I've never really given these programs much more than a passing glance. Often the recipes are full of more processed foods than I am comfortable with, especially with my dietary restrictions. Not to mention, I don't really want to cook with someone else. I'm pretty elitist when I cook -- and also kind of grumpy. And for some reason, I just don't get around to eating dishes that I've cooked and frozen. And affording a months worth of food.....
Monday, I surprised my hubby by bringing into the house an "Every Day with Rachael Ray" magazine. He knows Rachael Ray hasn't been one of my favorite chefs for a long time (just think she's over-marketed, and her dishes on her t.v. show are never enough for a family of four, especially when one of those family members is a teenage boy). I don't mock her or anything...at least not like I do the skinny Italian chef (How can I believe her food is good when she clearly doesn't eat it?), or like the plastic Sandra Lee...now HER I mock with her kitchen decorations that change EVERY episode.
But I digress.
The reason why I brought the magazine home is because it had a different take than I've seen on making meals for a month. Rather than making many different entrees, instead, it calls for preparing the ingredients -- Five different base ingredients that can be combined to make twenty different dishes. In the article, the building blocks were :
- Pulled Pork -- 2 shoulder roasts that are seasoned, roasted, shredded, and frozen in 1 cup portions
- Tomato Sauce
- Roasted Veggies -- yep, roast Bell Peppers, onions, squash, garlic, etc. and then put in freezer bags to add to recipes later.
- Pulled Chicken -- same idea as the Pulled Pork.
- Rice Pilaf -- a large recipe of rice that also gets frozen and added to other recipes.
Roasting all of this stuff is not a bad way to go, because most of it can be cooked in the same oven, so actually, it saves some energy, too. I so love roasted vegetables, too!
These are my categories:
- 4 Pulled Chickens -- because I use chicken in a LOT of soups and stews, not to mention it would be nice to have it around for salads and such , too. Once the bones are cleaned of meat, they'll be thrown into a stock pot to make chicken stock .
- 1 Boston Butt Roast -- Not sure how much I'll need of this.
- Roast Vegetables -- onions, garlic, beets, and squash. Oh, and cauliflower. LOTS of cauliflower (we use a lot, and Meijer has a good sale going on)
- Hamburger mix for meatloaf and meatballs.
I'm embarking on this today, but not whole hog, so to speak. Probably enough to get me through a week and a half to two weeks, I hope.
I still have a week of work left, so I hope this helps (and I will probably divide it up into two evenings because of this, too). I want to ease into it , because if this IS a good idea, I don't want to kill myself over it so I don't do it at all.