A happy heart makes the face cheerful...Proverbs 15:13

Friday, August 19, 2011

Getting the most for your money: Frozen Chicken Breast Tenders

Feeding 4 growing, and VERY hungry boys, who seem to all play sports at the same time, has forced me to  learn how to stretch many main course items in order to make many meals. I have also learned how to adjust these items in a way that make them freezer friendly for those evenings when we need a good, but quick meal.
This week I stretched 1 bag of frozen chicken breast tenders into 3 separate, easy to freeze, meals.

Meal 1: Chicken Fettucini Alfredo:

5-7 tenders, cut into chunks
2/3 box of fettucini noodles
1 Jar of alfredo sauce or try a home made sauce
Grated Parmesan cheese or mozzarella

1.Season tenders with salt, pepper, oregano and garlic
        Bake chicken tenders at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes.
2. While chicken is baking, cook noodles according to the directions on box. *If freezing-Do not cook fully. That way the noodles have some room to cook when reheated. Otherwise they'll be mushy* Drain. Return to pan.
3. Add alfredo sauce to noodles and cook on low until sauce is hot.
(If you want to freeze this, mix chicken to noodles, place in an airtight freezer bag or container and allow to cool in the fridge for an hour or two, before placing in the freezer)
4. Place sauced noodles on plate. Top with chicken and cheese.
Serve with garlic bread or rolls.

Meal 2: Chicken Taco Bowls

1.5 lbs chicken tenders(or chicken breasts)
1 (16 oz) jar salsa
1 can black beans
1/2 lbs frozen corn
1/2- 1 packet taco seasoning
2 C dry rice
1/4-1/3 cup of water
Shredder Cheddar cheese
(optional) cilantro, Frito's

1. Mix all ingredients in crock pot, EXCEPT rice and cheese.
2. Cook on low for 4 hours(6-8 if using nomral chicken breasts)
3. When 8 hours in nearly complete, cook rice according to directions on package. (To freeze- Pour mixture into an airtight plastic ziploc or container. Allow to cool in fridge for 1-2 hours before placing it in the freezer)
4. Using a fork, break up chicken so it looks 'shredded'.It should be tender and shred apart easily.
5. Place rice in bowl. Top with mixture. Top with cheese, cilantro, and broken Frito's

Meal 3 - Barb-Q Chicken Kabobs

These tenders fit perfectly onto a kabob stick. I often use the small corn on the cob sticks as it makes handling for the kids a bit easier.

5-8 Chicken Tenders
1 bottle of your favorite barb-q sauce
Kabob sticks
Optional- onion quarter slices, cherry tomato, green pepper slices

1. Place tenders in a bowl or container and cover to coat with barb-q sauce. Allow to marinade in fridge.
    These can marinade for any amount of time! (If you plan to freeze, put chicken with barb-q sauce into an airtight freezer bag, and place in freezer)
2. After marinading,  remove chicken from bag and place 1 tender on each kabob sticks. Add any additional kabob items. My kids prefer the chick by itself.
3. When ready, cook kabobs on a grill or in a low setting skillet or griddle, until cooked completely through.

We have these over white rice with corn on the cob or with mashed potatoes and corn kernels.

So its that simple. You could make all 3 of these meals in one day in order to provide 3 meals in the following weeks.

Cost Break Down: Family of 6
1 bag of frozen chicken breast tenders-  $7.99
1 box alfredo noodles-                               .94
1 jar alfredo sauce-                                  1.99
1 jar salsa-                                               1.99
1 can black beans-                                     .99
1 bag frozen corn-                                      .99
Taco seasoning-                                         .74
1 Bag rice-                                               3.89
Shredded cheddar-                                   2.00
1 bottle barb-q sauce                                2.50
                                                              $ 24.02 for all 3 meals 
                           that makes each meal    $ 8.01 per meal
                                                                $ 1.34 a serving

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