The Busy Mom Menu includes cooking meals for the freezer, planning leftovers, quick and easy recipes, fast ingredients, and the use of tools and techniques to make your dinner hour low stress. In addition, the information found below will explain some of the terms and ingredients that you will find on the Busy Mom Menu, such as “1 lb. cooked chicken (from freezer)” or “1 onion, chopped and sautéed (from freezer)”.
If you are just starting the meal plans you will need to cook these ingredients as you encounter them in recipes since you won’t have a stocked freezer. They will be listed as “cooked chicken/beef/etc (from the freezer)”.
Go ahead and take the time to add a few pounds of whichever meat you are cooking for a meal to your list and when you cook for the dish, cook all of the meat and freeze the extra to stock your freezer. If you consistently do this, you will always have cooked meat in the freezer for those days when prep time is at a minimum.
You’ll find my favorite chicken recipe at the bottom of the page, and you can get started with stocking ground beef when it is on sale by doing the following: buy 10 lbs. of ground beef when it goes on sale. Brown 5 lbs., and with the rest make this mixture: 5 lbs. of ground beef, 5 eggs, and Adobo seasoning or salt and pepper. You may add some bread crumbs if you wish. Shape patties for hamburgers (freeze on a cookie sheet individually and then bag once frozen), then take the extra meat and divide it equally between a meatloaf and meatballs for the freezer. Individually freeze the meatballs on a cookie sheet (cooking them first saves time later), then put into dated freezer bags.
This will give you 5 lbs. of cooked beef for casseroles, tacos, enchiladas, soups, and more, as well as homemade patties for hamburgers (2 meals), a meatloaf, and meatballs (2 meals).
Occasionally you will see taco-seasoned ground beef mentioned also. The same principle applies: instead of seasoning one pound of ground beef for tacos, cook several pounds and freeze the extra in one pound increments.
If you are just starting out, you may want to also go ahead and cook a bag of onions and/or green bell peppers so you will have them ready in your freezer as well. I don’t recommend just using frozen raw onions and peppers because when you thaw them to use in recipes, they will have too much liquuid and end up with more of a boiled result than if you sauté them before freezing.
As you use the menus, you will notice that we encourage you to stock your pantry when items are on sale.
Marinated Grilled Chicken
- 4 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 cup soy sauce or tamari
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 2 teaspoons oregano
- 1 teaspoon basil
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt or Adobo
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- Place marinade with chicken in a marinating container and marinate overnight.
- Grill chicken until it reaches 160° at the thickest part, or until white all the way through and juices run clear. If you do not have a grill, you can bake the chicken in the oven.
- Serve 1 portion of the chicken for dinner and chop and freeze the rest for use in soups, casseroles, and stove top meals.