Kitchen Tip: Cook in Bulk

Here’s a little tip to save you both time and money in the kitchen. Whenever possible, cook in bulk. This saves time by doing a portion of the work for future meals at a time when you would be cooking anyway. It also saves you more dishes to wash!
Here’s a great example: Today I’m making Chunky Texas Chili for our snow day. For this meal, I use 2 lbs. of stew beef, but it was cheaper (price per lb.) to buy the “family size” pack of 4 lbs. to save time, I decide to cook all the beef at once. I have two options – make double the amount of chili and freeze half for another day, or save half the cooked beef for another meal. I decided to save half for Italian Beef Stew. So, I’ll sauté the beef with only the spices added that are similar in those two recipes. Then, when it’s cooked, I’ll divide the beef and store half for later this week. You could also freeze it if you want to use it later in the month. When I need it, I’ll pull it out, dump it in the pot, and my meal prep is half finished. Talk about a time saver!
Often foods, especially meats, are sold at a volume discount. That means the more you buy, the more you save. Sometimes people avoid this because they can’t get over the final price. This sticker shock can be avoided with a little careful planning. Want to learn more about how to plan your menus to save money and time? Join our Menu Planning Class next Tuesday, Feb. 17th. It’s FREE and you can sign up HERE.

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Dinner Cheats: Balsamic Chicken

2015/01/img_2150-0.jpgTomorrow I’m teaching a private class on cooking chicken and sauces. I can’t wait to show them how easy it is to turn plain old boring chicken into something delicious. Here’s a simple dinner cheat for chicken that I use all the time!
Start with a few chicken breasts or tenderloins. Whatever you have handy will work. I actually used two chicken breasts I had left over from a “family pack” I bought for dinner the other night. It had 8 pieces in it and I only needed six. So, I threw the other two in a gallon sized ziplock bag.
Then, I added a dash or two of my favorite garlic salt blend, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/8 cup of balsamic vinegar. (I may have added a little more balsamic. We love that stuff!)
Zip it up and toss it in the fridge if you’re going to cook it in the next 48 hrs. Or, you can label it with a permanent marker and toss it in the freezer. When you’re ready to cook, defrost it and dump it in a baking dish. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes. Or, if you prefer, slice it up and sautéed it in a frying pan.
This is great sliced on top of a green salad or tossed in pasta, but we’ve also had it with rice and green veggies. I like to keep it handy for those busy days when I want to eat healthy, but I’m too busy to cook. It’s even gluten and dairy free for those of you with allergies.
Happy eating!

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