Kosher Once A Month Cooking: Poultry (Part 1 ~ Tips, Menu & Printable Labels)

I am excited to welcome KOAB reader and organizing junkie Shaindy Gerstein for this two-part series about Kosher Once a Month Cooking (OAMC). As the name implies, OAMC means that you cook once and eat for a month, thanks to cook-ahead food that freezes well.

Screen shot 2011 10 25 at 10.41.28 PM Kosher Once A Month Cooking: Poultry (Part 1 ~ Tips, Menu & Printable Labels)

As a full time working mom with two small kids, I barely have time to eat, let alone cook!

After a long, hectic week, I want to come home to Shabbos, with a traditional homemade meal. If only I had more time to prepare one!

That’s when my internet research on work-life balance for the busy homemaker led me to once a month cooking. I fell in love with the idea. I could totally do it! Problem was that none of the menu plans were kosher.

Luckily, in my research I came across Once a Month Mom. Awesome site! They have tons of kosher adaptable recipes and a detailed tutorial on how to prepare your own menu plans. So I got to work. I read through all the posts and followed them to the T.

Now, after all the hard work, I’m so glad to be able to share my plan with you.

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As Jews, we eat A LOT! It was almost impossible to include an entire month of meals into one day of cooking, so I mostly concentrated on Shabbos meals (of course, you can eat them during the week too!). Here are a few other insights into the way I planned the meal plan:

  • Each dish makes enough for at least 4 people
  • My menu includes:
    • 2 x 4 main dishes
    • 2 x 4 side dishes
    • 2 x 2 desserts
  • I tried to steer clear of crock-pots, so they can be reserved for cholent, if Friday is your cooking day. If a recipe calls for a crock-pot, the cooking time can be adjusted to cook in the oven.
  • My menu only includes chicken dishes in order to make it more “budget friendly.”

Kosher Once a Month Menu ~ Poultry

 

Main Dishes
Honey Chicken Kabobs**
2 x 4 pieces Turkey with Sweet Potatoes**
2 x 4 pieces cubed chicken breast halves**
Fajita spice mix**
2 x 4 pieces Shake ‘N Bake Chicken**
(I used store-bought Shake ‘N Bake, but you could easily make your own)
** This is a “dump” recipe and does not need to be cooked until the day it is served

Side Dishes
2 8×8 Broccoli Kugels
2 8×8 Butternut Squash Kugels
2 8×8 Spinach Kugels
1 9×13 Sweet Noodle Kugel (I divide into 2)

Desserts
1 9×13 Brownies (I divide into 2)
2 loaves Mandelbrot

Tips to Make the Most of Your Cooking Day

  • You MUST read through the ENTIRE plan before beginning. You don’t want any surprises on your cooking day.
  • Buy extra chicken. Once you are cleaning chicken, you might as well clean/cut as much as you need. You can also store chicken in storage bags with desired marinades and vegetables.
  • If you have a large family or just want to have more in your freezer, then double this menu plan.
  • If you like the idea of KosherOAMC, but don’t have an entire day to dedicate, you can divide the menu plan into 2 or even 3 days.
  • If you like larger kugels, make 1 9×13 pan instead of 2 8×8 pans.

Label Your Food

Screen shot 2011 10 26 at 11.28.30 AM Kosher Once A Month Cooking: Poultry (Part 1 ~ Tips, Menu & Printable Labels)

  • It can be hard to tell what each item is after it’s frozen, so make sure to label everything you freeze!
  • You can use a plain old sharpie (I got 2 free ones from Target- thanks Mara!).
  • Or you can print out these labels I made up, which are compatible with Avery template # 5163. If you do not want to use actual labels, you can print them out on regular paper, cut them, and tape them onto each item.

Tips for Storage and Freezing

  • Make sure each item is well wrapped and air is squeezed out. Food can be stored directly in freezer bags.
  • Do not use cheap freezer bags. From my research, people have NOT had success when using cheap quality
  • Before you go shopping make sure you have enough of the items below. If not, add it to your shopping list:
    • Disposable tins (8×8, 9×13)
    • Freezer bags (quart, gallon, 2-gallon)
  • When thawing items stored in freezer bags, place them in a tin or bowl. In case there is a small hole in the bag, you won’t have a huge leak in your fridge!

Stay tuned tomorrow for recipes and the step-by-step cooking plan to turn this menu into a month’s worth of Shabbat meals!

Comments

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Comments

  1. So exciting!

  2. This looks like a really great idea! Thanks Mara and Shaindy!

  3. This is incredible. I”m so psyched.

  4. (Hoping in the future there’ll be sides that aren’t kugel, though.)

    • Shaindy @ kosherOAMC says:

      Hi Tovah, I’ve found a few recipes for non-kugel side dishes for the future. Please email me (kosherOAMC at gmail dot com) with any suggestions you have and I can try to work them into future menus.

  5. I did this a tiny bit during the chagim. Why make one kugel when it takes the same time to make double and freeze one, you know? I cannot wait to see Part 2 of this plan!

    Oh, and the labels. Be still, my heart…

  6. sounds great! This is information is especially helpful now that soon shabbos will be coming arond 4:00 pm.

  7. Thanks!!! I have so wanted to do this but was intimidated by the lack of kosher plans. I can’t wait to try.

  8. i love this idea, i did it a bit with yom tov and just made 2 of something and froze one. it was easy to do and when you’re in the kitchen messing around it isn’t much ore time to make an extra of the same thing. i just get worried the item will get freezer burn/dried out, depends on the recipe. i do this with challah, make a much of dough, shape it and freeze it and than take it out and let it rise egg it and bake. it’s great. i can’t wait to hear more. way to go!

  9. Haley Gordon says:

    So excited to find these plans & ideas. I’m a working mom, too, and I really struggle with getting daily dinner on the table, let alone shabbat meals. I’m excited to try this – maybe next Sunday!

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