Category Archives: Make Ahead Meals

Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew

Moroccan lamb stew

This slow cooker Moroccan lamb stew is delicious and easy to combine on your cooking day.

In converting the recipe into a make ahead meal kit type recipe, there is a little bit of upfront prep work involved. Don’t let that scare you off.  For simplicity purposes, this recipe has been broken down into four parts:

Part 1 – VEGETABLES – Onions, zucchini, tomatoes and garlic

Part 2 – DRIED FRUIT & NUTS – Dried apricots, dates and almonds

Part 3 – MEAT – Cubed lamb and broth

Part 4 – SEASONING – Moroccan spice mix


Add the following instructions to “Part 1”:

Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb Stew
In the slow cooker, place Part 1 (veggies) in the slow cooker. Add Part 2 (dried fruit and nuts). Add broth.  Oil lamb (Part 3) and place over vegetables and broth. Sprinkle Moroccan spice (Part 4) over the lamb. Sprinkle any extra spices around the edges so it flavours the veggies too.

Cook on high for 3 to 4 hours.

Serve with couscous and fresh green salad.

Step-by-Step Instructions:

Add veggies and dried fruit to slow cooker:

Moroccan Lamb Stew Vegetables

Add meat, broth and seasonings:

Slow Cooker Moroccan Lamb StewCook on high for 3-4 hours:

Crockpot Moroccan Lamb Stew

Pulling this yummy meal together is super fast and easy to do on the actual cooking day.  Very flavourful, with very little effort.  Perfect for a busy family activity night!

Freezable Homemade Pizza Dough

freezable homemade pizza doughThis make ahead freezeable homemade pizza dough whips up in a cinch. The bread machine in this recipe does ALL the heavy lifting of the kneading, keeping your hands clean!

Once you make it a few times you will NEVER want to go back to take out pizza! It’s super easy to make and so much better tasting than store-bought or premade pizza crusts. And it’s better for you too!

Once you’ve made your own delicious pizza dough, throw some in the freezer and have it ready to go whenever you feel the need for pizza!


Place all the ingredients in the bread machine pan according to the order in the manufacturer’s instructions.

homemade pizza doughProgram for the Dough or Pizza Dough cycle and Press Start.


When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, press Stop and unplug the machine. Immediately remove the bread pan from the machine and turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface.

Divide it in the desired number of portions. Flatten each portion into a disc by kneading a few times then folding the edges into the centre. Cover with a damp towel on the work surface to rest for 30 minutes until the dough has increased about 20 percent in size.

Roll out and shape the dough as directed in your pizza recipe.

To freeze, wrap the dough in plastic first (to suspend the rising) and then in a resealable freezer bag. Pizza dough keeps frozen in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost in refrigerator overnight before using.  Allow dough to rise for at least 20 minutes before rolling out.

Slow Cooker Baked Potatoes

slow cooker hasselback potatoesWhy turn on the oven for just baked potatoes? Making baked potatoes ahead of time in the slow cooker not only saves a whole lot of energy by not heating up your oven, but it also saves valuable time in the evening.

Simply place these yummy potatoes in the crockpot first thing in the morning. Come home to already done baked potatoes that are simply just as delicious, if not even better, than potatoes done in the oven. Many slow cooker recipes suggest that you wrap the potatoes in tinfoil, but this extra step is really not necessary.


slow cooker baked potatoes ingredients

Clean the potato(s) and peel if desired. Skins are okay to leave on, if you prefer not to peel them.

Grease the interior crock with olive oil. Take a paper towel and coat the potatoes with olive oil. In this recipe we’ve sliced the potatoes hasselback style. To slice, simply place the potato in a wooden spoon and slice it thinly without cutting all the way through. This way the butter and seasonings can spread further into the potato making it more flavourful.

Add the potatoes to the slow cooker.  Remember the slow cooker should be at least 1/2 full and not more than 3/4 full.  Season the potatoes with your desired amount of butter, garlic powder and Italian seasoning.

Slow Cooker Baked Potato

Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

Potatoes that are smaller in size will cook faster than larger potatoes.

Slow Cooker Tips

Slow cookers are a life saver when making meals ahead of time.  Although it may seem like one could just throw a few ingredients together and have it cook, there are some slow cooker tips that will make your slow cooking experience better.

  1. slow cooker tipsBe sure to buy the right sized slow cooker, or have a couple of different sized slow cookers on hand. Make sure there is enough food in the crock AND not too much food. The food or liquid must comes at least half way up the wall of the crock insert, as the element is located on the sides of the slow cooker. If only half-filled, check for doneness 1 to 2 hours earlier than recipe. The emptier the slow cooker, the faster it cooks. Alternatively, do not overload the crock pot. Half full to three quarters full is recommended for most crock pots.
  2. Stirring is not necessary when slow cooking and removing glass lid results in major heat loss and the cooking time may need to be extended.
  3. The crock can be pre-warmed by filing it with boiling water first.
  4. Get tender meat by lightly coating the pieces in flour and then browning before adding to the crock. This also helps to seal in the juices.
  5. Fat retains heat more readily than water, so fattier recipes will cook faster than those with less fat. Trim meats and brown them prior to putting them in the crock pot.
  6. Steam accumulates on the slow cooker’s lid and the contents of the crockery tend to get watered down. Use thickeners such as flour, cornstarch and tomato paste to give texture to the dish.
  7. Vegetables: Cut vegetables in small pieces to ensure rapid heat transfer. Always place vegetable in the crock first and then the meat on top.
  8. Dry herbs and spices can lose their flavor when simmering so long, if possible–try adding them the last two hours before the meal is ready to help keep the flavor. Use fresh herbs when possible, these can be added first thing since they’ll hold their flavor better when simmering for hours.
  9. 1 hour on high is equivalent to 2 hours on low.
  10. Don’t set a hot crock on a cold surface. Always place a hot pad or towel under it.

Meal Planning with Google Calendar

Meal planning takes a bit of upfront organizing and time; however, the benefits definitely make it worth your while.  Benefits include: saving money, spending less time in the grocery store, saving time, eat healthier, waste less food and more time at dinner time.

Google Calendar is a free and easy tool to use.  Check out this video on how to make this tool work for you when meal planning:

Meals to Make Ahead

Homemade meals on the table with ease and in a jiffy!

“Hey – what’s for dinner?” Is this a daily question that makes you cringe or want to curl up in a ball and cry? You peek in the fridge and there is nothing appetizing nor anything that actually goes together to make an appetizing dinner.

Your typical answer is a trip to the nearby grocery store or better yet, a fast food drive thru… yes, you know you should a little more organized to deal with the “5pm grizzlies”, but getting organized or planning a meal is a whole different story. You’re caught in this vicious circle and you can’t seem to get out of it. Unchaining yourself from the immediate stressful dinner time demands seems virtually impossible.

Stop the last minute grocery store runs, eat nutritious, homemade meals and eliminate unhealthy and costly fast food pickups!

But how?

Meals to Make Ahead of Time

You’ve thought it might be good to have meals to make ahead of time – you know, cook  some dinners in advance, but the whole idea is overwhelming. Mustering up the time, energy and freezer space seems like too much of a challenge. And meal planning never seems to work out. It’s too hard to organize the time to plan and it’s not flexible enough.

What if the planning and organizing part was minimized to virtually a few minutes? What if you didn’t make ahead meals in their entirety, but just parts of them to give you that head start that you so desperately need? Or how about simply doubling or tripling the next meal you make and start to stock-pile your freezer?

This website is your make ahead meal resource. You will find many time saving tips and tricks, recipes and even how-to videos to get your meal times organized and on the table with ease!