Monday, December 12, 2011

Power Prep

This is the way to go.

Before I did a brief post on power cooking - as I had said, it's not really my thing.  Power PREP, however, is definitely my thing. I like to do things in advance whenever I can, and if I find a block of time to do some power prep, I go for it.  Basically, I buy large amounts of ground beef, Italian sausage, boneless, skinless chicken breast, a beef or pork roast, veggies, etc. and get them all prepped and broken down to use in future recipes.

As I mentioned in my power cooking post, I like to snag packages of bell peppers from the "clearance" produce rack at Sendik's - last night I picked up 3 packages of green bell peppers, and 1 package of red and yellow peppers.  I washed them, seeded them, and then cut some into thin strips and diced the rest.  I froze them in bags to use for fajitas, add to casseroles, stir frys, and other dishes.  I did the same with some onions.  I also like to cut up celery and carrots and throw them in containers for easy snacking and adding to dishes.  It's cheaper than buying the pre-cut ones at the store.  I had a bunch of celery from a recipe where I just needed a little bit, so we made some celery sticks up to have for snacks.
I also bought several pounds of ground beef and browned it with some diced onions, then drained it, and froze it in manageable amounts.  Then I can take it out for sloppy joes, tacos, spaghetti sauce, chili - whatever I might need.  It's much quicker that thawing, browning, and draining, and then adding to to your dish that night.  There was a package of breakfast sausage in the freezer, so I thawed that and browned it up, too.  Ditto for the package of Italian sausage that was on sale.  It's nice to add some to a pizza or a calzone, and just use a little bit at a time. 

I like to buy chicken in large quantities when it's on sale, too, so I threw a big family package of boneless skinless chicken breasts into the oven and cooked them with some pepper, garlic powder, and a little broth.  I've also thrown them into a crock pot and done the same.  Then I cut some into strips and chunks, and shred some, and again, package it for easy additions to casseroles, tacos, wraps, etc. 

All of that took about an hour, and I could do other things while waiting for the meat to cook, and then I only had one big clean-up, too.  Bonus!

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