Today's working families often find time a rare commodity. Between work, chores and extra-curricular activities, finding time to prepare a sit-down meal every night can be more than difficult. You can rise to the challenge, however, by following what is known as the 2 and 4 method. This method focuses on choosing two meats and four vegetables that you will use for all the meals of the week.
Roast a whole chicken. Serve roasted chicken one night, then shred the remainder up and put in baggies in the fridge or freezer so that you can thaw and use for chicken tacos later in the week.
Make meatloaf with 3 pounds of of ground sirloin for a meal on the second night. Brown the rest and store for use as sloppy joes one night and as the topping on a pizza another night.
Choose your four vegetables as side dishes or as a mix of side dishes and main course ingredients. For example, if one of your vegetables is green bell peppers, use them for stir-fry, shish kebabs and as part of the meatloaf or chili. Choose white potatoes for quickly baking in a microwave or for soups and stews. Sweet peas can be used as a side dish and in a cold pasta salad. Think about how to use each vegetable you select at least twice.
Make dessert choices that are easily prepared and stored in advance, if you typically serve dessert. Ice cream offers variety, since it can be covered with fudge, candy sprinkles and even cookies. Fruit, either with ice cream or on its own, offers an inexpensive, healthy dessert option.
These are just examples. Once you begin to plan around the 2 and 4 method, you will realize there are a lot of choices.