This is not a cooking blog or series like the wonderful Mouthwatering Monday series by my friend Rachel at A Southern Fairytale, but when I try something new that gets a thumbs up from me as your typical busy mom I want to share it.
Last month my sister-in-law invited me to a Loaves and Fishes meal prep party at her church. The concept is similar to the meal preparation chains, such as The Dinner A’Fare (which I have not tried, just to clarify). Ten women pitched in $100 and the two women who coordinated the event went shopping for ingredients for nine dinners and one dessert. The dinner recipes were for pork loin, white chili, Santa Fe soup, three varieties of chicken casserole, meatless spaghetti sauce, easy roast beef, and turkey meatloaf.
My sister-in-law and I split the $100 fee and for $50 I was amazed at the amount of food I stored in my freezer. All the recipes are prepared on Friday evening, and then the majority of them were cooked or partially cooked on Saturday. Most of them just required thawing out and reheating in the oven. I was not able to attend the Loaves and Fishes night because my mother had emergency gallbladder surgery, but my sister-in-law was sweet enough to go prepare my recipes for me and send them my way via my mother-in-law.
Although this group had the benefit of using the church kitchen, I think this would be such a great money and time saving dinner idea for any group of friends.
Here are our favorite new recipes from the Loaves and Fishes event (Santa Fe Soup is a favorite of ours already so I’m not including it):
1/3 cup onion
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp green chiles (chopped)
3 tbsp all-purpose floor
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can (16 oz) navy beans
1 can great northern beans
¼ tsp cilantro
Salt (to taste)
1 ½ cups cooked chicken (chopped)
Chicken broth (Approx. 3 cups)
In a large pot, cook onion in oil until transparent. Add chiles, flour, and cumin. Cook and stir for two minutes. Add beans, chicken broth, cilantro and salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Add chicken. Add water and chicken bouillon cubes to thin if needed. Serve with cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.
Cream Chicken Casserole (This was the favorite of my 3 and 6-year-old daughters.)
4 Chicken breasts split
8 slices of fat free Swiss cheese
1 can cream of chicken soup (98% fat free)
¼ cup white cooking wine
2 cups crushed Pepperidge Farms Herb stuffing mix
¼ cup Smart Balance butter blend, melted
Arrange chicken in a shallow baking dish. Place a slice of cheese on each. Stir together soup and wine. Pour on chicken. Sprinkle with stuffing and drizzle on butter blend.
Bake uncovered at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.
1 egg, beaten
1 lb. ground turkey
½ cup fat free cottage cheese
½ cup minced onion
½ cup bread crumbs
¼ cup green peppers, diced
1 clove garlic minced or ½ heaping tsp. From jar
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp thyme (dried in jar)
½ tsp black pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
2 tsp mustard
Mix all ingredients well (except for topping.) Makes 1 large loaf or two small loaves. Put topping on meatloaf and bake at 350 degrees for one hour.
As a side note, stock the mom’s freezer baby showers are a great idea for a family expecting their second or third child. I know that food was one of the most welcome presents we received after we had our girls. Here’s a link from PregnancyToday.com that outlines how to host a stock the mom’s freezer baby shower.
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