Now THERE”S an oxymoron.
Does anyone else enjoy cooking in bulk? I have an entire shelf of cookbooks about Mega-Cooking, Freezer Cooking, Putting Food By, Making Your Own Mixes, and such. It was sort of a hobby of mine. We only had two kids, but I wanted to learn to cook for an army. Just in case.
The first time we went to a homeschool conference, they were there. The Mega-Cooking Moms. After passing a whole row of math curricula, I’d bump into a booth with home-published cookbooks. Then a row or two later, someone would be making fruit smoothies or grinding wheat berries and expounding the values of raw foods and home-baked bread. I can remember looking at those booths with disbelief, wondering what on earth any of that had to do with educating my girls.
And the next year, I bought the cookbooks.
And a couple of years later I had a
grain grinder and a Vita-Mix.
I never was able to master cooking and freezing meals for an entire month, and I’ve reverted back to buying store-bought Taco Seasoning Mix. However, I did come up with ideas for planning ahead that helped me pull super-quick meals out of the fridge, freezer, or pantry. They’re second-nature now, and will work even better for cooking for just Hubby and me. From what I hear, lots of Empty Nesters get discouraged by just cooking for two… so I’m hoping a time-saver or two will have us eating a bit healthier and discourage us from eating too much Take-Out. Below is what we do with chicken around here. It’s super easy, and will keep two people stocked with grilled chicken for quite a while.
When boneless, skinless chicken breast goes on sale for $1.99/lb., buy a big pack. Put the chicken in a large casserole, and sprinkle it liberally with Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb Blend, Pepper, and Worcestershire Sauce. (That’s pronounced Wooshter Sauce if you live in Slower Lower Delaware. Or Wooshtersher, if you want to sound intelligent.) Let it marinate a few minutes or a few hours. Usually for me it’s minutes.
Grill chicken for about 20 minutes, flipping it every five minutes.
If the pieces are thick, I might give them an extra 5 minutes.
(Safety tip: wash the fork between flippings and wash
the dish before putting cooked chicken back into it!)
Let the chicken cool, and cut each breast into thin slices.
Baggie them up… usually one chicken breast per baggie.
Stick them in the freezer for future use.
We use this chicken for many meals… Hubby likes it better than lunchmeat for sandwiches or wraps, and at $1.99/lb., it’s a pretty good substitute! It makes really yummy chicken salad too. We also will thaw out a bag to turn a plain salad into a gourmet-like Grilled Chicken Salad. One of our favorite meals is to sauté some fresh or frozen veggies with olive oil, Mrs. Dash, and a splash of Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (Careful, that stuff is SALTY!), add grilled chicken and serve it over pasta or rice. Super quick, easy clean-up, and we didn’t have to light the grill!