I’m adding a recipes page to my website as a resource for you to have time-efficient recipes. You will find in the future, crock-pot meals, freezer meals, as well as other make ahead or quick meals. I like to prep as much as possible in the morning or days before, and I love healthy meals. I am personally a vegetarian, but my family is not, so I have to be efficient and organized with my meals. I’m starting with these time-saving chicken marinades I found on Sweet Peas and Saffron. She has some great make ahead recipes.
I buy as much organic meat as I can, that is really important to me. I buy organic chicken from Costco, because I cannot find it cheaper unless it’s on sale. Costco chicken comes in three separate packets attached to each other. My family likes thighs, but the chicken breast are more healthy, so I buy a package of both and cut the breasts in half so it cooks more evenly with the thighs. If you have a good pair of kitchen scissors use them to cut the breasts right over the Ziplock bags.
I make three of the seven marinades from 7-Chicken-Marinade-Recipes. There are two sections to each recipe, one serves two, and the larger one serves four. I make the larger one. I have a family of three, so there are usually leftovers, but not much. Plus I never know when a friend will be joining us!
Making the Chicken Marinades
The very first thing you do is to take a Sharpie and write the name of the marinade and date on three Ziplock gallon freezer bags (also purchased at Costco, usually with a coupon). Then I make the marinades in each bag (saves on dishes, so efficient!). Make sure to mix the marinade really well before putting the chicken in the bag. Then place a packet (each have three) of thighs and a packet of breast (cut in half) into each of the three bags. Massage the marinade into the chicken well. Make sure to get as much of the air out of the bag as possible. The Soy Honey Garlic and the Jerk Chicken are shown below (we ate the Cilantro Lime one last week-everyone loved it).
Sometimes, I will place one bag in the fridge if I am going to cook it the next day or two. Otherwise, I put them straight in the freezer – flat. Place the writing close to the door so you can read it easily. After a few days you can arrange the bags vertically to save space in the freezer. These usually dinners last me close to a month, because I may have other chicken dishes besides these.
This is where it gets even more efficient! After placing appointments on your monthly calendar, then go through and put when you will be prepping your meals. It is an appointment, so treat it that way. I usually pick a time during the week, because it’s summer and I do have a little more flexibility. Plus, these time-saving chicken marinades are only 30 minutes from start to finish. Cook rice or potatoes with a veggie, and it’s a quick dinner. On your daily calendar place a task for putting the chicken in the fridge the night before you intend to cook it. If you forget, just place the bag in a bowl of cold water for a few hours.
On my weekly calendar I do have a place for weekly meals. I usually will fill that out, and I know it’s pretty flexible based on everyones schedule. However, having older kids, I have cooked meals where it’s only my husband and me (and I’m eating something different). I have stopped worrying about it too much because Saturdays or Sundays are usually leftover nights, because trash comes on Monday morning.