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A Month of Meals (how I conquered my cooking rut)

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I had been in a complete cooking rut.  I was fresh out of ideas on what to cook, and we seemed to be going out to eat more and more often.  But then, a few days ago, I got the latest issue of Everyday With Rachael Ray and one of the cover stories really caught my attention “1 Month of Make Ahead Meals”.  I thought it was such a great idea!  The basic idea was to make 5 building blocks for 20 different meals and then freeze those building blocks. Boom, my cooking rut is over!

So I got to work and made about 10 lbs of pulled pork, 8 pounds of pulled chicken, a bunch of roasted peppers, onions and squash, a large batch of tomato sauce, and a large batch of rice pilaf.  Whew!  It took me two days to get the cooking done (although if I’d been a little more organized, I could have gotten it all done in one day).  My freezer is now brimming with great ingredients!

Now my family and I are reaping the rewards of all that cooking and it is great!  Every meal uses one or more of the building blocks that I now have in my freezer.  Then I add some other fresh ingredients and in as little as 20 minutes, a tasty dinner is ready.  So far we’ve had Pork and Ginger Noodle soup, Pulled Pork and Slaw sandwiches and Roast Pork and Veggie Burritos.  Tonight it’s going to be Spanish Rice with Shrimp.  Everything has been delicious!

I put my own spin on the burritos last night.  The ingredients that I needed were pulled pork, roasted peppers and onions, rice pilaf, cheddar cheese, black beans and a large tortilla.  To put my own spin on it, I used whole wheat tortillas and instead of toasting the burritos in olive oil in a pan, I brushed them with olive oil and had my husband grill them.  Then I made a simple pico di gallo to top them with.  To make that, I seeded and chopped three roma tomatoes, finely chopped about 1/4 cup vidalia onion and finely chopped about 1/4 cup cilantro.  I mixed all of that together, and added salt and pepper and the juice of one lime.

The burritos were great and the pico di gallo was very tasty and complimented the burritos beautifully!  Now I must tackle tonight’s dinner, check back tomorrow to see how that goes.

The Month of Meals Continues
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