Menu Plan Monday

As promised, I thought I would share some of the things I do with those money saving large size meat packages that go on sale and are just too good of a deal to pass up! I know in my area Safeway has a sale on boneless, skinless chicken breasts every 4-6 weeks, usually down to $1.99/pound and a couple times a year they go down to $.99/pound! I always scoop up a couple of these packages. And I used to just break them up into meal sized bags and add them to the piles of mystery items in my freezer. Now, I do lots of different things with them so that a) they don’t just sit there waiting for inspiration on what do with them and b) make my life easier by having meals ready to go!

Here are some things I did with my recent chicken and ground turkey purchase:

1. Freeze it in a marinade
This is probably my favorite thing to do with any meat purchase. If you like grilled marinaded meat you can make (or buy) your favorite and freeze it in that marinade. The reason is that as the chicken (or beef or pork) defrosts in your refrigerator it will marinade. Otherwise you have to defrost the chicken and then marinade it . . . this saves you a step! Here is one of my favorites:

Garlic, Lemon and Herb Marinade
9 -12 Chicken Breasts
6 Garlic Cloves minced
Juice and Zest of 2 Lemons
1/3 cup of chopped Fresh Herbs (I used a combo of parsley, rosemary and thyme)
2 Tbsp Worcestershire
2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
1/4 cup EVOO
Salt and Pepper

2. Grill, poach or roast
If you make casseroles, pizza or salads that use a lot of pre-cooked chicken, you can cook and freeze it and then defrost what you need. You have probably bought the expensive pre-cooked chicken strips at the grocery store or costco. They are very convenient, but very expensive when it takes a little bit of time to cook and freeze yourself. This works well with whole chickens, I will even stick this in the crock pot which is very little effort for a lot of chicken meat for casseroles, etc!

3. Turn ground meat into meatballs, meatloaf and burgers
If you have a favorite burger, meatloaf or meatball recipe you can freeze these either cooked or uncooked. My meatballs I tend to cook, that way I can throw them into sauce or soup for an instant meal. My burgers and meatloaf I tend to freeze raw. For my taste they are much better cooked fresh, and the burgers thaw out in minutes for a great last minute meal!

I hope you like some of my suggestions, and I know I would love to hear about yours! What do you do with your bargain meat?

Menu for 5/11 – 5/16
Monday: Whole Wheat Pasta with Grilled Shrimp, Salad
Tuesday: BBQ Chicken Pizza (leftover bbq chicken, whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joes and veggies!)
Wednesday: Pesto Burgers and oven fries (recipe to come!)
Thursday: Cajun Chicken Stroganoff, whole wheat egg noodles, zucchini
Friday: Taco Shells, salad
Saturday: My nieces birthday party, making a surfboard cake . . . probably order pizza :0)

For more menu ideas visit: orgjunkie.com

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