Sunday, October 12, 2014

The One-Eyed Cook

... or more accurately "The Cook with One-Eye." As you may remember, I wrote in the last post that I have only one heating unit working on my old stovetop. Yes, I need to replace the entire stovetop, but I have several more house repairs to finance first.

My meal planning system so far is working very well; however, I seem to consume all my meals before my daughters. They have multiple jobs and/or long shifts, as well as graduate school. Their schedules are more chaotic than mine. I eat at regular times because I am retired and at home, so I need interim meal plans for myself.

I began to think about what I have instead of what I wanted, so I considered favorite meals just for me. I have "one eye," a microwave, an oven, and a GRILL. Do you know what I remembered as one of my favorites? The "Stew in a Bundle" over a fire that my friends and I cooked as Girl Scouts in 1963! So delicious!!

My Pinterest search revealed a new look at cooking foil packets on a campfire/grill. See this easy chart:

Drawing a dinner blank? 5 no-fuss, no-fail foil packets. Just add chicken, rice, sauce and Green Giant veggies.

Here are tips for creating a packet meal. My favorite tips are from Jen Klein of "SHEKNOWS." (When I went grocery shopping, I was able to purchase sale and BOGO items.)


  • Meats (fillet of fish or beef, with even thickness; chicken breast cutlet; chopped chicken thigh meat or pork; shrimp or scallops)
  • Vegetables
  • Seasonings
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons flavorful liquid (wine, stock, citrus juice, soy sauce, marinade, oil, butter)

What Worked for Me

  • I made the foil packets as in the diagram above using suggested ingredients (meat, fresh vegetables, seasoning, and 2 to 3 tablespoons of flavorful liquid).
  • I sliced the fresh vegetables thinly so that all would cook evenly with the meat.
  • I grilled the packets on direct medium heat (350 degrees) for twenty minutes.
  • I then moved the packets to indirect heat (upper shelf) for twenty minutes.

Tips for Grilling

  • I used high-temperature vegetable spray in the foil/foil pans.
  • I checked the packets while grilling to prevent burning. (Packet cooking is all about timing. Check one for "doneness." Practice will determine your best timing.)
  • Be careful of steam when you open the packets.
  • Re-use or recycle the foil pans if you used these.

I am set for the week! YUMM