Monday, September 14, 2009

Freezer Meals

In an effort to take advantage of the Smith's caselot (and particularly case of real chicken) and ensure things don't go bad, I thought it a prime opportunity to make some freezer meals. Here are some that I made with things from the caselot and things from my pantry that I'd been meaning to get around to.

From Dream Dinners Cookbook
quantities: regular (x3- separate into 3 for freezing) *regular quantities are designed to serve 6 so keep that in mind when preparing if you have a smaller family*
Recommended freezing time for all recipes: up to 3 months... Thaw before cooking as directed

Tuna Tortellini Gratin
1 & 1/4 lbs (3 & 3/4 lbs) fresh cheese-filled tortellini (cook 1st if frozen)
2 (8) 6oz cans tuna, drained (albacore preferred)
1/2 c (1c) red bell pepper, chopped *I omit
1/2 c (1c) onion, diced *I used dried & eyeballed it
1 (3) 10 1/2 oz jars alfredo sauce
1/2c (1 1/2 c) white wine
1 tsp (1Tbsp) kosher salt
1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) black pepper
1 c (3c) seasoned bread crumbs
3 Tbsp (1/2c + 1 Tbsp) olive oil

Mix all ingredients together except bread crumbs and olive oil. Spread in 9x13 pan. Sprinkle bread crumbs over top and drizzle with olive oil. (*freeze by covering with plastic wrap & aluminum foil- thaw before continuing) Bake at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour (till bubbly), covered w/ aluminum foil. Remove foil and slide under broiler for 3-4 minutes, until topping is golden brown.

Karlene's Cottage Cheese Pancakes
2 c (6c) pancake mix
1 1/2 c (4 1/2 c) club soda
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) lemon juice
1 Tbsp (3 Tbsp) baking soda
2 tsp (2 Tbsp) cinnamon
1/8 tsp (1/2 tsp) nutmeg
2 c (6 c) nonfat cottage cheese
1 tsp (3 tsp) vanilla extract
1 tsp (3 tsp) almond extract

In a bowl, whisk together pancake mix, club soda, and lemon juice. Add remaining ingredients. Stir until just blended (*pour into freezer bag. Thaw in refrigerator before continuing). Cook 1/4 c of batter (per pancake) on 375 degree griddle for 1 min 15 sec per side or until golden brown, turning once.
These smelled so good putting them together that I almost made them right then!

Five Spice Grilled Chicken
6 (18)- 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) ground cumin
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) chili powder
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) packed light brown sugar
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) curry powder
2 tsp (6 tsp) kosher salt
2 tsp (6 tsp) black pepper

Put the chicken in a freezer bag. Add all ingredients and toss to coat (*freeze). Marinate chicken for at least 1 hr. Grill on medium-high for 5-8 minutes per side. OR Brown in skillet on medium-high for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce to medium heat and cook for 5-8 minutes per side.
This is a favorite of ours. So quick and easy! We love to take it camping and grill it outdoors.

Baked Pesto Ravioli with Chicken
2 lbs (6lbs) cheese-filled ravioli, fresh or frozen
1 lb (3 lbs) cooked chicken breasts in 1-inch slices
2/3 c (2 c) chicken broth
2 c (6 c) zucchini, cut in 1/2 in rounds (I omit)
1/2 c (1 1/2 c) red bell pepper, chopped into 1/2-in pieces (I omit)
1/2 c (1 c) chopped scallions
1/2 c (1 1/2 c) store-bought basil-pesto sauce
1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) kosher salt
1/2 tsp (1 1/2 tsp) black pepper
1 c/4 oz (3c/12oz) grated parmesan cheese

Gently stir all ingredients to combine. (*freeze in freezer bags) Put in 9x13 dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until bubbly.
This one is taaasty!

Spicy Lime Chicken
1/2 c (1 1/2 c) low-sodium canned chicken broth
zest of 1 (zest of 3) lime(s)
1/3 c (2/3 c) lime juice
2 Tbsp (1/4 c + 2 Tbsp) olive oil
2 Tbsp (6 Tbsp) dried parsley
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) minced garlic
1 Tbsp (3 Tbsp) dried onion flakes
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) dried thyme
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) kosher salt
1/4 tsp (3/4 tsp) cayenne pepper
1 tsp (1 Tbsp) black pepper
6 (18) 4 oz boneless skinless chicken breast halves

Combine all ingredients in a freezer bag & add chicken. (*freeze) Heat a skillet over high heat. Add the chicken and liquid to the pan and cook the chicken for 3 minutes on each side. Reduce the heat to medium and cook 5-8 minutes per side.
I imagine this one will be too spicy for my children but I seriously can't wait to make it anyway because it just smelled so good putting it together.

From Don't Panic!-Dinner's in the Freezer cookbook
quantities: regular (x3)- I also have x6 and x9. It's not always just straight multiplication as some acidic ingredients change in larger properties.

Chicken in Raspberry Sauce
1/2 c raspberry preserves (1 1/2 c)
1/2 c frozen pineapple juice concentrate, thawed (1 1/2 c)
1/2 c soy sauce (1 1/2 c)
2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar (6 Tbsp)
1/2 tsp chili powder (1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp curry powder (1 1/2 tsp)
1/2 tsp garlic powder (1 1/2 tsp)
1/4 c. fresh raspberries, mashed (3/4 c)
6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (18)

Combine ingredients in a bowl then add to chicken in a freezer bag. (*freeze) Place sauce and chicken in large baking dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven, transfer chicken to serving platter, and top with juices. Garnish with fresh raspberries.
- if fresh raspberries are not available, you may substitute frozen ones
This one smelled so good I am cooking it this week and going back to the store for more soy sauce so I can throw more together for later. I'm positive it will be a hit!

Chicken Parisienne (x2 not x3)
1/2 c. white wine (1 c)
1- 10 oz can cream of mushroom soup (2)
1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced (1 c) * I omit
1/4 c. flour (1/2 c)
1 c. sour cream (2c)
6 boned chicken breasts

Mix wine, soup, and mushrooms together. Stir flour into sour cream and add to soup mixture. Place mixture together with chicken in freezer bag to freeze. Cook in crock-pot. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika over top and cook on low 6-8 hours. Serve with pasta or potatoes.
Different but good. My kids really liked it and we had it over pasta.

Chicken Cacciatore (x2, not x3)
2 medium onions, sliced thin (4)- I just eyeballed some dried, minced onion
2 cloves garlic, minced (4)- I used the dried equivalent
1- 15oz can diced tomatoes (2)
1- 8oz can tomato sauce (2)
1 tsp salt (2tsp)
1/4 tsp pepper (1/2 tsp)
2 tsp oregano (4tsp)
1/2 tsp basil (1tsp)
1/2 tsp celery seed (1tsp)
1 bay leaf (2)
1/4 c white wine (1/2c)
6 boned chicken breasts

Mix all ingredients together and place in freezer bag to freeze. Cook in crock-pot on low 6-8 hours or high 2 1/2-4 hours. Serve over pasta.

I have more, that's just some of what I've done so far. I also froze some chicken with just italian dressing dumped over it and bbq sauce dumped over another. I'll either grill those or cook them in the crockpot.


Tara said...

so when you say x3 do you mean that it makes 3 meals??? So you should freeze it in 3 freezer bags.

Heather and Billy said...

YEP! Great for one for tonight, one for the freezer and one for a friend in need. Or you get the idea anyway.

Heather said...

Great! Thanks!! We have enough freezer meals to last us for another month, but I am excited to try these new ones too!