adventures in once a month cooking

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I mentioned earlier this week that my main plan for food is simple. I’ve been stuck in a rut of too tired, too stressed and too unplanned to get very far with it. I know that turning that around starts with food, but it just hasn’t happened. We’ve had a lot of “whatever you can find” dinners and nachos.

Enter Once A Month Meals.

I’ve been following them since the beginning, but never took the plunge. I know my people don’t like casseroles and I don’t like can of whatever soups,  and that’s what a majority of freezer or once a month meals have been in the past.  And seriously, it’s a pain to make the shopping list and try to coordinate everything.

Once A Month Meals takes care of all of that. They have an incredible selection of different menu plans – paleo, diet, whole foods, traditional, even vegetarian – and the ability to switch meals out for an extra few dollars a month. That few extra dollars is totally worth it. And really, if it saves us from eating out once a month and helps me avoid eating foods I know I shouldn’t, the monthly fee will more than pay for itself.

I was able to print out my shopping list (organized by category), a prep list, cooking day instructions. labels and even a thaw sheet. That part of me that obsessively makes lists just squealed.

Wednesday, I went shopping, came home and started cooking.

That’s exactly what they tell you not to do.

I had only a few items that required baking, so it wasn’t too bad. I left for shopping at 9 am and was done by 5:30 pm. For fourteen dinners, eight sides and six lunch servings each of soup and chicken nuggets, that’s not bad at all. They’re all whole foods based, with no preservatives, no junky oils and no pseudo-foods.

I also didn’t do any prep work. I didn’t even clear off the counter. I just went at it. There were dishes in the sink.

Also not recommended.

Next time will be different.

And there will definitely be a next time. I’ve already got it planned with a couple of slow cooker and soup mini menus to do in the next week or so. Our schedules seem to be growing continually busier, and any help I can get is welcome.

A few thoughts I want to remember for next time:

  • Don’t be afraid to up the spices. I’ve found that quite a few recipes, especially in the paleo realm, are a little under-spiced for our taste.
  • Take the prep day. Next time, I’ll shop and prep one day, and assemble and cook the next.
  • Utilize the pressure cooker. I have one – I don’t know why I didn’t use it.
  • Clean off the counters. And the table. And make sure all of the dishes are done.
  • Print out the labels. I thought it wouldn’t be too much trouble to make notes on the bags with a Sharpie. I was wrong. And my main issue with printing out many of the labels I find online is that they suck my color ink. I love that the Once  A Month Meals are either black and white or gray scale-ish (somebody was really thinking there!)

Do you do any kind of freezer cooking or once a month meals? What are your favorite recipes?

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One thought on “adventures in once a month cooking

  1. Pingback: menu plan monday: gf/paleo freezer cooking | Awkward Girl Gets Fit

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