Today’s post is courtesy of a guest contributor – Jennifer Johal.
I have recently realized that my fresh, ‘homemade from scratch’ meals that I spent hours on every single night were making me CRAZY.
Not only that, with 2 children under 2, it was making them pretty crazy too… so I have set out to find ways to continue to make our meals healthy, delicious, from scratch and with fresh ingredients, but take MUCH less time.
It’s a work in progress, but we are getting there!
Here are a few things I have learned:
- Make a meal plan each week – include 3 meals a day and 3 snacks (I know this sounds crazy but totally simplifies your life)
- Make your meal plan based on the sales in your weekly flyers to save $$$
- Having a freezer with variety of ready to cook meals in it is AWESOME!
My latest find is the freezer marinade. Minimal prep time, just mix up a marinade, throw in the meat, label a Ziploc bag and freeze it.
Here is one of those recipes:
Rough chop the following veggies (they are going in the blender):
1/2 cup onion
1/4 cup cilantro
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 tsp cumin
Add all ingredients to the blender. Blend until almost smooth.
Label a large Ziploc with the following:
Defrost in fridge. Bake at 350F for 30 to 45 minutes (depending on size of chicken breasts).
Add 4 or 6 chicken breasts to the Ziploc then add the marinade.
When sealing the bag, remove as much air as possible (this helps to prevent freezer burn).
Lay the bag flat on a cookie sheet and freeze.
Once frozen, you are able to stack the freezer packs one on top of the other to save room.
*This is a great one to make when chicken is on sale. Stock up, make a large batch of the marinade, and freeze several meals!
Add enough chicken to serve the whole family, but it’s also not a bad idea to freeze extra in singles and twos, so you can take one for lunch, or in case you have an extra guest, etc.
This recipe is also very adaptable. You can increase, decrease or remove ingredients to suit your tastes;
I use ½ tsp of cumin because we like a lot of flavour, but it can be overpowering. If you don’t like cumin, just cut it out.
As for the coriander, I don’t usually like it at all (I don’t think a lot of people do) but it doesn’t have that typical odd taste in this dish. You could also add another tomato if you want it to be more of a tomato base, or a small piece of jalapeno pepper to make it spicy.