Once a Month Cooking

This week I did some serious cooking.

Back in April, I did a big cooking day with my good friend Lindsey, who also has a baby, so you can imagine what fun we had wrangling two babies AND cooking.

She invited me to do it with her, after she did it with another friend of hers the previous month.

This is the website that has all the information. We cooked for 10 hours and made 16 dishes, that made up 32 meals each.

It was INSANE.

By the end of the day, we were beyond exhausted. It was worth it though, we each had meals for almost a month and half.

This time around, Lindsey was too busy to do a big cooking day, and I tried to coordinate with my other friend Maureen, but then I got super busy and it just didn’t work out.

So I thought well, what if I just do 6 dishes and do it by myself. It wasn’t nearly as exhausting or stressful. I did all the prep work the night before, which included chopping all the vegetables, browning the ground beef and baking all the chicken. I also made two of the dishes that night, the pizza and the coconut chicken soup, which for that dish, I just threw everything in the crock pot.

I made 6 dishes and ended up with 14 separate meals, all of which will have leftovers for lunch or dinner. Hopefully, this food lasts at least a full two weeks, if not more. I also made a big batch of fruit smoothies and froze them in individual servings, for a total of 10 servings.

These are the dishes I made:

From the cookbook Nourishing Traditions:

Coconut Chicken Soup
Mexican Soup
Spicy Meatloaf

From OAMC:
Curried Chicken Tidbits

For the smoothies, I mixed strawberries, bananas, coconut milk kefir and a little bit of cranberry/pomegranate juice.

Oh, and the pizza I made, is something I saw in a magazine and tweaked it a bit. Its become a family favorite. I will share the recipe next time I make it.

If you’re looking for places to find good quality food to make these recipes, check out my resources page.

The aftermath for Peter to handle.

once a month cooking

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  • MermaidLilli
    June 5, 2010 at 2:42 PM

    LOL, the aftermath picture is great.
    This could be a book in the making, Stephanie…or a virtual book. 😉

  • Maureen
    June 5, 2010 at 4:09 PM

    You're so cute 🙂

  • Christina
    June 5, 2010 at 4:11 PM

    What a great idea! I want to try this now!

  • Princess Pioneer
    June 6, 2010 at 2:32 AM

    woohoo I was hoping you were using NT meatloaf. I make mine in 'minis' instead of big loafs 🙂
    Love seeing your kitchen dirty!

  • Stephanie
    June 6, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    @MermaidLilli…I don't know about a book, it will be a long time before I would feel comfortable doing a cookbook! I am self-taught and have come a long way but I got a LONG way to go still.

    @Maureen…maybe we can get our acts together and do one later in the summer!

    @Christina…you totally should. It has made such a difference in day to day life. Evenings are much more relaxing for me.

    @Princess Pioneer…I love your blog name by the way, I forgot to tell you before! That is a good idea about the minis. I am going to bake one tonight for dinner, hope it tastes good. I soaked the breadcrumbs in the coconut milk kefir instead of cream.

  • Stephanie
    June 7, 2010 at 2:21 PM

    The meatloaf was amazing! I am so proud of myself! That was the 3rd or 4th time I have tried to make meatloaf and the first time it actually came out good.

  • Sara
    June 9, 2010 at 3:04 AM

    What a great idea! I would love to try this!

  • Ali
    June 9, 2010 at 3:15 AM

    What a great idea! I told all of my friends about it when we got together this past weekend. We decided we wanted to give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing and by showing that it can even by done by just one hard working mama.

  • Catherine
    June 9, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    I love the idea of this. Unfortunately, my husband is an incredibly picky eater (as in, if it has lots of flavor and tastes delicious, he probably won't eat it), so I often end up making two versions of the same dish – one with flavor and one without, which makes freezer dinners difficult. Oh, and he doesn't eat leftovers. Sheesh! But I think it's fantastic that you're doing this!

  • Stephanie
    June 9, 2010 at 1:34 PM

    @Ali, my pleasure! Let us know how it goes!

    @Catherine, good grief! He is worse than a toddler! Do you tell him to make his own damn dinner?! 🙂

  • Honey
    August 11, 2011 at 1:02 PM

    I was wondering if you've done GAPS? We're starting the Intro this fall and I was wondering about hints/tips for freezer stocking in preparation for it. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts. 🙂


  • Stephanie
    August 11, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    @Honey… I have not done a GAPS diet yet. It has been on my radar for awhile now, I am just working up the courage I guess. I do try to limit my grains and eat gluten-free for the most part though.

  • Beth
    August 25, 2011 at 6:50 PM

    I like the idea of freezing smoothies ahead of time, do you take them out to defrost the night before or just in the morning??

  • Stephanie
    August 25, 2011 at 7:03 PM

    @Beth, usually the night before. 🙂

  • Laura
    January 31, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    How cost effective is it to buy food for an entire month (and do freezer meals or crockpot meals) rather then going to the grocery each week? My friend and I just did our first batch of freezer meals the other week. They all are turning out great so far. I am looking forward to trying to do this every month.

    • Stephanie
      January 31, 2012 at 6:46 PM

      I have done any official record keeping but I do think it helps keep costs down. The less you go to the grocery store the less you spend on non-essential items. For us, it helped reduce our going out to eat when I didn’t feel like cooking, I always have a meal in the freezer ready to go on those days.

      • Laura
        February 1, 2012 at 12:55 AM

        You named one big reason why I want to try to keep doing this… Keeping out to eat cost down. It’s just so easy to fall into the fast food trap… Looking forward to trying some of your receipes that you have listed. Thanks : )

  • Eliz
    February 4, 2012 at 8:47 PM

    Maybe you have already told us, but how do you store them in the freezer other than the freezer bags? It looks like maybe aluminum containers with aluminum foil on top? I would sooo love to succeed at this! I grab food out all the time because I worked late and didn’t have time to cook before the little mouths were starving and that makes me feel terrible about the quality of what I am feeding them.

  • Anne
    February 10, 2012 at 1:28 AM


    LOVE the idea of freezer cooking. Seems to make life so much easier if there is a plan B if I dont feel like cooking one day. Thanks for sharing the recipes.

  • Laura Bickmore
    February 25, 2012 at 10:11 PM

    I saw that you used a recipe for curried chicken bits, and i searched and searched but couldn’t find that recipe anywhere. When I tried looking at the OAMC website, I found a link, but when I tried clicking on it it asked me to log in to “word press.” … hmmm… any help? DO ytou still have that recipe? It sounds good.

    • Stephanie
      February 25, 2012 at 10:55 PM

      If you click on the link for OAMC it takes to their recipe list page for that month and just scroll down till you see Curried Chicken Tidbits. It is so yummy!

  • Misty
    June 6, 2012 at 6:02 PM

    I love the smoothie idea but I have a couple of questions..
    1. What is coconut milk kefir?
    2. What do you use to freeze them in?
    3. Can you give me specifis on amount of items you use?


    • Stephanie
      June 6, 2012 at 6:43 PM

      Coconut milk kefir, is kefir made from coconuts instead of cows milk. I use what is in the picture, the glass mason jars. I don’t have specific amounts, I try to do equal portions and just put fruit in until my blender is full.

      • Misty
        June 6, 2012 at 7:08 PM

        Thank you! Can’t wait to make it 🙂

  • val
    August 19, 2016 at 10:49 AM

    Hi there!
    Love the blog, love your ideas and of course LUV the red lipstick ;). I have the same question Eliz had, how do we store food to ensure no freezer burn etc.

    Thanks in advance!