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Archive for the ‘Freezer Cooking’ Category

I had several recipes that I wanted to cook that required cooking chicken.  To save time, since I want dinner done in 15 min. or less (if possible), I cooked up a big batch of chicken.  I had a bag of frozen chicken thighs (skinless, boneless), so I used those.

 

I put them in casserole dishes and sprinkled them with olive oil, garlic and herb seasoning (Mrs. Dash), and paprika.  Then, I baked them at 350 degrees until they were 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

 

 

Once cooled, I chopped the chicken, put the pieces in freezer bags, and stuck them in the freezer!

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I decided to make some bean and cheese breakfast tacos.

  • Tortillas (I used a 10-pack)
  • Refried beans (I used a can)
  • Shredded mozzarella and cheddar
  • Salsa!

After slightly warming the tortillas so they wouldn’t break when I folded them, I put a little of everything on them.  I spread out the beans to go on all 10 tortillas.

I folded them in half and placed them in a plastic food container lined with aluminum foil.  Then, I stuck them in the freezer.  Warm them up for about 90 sec. (for two) and you’ve got a great breakfast!

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I made a big batch of BBQ chicken taco filling with beans, chicken, corn, onions, BBQ sauce, and water.  After letting it cook, I set it aside to cool, and then portioned it into several baggies for the freezer.  Now we have another set of meals that we can pull from the freezer when we need a quick lunch or for nights when we don’t feel like cooking.

 

 

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We got a gigantic butternut squash from our Local Box.  It takes about an hour to cook, so I cooked and froze it in small amounts, making it easy to defrost one or two baggies for a meal.

You cut the squash and lay it face down in casserole dish(es) with some water, and then bake covered for about an hour.  That’s a 9×13 in. casserole dish on the left and an 8×8 in. dish on the right.

When it’s cooked, you scoop out the seeds and then the filling.  The filling should mash very easily.

I portioned the squash out into baggies.  It will be great for eating as a side dish or mixed into other dishes, such as spaghetti or Hamburger Helper.

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I don’t use celery often, so I buy one stalk, chop it, and freeze it in several freezer bags.  When a recipe calls for celery, I pull out a bag and I’m ready to go!

I weighed the bags to make sure they were the same weight.

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When I eat veggie burgers and spaghetti with veggie pasta sauce, my sweet husband will be eating yummy cheeseburgers and spaghetti with meatballs.  Together, we made up a large batch for the freezer.  Both recipes are from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook.

In the left bowl, for hamburgers, we have 3 pounds of ground beef and 3 eggs.  On the right, for meatballs, we have 1 pound each of maple breakfast sausage and ground beef, as well as 2 eggs.

Breadcrumbs…

Parsley, mustard…

More spices…

After mixing, divide the hamburgers into 6 patties per pound.  I made balls of the meat mixture and then flattened them into patties once they were in freezer bags.

I used a cookie scoop to divide out the meatballs into 48 meatballs (this picture shows 46, but I took meat from other meatballs to make 2 more).  After using the cookie scoop, I made each meatball round by rolling them in my hands.

Here they are in the zip baggies, meatballs on the left and hamburgers on the right.

To cook them, take out the number that you want and defrost in the fridge or microwave.  Pre-heat your frying pan (or grill) very hot and turn it down to medium when you put in the meat (with some EVOO).  Cook the burgers about 3 minutes per side, and the meatballs until they are no longer pink inside (10 min. or less).

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Taking advantage of my 3-day weekend, I purchased 8 pounds of ground beef.  I’ve been trying to plan my meals a month at a time (see the Food Nanny site – she recommends 2 weeks at a time; I just print out a 2UP menu), and then purchase all of the food I would need for those meals in advance.  I’m currently in the process of purchasing and prepping food for October.

Today, I chopped up a celery stalk (loudly quoting Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles as I chopped away, “She slices, she dices…”) and froze it in five freezer baggies.

I also (with my husband’s help), mixed and froze 18 raw hamburger patties and 48 raw meatballs.  (I’ll post pictures another day.)  I used  Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution Cookbook.

I would say my favorite two cookbooks right now are Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution and Family Feasts for $75 a Week by Mary Ostyn.  Every single recipe from Family Feasts has been delicious.

Anyways, I’ve now got hamburgers and meatballs prepped for October.  By having meals ready to go in portion sizes, pre-mixed, or already cooked (like Family Feast’s delicious Taco Soup), I can pull things out of the freezer a day or two beforehand.  It keeps us from eating out as often as we have in the past, such as when I get home exhausted, hungry, and in no mood to cook anything that takes longer than 10 minutes.  I’ll just cook a few hamburger patties and some Mac and Cheese (You can’t beat the blue box!), and I’ve got a great, tasty, comforting dinner.

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