Today’s post is about simplifying meals. I hope it sparks something helpful for you.
One of my friends is a foodie who loves to cook. Me, not so much. Growing up, my parents both worked in our family store until closing, most evenings at 6 o’clock. To help out, I often cooked or helped cook dinner. It was something I did with little enthusiasm or sense of adventure. And, over time, my relationship with cooking hasn’t changed much.
Today, I prepare meals with a focus on function and simplicity. To simplify meal preparation, every few months I spend most of a full day cooking several different meals. Once the food is cooled, I package them into one to two meal sized portions and stack them in the freezer. If you do something similar, you know how fabulous it is to simply pull dinner out of the freezer, add a vegetable or two and voila, you’re done.
My parents live in British Columbia (BC) and order meals through a company that delivers high quality frozen meals at a reasonable price. You may want to check out the company’s website (Better Meals) for menu ideas and service areas if you live in the lower mainland of BC.
Have you found a company offering a serve like this in your area?
Today is one of my cooking days with lasagna, beef barley soup, and neptune chowder on the agenda. To my Canadian friends, the two soup recipes are from the Company’s Coming, Soups & Sandwiches cookbook. A bowl of the beef barley soup is a complete meal with loads of vegetables and hearty barley. And the flavor of the chowder can be modified by varying the fish and cheese. Yesterday, I did the grocery shopping and my fridge is stocked with the beef, fish and vegetables I’ll be using today. I also bought chicken breasts to freeze and cook in the oven later on.
On the topic of cooking skinless chicken breasts, until recently I seldom baked them without a sauce because I found them tasteless, boring and dry. That is until I came across Kitchn’s Pinterest post on “dry poaching”. To see a video check out the link at the bottom of this page. Here’s the skinny how-to version:
1 – Heat oven to 400
2 – Rub baking pan and one side of parchment paper with butter or olive oil.
3 – Pat chicken dry and rub with a little butter or olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and seasoning.
4 – Place chicken in dish, spaced slightly apart and cover with parchment paper (butter/oil side down). Tuck edges into the pan and press parchment paper down and around chicken.
5 – Bake until chicken is 165 degrees.
Now, I’m off to the kitchen to get to cooking and fill up a shelf or two in my freezer.
How do you simplify your meals?