Five Really Easy Recipes To Make Once-A-Month Cooking Work For Busy People

spiceMany people look at once a month cooking and shy away because the effort required to make dozens of complete meals at once is quite frightening. To tell you the truth, it scares me a bit, too.

What I’ve found, though, is that some items are actually very suited to once a month cooking. These items usually work well for quick meals, actually, because they’re wholly prepared for you and can usually be microwaved when you want to eat them. You just have to devote a couple of hours to preparing a large number of them. Some of these have been mentioned before in brief, but here I’ll formalize them more, giving you an ingredient list to work with when you go shopping.

Ready? Here are six recipes that will only take an hour or two to make a bunch of. All you need is freezer space.

Breakfast Burritos

What you need:
2 pounds of cured smoked sausage, cubed
4 medium onions, diced
2 bell peppers, diced
2 tomatos, diced
2 pounds of shredded cheese
16 eggs
32 big flour tortillas (10″ ones work well)
1 jar of picante sauce
Saran wrap or Ziploc freezer bags (for packing)

Cut up the meat and vegetables and split it into four separate equal batches. Crack all sixteen eggs, blend them so the yolk is even, then separate this into four equal batches. (If you have a huge skillet, you can do this in two batches instead.) Saute a batch of meat and veggies for about ten minutes, then add a batch of the eggs and stir regularly until the eggs are cooked. Each small batch here makes eight burritos, so spoon some of the egg/veggie/meat mix onto a tortilla shell, put some cheese and a bit of picante sauce on top, then fold it up and wrap it in Saran wrap. Toss the finished burritos in the freezer. I can make 32 burritos in about an hour and a half following this process.

Breakfast Sandwiches

2 dozen eggs
2 dozen bagels or English muffins
2 dozen slices of Canadian bacon
2 dozen slices of cheddar cheese
Saran wrap or Ziploc freezer bags (for packing)

Easy as can be. Just fry the eggs. Each sandwich consists of a bagel/muffin, a fried egg, a slice of Canadian bacon (optional), and a slice of cheese. Pack them up and toss them in the freezer to be microwaved later.

Cold Cut Sandwiches

2 dozen bagels/English muffins (these freeze well, but you can use buns or sliced bread, too)
3 pounds of your favorite cold cut (this assumes 1/8 pound per sandwich)
2 dozen slices of an appropriate cheese
Saran wrap or Ziploc freezer bags (for packing)

Again, incredibly easy. Assemble the sandwiches, then freeze them. All you have to do is defrost them for a minute or so in the microwave, or put them in the fridge at breakfast time to eat them.

Chicken Strips

A box of unsweetened corn flakes
4 pounds of chicken breasts
A half-cup of flour
Salt and pepper (to taste)
Grated parmesan cheese (optional)
A dozen eggs, beaten
Saran wrap or freezer Ziplocs (for packing)

Slice the chicken breasts into strips. Take one of the Ziploc bags, add six cups of the corn flakes to the bag and crunch into oblivion (a rolling pin or a beer bottle turned on its side works well). Add a few dashes of salt and pepper, the flour, and the grated cheese to the bag. Then, take each strip, dip it in the egg, roll it around in the crumbs, then lay it on a baking pan. Do this for as many as you can fit on the pan, then put them in the oven at 375 F for about eighteen minutes or so. Pull them out, let them cool, pack them away. You can quickly reheat them in the microwave and they’re quite tasty.

Quick Chicken Casserole

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast
3 pounds broccoli
6 cups rice
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
2 chicken boullion cubes
Freezer Ziploc bags for packing

Steam the rice and broccoli separately using water with a chicken boullion cube in it. Boil the chicken breasts until cooked, then dice the chicken breasts. While everything’s warm, mix the cooked diced breasts, the broccoli, the rice, and the cheese together in a giant bowl, then pack appropriate amounts of it into Ziploc bags (however much you think you’ll need at a meal). Delicious, cheesy, rather healthy, and it takes a microwave and about seven minutes to go from freezer to dinner plate.

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