Recently I have been posting about menu planning and how I've not been too successful with it. I am working in that area and am happy to say I'm doing pretty good so far. I am still on track for not grocery shopping for two weeks. My next regular grocery shopping date will be 5-23/24-08. At least that's my plan. I realized this morning that there will be no more meals that contain cheese after today, as I am about to use the last of it!
But, My Kitchen Tip for this week is to do as much of your meal preparation as you can ahead of time when you are not rushed.
I am not a big fan of freezer cooking because, Number 1: It doesn't taste good to me; and Number 2: I tend to never get around to using the frozen foods. I think part of the problem is that I haven't found the recipes that we like frozen.
So I am trying to compromise with partial ahead of time meal preparation.
These are some examples of this:
1. On tonight's menu is Mexican Rice Bake, so this morning before work I am cooking the rice. I'll put it in the fridge and when I get home I'll be way ahead of the game in getting this meal on the table. I also placed the frozen package of hamburger in the refrigerator last night so when I get home this afternoon it'll be completely thawed and ready to brown.
2. As soon as I get home from the grocery store, I could brown onions and ground beef and either freeze it or place it in the refrigerator for use in recipes that call for that, such as spaghetti, taco meat, chili, etc.
3. Last night I made honey glazed chicken legs. Next time I make this, I could freeze the chicken legs in the sauce and then just thaw it and place in the baking dish on a busy work night.
4. I could mix up the dry ingredients for certain recipes and place meal size portions in zip lock bags or plastic bowls. Examples could be Chicken flavored rice, taco seasoning, and chicken pot pie crust ingredients.
5. I am already looking ahead to the chicken pot pie recipe that's on the menu later this week. The biggest thing about this recipe is having the chicken boiled ahead of time. I plan to do that tonight, then I can put part of the recipe together the morning we are going to eat it and put the final recipe together right before cooking it.
6. Even better, I could have boiled this chicken over the weekend and placed the meat in a freezer bag specifically for recipes like chicken pot pie.
7. I had to include Little PenPen's idea she left in the comments. Cook your chicken in the crockpot on Saturday to be used in recipes that week! I AM DEFINITELY GOING TO DO THIS ONE!!! Thanks Penny!
How do you plan ahead for your meals? Menu planning, freezer cooking, partial freezer cooking, or all of these?
For more Kitchen Tips go to Tammy's Recipes!!!