Canned beans are good and awfully handy to have in various types. I keep garbanzos on hand for the emergency hummus; also kidney beans, butter beans and black beans. The trick is before you use them, you drain and rinse them, then marinate in something like a little bit of olive oil and some freshly crushed garlic. That's an Emeril trick and works well.
We have a yummy recipe for green beans so I'll have to look for those Costco beans. Most of their bags of frozen vegies seem so huge that I haven't bought them.
All week I've been thinking about these fits and starts, boomerang. A couple of things I do that you might want to try -- I make balsamic onions (it's an Ina Garten recipe) and use them for a couple of different dinners plus you can dig into when making eggs. They're handy to have in the frig -- a great side dish with meat, good on pasta or polenta, they'll flavor anything and they even go well cold on green salads (which is how Ina originally used hers). They easily last a week in the frig.
I sometimes buy pre-sliced mushrooms and often waste half the package. This week I cooked the whole amount (Costco 4# - it took two go-rounds in the big frying pan.) We had some that night with steak, then some more with pasta a few days later, plus they were handy to dig into for breakfast eggs. I did freeze one box of pre-cooked mushrooms as well... hope they're okay. I'll probably use them for another pasta dish or for soup.
When cutting up onions, carrots and celery I wash & scrub the entire vegetable, then save the trimmings and freeze them. I also freeze the bones and cuttings from raw meat. Eventually I can make a reasonably good broth by pulling out a few plastic bags from the freezer and putting them in the soup pot.
I save the ends of bread and cut them into cubes and freeze. These are very handy when I'm already busy making a stuffing and good anytime I need bread crumbs for some other reason.
Here's a current Ina Garten Recipe that sounds good and I'll probably try this week -- Roasted Vegies are so good. There's a recipe that mixes white potatoes, yams, onions, carrots and turnips that is really good this time of year. Anyway, the balsamic onions are similarly cooked, except with the addition of 3T balsamic vinegar and replacing the carrots with 4 thinly sliced onions.
3 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons minced fresh dill or flat-leaf parsley
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
If the carrots are thick, cut them in half lengthwise; if not, leave them whole. Slice the carrots diagonally into 1 1/2-inch-thick slices. (The carrots will get smaller while cooking, so make the slices big.) Toss them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a baking sheet in one layer and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.
Toss the carrots with minced dill or parsley, season to taste, and serve.
The trick is to have some things in mind that you want to eat. That decision is the very hardest for me.
We had a yummy dinner last week you might want to try since you're a Costco shopper. Buy the all-natural chicken sausage links with apples. Divide the package and freeze half. Brown the sausages on one side in a little bit of olive oil, turn and add some balsamic onions and 1/2 bottle of sauerkraut. Cover and keep warm on a low fire until you're going to eat them, or cool, then reheat just before dinner. The browner they get, the better. I serve the sausages with sweet-hot mustard.
Meanwhile, when it's nearly dinnertime, steam some good potatoes (red or yellow) that have been cut in half so they cook faster, then add a little butter and a lot of fresh chopped parsley and stir around to coat the potatoes. Quick cook your favorite green veg and there's a tasty meal that hardly took any time to prepare, plus you'll have at least two servings of good left-overs. You'll probably need more sauerkraut for the left-overs.