Eat More Chicken

You guys, what I’m about to tell you is something I never thought possible … until I discovered it happened in my own family:

My Grandma Colvin used to feed her whole family of 10 on one pound of beef!!

Gah??! How is that even possible??

For starters, I know that she was unabashedly frugal. My dad recounts stories of how his mom would give each of her 8 kids a little helping of hamburger next to about ten green peas and a mound of mashed potatoes. (Cause potatoes are cheap y’all.) And voila! Dinner . was . served.

Today, I’d like to pay homage to my dear frugal Grandma and give you the skinny on how to stretch a pound and a half of chicken (3-4 chicken breasts) to feed a family of seven for a week. (I know it’s not beef, but I’m sure Grandma Colvin wouldn’t mind.)

So are you ready guys? Cause this secret is gonna blow your mind!

In order to stretch 2 pounds of chicken for a week, you need to choose recipes that require MINIMAL chicken.

I know. #mindblown right? It’s so simple, yet why did it take me so long to figure out?!?! The real trick is in the meal planning: you need to make sure you have at least 3-5 “minimal chicken” recipes in your arsenal at all times.

In order to help you with this, then, the Substance Moms Writer’s Team collected their favorites and here they are!

MONDAY – Berry Spinach Salad

You guys, this salad is to DIE for! Jonna ate it everyday when she was pregnant and now her kids now love it too!

  • 1/2 chicken breast needed
  • TUESDAY – Instapot Chicken

    Who doesn’t love Instapot dinners? Amber Krueger loves turning frozen chicken into delicious shredded goodness in just 10 minutes, while Annie Evelsizer loves adding her salsa chicken to zucchini boats or cheese quesadillas. Yum!

    • NOTE: These recipes call for more chicken, but the “grandma trick” is to make it all at one time and then divide the meat into smaller, freezable portions.
    • WEDNESDAY – Elevated Grilled Cheese

      Grilled cheese is always a crowd pleaser, but this recipe will make even adults cheer! Thanks to Esther “Annie” Rhodes for sharing it!

      • 1/2 – 1 chicken breast needed (optional)
      • THURSDAY – Greek Lemon Chicken soup

        This soup is like a “fancy” chicken noodle soup that takes zero effort and makes families everywhere smile. (Seriously, Jonna’s kids BEG for it!)

        • 1/2 chicken breast needed. Serve with a side salad to “beef” it up. (See Grandma? I do like beef!)
        • FRIDAY – Southwest Chicken Rolls

          This is a favorite of Kathy Morgan’s, and she says that it’s SO yummy you’ll even love it as leftovers!

          • 1/2 – 1 chicken breast needed (or go meat free!)
          • SATURDAY – Thai Coconut Curry

            Nothing says “Take me to Thailand” like a coconut curry, amirite? This is why Anita Matta makes it during the dead of winter (cause she HATES winters, you guys.)

            • 1 chicken breast needed (or substitute tofu if you like that kind of thing).
            • SUNDAY – Chilean burrito bowls

              Oh my gosh, you will want to BATHE in this Chilean salsa it’s that good! Jonna’s kids literally scream (no joke) when they know she’s making it. (Clearly they need to get out more.)

              • 1/2 chicken breast (optional)
              • Also, skip cooking the peppers, onions, and mushrooms and just add raw veggies instead for Chipotle-style goodness.

              So there ya have it, mamas — recipes to satisfy your budget, your family’s pallet, and make grandmas everywhere proud. Spoons up!

              Jonna Meidal is a mother to 3 girls who seeks to parent them by the fruits of the spirit (and her Quiet Hat). She’s been to 20 countries (yay!), loves to write & laugh (a LOT), & can’t get through the day without eating popcorn (duh!). You can read more of what she’s been up to at or follow her adventures on Instagram @quiet.hat.adventures.

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