Monday, April 18, 2011

The Bag Holder Challenge

A nice lady named Kara issued a challenge to me. And I love challenges. You see, Kara invented something called The Bag Holder. When I first saw it, I thought, "it's basically a plastic bowl. What's the big deal?"

Kara believed it was a big deal, so she pressed on and tried to show me why it was better than a plastic bowl. She said it could completely make over the way I approached cooking and cleaning my kitchen. This was her baby and she wanted me to believe in it like she did. So... Kara challenged me to cook the majority of my meals for 2 weeks using The Bag Holder (TBH) and see if I changed my mind. She even offered to pay for the groceries and give me a free TBH.

So tonight, the challenge began. I've picked out 10 dinner, 6 lunch, 4 breakfast, and 4 snack recipes that I will be making over the next 2 weeks to see if TBH is all Kara says it is. Tonight I made Chicken Enchiladas, creating my own riff on the version on TBH's website based on what I had on hand.

Riffed Chicken Enchiladas

1 lb chicken tenderloins
taco seasoning
2 cups cheddar cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 small onion, chopped
10 oz Philly Santa Fe cooking cream, divided
10" Tortillas
1 can enchilada sauce

Toss chicken and taco seasoning into TBH. Seal bag and then hand it to your 3 year old to shake up so the taco seasoning coats the chicken. You can even let your 19 month old in on the action if she wants to. Pour chicken onto baking sheet and cook thoroughly (350 degrees for 25 minutes). Of course, you could cook the chicken another way, like sauteing with your onions or skip that part and just use leftover chicken.

Cut up your cooked chicken and toss it in your gallon-size bag (helpfully propped up in TBH) along with the cheese, salsa, onion, and half of the cooking cream. Seal and toss gleefully. Again, let the kids help with this part. It's kind of cool to them to feel the warm chicken and the colder ingredients all together in the same bag (or Charlotte says).

Scoop out the chicken filling into 6 tortillas. Roll them up and lay down in a 13x9 inch pan. Combine the enchilada sauce with the remaining cooking cream and pour over the rolled enchiladas. Make sure you get even coverage for even cooking.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips or Spanish rice.

And since Kara wants me to show how TBH can be used to help you save money, here's what our meal cost: $6.49. for 6 servings. A pretty good deal if you ask me.
Chicken - $1.99
Cheese - $0.75
Tortillas - $1.00 (I only used 1/2 a package)
Onion - $0.70
Cooking Cream - $0.50
Enchilada Sauce - $1.55

Overall, I'm happy with my first time using TBH. I'm looking forward to trying the rest of my new recipes and sharing with you what I think of The Bag Holder and how it works in a regular family kitchen. If you want to learn more about TBH, check out The Bag Holder Facebook page.


  1. Okay, I'm a little bit confused about how this saved you money. Didn't you have to use a disposable plastic bag instead of a bowl?

    Perhaps I'm missing something, because this seems like a very earth-unfriendly idea, and expensive to boot. Using and tossing out at least one gallon plastic bag with every single meal?

    I know, way to introduce myself, by posting a negative comment! *blush* Please forgive me - I AM curious, though, over how this would be financially or ecologically good.

  2. Well Doomer... that certainly is quite an introduction to yourself!

    This is definitely not an expensive idea. One of the ways this item can save you money is by allowing you to divide up things you buy in bulk. I've got a post on it coming up, but last week I picked about 280 pounds of tomatoes and the Bag Holder made it possible for me to quickly and neatly put them up for freezing. That was eco friendly (no gas hauling my tomatoes across the country, no electricity used to cook and put them into aluminum cans, no can lining leaching into my food).

    So, maybe this recipe isn't the best for showing eco friendly and saving money, but the Bag Holder can do both of those things.

    At the end of the day, I value my family time more than I value the environment. So, if I can get dinner made and cleaned up more quickly and the impact is a single plastic bag instead of a few bowls and a few spoons that I have to wash (which also has an environmental impact), then I have made the best choice for my family.

  3. Well, that's fair. We all make our own choices and I'm certainly not faulting you for wanting to stay out of kitchen. I only asked because you said that the recipe above saved money if made in the plastic bag, and I honestly couldn't see how. :)

    I buy a great deal in bulk, but I do a lot of canning (glass jars) so that I have an initial cost at the beginning but no daily freezer cost. At the end of the month, I'll be processing a full pig! That should be an adventure.

    Btw, your daughters are angels! Absolutely beautiful.


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