Back to School Meals II
Every Monday I deliver to families in Kansas City. My brother is one of my clients. He’s a stay at home dad of three, and is sick of cooking. I’ve tried to be super sensitive to what families need right now, considering school is starting in various forms, and the kind of stress these families are under is shifting into something new.
The following recipes are inspired by him. He can grab these at any point and they will feed the whole family in a short amount of time. I bought gallon freezer bags and decided it was OK to use shortcuts such already-marinated pork, rotisserie chicken (Walmart has containers of it now so you don’t have to spend ten minutes picking a carcass!), frozen vegetables, frozen diced potatoes or hash browns. The trick is to season each layer as you go, but not to over salt.
I made a couple batches for Lance and I, too. You can just stack these labeled bags in the freezer, along with the breakfast burritos and ham and cheese muffins you made last week. Let’s get smarter about our time, but still eat healthy, whole food meals. These are full meals, but you can serve with a fresh side salad and some fruit for dessert. Get cooking!
Chicken Broccoli Hash
1.5 pounds chicken, tenderloins or thin breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chicken spice rub or favorite spices
1 bag frozen broccoli
1 package diced, cooked bacon
4 yukon potatoes diced, cooked
Half stick of butter
Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
1 tablespoon fresh cut chives
Prepare potatoes. Dice and put in a sauce pan. Cover with water. Sprinkle salt in the water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium low. Cook until tender, but don’t overcook. Drain, and toss with butter, salt, and pepper in a large bowl.
Rub small pieces of chicken with salt, pepper, and spice rub. Cook with 2 tablespoons of oiive oil in a deep skillet on medium heat, about 5 minutes on each side or until no longer pink inside. Dump into the large bowl of potatoes.
Chop bacon and cook in same skillet as the chicken, medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Scoop out bits carefully and let drain on paper towel-line plate. While bacon is cooking, microwave frozen broccoli according to package instructions. Drain broccoli. Add bacon and broccoli to large bowl and toss everything together. Let cool.
Label a gallon freezer bag with a sharpie, “Chicken Broccoli Hash.” Be sure to include the date. Scoop bowl contents into bag, squeeze out air, and push it around a bit until evenly flat. Place flat into freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, put in fridge overnight or in hot water in sink, changing out a couple times. Gently reheat in deep skillet or oven, or microwave individual portions. To serve, top with shredded cheddar and chives.
Pork Fried Rice
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1-pound teriyaki-marinated pork tenderloin
Splash sesame oil, tablespoon canola oil
1 carrot, finely diced
1 stalk celery, finely diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3/4 cup frozen peas
4 cups cooked rice
1/4 cup sliced scallions
maple soy sauce:
1/2 cup tamari or low-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons butter
Sprinkle onion powder
Sprinkle garlic powder
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes or squeeze of sriracha (optional)
Cook the rice. Let cool and put into a large bowl. Cook eggs in a skillet with a bit of oil. Put in large bowl. Cut tenderloin into small pieces, and add to same skillet with a splash of sesame oil and tablespoon of canola oil. Add chopped carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook on medium-high heat until fully cooked. Drain mixture and add to the large bowl of rice and eggs. Add frozen peas and carefully toss. Mix sauce ingredients in small bowl with a whisk. Add to large bowl and carefully toss again.
Once cool, scoop bowl contents into bag, squeeze out air, and push it around a bit until evenly flat. Place flat into freezer for up to 3 months. To thaw, put in fridge overnight or in hot water in sink, changing out a couple times. Gently reheat in deep skillet or oven, or microwave individual portions. Top with sliced scallions.
Recipes adapted from ‘From Freezer to Table’ by Polly Conner & Rachel Tiemeyer