This post is a re-run from last summer, but it bears repeating – it’s perfect for the theme of ‘Short Cuts’. About once a month or so, I do a few prepping techniques to stock my freezer with proteins that I can use to make mealtime go a bit smoother. I went to Costco yesterday and stocked up on a few proteins. While the kids were napping, I went to work.
Here are the proteins that I purchased – two rotisserie chickens, chicken tenderloins (6 pounds), and 3 pounds of ground beef. ($38.41 total)
Here’s my start time:
And my end time ( I did field 3 phone calls during this time, so it could have been a bit quicker).
First I started by browning up all the hamburger in a big pan.
While the hamburger was browning up, I mixed up my favorite chicken marinade, substituting dried herbs for fresh because it’s going to be frozen anyway. Here’s a printable of this recipe – it is so good. Did you know you can put raw meat in a marinade and freeze it? When you are ready to use it, let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and you have a meal ready to be cooked.
I split the 6 pounds of chicken tenderloins into 3 large zip top freezer bags.
I poured the marinade over the chicken and sealed the bags, squeezing out any air in the bag.
After the marinated chicken was done and in the freezer, I cut up the chicken from the rotisserie chickens and put it into zip top bags – I saved out about a cup for our chicken salad tonight.
By this time, the ground beef was done and cooled slightly, I added salt and pepper to taste and portioned it into three freezer containers.
So in a little over an hour, here’s what I prepped for the freezer:
3 bags of marinated chicken = 6 meals
4 bags of rotisserie chicken = 4 + meals
3 pounds of browned beef = 6 meals
marinated chicken for eating plain as grilled chicken or in chicken fajitas
rotisserie chicken for quesadillas, tacos, salads
browned beef for pasta sauces, tacos, taco salads
So about an hour in the kitchen and at least 16 meal starters ($2.40 a meal for 4 people).
What’s your favorite prep-ahead freezer food?
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