***Disclaimer. If there is a short cut to be had, I will find it. These meals are faaaar from gourmet, but I never claimed to be Martha Stewart. I'm more of a Chef Boyardee type of gal. Also, I'm really not all that health conscious, so if you're looking for a healthy way to serve your family quickly, this is not the outline to follow. I was looking for a fast way to make food that I know my family would eat....and the best part is, because these are quick meals, we will be able to eat them together!!!
5 lbs of ground beef $13
Sloppy Joe: 1 1lb browned and canned sauce added (80 cents). I will serve this on toasted buns, with oven baked french fries.
Taco Meat: 1 1lb browned and packet mix (50 cents) added. (to be used with taco's or burritos ornacho supreme) I will serve this with a spanish rice (minute style of course!), and taco fixings.
Meat Loaf: 2 1lbs, 4 eggs, 1 cup bread crumbs, Italian seasoning (I put this in almost all meat related meals even if it doesn't "go"-it's a tribute to my grandma)., 1/2 onion, and 2 tb of BBQ sauce (all of these little ingredients, I had on hand). Divide mixture in half and shape in to loafs. Cook at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Makes 2 loafs with 6 servings each. The night I serve this I will add rolls, minute rice, and one veggie.
Shepard's Pie: 1lb of ground beef, sauteed with onions. Drain. Add one can of drained corn, one can of drained peas, 1/2 bag of cut and cooked carrots,1/2 cup of beef broth, and then enough mashed potatoes (I happened to have leftover homemade mashed potatoes from the night before, but if I make this to freeze again, I'll do all the steps except for the potatoes. The day I serve it, I'll probably use instant potatoes to put on top.) to cover the top. The night I serve this I will add a salad, and rolls.
9 Chicken breasts $8
BBQ Chicken: 3 chicken breasts, one onion, 1 bottle of BBQ (may need more as it cooks). Put all ingredients in the Crock Pot and cook on low for 4-6 hours. After shredding the meat with a fork, put in to a freezer bag. I will serve this on a toasted bun with green beans, and apple sauce.
Chicken Pot Pie: Cook 3 chicken breasts at 350 until they are done. While these are cooking, combine 2 bags of frozen mixed veggies that have been cooked. Add these cooked veggies with three cans of cream of chicken soup. When the chicken is cooked, cut it in to pieces and add it to the mixture of veggies/soup. Divide the mixture and put it in to two separate freezer bags. I bought 4 pie crusts to keep in the freezer as well (my sis-who is the real Martha Stewart, makes her own pie crusts and freezers them). The day this meal is served, I will defrost the mixture in the a.m. Then, at dinner time I will take the pre-made shells out, put one on the bottom of the pie plate, add the mixture, and then add the other crust on top. Cook the pot pie according to the pie instructions.
Chicken Alfredo: 3 Chicken Breasts cooked at 350, and then cubed (freeze). I bought two packets of Alfredo noodles from Schnuck's for 89 cents, and the day of this meal, I'll simply make the noodles and add the defrosted chicken. This is SUPER easy, and my family looves this meal. I serve it with garlic bread and a salad.
9 meals ready (or semi-ready) to go with little to no additional prep. And with two kids in a total of three soccer leagues, church, school, homework, and two working parents, we are going to need these quick meals. So, with a total of about 3 hours, I'll have 9 meals (not including the left overs I'll make Daddy eat for lunch-love you honey!). Not too shabby.