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!!

4 comments:

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

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    Replies
    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.

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  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.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    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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