Food on-the-go doesn’t have to mean stopping at a drive-thru or an en-route gas station, even while moving. When you move, you probably don’t have everything you need unpacked on day one. Even if your kitchen is unpacked then, it doesn’t mean you want to cook. Moving your house is an exhausting task, especially with kids and pets. Mealtime should be easy while you and your family are working on unpacking your new home.
There are, however, several easy foods to fix while moving, and several ways to save time and stress during meal time while unpacking.
Set aside a small box of essential tools.
For most simple and easy meals, you need only a handful of basic kitchen tools, making it unnecessary to worry about packing and storing entire boxes of pans, dishes, and spices on the first night. One pan for browning meat or cooking vegetables, utensils for stirring and eating with, and a pot for boiling rice are good places to start. Making sure you have a source of protein is the most important part of the meal.
Another good idea for planning ahead is making a list of quick, easy meals that everyone eats – such as freezer meals, cold-cut sandwiches, cereal/oatmeal, and other readily available food. You should also focus on meals that you can make in bulk so you have leftovers as well.
Take advantage of pre-cut vegetables at the grocery store.
You can find pre-chopped vegetables in both the freezer aisle or produce section at any grocery store. You could also buy fresh veggies, cut them up, and pack them in a cooler for your move. To use a bag of stir-fried vegetables, add a bottle of sauce, and some rice. It’s cheaper and healthier than eating out, does not require a plethora of utensils, and can be prepared in a matter of minutes. Other vegetables, such as onions or peppers, can be purchased and added to meals that would normally require fresh ingredients.
Just note that some vegetables, such as carrots, corn, or broccoli, are more likely to maintain a similar texture after cooking than the frozen counterparts of spinach, onions, or peppers when compared to their fresh counterparts. Some frozen vegetables can also get a little mushy while cooking, so make sure to watch extra carefully.
Grains make for quick and easy dinners.
Meals can be made in as little as ten minutes with the help of easy-to-forget pantry staples, like rice and spaghetti. Rice goes well with any meat or vegetable combination imaginable, and noodles require a little more effort than a jar of sauce and something to drink on the side. There are other types of pasta, too, that your family can enjoy as quick meals.
Mom and dads alike can prepare a sandwich. Sandwiches are simple to prepare, although if plain sandwiches don’t sound particularly appetizing after a long move, a loaf of bread can be used to easily prepare more enticing meals. Tuna melts, French toast, or bread soup made from simple ingredients like onions and broth, are among the many versatile dinner options that bread has to offer. Many of these meals don’t require many ingredients, either, so it will be easy to stock up after moving.
Bring out the crockpot.
If you can cook it on the stove or in the oven, you can cook it in a crockpot too. You can even cook raw meats inside of the crockpot, although you should still check the temperature before serving. For crockpots, a rule of thumb is to cook on high for three to four hours for faster meals. If there’s no rush to put dinner on the table, it can cook slowly for at least six hours. As a bonus, it’s incredibly hard to overcook things with a crockpot! For quick chili, combine cooked ground beef, chili seasonings, canned tomatoes, and beans for a hearty family meal.