Just for kicks — here are the five make-ahead meals we made at Stepping Up Sabbath today. (You can read more about that here.) I really don’t know the origin of all of them: probably allrecipes.com, bhg.com, family friends… They’ve been tweaked and reworked a bit, and you might be able to find the originals online elsewhere, but this is what worked for us. Enjoy!
*Note: Onion soup to taste — you may omit this entirely or use a whole packet. Our family likes it without this ingredient, or with only a half packet.
- 1 15. oz. can whole berry cranberry sauce
- *1/2 packet onion soup mix
- 1 small bottle Catalina salad dressing
- 1.5 lb. chicken breasts
- Make sauce packet by mixing first three ingredients. Freeze along with a package of chicken breasts.
- For Serving Day, be sure you have thawed the sauce packet ahead of time.
- Spray your crock pot with nonstick spray, and put in the chicken. Pour your sauce over the top and cook on low for 6 hours. (You could also thaw and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes if you don’t have a slow cooker.)
- Make rice to serve with your chicken. Sprinkle with parsley if desired.
Lettuce Leaf Tacos
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 2 T. olive oil
- 2 T. chicken stock (optional)
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 3 T. taco seasoning
- 2 large roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped, or salsa
- 1 (8 ounce) package shredded Cheddar cheese
- 12 large romaine lettuce leaves
- Dice pepper and onion.
- Cook and stir pepper and onion in a skillet over medium heat with olive oil and chicken broth until onion is translucent.
- Cut up ground beef into small pieces; place into a separate skillet over medium heat. Cook and stir ground beef with taco seasoning until beef is browned and crumbly. Drain excess grease.
- Combine beef, onions, peppers, and freeze.
- On Serving Day, reheat meat packet.
- Create “tacos” by using lettuce leaves for your shell, a scoop of meat mixture, a sprinkle of cheese, and some tomatoes.
Honey Garlic Chicken
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/3 c. honey
- 1/2 c. ketchup (you can also use low-sodium ketchup, if available)
- 1/2 c. low sodium soy sauce
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 2 T. fresh parsley
- 1/2 T. toasted sesame seeds
- In a mixing bowl, combine garlic, honey, ketchup, soy sauce, oregano and parsley; whisk until thoroughly combined.
- For Serving Day, be sure to thaw your sauce packet ahead of time. Pour the sauce over the chicken thighs in a slow cooker. Close with a lid and cook for 6 to 7 hours on low.
- Make rice to serve with chicken. Spoon extra sauce over the top of each serving.
- Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds.
White Lightning Chicken Chili and Cornbread
This is a quick and easy chili, but like all good chilies, you can go low and slow if you want.
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 T. olive oil
- 4 c. cooked chicken
- 3.5 t. chicken bouillon
- 2 cans diced green chiles
- 1 package white chicken chili seasoning mix
- (McCormick makes one)*
- 3 cans navy beans
Optional Toppings for Serving Day:
- low-fat sour cream
- shredded Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese
- diced avocado
- chips or corn bread
- Shred or coarsely chop chicken.
- Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a large Dutch oven, about 5 minutes, or until onion is tender.
- Stir in chicken with next 3 ingredients, 28 oz. water, and 2 cans of navy beans.
- Coarsely mash remaining beans and stir into chicken mixture.
- Reheat in slow cooker, or thaw, bring to a boil, stirring often; cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer about 10 minutes.
Serve with sour cream, cheese, cilantro, avocado, lime wedges, and chips, if you like, and a batch of cornbread on the side.
*If you cannot locate a package of White Chicken Chili Seasoning, use extra garlic, 2 T. cumin, 1 T. coriander, and a cup of green (tomatillo) salsa in its place.
Roasted Red Pepper Lasagna
I dearly love this vegetarian lasagna. It’s not that carroty veggie lasagna with no hint of cheesy tomato goodness; it really satisfies a good Italian craving — with no meat! Break it out for your cow-conscious friends. They’ll thank you.
- 2 cups bottled red pasta sauce
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1/2 15 ounce container ricotta cheese
- 6 ounces mozzarella*
- 1 T. red wine
- 1/4 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup roasted red sweet peppers, drained well and sliced
- Lightly coat a 2-quart square baking dish with cooking spray.
- Spoon 1/3 cup of the sauce in the dish. Top with 2 lasagna noodles.
- In a small bowl stir together the ricotta cheese, 1 cup of the mozzarella, and wine. Spoon half the mixture over the noodles in the dish.
- Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Top with half the red pepper strips.
- Spoon half the remaining sauce on the pepper layer.
- Top with 2 more noodles, the remaining ricotta mixture, and remaining peppers.
- Add 2 more noodles and the remaining sauce.
- Sprinkle top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan.
- Cover with foil.
- Thaw overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 50 minutes. Let stand, covered, on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving. Serve with caesar salad and french bread if desired.
*Super good with goat cheese instead of mozzarella!