Friday, June 27, 2014

OAMM: Month 2

I have had so many people asking me how my OAMM (Once A Month Meals) adventure is going on Instagram, I thought I would start giving monthly status updates here. That way I can give a ton of detail, and not bombard the feeds of people who don't care.

First up, last month. Here is what I made:
- Beef Stir Fry with Snap Peas - awesome
- Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos - would have been good, but I bought a REALLY low grade fish. Mistake 1.
- BLT Pasta - our favorite recipe so far. I did not add all of the chicken broth though because I like a thicker sauce.
- Crockpot hawaiian chicken - good, very summery
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken - great! I ate mine in salads
- Honey Balsamic Garlic Chicken - awesome
- Lemon Caper Tilapia Packets - good, but again, the fish I bought ruined them for us.
- Lemon Chicken Asparagus Pasta - We actually haven't eaten it yet!
- Paleo Stuffed Portabello Mushrooms - We did not like this at all. This was the one we considered a fail.
- Paleo Swedish Meatballs and Gravy - Great, but I think I would leave out the celery salt. I also added heavy cream to the gravy.
- Skillet Spaghetti Pie - this one had great flavor, but I think they called for a dish that was way too big. By the time it was heated through, it was dry. Next time, I will use a smaller dish.
- Smokey Monterrey Jack Burgers - Great

Ok, so if you wanted to know what we ate and how we liked it, there you go! As far as how everything held up in the freezer, I was surprised at how successful it all was. Even the pasta defrosted great. The only one that was 'weird' was my gravy for the meatballs. The cornstarch was not thrilled to mix in the second time around. It was still delicious though.

Lemon Caper Tilapia

The other thing that isn't super clear until you start doing it, is that you don't prepare an entire meal and then freeze it. More often than not, you are prepping the main portion of the dish. After you defrost it, it generally takes less than 10 minutes to cook, during which you can also prepare a veggie and a starch. Not every meal is like that. Some are casseroles or entire dishes, but you are not creating homemade versions of lean cuisine. You still serve a fresh, not soggy, not obviously reheated dinner (or breakfast/lunch) to your family. 

My number one TIP would be regarding thawing. Either I have a cold fridge, or the thaw sheet isn't 100% accurate. I would absolutely suggest taking the meal you want to eat from the freezer to the fridge the night before rather than the morning of. Basically, try to give it a full 24 hours in the fridge, not 12.

Cilantro Lime Chicken in a Salad

Best Feature? The labels. Anyone in your family can take a meal out of the freezer and know exactly how to prepare it. It can even be a great way to get kids involved in the cooking if you trust them. Haha. 

My other suggestions would be to read the first timer tips they send out via email and actually follow them. They are so right. I ignored almost all of them and did not have a pen at the grocery store, did not prep ahead of time, did not wear comfy shoes, and somehow forgot to eat breakfast and lunch. If you do the opposite of everything I did, you will be golden.

How did I like it, one month later? I loved it. I absolutely loved it. And I am not just saying that. It removed SO MUCH 'what are we going to eat tonight' stress from my life. It was the equivalent of having a chef. I basically came home to a meal that took minimal time and effort to create, but was still delicious. Often, it was something we otherwise would not have eaten because I could not fit the prep or planning into my schedule. This has truly changed my life. I love to cook, I just don't have the time. This allows me to still eat wonderful homemade stuff, without having to kill myself doing it.

Paleo Swedish Meatballs
So maybe I am not cut out for food glamor shots. Haha. Here is a look at next month's menu!

- Crunchy Chicken Strips
- Summer Chicken Salad
- Asian Meatballs
- Bacon Cheeseburger Sliders
- Balsamic Honey Pulled Pork Sliders
- BBQ Baked Chicken Thighs
- Best Burger Ever with Secret Sauce
- BLT Pasta
- Ginger Soy Salmon
- Grilled Beef Teryaki
- Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Maple Mustard Glazed Chicken
- Paleo Pulled Pork
- Ranch Cheddar Burgers
- Spicy Garlic Lime Chicken

So that's it! Let me know if you have any questions. If you decide to sign up, please click through from here! I get a little something for referring you! If not, be back tomorrow because I have a new quilt along to tell you about!

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