Last week, while my son was doing the above, I tackled my freezer cooking.
Most months I do my batch cooking in 1-2 busy, dirty-dish-filled days. But this time around I took a slower pace...and with great success! So, if you feel like a huge once a month cooking day is out of your reach (due to lack of childcare, busy work schedule, etc.), let me encourage you that much can be accomplished in just a 1-2 hour stretch.
Here's what I accomplished in around 4 naptimes:
2 big batches of taco meat (recipe below!)
2 batches of meat for Shepherd's Pie
8 hamburger patties (flash frozen, then stored in a freezer bag)
Gallon freezer bag full of individually wrapped Freezer Breakfast Burritos
2 dishes of Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken Breasts
2-3 meals worth of marinated chicken breasts
1 meals worth marinated chicken breasts for Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
1 Quick Crustless Quiche and cooked bacon for an additional quiche
Cooking still left to do for this month? Black Bean and Mango Chicken Salad x 2, Stuffed Pasta Shells x 2, one more quiche (I ran out of eggs!) and a huge batch of pizza dough. Doable! Most likely I'll cook these dishes on the day we plan to eat them and double the recipe for a future meal.
I love having taco meat on hand...it makes for such an easy dinner! In fact, my husband jokes that if there's no plan in place, then we automatically eat "mexican."
I make my taco meat the following way:
1 lb ground beef
1 can refried beens
3/4 cup water
1-2 TBSP homemade taco seasoning (or one package of store-bought seasoning)
Extra black or pinto beans (drained), if desired
Brown the ground beef and drain excess grease. Then add 3/4 cup water and taco seasoning and simmer for a few minutes over medium low heat. Then add refried beans and mix well. Add additional beans to your taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Based on my freezer cooking and an adaptation of April's meal plan, our menu this week will look something like the following:
Breakfasts: Cold cereal, yogurt, fruit smoothies, toast with jam
Lunches: Salads or leftovers
Dinners by weeknight:Monday--Baked Grouper with rice and steamed squash
Tuesday--Stuffed Pasta Shells with garlic bread
Wednesday--Hubby and some of his friends are volunteering to cook for the ladies...so I have the night off!
Saturday--Hamburgers on the grill with Garden Macaroni Salad
Sunday--Black Bean and Mango Chicken Salad Wraps
So, do you cook during naptime? I find that it's nice and peaceful when no one is underfoot...
Linked to Menu Plan Monday and Tasty Tuesday.