Month: April 2015

Spring Break Freezer Cooking

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 3.58.03 PMThis batch of freezer meals should last us until school is out! It is 22 meals – really only 18 for a family of 4. Our kids don’t like Maple Mustard chicken, so I freeze it in 2-serving portions instead of 4.

Shopping list:

6 whole carrots
1 large onion
2 heads garlic
4 limes
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
20 eggs
4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
8 C cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
10 cups milk (I use cashew milk)
4 bags seasoned croutons
4 cups bread crumbs
2 jars spaghetti sauce (approximately 28 oz. each)
1 jar Alfredo sauce (about 15 oz)
4 cans chopped green chilies
24 8-in flour tortillas
4 cans green enchilada sauce
2 cups chicken stock
French dressing
1 C whole grain mustard
1 C brown mustard
1 C maple syrup
1 cup soy sauce
3 lbs ground beef
2 lb sausage
20 chicken breasts
3 packages (25 oz. each) fresh or frozen cheese ravioli
12 gallon freezer bags
4 9 in. round disposable baking pans
8 8 in square disposable baking pans

Pantry items:

salt
ground mustard
pepper
honey
garlic powder
cumin
red wine vinegar
dried rosemary
cornstarch
brown sugar

Recipes

Healthier Meatballs with Veggies (60 meatballs)

Ingredients:

4 medium carrots
1 large onion
1/4 cup minced garlic
2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 egg
4 cups bread crumbs
3/4 cup French dressing
3 lbs ground beef
1 lb sausage

Directions:

– Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
– In your food processor, puree carrots, onion, and garlic into a paste.
– In a very large bowl, combine the carrot, onion, garlic, Parmesan, egg, bread crumbs, and French dressing.
– Mix in the ground beef and sausage with your hands.
– Roll the meat mixture into 1 1/2 inch meatballs.
– Place on a broiler pan pan so some grease can escape while cooking.
– Bake for about 20 minutes or until cooked through.

To freeze:
– Cool on counter until room temp.
– Freeze in a freezer bag (I use 4 bags and freeze 4 portions).

To reheat:
When ready to cook, thaw in the refrigerator for 24 hours and then warm up over low to medium-low heat on the stove in any sauce (bbq, alfredo, marinara, etc.)

Lazy Lasagna makes 4 casseroles

Ingredients:

1 lb sausage
2 jars spaghetti sauce (approximately 28 oz. each)
1 jar Alfredo sauce (about 15 oz)
4 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
3 packages (25 oz. each) fresh or frozen cheese ravioli, cooked about 1 minute LESS than package directions

Directons:

– In large skillet over medium heat brown sausage. Drain grease, then stir in all 3 jars of sauce.
– Spread a thin layer of meat sauce into bottom of each of 4, 9 in. round baking dishes.
– Arrange a layer of cooked ravioli over the sauce.
– Sprinkle 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese and 1/4 cup parmesan cheese over the ravioli.
– Repeat layers, ending with the last of the sauce on top.

To Freeze:

– Let cool, then cover with a layer of plastic wrap and 2 layers of foil.
– Label and freeze.

To reheat:
– Thaw completely (24-48 hours). Preheat oven to 375.
– Bake 45 minutes covered with foil only.
– Remove foil and cook 15 minutes more.

Green Chile, Egg, and Cheese Bake (makes 4 casseroles)

Ingredients:

9 cups (about 4 bags) seasoned croutons
4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 cans chopped green chilies
16 eggs
8 cups milk (I use cashew milk)
2 t salt
2 t ground mustard
1/4 t pepper

Directions:

– Sprinkle croutons, cheese, and chilies into 4 greased 8×8 inch pans.
– In a bowl, combine eggs, milk, salt, mustard, and pepper.
– Pour 1/4 of mixtures over each pan of croutons, cheese, and chiles.

To freeze:

– Cover each pan with plastic wrap and heavy duty foil. Freeze.

To reheat:

– Thaw in refrigerator for at least 24 hours.
– Thaw on counter for 30 minutes.
– Remove plastic wrap and replace foil.
– Bake, covered with foil, at 350 for 60 minutes.

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas (makes 4 casseroles)

Ingredients:

8 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1/2 cup plus 2 T honey
juice of 4 limes
2 t garlic powder
4 t cumin
24 8-in flour tortillas
4 C cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cans green enchilada sauce
2 c milk

Directions:

– In a large bowl, whisk together honey, lime juice, garlic, and cumin.
– Add cooked chicken and stir together.
– Stir the cheese into the chicken mixture.
– Place 1/2 can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of each of 4 disposable 8×8 pans.
– Place about 1/3 cup of chicken/cheese mixture into each tortilla, roll, and place seam-side down into pan (6 in each pan).
– Combine the remaining enchilada sauce with the milk and pour over the enchiladas.

To Freeze:

Cover tightly with plastic wrap, then heavy duty foil. Freeze.

To reheat:

– Remove to the refrigerator to thaw for 24 hours.
– When completely thawed, remove foil and plastic wrap and bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Top with extra cheese, if desired.

Maple Mustard Chicken (4, 2 chicken breast portions)

Ingredients:

8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup whole grain mustard
1 cup brown mustard
1 C maple syrup
2 T red wine vinegar
4 T dried rosemary

Directions:

– Whisk together mustards, maple syrup, vinegar, and rosemary.
– Place 2 raw chicken breasts in a freezer bag and pour 1/4 mustard mixture over chicken.
– Ensure the sauce mixture covers chicken.

To freeze:

– Lay flat in freezer.

To reheat:

– Remove chicken to refrigerator to thaw 24 hours before serving.
– Preheat oven to 425.
– Place chicken and sauce in a baking pan and bake for about 40 minutes.
– Serve with rice or mashed potatoes.

“Chinese” Chicken and Green beans (makes 2 batches)

2 lb chicken breast
¼ cup cornstarch
1 lb fresh green beans, washed and trimmed
2 whole carrots cut into match sticks
2 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 cup soy sauce
2 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cup dark brown sugar

Directions:

– Cut chicken breast into 1 in. cubes
– In a freezer bag, toss chicken in corn starch and set aside.
– In a large pot, dissolve brown sugar in soy sauce and chicken stock.
– Heat mixture to boiling, then turn off burner.
– Place green beans and carrots into hot liquid and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.

To freezer:

– Keep the chicken and sauce separate in the freezer!
– Put 1/2 of chicken in each of 2 freezer bags.
– Put 1/2 of sauce and veggies into each of 2 other freezer bags.
– Attach a bag of chick to a bag of veggies and sauce and lay flat to freeze.

To reheat:
– Thaw chicken and sauce for 24 hours.
– Heat sauce in a sauce pan on the stovetop.
– Brown chicken in olive oil in a separate pan on the stovetop.
– Add the cooked chicken to the warm sauce.
– Serve over rice.