Saturday, February 19, 2011

Meal Swap Details

I have had lots of questions about meal swapping. It can be a ton of organizing but it's so worth it to have several dinners in your freezer ready to go. There is a huge amount of resources on-line about meal swapping. I searched through everything that I could find, read a few blogs, and chatted with my SIL who meal swapped with her neighbors. Some people get together to share and discuss recipes in advance. Other people deliver hot meals to their friends on an assigned night- that sounds fabulous to me!

We use Meetup to organize our activities in my MOMS group so I decided that Meetup would work to organize meal planning too. I drafted an email to the board for my group and recruited some friends to participate. We have swapped three times and have learned something new every time. It seems to work best for us if we keep the group around 5 so it is not too overwhelming for anyone to prepare their dish. It takes me about 2 hours to prepare my meal and I have learned not to make my most time consuming dish. Most people just want a meal that is tasty and different to them - they do not care if it is gourmet.

 Our biggest problem has been packaging the meals. We learned that sometimes you get what you pay for with containers when baked ziti went everywhere making a HUGE mess. We may invest in glass containers to cut down on our packaging expense once we get the hang it. All of us meet in a central location with our meals with directions attached and a cooler. It takes less than 5 minutes for the actual swap.

Meetup allows you to post activites so I posted the meal swap and different moms signed up with what they were bringing. We have had stromboli, meat loaf, casseroles, soups and lasagna. My favorite part is coming home with lots of frozen meals and trying new things with my family. Not to mention the time it saves not having to prepare dinner every night. Try Meal Swapping with your friends. I am sure you will love it!

This is the the teaser to get people interested on Meetup:

What's for dinner? Do you get tired of thinking about this day after day? Then, you will love our Meal Swap! You will make 5 dinners and then meet us at the park to swap. You will go home with 5 new dinners for your family. Just think, 5 nights that you do not have to cook. 5 nights that you do not have to lug kids to the grocery store. 5 nights, that when your family asks you what's for dinner - you actually have an answer!

Here's the Scoop:

Make 5 dinners and package for the freezer in durable containers

Your meal should feed 3-4 adults.

Note in comments what you plan to make and if you will bring it frozen or ready to eat that night.

Attach cooking directions to the top of the dish.

Bring your food to Owl Creek Park at 4:00 on 2/15.

Below is the recipe that I made for the last meal swap. I got it from my friend Kristin and it's delicious!

Fiesta Chicken Enchiladas

1 small onion, chopped

1 clove garlic, minced (I use minced garlic from the jar)

1 lb of chicken breasts, shredded

1 cup Medium Chunky Salsa, divided (I normally use Pace or Tostitos)

4 oz cream cheese, cubed

1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles, drained

1 T fresh chopped cilantro (I use 1 tsp dried if I don’t have fresh)

1 tsp ground cumin

1 cup shredded Mexican cheese, divided

8 flour tortillas (fajita size)

Cook and shred chicken, chop onion, cube cream cheese, and drain green chiles. Heat large skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium heat. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 2 minutes. Add chicken, ¼ cup salsa, cream cheese, green chiles, cilantro, cumin; mix well. Cook until heated thorough, stirring occasionally. Add ½ cup shredded cheese, mix well.

I then put this mixture in the fridge until I’m ready to fix dinner.

Heat oven to 350. Spoon about 1/3 cup chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll up. Place seam-side down in 13x9 inch baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; top with remaining salsa and shredded cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. I normally only fix four tortillas and then save the rest of the mixture for another night or for me to have lunch.

1 comment:

  1. I wish I lived near you and could participate! I may have to organize this with some of my mommy friends!


Thank you for your comment!