Cooking once a month has several benefits for me. It saves the family money, it saves me time and effort, it saves on dishes which I hate doing (only one bad day then just plates and silverware for a month yay!), and it helps me kick the fast-food addiction I have developed over the last couple of years. June was my first month of doing this and I admit I was a little ambitious. I planned on cooking 15 dinner meals, 7 lunch recipes, and 4 breakfast items each in quantities that would last one month. What I actually accomplished was 15 dinner meals, no lunch items, and two breakfast item. That still left me with 30 dinners, and 15 breakfasts. So basically 2/3rds of a month.
This is what a months worth of groceries looks like! (There are four paper bags, but two are hiding)
So what all did I make?
1. Pizza dough (enough for 5 pizzas)
2. Vegetarian stuffed shells
3. Chicken Enchiladas (packaged in individual serving sizes so I can pop them in the microwave and go I used Lowery’s powder enchilada sauce and this recipe for filling but I added two bay leaves)
4. Cock Pot Teryaki chicken
5. Sweet-n-Sour chicken (I used chicken instead of pork, and tossed the whole can of pineapple and juice into the freezer bag instead of mixing the pineapple juice in separately, also I didn’t do any heating just mixing)
6. Crock Pot Sausage and Peppers
7. Crock Pot Sweet and Spicy Meatballs
8. Crock Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken (Yes we eat a lot of chicken)
9. Crock Pot Steak Fajitas
10. Goat Cheese, Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato stuffed Pork Tender Loin (exactly what it sounds like)
11. Chicken Nuggets (the recipe I used turned out gross so I will not be sharing it)
14. Orange chicken Sauce (I use 3/4 cup sugar and exclude the red chili flakes) I just made the sauce because I find that if I don’t bread the chicken it isn’t as good and if I freeze the pre-breaded chicken it gets soggy
15. Healthier Loaded Mash
Here are the recipes for the things I made that are my original recipes. Everything else I have provided a link to.
Vegetarian Stuffed Shells
1 box Jumbo Shells
1 8oz tub Fat free Ricotta
1 cup shredded Mozzarella
1/8 cup fresh parsley
2 zucchini (halved and sliced)
2 tbs Italian seasoning
Salt and pepper to taste
Alfredo sauce (this isn’t something I’ve mastered yet so I use store bought)
1. Boil Noodles for 9 min or until soft
2. Chop Spinach (I did it in the food processor)
2. Mix everything accept noodles and Alfredo togethe
3. Using a spoon gently fill the cooked noodles with the cheese and vegetable stuffing and place in a baking dish (I used a disposable foil one because I was freezing it)
4. Pour Alfredo over stuffed shells
5. Freeze, or bake at 425 for 25 min or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly
Crock Pot Pulled BBQ Chicken
4 Chicken Breasts (boneless skinless)
6 Small Yellow Onions
2 Bottles BBQ sauce
1. Slice onions into rounds, toss in freezer bag
2. Toss chicken into freezer bags
3. Pour both bbq sauces into freezer bag.
4. Freeze, or cook on low for 8 hrs adding 1 bottle of beer to the crock pot at the beginning of the 8 hrs.
5. Shred chicken with fork and serve on buns, yum!
Healthier Loaded Mash
8 Russet Potatoes
1 Head Cauliflower
2 Heads Broccoli
1/2 c. Fat Free Plain Greek Yogurt
1/2 c. Sharp Cheddar
1/4 c (one stick) butter
1/4 cup real bacon bits (Oscar Meyer has a good soft bacon bits product)
Salt to taste
1. Chop potatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli and toss into a pot with water
2. Boil veggies until soft (about 20-25 min)
3. Blend no longer chunky (food processor in batches is what works best for me)
4. Add butter, stir until melten
5. Add bacon bits and yogurt, stir until fully incorporated
6. Add cheese, stir until melted
7. Salt to taste and either eat or freeze.
Didn’t I tell you this was easy?
I hope this is helpful for you!