Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saturday Cooking!

I thought it would be fun to share more about how we do our Saturday cooking! We have been doing this every other week, since we are a family of four and most recipes have about 8 servings. We are able to make 7 meals and divide them in two so we have 2 weeks of dinners and only one day with the messy kitchen. 

We have been spending about 3-4 hours on Saturdays cooking. Usually we time it during nap time, so we only spend the last hour or so cooking while the kids are up. This week only took us about 2 1/2 hours! 

We had two meals that will be made the days we need them. So we only had to do 5 meals, so that helps. 

When we got home with the groceries, I realized that I needed to come up with a game plan. Then I quickly realized that we chose more complex meals this week. 

I posted this yesterday, but here's the menu I came up with: 
Broccoli and Cheese Spuds
Santa Fe Chicken
Chicken Divan
Asian Chicken
Greek Turkey Meatballs
Spinach Manicotti 
Spinach and Feta Stuffed Chicken Breasts

I know I've said this, but just in case... all of these recipes (except the spuds) are off of a website called Skinny Taste and they all are pretty healthy so that is awesome! 

So back to the planning. I realized that it was going to be a bit overwhelming if I didn't just take it one recipe at a time. I decided that I would try to do more of the prep work and grabbing things, while Derek did a lot of the cooking and assembling part. It actually worked really well! We make such a great team. 

The first thing we did was sort through the groceries. I like to put away what we won't be needing right away and then sort of group the items by recipe.

Next we divided up the chicken and put what we needed for the Santa Fe chicken in the freezer. Then we boiled what we needed for the chicken divan. While that was boiling we started on the Asian chicken. 

I pulled the ingredients and chopped the onion while Derek browned the chicken and then added the ingredients for the sauce. He also "grated" the ginger for me too. (I'll get to the grated items in just a sec)

Once all of that was mixed in the pot, it needed to simmer for 20 minutes. So while that simmered we decided to get started on the Tzatziki sauce for the Greek turkey meatballs. 

On a side note- that tzatziki sauce is 0 weight watchers points. Yes you heard me... ZERO points! It's delicious, so how awesome is that?! 

The sauce is a little complicated to make, but it really didn't take long.

While we were cooking, I noticed that she used the term "grated" in a lot of her recipes. It did not take long for me to realize that she was probably using that to say minced. It kind of drives me crazy. I'm not sure why. Maybe things really are supposed to be grated... but we just ran them in the food processor and let them be finely chopped. 

So after the tzatziki (I'm really loving typing that word- even if spell check is not) sauce was made, Derek turned off the boiling chicken and stirred the Asian glazed chicken. Since we did not use drumsticks, the chicken did not take the full 20 minutes to cook. We also had a hard time getting the sauce to reduce down to a glaze, so he removed the chicken and did the glaze on it's own. 

Meanwhile, I was getting the turkey meatballs together.

After we finished the Asian glazed chicken and the meatballs we got started on the manicotti.

The recipe calls for crespelles. I had never heard of them but I learned that it's an italian thing and they use them in place of pasta. They are very similar to crepes. It's basically flour, milk and eggs. We put everything in a blender to mix it.  Derek made the crespelles since he has experience with crepes. While Derek made those, I got the rice started for my chicken divan. The recipe does not call for it but I thought it would be good.

I simplified the recipe by using a jar of marinara sauce. I poured a little of it in the bottom of the pan.

I got a crespelle and put the ricotta/ spinach mixture on top and then rolled it.

I laid each crespelle seam side down in my dish. I squeezed 8 in each dish.

I topped the manicotti with more marinara and mozzarella and parmesan cheese.


After the manicotti we just had two dishes left. I had already cooked the chicken and the rice for the chicken divan so all I needed to do was make the cream sauce and mix it together. 

I was a meanie and left Derek to do the spinach and feta stuffed chicken by himself. I know- he's great and I'm terrible for leaving! :)

Here's the mess when I left...

just keeping it real. :)

When I came home he had finished the stuffed chicken and cleaned the kitchen.

AND my freezer was neatly arranged!

If you're still here... you get a special award! haha.

That's basically how our cooking Saturdays go. We have a small kitchen, so it gets pretty interesting! It's always so much fun to spend the time doing something we enjoy though. It's so nice to know that most of our dishes are done for the week! 


Vanessa said...

I am so impressed with you two! Y'all are doing such a great job with your meals. (And I love stealing some recipes :)

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

Note to self: Do not read Nikci's blog posts about food at 11:45 at night when you're already feeling the "snacking crave". Wow.

You had me as Manicotti, but I'll take any of them.

Sophisticated Steps

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

Oops. I just spelled your name wrong.

Another note to self: Proof read your comments more thoroughly. Ha!

Sophisticated Steps

Gail @ Sophisticated Steps said...

Are you kidding me? It should be at manicotti. AT manicotti!

I'm tired. Can you tell?

I should leave now. I'm just causing trouble. ;)

Sophisticated Steps

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