Wednesday, October 19, 2011

For the Busy Writer

I learned something a few years back when I picked up my writing again: it is amazing what a person can get done in 24 hours.

If you’re anything like me, you are a writer who has far more going on than just your next latest and greatest project. There’s kids and day jobs, doctor appointments, dance classes. Houses and families to maintain and above all, of course, meals to be made and eaten.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m not a fantabulous cook, but over the years, I’ve learned how to get by, especially as things have grown busier. Recently, we added another family member who insisted on arriving about 3 weeks early, which means things are even crazier now as we adjust from being a family of 4 to being a family of 5. To give myself a little extra time here and there, I started a little stock pile of freezer dinners for our family a few weeks ago and here is one that’s a favorite for everyone from my steak & potatoes husband to our picky 3yo.

You don’t have to make things complicated to make them taste good. (And to save yourself time in the kitchen so you can have some more time in the chair to do some writing!) So here you go, and sorry, no pictures this time :(

1-2 lbs of boneless/skinless chicken breast or chicken breast tenders
1-2 bottles of creamy Caesar salad dressing*

½ head of iceberg lettuce, chopped
1-2 hearts of Romaine lettuce, chopped

The freezer part –
Put your chicken into a zip-top freezer bag. Dump in 1-2 bottles of the salad dressing, depending on how much chicken you’re using. I generally go with a 1-1 ratio: 1 lb of chicken to 1 bottle of dressing. Make sure you label the bag with what you’re making (chicken Caesar salad) before you begin … then squeeze out all the air, seal up the bag, mix around and lay flat in the freezer to begin your stock pile. This will keep for up to 6 months.

The cooking part –
Thaw out the freezer bag in the fridge or under cool running water. Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Pour the contents of the bag into a casserole dish. I use a 9 x 13 if I’m making any more than 1lb of chicken. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the top is a nice golden color and the chicken is cooked through.

The mixing part –
Mix up the chopped lettuce and serve with some chicken on top. The baked dressing becomes a warm, creamy sauce to go over the chicken on top of the lettuce as well.

Super yum and easy to make! This chicken is also tasty served with pasta!

So if you’re looking for ways to save some time and squeeze in some extra writing, why not start your own freezer meal collection?

Happy eats!

*I've had pretty good luck with all brands of creamy Caesar dressing EXCEPT the Great Value one from Wal-Mart. So I'd recommend against that one, as the dressing tends to separate in the oven and you're left with a not so tasty looking layer of oil on top of your chicken.


  1. This recipe is definitely on my list of fav-recipies-Windy-has-given-me. It's a great quick meal. Now I'm craving salad.

  2. Yeah, I'm craving some chicken salad too! :)

  3. YUM! I was actually just searching for "freezer dinners" because even though I love cooking and enjoying home cooked meals, I'd rather be writing! :) Welcome #5!! :)

  4. Ansha - it's totally home cooking. semi-homemade :) - totally counts!

  5. Great idea--thanks, Windy! And so much healthier than the pre-packaged options.

  6. Michelle - it's tasty stuff!

    TW - definitely healthier if you're conscious of the dressing you use. But yummier than pre-packaged, that's for sure!

  7. I agree - sometimes a dinner doesn't need to be fancy or complicated to be good.