1 Week 4 Easy Meals

Food PrepIt was a full house in the Test Kitchen this week! We had four moms prepping food for a total of 19 people. And can I tell you we did all of it for under $250!

Here at the Test Kitchen, I rarely prep alone, which gives us the opportunity to save money by buying in bulk at Costco or only buying one package of sage for four people to share instead of each of us buying a package of sage and it going bad before we use all of it (Not that that’s ever happened here 😉

Kitchen HelperWe also had a little helper in the kitchen this week, helping us open LOTS of cans (probably about 40! and yes, I recycle!), mincing garlic and mixing things up. She is a pro and we love having Lily helping out. Her mom said it also inspires her to be a little more adventurous in trying new things since she helped make them

Grocery Shopping list for this menu.

This week’s menu includes:

To start off, we put our chicken and spices for the Spicy Chicken Soup in the crockpot on high to cook while we prep. You can also do this the day before or overnight on low. (Note: This is a deviation to the original recipe but it makes my life easier. I also choose to use chicken stock instead of water and bouillon cubes. It’s just a personal choice.)

Canned Goods

Cans for days

Next, we opened ALL of our cans. We had a lot of canned goods this week and it just made it easier to have all of them open and easy to grab when we needed them.

The first recipe we tackled was the Turkey Chili. It is super easy and the only prep is browning the ground turkey. While the turkey was browning, we dumped all of the other ingredients into a freezer bag then added the turkey when it was finished. Then we sealed the bag, shook it up really good to mix all of the ingredients and put it in the fridge. This recipe reheats easily on the stovetop or the microwave (or if you are like my husband, he just eats it cold … ewh!)

The turkey chili also freezes well. I think recipes with ground turkey get a funky taste if they are in the fridge for more than about three days. So if you aren’t going to eat it until later in the week, you can freeze it now and pull it out to defrost the day before you plan to serve it.

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili

For the turkey chili, we opted to make our own chili seasoning mix. You never know what ingredients are in those packets you buy at the store (again … ewh! Why do we need enriched wheat flour in our soup???). Plus you likely already have all of the ingredients you need in your spice cabinet. We used this recipe.

Next we whipped up the chicken apple farro – another super easy recipe. First we put the farro on to cook. Put your farro in a pot with enough water to cover it, plus a couple inches more. Bring it to a boil then reduce it to simmer for about 12-15 minutes. You want it to be a little al dente, not mushy.

IMG_2995 Chicken Apple Farro IMG_2968

 

 

 

 

While that was cooking, we chopped all of the vegetables – onions, apples and garlic – and put them in a frying pan with olive oil to brown. (Go ahead and chop your garlic and onions for the Spicy Chicken Soup at the same time and set aside.)

Apple SausageWhile those were sautéing, we cut the chicken apple sausage into slices. Once the vegetables were done, we added them to our storage container (Ziploc bag or a bowl) and put the sausage in the same pan to brown. Once that was browned, we added it to the vegetables. By then the farro was done, so we drained it and added it to the container as well. Sprinkle with a little cayenne, shake to mix and store in the refrigerator. I usually reheat this one in the microwave.

Chicken Apple Farro

Chicken Apple Farro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next we tried something new – Maple Glazed Chicken. It sounds so delicious and is really pretty simple to make.

First add your chicken with olive oil to a frying pan over medium heat to brown on both sides. (We found that if your chicken breasts are thick you will want to slice them into thin cutlets to cook faster.)

Maple Apple Chicken

Maple Apple Chicken

While the chicken is browning, slice your apples and shallots. When the chicken is almost cooked through, add your apples, shallots and sage. When the chicken is finished, remove it from the pan and put it in a casserole dish.

While the apples, shallots and sage continue to cook, mix up the sauce – chicken broth, maple syrup and apple cider vinegar – then add it to the pan. Simmer over medium heat until the sauce starts to thicken, about 5 minutes, then pour everything over the chicken, cover the dish and store in the fridge. I would recommend reheating this dish in the oven on about 300 degrees and serving it within 2-3 days of preparing it.

Finally, we finished up with the spicy chicken soup. In a large soup pot, we sautéed the garlic and onions, then added all of the remaining ingredients, including the chicken from the crockpot, which should now be done cooking. The chicken should shred very easily. For the five cups of broth, we used the broth from the crockpot plus a couple of extra cans to get the full five cups.

Spicy Chicken Soup PrepSpicy Chicken Soup PrepSpicy Chicken Soup Prep

 

 

 

 

 

Let that simmer for 30 minutes while you clean up the kitchen and in our case, enjoy some great conversation and a cup of tea!

Spicy Chicken Soup

Spicy Chicken Soup

4 pots of soup!!

4 pots of soup!!

 

 

 

 

Let us know what you think of our recipes or recommend any recipes you think we should try.

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