- Recipe List
- Cook's Prayer
- How to Use This Book
- Basic Stock List
- Freezing Main Dishes
- Extra Time saving Tips
- Shopping Guide to Quality Ingredients
- Buying Chicken
- Coping With Cost
- 5 Timesaver Meals
- 5 Convenience Meals
- 5 Quick Meals
- 5 Make-Ahead Meals
- 5 Ready-to-Serve Meals
- Nutrition Goals
- Recipe Nutrient Data Explained
- A caution About Microwave Ovens
- Vegetarian Alternatives
- Other Freezer Recipes
The first thing I did was to read over the Basic Stock List and purchase anything that I normally do not keep in stock. This included some spices I have never used, nuts and some canned goods. Then I read a quick overview of the different ways you can freeze, thaw and cook main dishes as well as the 4 step general method that Sue Gregg prefers to use for convenience and for preserving the flavor and nutrition. I then read about how seasonings can be affected by freezing and how to choose, prepare and combine ingredients.
The book then goes into more detail about:
- Freezing Methods
- Containers to Use
- Foil or Freezer Ziploc Method
- Direct Dish Method
- Containers and Container Sizes
- How to Prepare in Quantity, Freeze Quickly, Freezer Space and Length of Time in Freezer
- Thawing Methods - Refrigerator Method and Quick Thaw, Microwave, and Conventional Oven
- Reheating Methods - Range Top, Microwave, Coventional or Convection Oven
- Preparing Chicken for Cooking
- To Stew
- To Crock-Pot
- To Quick-Fry Simmer
- To Stir-Fry
- To Steam
- To Freeze
- Chicken Curry
- Sausage Strata
- Best Burrito Beans
- Favorite Tamale Pie
- Tuna Fettucine
The "Day Before" items included:
- Presoaking beans
- Soaking cornmeal
- Cooking the chicken
- Setting out canned/dry ingredients
- Getting out freezer containers and cooking pans
- Soaking the almonds*
*Note: Soaking is a part of the Two-Stage Process that enhances nutrition and digestion and is explained more in the book.
All my canned/dry goods set out and ready for Cooking Day.
Almonds, cornmeal and pinto beans soaking.
On the "Cooking Day," instructions are given for cooking, chopping, slicing, grating and sautéing and how to complete each recipe in step by step detailed instructions. It even tells you which recipe to prepare when to maximize time, ease and efficiency. And I really enjoyed getting my kids in the kitchen with me for this.
Assembling the Sausage Strata and Favorite Tamale Pie.
We were in an out of the kitchen the whole day while we cooked, but I often spend this much time preparing for our Friday evening and Sabbath meals every Friday, so I was very happy to end up with that many meals for the same effort. I also appreciated having the menu suggestions that accompany each meal. Nutrition analysis is also available.
Making zucchini curls.
I made these while my husband was out of town and was so pleased to be able to offer him several menu options when he returned. Of course, he told me whichever is easiest for me, but I was able to say that they are all easy! I can tell you now that we have already eaten all five freezer meals that I made. We have had so much going on with building a house, schooling, reviewing and life, but it was so nice to simply pull a meal out of the freezer and put dinner on the table in minutes! I was also very happy to have a variety of dishes with texture and taste. I loved the use of almonds and water chestnuts to give flavor and crunch. I also learned how to make homemade turkey sausage with a seasoning mix that will make many more batches to come. I was also impressed with the many healthy food choices and options. There was not a single recipe that includes pork or shellfish, a bonus for our family who does not eat these things. If I had to pick one thing that I did not like about it, it would be that there were several recipes with mushrooms in them and we do not eat mushrooms either. But, I just plan to substitute homemade cream of chicken soup for the mushroom soup and omit the mushrooms when called for. If you are visual like me, you can head over to my blog, Steadfast at Home, and see a few more recipes we tried out and posted here. Meals In Minutes is 94 pages long and sells for $9 plus $4 shipping - a great price in my opinion for all that you get in this book.