A few suggestions:
1) Buy in bulk. We have a Costco membership and they have 10lb bags of chicken (Purdue chicken that's frozen individually...it goes from freezer to oven and is VERY good). This goes for beef, too. You might have to buy 4 or 5 lbs depending on what you're making.
2) Cook and chop the chicken and veggies the day before. It saved so much time to cook the chicken the day before. I just did a couple rounds in the oven. I seriously cooked about 10 chicken breasts and chopped them!
3) Make sure you have enough freezer containers, freezer Zip Lock bags and the disposable casserole dishes work the best...
4) Make labels for your dinners ahead of time. I wrote what the dinner was, the date, how many servings, and how to get it ready for serving. I think next time I cook, I'll type them. So I can just print and stick it on the dinner.
ok...enough about preparation...here are a couple more recipes!
Wild Rice Chicken Serves: 6
1 6 1/4-ounce package of quick cooking long grain and wild rice (I used brown rice)
1 cup cooked chopped chicken (I used 2 cups b/c I wanted more chicken)
1 8-ounce can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 1/4 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup light mayo
1 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cream of mushroom soup (standard can size)
Cook rice according to package directions. Combine rice with chopped chicken, water chestnuts, celery and onion; put mixture in a 1-gallon freezer bag.
To prepare for serving, thaw rice mixture, remove from bag, and place in a 2 1/2 quart baking dish. Stir mayo and cream of mushroom soup together, and spread over top of chicken mixture. Bake covered in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour. Enjoy!
This is an example of a meal that does take a little work the day of eating, but not near what it would be if you made the whole thing the day of!
Chili Hamburgers Serves: 4
1 lb lean ground beef
2 tbsp finely chopped green bells pappers
1 tbsp minced onion
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp chili sauce (I couldn't find chili sauce, so I just left it out. But they were really good!)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
4 hamburger buns
Thoroughly mix all ingredients except buns. Shape into 4 patties. Freeze in a large freezer bag with wax paper between each one. If freezing for more than a couple weeks, you can freeze the buns too. Bread freezes well.
To prepare, thaw patties and buns. Grill or fry to desired pinkness in center. Serve on warm hamburger buns.
This is a recipe that you can modify to your hearts desire! Next time I cook in bulk, I plan on making several varieties of burgers to have on hand for hosting company!
ok...enough for today!