Friday, January 9, 2009

"I forgot to plan dinner, might as well order a pizza..."

I know I'm not the only person who's forgotten to plan dinner & automatically said "Oh well, we'll have pizza tonight". You either forget to run by the grocery store, you forget to thaw the mean, or you simply feel like you're too tired to cook a big meal.

Well I've got news for you... those excuses are lame! Tonight was a night when I forgot to thaw anything to cook. I didn't even think about it until I was getting a rumbling in my tummy... I wandered through the kitchen & couldn't find anything in the fridge that would be quick and easy to warm up. I looked in the freezer & I saw this:

Yes, I had quite a supply of Smart Ones, but I prefer to save those for a quick lunch. When Eddie comes over after work, I like to have a hot meal for him... you know, show him I'm gonna be a good little wife;) If I have something prepared, he's also less likely to suggest getting fast food or ordering in. So.... on top of those smart ones were some frozen chicken breasts (you know, the ones I'd forgotten to lay out this morning!). I like to snag them up when they're on sale. Usually buying in bulk is best... $1.49/pound for boneless/skinless chicken breasts? I'll take 5 pounds, please! I just wrap them up in some foil in 2-breast packs, and I'm good to go! Anyway....

Well shoot, I don't want to wait to the rock hard chicken to thaw, what am I gonna have? Then I remembered that I had received some Ziplock Zip n Steam bags free from some online promotion (seriously, look into giveaways & free samples... you get some great stuff & they usually also include a high-dollar coupon for future purchases of those items!). So I looked on the bags, and sure enough, I can cook frozen chicken breasts in them, in only 7 minutes!

On the front of the Zip n Steam bags is a handy little cooking guide for meats & veggies! These things are such a time-saver! You just put your meat or veggies in the bag, including any seasoning/spices, zip it up, and cook! I really love Cavendar's Greek Seasoning. So, I sprinkled that all over my chicken breasts!

Zip it up & cook!

(Just a sidenote, the guide on the front said that 2 frozen chicken breasts would cook in 7 minutes... if I had been cooking 2 4oz servings, they would have been done in that amount of time... Mine actually took a little longer b/c they were more like 8 oz breasts. I cut them in half & cooked them separately for a few more minutes.

While the chicken is cooking, I made this:

I had picked it up awhile back when it was on sale, and it only takes 5 or 6 minutes to make.
While that was cooking, I also prepared a Zip n Steam bag with some veggies:

Again, you add your seasonings before steaming. I like the greek seasoning on my broccoli/onions too, along with my favorite seasoning of all:

Once the chicken was done, I tossed my veggie bag in the microwave for 3 minutes.

In less than 15 minutes time, I went from having no plan for dinner to having a home-cooked, healthy meal:

I like to eat off the smaller salad plates, because then you get a nice full plate. I'm also more likely to eat appropriate portions on a small plate than a bit one.
Another excuse I'll be addressing is when people say they "can't afford" to eat healthy... well I have news for you... I made FOUR portions out of this meal, and this was the cost breakdown:
2 chicken breasts (halved): $2.10
1 bag broccoli: $1
2 small yellow onions: $.20 (bought a bag of about 10 for $1)
Stove Top: $1
Total: $4.30

That comes to about $1 per serving for a 15 minute meal. And way healthier than the McDonald's dollar menu.


The Better Idiot said...

That's awesome, good work! I'm trying to work on cooking more at home again because I've been answering the call of the 24 hour supermarket that is two minutes away from my house, and it's fried 'ready to eat' section, a little too often lately.

Hanlie said...

Wow, that's an eye-opener! It just goes to show what you can do when you fire up your creative side. That looks much nicer than any fast food meal.

Made To Shine said...

you're amazing!

Erin and Barley said...

I had not heard of those bags before, but they are a life saver! I ALWAYS forget to thaw the meat! :)

You'd be so pretty if... said...

First off, I had been reading your blog a while back when I was on my own journey and well...I lost my way. But I'm back now and I've ran across you again. If you're interested in following my journey, I'm at:

Betsey C. said...

What an awesome post! How many millions of times I have been in that position, and have always gone for the unhealthy pizza, etc. Good for you, and thanks for the ideas. I'm going to have to pick up some of those steamer bags, because I am the Queen of "forgetting to take meat out of the frezer".

Thank you!

Mandy said...

Teale! I love your blog!! I'll def be back to read more!

Lori said...

I officially dub you QUEEN! This blog entry was the best you've ever written. I have those little steamer bags and completely forgot that you could steam frozen meat in them. That is absolutely FANTASTIC. I love you!

You are so creative!