This weekend we headed to the city to attend our oldest daughter’s “White Coat” Ceremony. This is a welcome to the pharmacy profession by alumni, staff and students in the pharmacy community. It coincided with my husband’s 25th reunion from The College of Pharmacy, so it meant a jam packed weekend.
Although it’s been awhile since I was a student, I recollect the hours spent studying and writing lab reports. It leaves little time to plan healthy meals and grocery shopping. When Chelsea asked me if I might make a couple of meals for her freezer, I was happy to help. Makes me feel needed, even after they’ve left the nest.
I had my Pinterest Board of recipes and suggestions all ready for the weekend. Together we narrowed list of recipes and compiled a shopping list. After shopping, I wish I could say we spent the afternoon together chopping and cooking in the kitchen. Truth be told, she was feeling pressure to prep for her midterm this week. She went to the library, and I got comfy in the kitchen.
I started by putting a pot roast and vegetables into her pressure cooker. To turn it into a slow cooker, and not turn the veggies into mush, we used a plate as a cover and used the slow cook function.
Then I got to work chopping onions, carrots, peppers and potatoes. Getting the chopping out of the way for all recipes hastens the process. I kept the potatoes in water to prevent them them from turning colour.
Next I prepared the freezer bags by writing the cooking instructions with a marker. Slow cook or pressure cook, or any other tips or instructions pertinent to the recipe.
Potato soup is one of Chelsea’s favourite comfort foods. After a little research on Pinterest I determined that chopped potatoes should freeze for soup as long as they are immersed in liquid. Tricia at Once a Month Meals had the perfect recipe, and I’ve bookmarked her page for future sessions. I added some finely chopped carrots to this soup also…….I’m all about using what you have on hand.
We purchased pork strips to facilitate quick assembly of a fajita freezer meal. The original recipe here, called for chicken, but a sale on the pork strips in bulk packaging was too good to pass up, not to mention a time saver! The testing of the slow cook function on the pressure cooker should allow her to cook this dinner by tossing the bag contents into the cooker on her lunch break to be ready when she arrives home from a lab or class.
This reference for Instapot Meals was a great reference for our meal prep session. Chelsea chose the Honey Bourbon Chicken recipe from this website. I used 5 chicken breasts for three meals (with leftovers for lunches!)
Lastly I prepared a ravioli lasagna recipe that Chelsea found in a cookbook she had on hand. Using two small foil pans, these recipes can be cooked from frozen in less than an hour and reheated the next day.
When she arrived home from the library, she was pleased with the full freezer. And the slow cooked pot roast meal was successful. I love that the one appliance can function in two ways…….both ideal for the busy student!
After dinner, it was time to say good bye. I left feeling I had a accomplished a lot during the busy weekend. We enjoyed having Chelsea join us in the reunion activities, and Ken’s classmates made her feel welcome to the pharmacy community.