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We Help You With Great Menus for Your Once-a-month Cooking Plans

We Help You With Great Menus for Your Once-a-month Cooking Plans
Once a month cooking is a time and money saving concept. If you are a working, single parent who has to manage household, as well as outdoor chores, this way of cooking can save you a lot of effort.
Tastessence Staff
Last Updated: Jul 21, 2017
Once a month cooking literally means, to cook food in bulk and refrigerate it for the rest the month. This not only saves cooking time but you also need to go grocery shopping just once a month! You can cook more than ten recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner and refrigerate them for the entire month.

Menu for Your "Once a Month Cooking" Plan

If you are thinking of trying once a month cooking, you will need a definite plan. You need to know what recipes are healthy to refrigerate and how to store them for a month. So, let's get started on your plan.

The very first thing you need to do is make a grocery shopping list for all your recipes. Once you've made your list, shop for the ingredients as well as some heavy-duty freezer bags. You need not start cooking the same day you've shopped as it might get tiring. If you are cooking chicken recipes, make sure you eat them before the vegetables, as they lose their nutrients faster.

Some tasty, mouth-watering menus can include recipes like chicken noodle soup, pea soup, beef stew, lasagna, Italian pizzas, sandwiches, banana bread, garlic bread recipes with toppings, fat-free milk, etc. But make sure you judiciously use foods like cream, cheese, mayonnaise, fried food, potatoes, yogurt, since these recipes tend to lose their taste, or not respond well to freezing. An important point to remember while using the above mentioned foods is, to refrigerate them within 24 hours of cooking and then eventually freezing them.

Beef Meatball Appetizer
Ingredients
  • 8 ounce of corn muffin mix
  • ½ cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 finely chopped onion
  • Salt and pepper
  • 8 ounce ground beef
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • Enchilada sauce
Directions
In a bowl, mix the corn muffin mix, eggs and milk and bake it for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Cool it and crumble the mixture. Add some enchilada sauce to the remaining ingredients in another sauce pan and cook it for 10 minutes over low flame. Add the crumbled mixture to this pan. Roll this mixture in balls and bake them for 20 minutes at about 350 degrees. Cool it and then freeze.

Stuffed Pasta Shells
Ingredients
  • 4 ounce cooked pasta shells
  • 4 ounce ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • 750 ml tomato sauce
  • Taco seasonings
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chili powder
  • ½ cup salsa sauce (optional)
Directions
In a sauce pan add beef and olive oil and cook till it turns brown. Add the seasonings along with water, cheese, onion, and salsa to another pan and cook it well. Mix and add the tomato sauce and chili powder with the remaining salsa. Take a baking pan and spread a layer of this sauce on it. Then fill the pasta shells with the ground beef filling and place them in the sauce pan. Pour the remaining sauce on these shells and garnish it with some shredded cheese. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and freeze it. When you want to eat this dish, defrost it overnight, and bake it at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Chicken Lasagna
Ingredients
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 3 cups milk or heavy cream
  • 8 ounce lasagna noodles
  • 2 lbs boneless chicken
  • 4 ounce carrots and spring onions
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Red chili flakes
  • Mozzarella cheese
Directions
Cook chicken and make small cubes out of it. Boil the noodles in hot water, drain them and rinse with cold water. Place them on a sheet and cover them. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In another sauce pan, add butter and cook the onions for 2 minutes till they soften. Keep it over low flame and add flour to it. Now, add the dried herbs and chicken to it, stir till they cook. Add the carrots, spring onions, salt, pepper, chili flakes and cook further. Take a baking pan and spray it with no stick spray. Pour some sauce in the pan and add the noodles, sauce and 2 layers of cheese to the pan. Cover the pan and bake for 40 minutes. Let the top brown, by uncovering it for about 5 minutes and then, stand the lasagna for 20 minutes before you freeze it. There are many chicken lasagna recipes that you can follow but this is one of the easiest and quickest.

Stuffed Potato Side Dish
Ingredients
  • 6 potatoes
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons whipped cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 6 chopped green onions
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Salt and Pepper
Directions
Punch a few holes in the potatoes, with a knife or fork and bake them for about an hour and a half at 350 degrees in an oven. Once they are cooled, slice off the top of the potatoes, carefully scoop out the pulp with a spoon and keep it in another bowl. Take a sauce pan, add butter and cream, let it heat on low flame. After the butter melts, cool for 15 minutes and add to the potato pulp. In another bowl, mix the egg, cheese and finely chopped onions and blend it with a hand mixer till it becomes a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to it and stuff this filling in the potato with butter and cream. Garnish it with some more cheese and bake the stuffed potato for 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool it completely and then freeze.

You can even cook appetizers like beef taquitos, sausages, burritos, chicken nuggets, pies, etc. for other meals of the day. Vegetarians can also follow a low-fat schedule with menus like vegetable fried rice, cabbage roll casserole, corn casserole, stuffed red and green peppers and also stuffed vegetables. Potato recipes are also a good idea but make sure the potatoes are fresh when you cook them.

Once a month cooking is a good idea if you want to save on time and money, but you need to take care about freezing the food properly, and heating it well before consumption. You can also have a healthy diet by cooking once a month provided you plan your shopping and cooking schedule.
Stuffed Potato dumplings
Chicken Lasagna
Stuffed jumbo Italian shells
Small meat balls