at least four more servings left.

Mushrooms and Green Beans

When I drained the bacon bits out, to use with another dish, I added in sliced mushrooms and cooked them in the bacon grease for a few minutes. Then I added a can of green beans. Voila! Now I have a side for any meal ready to go.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I’m not going to lie, this was the whole reason this mess started. I wanted to make roasted sweet potatoes. This is a method adapted from Against All Grain’s recipe – but I stopped measuring long ago. About 1.5 to 2 pounds of diced sweet potatoes, olive oil, seasonings to include salt, pepper, chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Mix it up, put it on a sheet pan, and add bacon. I like my bacon crispy which is why I cook it first. Roast them in the oven for about 40 minutes. Thankfully Alexa helps me keep track of all these timers.

So by the time the two youngest ate their pasta with meat sauce and the oldest came home from dinner with a friend, I had most of this done. Now I have a variety of pieces ready for meals for the rest of the week.

Usually, I meal prep on Sundays, but last night was perfect timing. Tonight I’ll make four pounds of taco meat and freeze half of it for next week. If only to keep the momentum going!

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