#MomsSaveTimeCooking #KidAndGrownUpFriendlyFood #HealthyFamilyMeals
It took a while (ok years) to adjust from cooking, as a hobby (making battenburg cake, homemade cheese with my husband, perfecting my croissant dough) to cooking for sustenance (read speedier-to-cook-meals-the-whole-family-can-eat.)
Once I fully embraced this new normal, I started seeking opportunities to make it more enjoyable, delicious, mostly nutritious and yes, time-efficient.
Early on, I wrote a post about how I handle weekly meal planning because the ‘how do you cook everyday’ question is one I’m asked often.
I’d like to share one of my menu all-stars, the humble chicken. I know, I know…it’s not fancy (although it can be.) It’s typically viewed as ‘too much time.’ True for a weeknight, however, the productivity gained from cooking just one chicken is pretty amazing.
Let’s do the chicken math shall we?
One chicken (whether roasted or slow cooked) = 15 to 20 minutes of hands-on prep time and roughly $15 (for a whole organic grocery-store chicken.)
With the 2 or 3 left-over inspired meals it makes for my family (more if you count the stock) and cost per serving ($5 – $7.50 per main dish protein…for a family of four,) it’s pretty awesome.
I’ve come to enjoy chicken and am getting better at dreaming up chickeny-good-spin off recipes. Think of a chicken as an investment to save you time and money later in the week. If you’re really not into cooking a whole chicken, you can also do any of the below recipes with a rotisserie bird from the grocery store.
Quick Recap. Why Chicken?
- Tends to work with a variety of food likes/dislikes & particularities (ahem pickyisms)
- One chicken = 2 to 3 or more meals plus 10 – 12 cups of chicken stock. Saving precious time
- It’s readily available, regardless of where you do your food shopping
- It pairs well with a wide range of side-dishes
How To Make Your Chicken
- Roast it (total time 1 hour to 1 hour and fifteen minutes) OR Put it in the slowcooker (total time 4 hours and 15 minutes to 4 hours and 30 minutes.)
- Possible grain sides – Cous Cous (10 minutes), Barley (38 minutes) or the pasta/rolls/bread of your choice.
- Possible veggie sides — Warm Tomato & Asparagus Salad, Easy Roast Beets or Peas & Baby Spinach.
Leftovers For Your Chicken
- Have 15 minutes? Try the leftover chicken burrito. Or the roast chicken salad over spinach with grape tomatoes, cauliflower and zucchini.
- Have 35 minutes to 45 minutes? Try the Chicken and Dumpling Soup with Split Peas & Butternut Squash.
Let me know if you try something or have questions in the comments! To get a (mostly) weekly update with new posts from MHN or invitations to new surveys, please let me know.Tags: #MomsFoodHacks, Cooking, cooking for kids, dinner for toddlers, dinner recipes, dinners for families with kids, dinners for kids, family dinner recipes, food for families, Healthy dinners, Kid friendly cooking, kid friendly meals, Working Families, Working Moms