Wednesday, November 9, 2011
Meal planning is something I really enjoy doing. Call me quirky if you like...doesn't bother me one bit. I learned lots about freezer cooking and meal planning from Jessica at lifeasmom.com and Crystal aka moneysavingmom.com. Having a meal plan helps me not to look in the fridge at 5 and think, "What in the world are we going to eat."
With four little ones, cooking dinner can be quite the fiasco, but thanks to having a plan and already cooked chicken, processed veggies, shredded cheese, cooked ground beef, and some casseroles sitting in the freezer our meals come together quite quickly and with minimal effort. Cooking dinner is more like assembling a meal than really cooking.
Just the other night I made homemade chicken pockets (adapted from here) and rice with veggies in a jiffy. For the chicken pockets, the chicken was already made (in the crockpot and frozen) and the cheese was shredded. All I had to do was combine the filling and steam the corn and broccoli to add to this delicious entree.
Once it was the oven, I thought we needed rice or something to make the meal more filling. I cooked white rice and in the meantime sauteed onion, mushrooms (pre sauteed and frozen), and broccoli. When the rice was done, I added it to the veggies along with some cheese. It was delicious and simple! What made this meal even better was that I tripled the recipe and made extra chicken pockets to put in the freezer for a quick snack or meal.
Freezer cooking saves me time, energy, and brain cells! Also, I love family traditions so every Wednesday we have leftovers, Friday we have fried fish and every Saturday homemade pizza makes its' way to our table. That only leaves me 4 other meals to plan for the week. See...meal planning isn't that hard at all. Also, I don't necessarily cook what's on the menu for that day. Sometimes, I cook something else planned for later in the month if I would prefer it.
With all that said, here's our menu plan for November (minus Wed, Fri, and Sat). I still have a few more days to fill in with meals or I may just make it a day that we eat what's already cooked in the freezer.
Chicken Enchiladas, rice, corn
Marinated chicken, rice and gravy, corn, salad
BBQ Chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, corn
Tacos, beans, rice
Sweet and Sour Chicken, rice, vegetable stir-fry
Chicken Parmesan Bake, noodles, green beans, bread
Baked Ziti, Red Lobster Biscuits
Baked chicken nuggets, broccoli, tater tots
Chicken Taquitos, rice, beans
Thanksgiving meal (traditional)
Chicken and Broccoli casserole, rice
Bourbon chicken, rice, green beans
I have adapted many of these recipes over time to our liking. I hope you enjoy them too.