kroger is having a 4 day "meat mania" sale through this wednesday, so it's time to stock up if you've got some extra freezer space. protein is my 2nd favorite nutrient, but with 4 (very hungry) mouths to feed, meat can get expensive quickly. not to mention, most men don't consider a meal without meat dinner...just a "snack", and my husband is no exception. i'll give you my methods for quick meals using chicken and ground beef...
chicken is $1.59 a pound during the sale for boneless, skinless breasts, which is the lowest i can ever remember seeing it at a grocery store. it's still not as low as the tyson plant, but much more convenient. so here's what i do with the packs and packs i bring home (raw chicken grosses me out, and pictures of it are no exception, but it helps me explain):
1. place each piece individually on a piece of foil. i use reynold's wrappers, which are individual sheets of aluminum foil that my dollar tree sells. there are 25 sheets in each dollar box, so it's a really good deal and much easier.
2. sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper and maybe a little garlic powder. i avoid using any other spices because i use it in lots of different recipes and don't want the flavors to clash. wrap each seasoned piece.
3. place each wrapped piece in a gallon ziploc and freeze.
now when you're ready for a quick lunch, pull a piece out of the freezer, bake it wrapped and frozen, and you've got a high quality, inexpensive, and easy source of protein to pair with a fruit plate or shred over a salad. when you need a quick dinner for your family, pull out as many pieces as you need and bake the same way (i usually bake on 350 for an hour and a half or so if i've got a lot of time, or bump the heat up to 425 for 40 or 45 minutes if i'm in a hurry). if you're really tight on your budget with thanksgiving and the end of the month coming up (actually, it's the middle, but for some reason my budget feels like the end this month), head to publix. i got sweet potatoes this morning for 38 cents a pound. i wrap a bunch of those up in foil the same way and keep them in the fridge...they'll keep for a few weeks and you can just add them to the oven with your chicken. i always keep salad fixings on hand, so on nights i don't feel like cooking, dinner is as easy as throwing chicken and potatoes in the oven and tossing a salad. (and as usual, high in my faves, fiber and protein). if you've got more time, you can bake and shred some chicken for casseroles.
k and b just woke up from their naps, so i've gotta run, but i'll try to get back on tomorrow and write my method for ground beef.