Last week I was talking up home cooking and meal plans as time and money savers. I borrowed cookbooks from the library and found two new recipes to add to my limited culinary oeuvre.
On Sunday morning, I stumbled into my kitchen at the virtually pre-dawn hour of 7am to commence my day of meal prep. 8 hours later, battle weary and haggard, I emerged victorious, with more than 30 meals ready to heat and eat.
Discounting the debacle with some baby peas that went airborne, the day was an overwhelming success.
I prepared double and triple batches of some staples–Turkey Chili, Beef Stew, Shepherds Pie, Chicken Soup–and two new treats. Chicken Empanadas and Chicken Enchiladas are now available at Cafe Book, Line, and Sinker!
I got super-crafty with the empanadas by adding corn to the chicken and cheese mix. I baked some bone-in chicken breasts and then shredded the meat for the filling. Using premade pie crusts, I cut the dough into 5-inch circles and filled them. I folded and ‘forked’ the empanada shut and placed them in bags with explicit prep instructions. (Type-A personality much?)
I split the over-sized batches into smaller tins that will still provide us with dinner AND leftovers.
The rundown of the main event:
- 5 lbs. ground turkey meat (2.5 for chili and 2.5 for Shepherd’s Pie)
- 6 lbs. chicken breast (2 for empanadas, 2 for enchiladas, and 2 for chicken soup)
- 4 lbs. beef (for beef stew)
- 7 lbs. Yukon Gold potatoes (5 lbs. for Shepherd’s Pie and 2 lbs. for stew)
I spent $229 at the grocery store on produce, meats, and dairy but had the staples (butter, salt, etc) at home. All told, it works out to about $7 per meal.
Spending almost an entire day in the kitchen wasn’t easy, but it will save so much time and money that it was ultimately worth it.