I have not been keeping up on my once-a-month cooking lately. To be honest, it can be difficult to find one entire weekend each month to dedicate to it. Some months I just don’t have the time. And even when I could make time, the thought of spending two twelve-hour days on my feet in the kitchen makes me want to give up and run to the nearest Hot & Ready pizza joint.
So I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I really don’t want to lose the benefits of once-a-month cooking. Not only do I save time throughout the month, but it puts the pleasure back in family dinners for me. I can enjoy the lingering conversation with my family without the nagging voice in the back of my head telling me I should be scrubbing the pots.
Stupid nagging voice.
Plus on those occasions when I just don’t feel like doing dinner, I’m not tempted to order in because I have so many easy choices on hand. Which saves me money!
Long story short, I’ve come up with my own Gradual Make-Ahead Method™. I cook dinner each night as usual…except I make enough meat for 3-5 meals instead of one. I divide the meat into meal-size portions and freeze the extra.
Last night, I took advantage of a huge sale on chicken breast and bought 10 pounds! We cooked all 10 lbs worth on the grill, sliced it all up and used one 2-lb portion for dinner. Then we divided the remaining 8 lbs into 4 freezer bags to be used for future meals!
If you’d like to give this a try, I recommend using only basic seasonings (or none at all) when grilling. This way, you can pull the chicken out of the freezer and use it in a variety of recipes.
I am happy to report that it resulted in only a small amount of extra work to and clean-up, and the reward is that we have four extra meals worth! Here’s what we had the first night for dinner. I’ll be sharing more ways you can use grilled chicken from the freezer in the coming weeks!
CHICKEN FAJITAS RECIPE
- 1 1/2 lbs grilled chicken breast, frozen
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp garlic salt
- 1/4 tsp mesquite seasoning
- 3 T water
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 1/2 – 1 green pepper, sliced
- tortilla shells
- fajita toppings of your choice
- Add frozen chicken breast, onion, green pepper and water to skillet. Mix in seasonings. Cover and simmer until chicken is heated through. Remove cover and simmer for an additional 2-3 minutes.
- Assemble fajitas and enjoy!