Saturday, April 7, 2012

Meals In A Bag

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I have mentioned Meals In A Bag before but it is a method of food storage that makes meal time so easy.  A complete meal is stored in a bag with all the ingredients and recipe attached.  The bagged meals are stored and can be used for easy dinners on time-crunched evenings, for neighbors in need, if mom is sick and the kids (or Dad) has to cook, or even for a quick meal anytime.  They also make great shower gifts for bridal or baby showers.  The book "It's In The Bag" is a great resource for making meals in a bag, but you can also use your everyday meals and convert them into a bagged meal.  

Every night when I make dinner I am always thinking in the back of my mind if the recipe I am using could easily be converted to a bagged meal.  As I made dinner tonight I knew I had the perfect recipe for a bagged meal.  Every ingredient in the recipe had a dried food alternative.  I was so excited to share it with you!

Parmesan Chicken with Bow Ties
 I made Parmesan Chicken with Bow Ties for dinner with fresh chicken, onion, and Parmesan.  I'll list the recipe with the before and after ingredients.  

Parmesan Chicken with Bow Ties

-12oz bow-tie pasta (I just dumped a 1lb box into the water)
-salt and pepper to taste (this + the garlic powder will go in a baggie)
-2 T olive oil (this is the only ingredient not in the bag.  I have it in my kitchen and storage)
-2 C small broccoli florets (1 C freeze dried broccoli or dehydrated in a baggie)
-1 1/2lb chicken breasts or tenders, cut into 1/2" pieces (one jar home-bottled chicken or canned chicken)
-1 small onion, finely chopped (1/4 C dried onion in a baggie)
-2 cloves garlic (1 1/2 t garlic powder)
-1 C chopped tomatoes (1 can diced tomatoes)
-1/2 C grated fresh Parmesan (grated Parmesan in bottle)
-A couple bottles of water to cook the pasta.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions, about 10 minutes.  Add the broccoli for the final 3 minutes.  Drain, reserving 1 C of the cooking liquid.  Toss the pasta and broccoli with 1 T oil. 

Warm the remaining oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add chicken, onion(reconstituted), garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes, add tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes more.  Toss in pasta, broccoli, Parmesan, and 1/2 C cooking liquid.  Add more liquid if dry.  

I put the broccoli in one baggie and the onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper in another bag.  I need to put the onion in a bag all by itself so I can reconstitute it without the spices with it.  I am learning along side all of you :)

Here are all the ingredients ready to go in the bag, except for the water.  I forgot to put it in the photo.

One Parmesan Chicken with Bow Ties ready for the storage room.  I keep the recipe in a CD envelope on the front of every bag.  This way my children or husband can also make the meal.  Plus I wouldn't have a clue later on what all the bags in my storage room would be.  This meal could also be prepared on a butane stove if you didn't have power.  A complete powerless cooking recipe!!


  1. what kind of bag is used in the meal in a bag system?

    1. They are a small gift bag, but any bag will do. I've seen small reusable bags used for this too. Whatever works for you will work for this system.

  2. I've been canning my meals. 1 quart equals 2 meals, usually. Chili, etc. Navy bean soup cans into condensed navy beans that I like to use on top of meat loaf. But if I have beans, I add ham and green beans, usually Italian green beans. Lentils & spinach & onions. Then I put my bread mixes like cornbread next to them. I just have to open a jar and heat while baking a quick bread. I figure the advantage is most of my canning already has the water in it, so I don't use up so much stored water.

    1. Canning is a great option! Thanks for sharing your ideas. And it is a really great way to conserve water.


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