We have been kind of flying by the seat of our pants, this last few weeks. But now it’s time to get serious and get back to planning and prepping meals ahead of time. With a busy family of six, creating freezer meals that we can pop into the oven or crockpot really helps us stay on top of things. But of course, buying and preparing all of that food ahead of time is quite a commitment!
Last night I was still feeling a bit weak (I’m recovering from a bout of the flu) but I managed to cook a lovely chicken teriyaki dish for supper, and I prepared a second batch to bag up for the freezer. I also chopped all the veggies for a minestrone, which I love to eat in the spring. I chose this recipe for a crockpot copycat of the Olive Garden Minestrone, which I’ve decided to supplement with shredded chicken breast. I chopped all the longer cooking veg last night, but still need to add the broth and diced tomatoes, and fix up separate bags for the zucchini and spinach that are added towards the end of the cooking time. As we don’t usually buy canned beans, I’ll also have to soak and cook the kidney and navy beans the recipe calls for. These can be bagged up and frozen with the chicken, which I also have to cook today.
I haven’t created a full meal plan for the coming weeks, just yet. But I do also want to cook up some Tex Mex chicken. This is usually done as a casserole, but I think I’d prefer to use it as a filling for wheat tortillas. I got the idea from one of the many freezer meals videos I watched on YouTube while I was sick, but sadly I now can’t find the exact video for you. This lady’s recipe included the usual beans, chili peppers and tomatoes, but she also added whole kernel corn and sliced black olives. I love cooking with olives, so I made sure to put them on my shopping list!
I don’t always do it, but this month I am trying to make double batches of most of the meals I’m cooking. Either I cook one and freeze one for later, or I just prepare two freezer meals that can be reheated in the oven or cooked up in the crockpot. This is a huge time saver! I sort of mix up the once a month cooking (OAMC) philosophy, with cooking freezer to crockpot meals that are so trendy right now. We cook on a two-week cycle, though, instead of trying to prep food for the whole month in one shot.
My parents actually gave me some lasagna they had cooked, when they heard I wasn’t feeling well. So that will be our supper tonight. I just have to make some cheesy garlic bread to add to the meal, and throw together a spinach salad similar to the one in the featured image. I don’t have the mandarins on hand this time, but we did buy a cantaloupe yesterday. So I’m thinking I’ll add a few chunks of melon and cucumber to the greens, for a new variation that celebrates the cucurbit family!
What are you cooking in your home this weekend? I’d love to hear all about it! Feel free to drop me a comment below….