Sizzle your way to fantastic summer meal plans by firing up the grill and letting it do the work for you.
Typically, we all love summer grilling because it keeps the heat out of the kitchen and allows us to enjoy freshly grilled meat, fish and veggies to our hearts content. But why not take it one step further and enjoy the ultimate benefit of C.O.S.T. cooking (Cook Once, Serve Twice…or in my case, three times). An earlier post, with a detailed video, showed you how to save your meal time madness by preparing ahead “4 meals in 4 minutes.”
Now, this next simple step of planning ahead by grilling in bulk can save you additional hours of prep time in the kitchen. Wouldn’t you rather spend that time enjoying it with family and friends?
If you ever observe our grill, you’ll often find a variety of meat grilling. We are known to have chicken breasts, steak, burgers and pork all sizzling away at the same time. Do we eat it all at one sitting? As much as my teen boys attempt to do just that, I ration it because they know that meat will show up in a variety of recipes later in the month.
Let’s look at some specific examples.
Cooking fifteen chicken breasts at one time takes approximately the same time as cooking five. For variety, I season or marinade them with a variety of spices and flavors based on the recipe I plan to use later.
I will chop, shred and dice the chicken and then put them in Ziplock bags. Some of the baggies go in the fridge for a meal I’m making with in a day or two, while the other bags are frozen for a later time.
Meal One Possibility: Grilled Chicken breasts, steamed broccoli with cheese, and fresh dill bread. (This would be the day I did the grilling.)
Meal Three possibility: Stir Fry with the freezer bagged chicken, Quesadillas, or my Five minute Chicken Pot Pie
I could go on and on with the endless ideas that can come from grilling in bulk and then freezing the meat. How many of us buy the prepared sliced chicken?
Why do we do that? It’s SO convenient, but convenience comes at a cost of approximately $6.99 – 8.99 per pound. If you stock up on chicken when it’s on sale or marked down, you can make your own convenience food for a fraction of the cost, while ensuring it’s not filled with tons of preservatives.
The next time you fire up that grill, remember to let it work for you and accomplish next week’s meals at the same time.
So what about you, do you grill in bulk and have tips to share?