I've mentioned before that I would share any and all tips I find along the way that help with dinner prep. It's usually the small ones that help me the most, to tell you the truth. So while this isn't breaking news, it's been helping me get daily dinners on the table this summer!
Another truth, I only bake my chicken. I find it's so much easier to season and bake it than to sit over the stove top and grill it during the witching hour. Especially when we can be outside while it's baking because I'm not stuck in the kitchen. We're pretty particular about the chicken we eat and only consume products that have less than 8% water. Our closest grocery store doesn't carry the brand I like so I find myself buying several packages at a time from another store and freezing them. I was pre-seasoning before baking but have skipped this step because the kind we buy individually wraps each breast so I was making more work for myself. My favorite seasonings are a scampi blend and a garlic herb blend I purchased through a Wildtree Freezer Meals Party I attended a few months ago. I also love Mrs. Dash but find I use the first two more often now.
I also always bake double what I need for my meal so that I have extra chicken ready for the following night as well. This isn't exactly meal planning, but it does save time and effort which is really helpful. That time usually translates to take-out so it ends up being a big money saver for us.
I purchased a package of Broccoli Slaw at Trader Joe's on a whim the other day as a substitute for our standard grilled chicken salad. I made the slaw in the middle of the day and let it marinate all afternoon before tossing some baked chicken on top for dinner.
1 package of slaw *
2 small apples chopped
1 cup of raisins
1 cup of Brianna's Blush Wine Vinaigrette **
* I've now successfully used Trader Joe's Broccoli Slaw and DOLE's Asian Slaw mix and both are equally delicious.
** I hoard this dressing as we use it almost daily. I haven't found one thing yet that it didn't work with.