Welcome to a post by a wedding and portrait photographer, shop owner and mom of three that has NO idea how to cook. AT ALL. And it’s never been a natural skill of mine and I’m finding out that there is a slight possibility I may not be terrible at it after making it one of my 2017 Powersheets goals (click here to read about those) for our family!
It proved to be even better and wiser of a goal when we began Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace University in July (read about that journey here, here and here). This is the time where we realized that if I hadn’t started to cook in January of this year for my New Year’s resolution, we would NOT have been able to save $600 our first month in groceries and $750 the second month! AMAZING!
If you’re a woman like me that has just never been one to whip something up by feeling out the ingredients in your fridge, I HIGHLY recommend doing the following:
- Pinterest or Google search 15-20 meals that look shareable for your family or at least you and your spouse
- Choose 3-4 meals from your list to prepare and prep on Sunday (or another day that works better) all day throughout the day if you can
- Buy only what you need at the grocery store, list out the ingredients you don’t already have from the recipes
- Clean out your pantry and fridge (click here to pick up our Home Simplifying List!) and prep some room for your pre-made meals and voila, you’ve done the following amazing things!:
- You’ve saved brain space figuring out what to make during the week
- You’ve saved money on not getting carry out food and…
- You’ve made more time for yourselves to wind down and do other more important things than meal prep!
$$$ Here’s a quick note to take in $$$ – Before Dave Ramsey, we were using fresh garlic and actual lemons. We were spending more because we weren’t budgeting. Depending on your financial journey and level of comfort, feel free to substitute as needed. We are being completely vulnerable showing you that yep, we’re doing it as frugally as possible during this season of life but that’s how we stay $550 and under for 5 people to eat each month! We are working SO hard toward $475-$500 a month, but our girls are little snack machines!
I hope you guys don’t mind, but I’m not a perfect measurer, at all 🙂 That’s the thing about my cooking, I just have to do my own thing and feel it out. I never, ever, ever measure things because I end up changing it anyway so I’ll do my BEST to describe the closest measurements I can, but you can add as needed based on what you like more! Garlic lover? Add more! Lemon lover? Pour in even more juice. Go for it!
Mermaid Meal: Easy Lemon & Garlic Crockpot Chicken
6-8 chicken tenderloins
Lemon juice (or lemons)
Garlic (whichever form you prefer)
Preferred noodles (penne, spaghetti, bow tie, etc)
The easiest thing in the world:
1. Spray the crockpot with cooking spray
2. Put the chicken in (frozen or thawed, both are fine)
3. Pour heavy cream on until it looks like image below
4. Drizzle olive oil across lightly
5. Tear basil and throw it in
6. Pour lemon juice over (around 1/4 cup, more if you love lemon flavor though!)
7. Throw italian seasoning on top, just a dusting
8. Same with the onion powder
9. Same with the pepper
10. I put on little dollop of squeeze garlic on for each tenderloin, so in this case, 6 of them but add more if you love garlic
11. All you have to do is keep checking the crockpot until the chicken isn’t pink in the middle anymore – SUPER easy! Remember, the liquid/cream sauce will be watery when warm but settle more and thicken when you throw it in tupperware and reheat later. You can always add a little flour to thicken if you think it got TOO watery.
12. I cook the noodles separately and throw them in their own tupperware and then will microwave them together later for meals. That way, I can throw some spaghetti sauce on for the girls to have spaghetti easily, too! I usually do one chicken tenderloin for lunches and two for dinners…so with six of them in there, we have 2 lunches and 2 dinners between Mike and I. If we make more, we’ve got more! 🙂
Sometimes we’ll add a little shredded parmesan and/or garlic salt to the end result for an extra kick of goodness. But that’s it really. And then my one year old steals half my portion and I’m hungry again. See below 🙂
Want an alternative and equally incredible substitute? Mike LOVES this one, and so do I! Instead of lemon juice… use sun-dried tomatoes and pour in the oil that they sit in, too. This is seriously SUCH a treat! I would even use less garlic with this one because the tomatoes are just so amazing.
There you have it. Straight from the mom who really pulled it together in this department this year and has meals DONE and ready for the entire week consistently now! We’ll blog more SOON 🙂
Want to keep up with an Outer Banks mama of three sweet (and oh so wild!) little girls shooting weddings & small business photography while making time for the things that matter most? Click on the links below and let’s connect!🙂