As every teacher knows, a day of teaching can leave you physically and mentally exhausted. Your mind feels like a computer with 100 internet tabs open at the same time and you’ve been on your feet all day. I don’t know about you, but by the time I get home the last thing I want to do is think about our evening meal, let alone buying ingredients and spending an hour preparing it. Over the years I have found two solutions that really work for our family:
1. Meal planning;
2. A slow cooker.
I was never a meal planner until I started teaching but now I couldn’t go without it. We don’t meal plan weekends or days that I’m not working, but Monday to Wednesday (my regular working days) are always meal planned. We plan meals that don’t need last-minute ingredients and don’t take a long time to prepare. Our favourites are home-made hamburgers, gozleme, curry and rice, soup and bread, toasted sandwiches and tomato risotto. We usually keep our meal plan the same for the whole school term (10 weeks) and then change it up when we get bored with it or a new school term starts. We shop for the ingredients fortnightly and I don’t have to give it another thought after that. It also means we save money and don’t waste food.
My second secret is a slow cooker (crock pot). I honestly could not be without our trusty Sunbeam slow cooker. We’ve had ours for about 10 years and it gets used every single week of the year (sometimes a few times each week!). Our go-to slow cooker meals are curry, vegetable soup and vegetable stew. I prepare the meal the night before and leave it uncooked in the slow cooker pot which I put in the fridge overnight. In the morning, just before I leave for work, I take it out and put it on the slow setting for the day. When I get home, I walk in the door to the smell of dinner!