Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Cooking ahead

Have you checked out my blog entry on my other blog "I'm Not Cheap I'm Thrifty"???? There is a post there about another blog I have started following called Mommy Making Money and she had the most fabulous ideas about preparing meat ahead of time and freezing it. I tried her idea with the boneless skinless chicken, and also I did her ground beef version only I used ground pork and turkey because I don't eat beef.

Saturday I made chili with the precooked meat. It was so easy to just dump the bag in and add all of my other ingredients, turn on the pot and GO!

Tuesday night I made tacos and enchiladas with the prepared shredded chicken and they was delicious! I just thawed the meat, wrapped the enchilada shells around it and threw it in the oven. Tasty and good! QUICK TOO!

Tonight is baked ziti with the prepared ground meat mix. It will be so easy! The meat is thawing, now all I have to do is boil noodles, open a jar of sauce and throw it all together. Put in the pan and throw cheese on top and pop it into the oven. Now that's the way I like it....quick, easy and GOOD!

I decided to compose a list of reasons why I like doing the meat ahead so much:
1. I only had to handle raw meat one time. This is a major ICK factor for me in cooking, and also the reason I keep rubber gloves on my microwave.
2. I only had to chop raw onion and cry once.
3. I could easily see how many meals I had enough meat for when I stacked it in my freezer.
4. The Ziploc bags of cooked meat take up much less room and store flatter that the bulky packages of meat.
5. The precooked meat makes it super quick and easy to throw together easy homecooked meals. It was quicker to put the tacos and enchiladas together than to order pizza.
6. The flexibility of the cooked meat makes trying new recipes easy and enticing again, even when I don't feel creative. :)

If you have not checked out the idea of cooking ahead, please give it a whirl. It took me about 2 hours to do both the chicken and the ground meat, and I have enough meat prepared now for about 12 meals.

Let me know what you think!!!!


Debbie said...

I am going to do the ground meat this weekend, it will be so much easier with my hubby occasionally helping out during tax season with the cooking. We don't care for chicken that has been cooked and frozen, just our preference. Glad it is working for you and it is so much more economic than ordering pizza or eating out!

Heather said...

I like to prepare meat ahead too, especially poultry. It does make cooking much quicker and easier.

Stacy said...

Fabulous idea!! Working full time I need all the shortcuts I can get! I love to buy rosted chickens on sale at Kroger and freeze it. It ususal doesn't last in the freezer for very long because we use it up so quickly!

Thanks for the great idea!

Cecile said...

Great Idea! I will have to try this the next time I buy large quantities of meat::))Thanks for sharing:)
Have you been to the new Food Lion on 17 near Southbridge.My friend says they have great meat sales::))