I love the weekend! It’s time to relax, kick back, breathe a little, reconnect with my dear ones. For me, the weekend’s also the best time to cook ahead so that I have plenty of good food in the house during the busy week. This week I’ll have two days where I’ll be out of the house from 7 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. I need something on hand for my husband to eat and something that I can take along to work and school for lunches and dinners on those days.
This week’s cook-ahead fits the bill nicely. We made slow cooker chicken soup and cold salads for sandwiches. Our cooking also used up lots of leftovers and some pantry supplies.
Here’s how we did it:
Slow Cooker Chicken Soup
3 ribs celery
1 small or medium onion OR 1 cup diced onions
1 clove garlic, chopped and minced
3 carrots, chopped OR 1 can carrots
1 chicken bouillon cube
1 tsp sage
Chicken pieces (we used the leftover frame from a baked chicken earlier in the week)
5 cups water (Your mileage may vary—this is what fit into the slow cooker so that the chicken pieces were covered.)
Put the vegetables and the bouillon cube into the slow cooker first, then add the chicken pieces and other ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Strain the broth into a big pot using a colander to catch the bones and vegetables. Cut or tear the meat from the bones. This is a little tricky—you will need to be careful to cut off gristle and fat as well. When you have the meat cut off, discard the bones and add the meat and vegetables back into the soup. You can eat the soup as is or add noodles or rice to it.
Tom’s Chicken or the Egg Salad
8 eggs (Maisie and Maggie, our hens, keep us amply supplied!)
1 scallion, chopped, including the greens
¾ cup mayonnaise
½ tsp. mustard
Salt and Pepper to taste
Hard boil the eggs, peel off the shell, and chop them into small pieces. Dice the scallion, including the greens. Add the sliced scallion, mayonnaise, and mustard to the eggs and mix well. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Use half the egg salad for egg salad sandwiches. Add 8 ounces of cooked, chopped chicken to the other half to make killer chicken salad.
How We’ll Use It This Week
Dinner tonight will be homemade chicken soup and a tossed green salad. For the rest of the week, we’ll have lunch by combining homemade soup with either an egg salad or a chicken salad sandwich.