If you’re like me, when you get home, the last thing you want to do is start a meal from scratch. Whether I’m being questioned about what’s for dinner, answering a phone call or trying to remember the time and location of an evening meeting, the swirl of activity seems to crescendo just as I need to begin cooking.
Advance preparation keeps me sane and allows us to eat dinners that are healthier and nicer than what I could throw together if I started just as dinnertime approaches. Of course, the key is shopping smart, with a plan and ingredient list for all the dinners you’ll make in the coming week or the next few days.
Some of my favorite advance preparation meals are the homemade equivalents of the TV dinners I loved as a kid – casseroles that freeze well, defrost in the refrigerator and easily reheat just before dinner. But you can also make meals in stages, allowing you to put together a fresh dinner at the last minute. A few tips to set you down the do-ahead path. In general, these tips are meant for preparation 1 day (or night) in advance.