Meals for a Month: Getting Started

In my last post, I wrote about my new hobby = cooking. Some folks showed interest in recipes. Ha ha ha. Ha. Ha. I have exactly two to share because A. I am NOT a detail person and B. I cook by experimentation. Viva la creativity. For example, my pot roast “recipe” = buy a roast and put it in the crock pot, peel as many potatoes as you want and put in the pot, same with carrots, cut up as much onion as you want and add to the pot, add some water to the pot…cook…flavor with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Eh.

Despite the fact I have few recipes, I thought I’d lay out how I started cooking meals for a month . This system is custom designed for my quirkiness, so please tweak at will! You can find REAL help at the Once A Month Meals website.  I hope this gives you a jump start. Oh, and I DO have two recipes to share.

First of all, we are a small family of three. One of our three is only twenty-three months, so a typical “recipe” provides two meals for us. We do not have a deep freeze…just our little freezer beside our refrigeration unit. Everything seems to fit fine. Oh…a tip…label and date each food item. Here we go:

  • I picked several soups and doubled the “recipe”: beef stew, split pea soup, white bean turkey chili, chicken veggie soup.
  • Due to celiac, I make my own gluten free bread. I made two loaves in the bread machine.
  • I made a pot roast with veggies in the crock pot.
  • I made a vat of mashed potatoes = a five pound bag.
  • I made a vat of brown rice = eight cups of water and four cups o’ rice.
  • I boiled a whole chicken…used the broth for turkey chili. De-boned the chicken pulled meat apart to use in sauces or rice dishes.
  • I love onions in my ground beef. Cut up two onions, sauteed, and added two pounds of beef. Same with two pounds of turkey meat.
  • I made a double portion of turkey meat loaf.
  • I made a chicken enchilada cheese casserole.
  • To accompany each meal, I make a green veggie…either salad, or green beans, or some such…something fresh-ish.

Real Recipes

1. Chicken Enchilada Cheese Casserole:

  • 3 lbs chicken, boiled and de-boned
  • 1 lb mild cheddar cheese, grated
  • 9-10 corn tortillas, cut bite-size
  • 2 cups chicken broth (save from boiled chicken)
  • 1 large tomato diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp cilantro
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

Boil chicken and let cool, then de-bone. In a 10-inch skillet saute green onions and garlic in butter, until onion is transparent. Chop tomato and add to mixture. Add rest of seasonings, except corn starch, to garlic and onion mixture. Stir over low heat until well mixed. Add 2 cups of chicken broth to skillet and simmer for 10 minutes. While sauce is simmering, cut tortillas into bite-size pieces (like small nacho chips). Butter the casserole dish and set aside. Add corn starch to sauce and allow to thicken (not lumpy).

Place first layer of chicken in the casserole dish and add a little salt and pepper to the chicken. Top with corn tortillas for the second layer. For the third layer, spoon in the sauce. Sprinkle the cheese for the last layer. Bake uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is completely melted.

Serves approximately 6-8 people.

Garnish with cilantro.

2. White Bean Turkey Chili

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • small onion, chopped
  • 1 (ish) lb. ground turkey
  • 1 15 oz. can Great Northern beans
  • 16 oz. jar Mrs. Renfro’s  Green Salsa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tsp cumin

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat, add the onion, cook for 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey, salt and pepper, and cook until browned (about 15 minutes). Add the beans, green salsa, broth, and cumin. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 25 minutes.

Enjoy!

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