Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Menu this week: my attempt at “5 dinners in 1 hour” food prepping plan!

You might recall the guest post that I featured a while ago on How to prepare a week’s worth of dinner in ONE hour!  I have been reading all about this meal plan on my friend, Renee’s blog (Living, Laughing, and Loving) and have been itching to try it.  Renee got the idea from this blog.

Basically you prep all of your week’s worth of dinners all at one time (in an hour!) and don’t freeze them, no, you put them in the refrigerator ready to use that week.  Then when dinner time comes each day, your meal is ready to pop in the oven or the crockpot and it is supper is served! 

I finally tried it yesterday!  It did take a little motivation to actually do all the prep all at that one time, but just knowing that I have meals ready in the refrigerator for later this week when I get home from work is amazing!   I will be honest and admit that I am not the best at menu planning.  With just the two of us and getting home late from work many days each week, we resort to sandwiches, something easy out of the freezer, or even cereal for dinner sometimes. :(  So having something ready, quick, and yummy is going to be wonderful this week! :)

I had already planned on having Panini's and BLT sandwiches this week since I have deli meat and bacon that I need to use up, so I only needed to prep 3 other meals.  I cooked some bone-in chicken breast in the crockpot Monday morning so by afternoon it was ready for me to shred and use in my meals.

It took me about 5 minutes to gather all of my supplies:


And here is my plan for the week:
  • Chicken Fajitas
  • BLT sandwiches
  • Parmesan crusted chicken
  • Ham + cheese Panini’s

I used half of my cooked, shredded chicken for my fajitas.  I cut up peppers and added the seasoning pack to the chicken and let it warm/cook down while I worked on all the other meals.  (We were going to have the fajitas for dinner that night so I prepared these completely, although I could have just cooked, assembled, and then popped them in the fridge for later.)


While the filling for the fajitas was warming, I shredded the rest of the chicken for the Chicken of the Ritz and mixed  in the sour cream and cream of chicken soup with the chicken.  

To finish it off, you would top this with Ritz crackers and butter, BUT the ritz crackers get mushy if you don’t cook it right away, so I will add them right before I bake it later this week.

Then it was on to my 3rd meal – the Parmesan crusted chicken.  I don’t really follow a recipe for this :)  You just cut up chicken breasts into small pieces, dip in egg, then dip in a mixture of Italian bread crumbs and parmesan cheese.  Then bake for 20-30 minutes until done.  I also serve a sauce with this - 1/2 sour cream, 1/2 cottage cheese, some parmesan cheese, and a crushed garlic clove – I will mix this sauce up right before we eat that night.


Here are my meals!  Parmesan chicken and Chicken of the Ritz ready to go in the fridge for later, and chicken fajitas ready for us to eat for dinner that night!


It only took me about 25 minutes to prep this week since I was only doing 3 meals (and already had cooked chicken to use), then another 10-15 minutes to clean up the kitchen and load the dishwasher.

Next week, I will try 4-5 meals and see how long it takes! :)  I also need to expand my menu a little with something other than chicken! ;)

So have I inspired you yet to try this?  I can already tell you that I love having the meals prepared and ready, so much stress taken off me and that never-ending question, “What’s for dinner tonight?”  I just have to motivate myself to actually do the prep work on Saturday or Monday for the coming week.

If you want lots of meal ideas and more inspiration check out Renee’s blog or Michelle’s blog – 5 diners, 1 hour.

And I would love to know if you do something like this or get inspired to try it yourself.  Thanks, Renee for inspiring me!


  1. I have been doing this as well and LOVE it. I'm also not so good at menu planning but have been looking for new recipes. Some weeks I do make extra for the freezer and then I have meals for when I need them. You do get faster and you will find this way of cooking AMAZING and so worth the time.

    The "Chicken of the Ritz" sounds a lot like poppyseed chicken minus the poppyseeds. Looks good!

    Hope this way of prepping your meals makes your life easier. It has definitely done it for me.

  2. Yay!!! I'm so glad you liked it!! The Menu Planning really motivated me to branch out and try different things since I really was primarily only ever fixing chicken! I know you probably don't need any more blogs to follow, ha ha, but if you follow some cooking blogs, you can "pin" a promising recipe whenever you see it, and then at menu plan time, just peruse your food pins and see what looks good!! :)
    Impressive time too for your first try!! Three meals in 25 minutes! If you guys usually end up with leftovers, you can always split a meal BEFORE baking and freeze it for later.
    Love your Menu Board too! So pretty!


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