Truly. If it was up to me, half of our income would be spent on take out and restaurants. Since that option is both unhealthy and not feasible with a young family, cooking is slowly becoming something I do. So in my ever-expanding search for quick, easy cooking, I stumbled across once a month cooking. It appears to be pretty popular amongst large families as a time conserver. While I don’t have a large family, my laziness and reluctance in cooking are like the 2 additional kids I don’t have. The thing is, it works. While I spend a good 2 days consumed with food (planning, shopping, chopping and cooking), at the end of it, I can have as many prepared main dishes as I desire. It’s healthier because instead of buying frozen nuggets, I can bake a batch and freeze them while I’m chopping 8 onions. I can make a 30-40 batch of pre-cooked meatballs and can control what’s in it. But the best of it all? I can eat it. Many times when handling raw meat I get grossed out. Blech. I get all my “grossed-out” heeby-jeebies on cooking day, not eating day.
I have a handful of monthly standbys. Meals I know my kids will eat without complaint and usually make doubles of those. I freeze up some pre-cooked “MeMuffins” for a quick breakfast (recipe here). I make nuggets and meatballs, flatten,bread and lightly fry some chicken for chicken parmesan, boil some to shred for tacos, chicken soup or chicken salad, and brown up some meat and onions. Then it’s bag, tag and freeze. It’s a crazy “on your feet” day of cooking and when your done that day you will probably want to be able to just throw in a pizza for the fam, but for the next 2-4 weeks I can rest easy that dinner is just in the freezer, chopped and completely or mostly assembled. And that makes my daily nights of cooking…just a little less hateful.
Here’s a few of my favorites:
Skillet Shepherds Pie (just need a pound of precooked, seasoned beef and onions frozen for this one)
Crockpot Chicken Noodle Soup (freeze all chopped veggies, have some shredded chicken ready, dump in crockpot with liquids/canned corn)
Beef and Veggie Soup, Stephanie’s Goulash, BBQ Chicken (all found here)
–Have any good ones?