Ready for more freezer meals? Good, since I tried out 4 recipes this last week. Yup, we did good on the whole "eating-in" thing, with planned Sunday breakfast out and on-the-go lunch out one day in the last week. Here's what I thought, and my "mods" if you will (though I think that is a strictly knitting term).
I did one serving of Chicken and Black Bean Chili last Wednesday. Here's the original recipe from here:
Chicken & Black Bean Chili (made 4 - 4C bags)
4 chicken breasts - boiled & shredded
56oz tomato sauce
30oz black beans
2 onions - diced
4 stalks of celery
2 packets chili seasoning
Chop everything up, throw it in a pot/crock pot and let it simmer for an hour or two.
**I purposely didn't add more spice than what's in the mild chili seasoning due to the fact that I plan on nursing and didn't want to go overboard.**
Here's what I did: Chicken (I did this shredded chicken in the crockpot recipe, and I don't know exactly how much I put in), 1 can Tomato Sauce, 1 can black beans, some frozen corn, 1 stalk celery, some frozen diced onions, 1 packet Simply Organic Chili Seasoning , some garlic. Threw it in the crockpot, heated til hot, served with cornbread to hungry husband and brother-in-law, it was gone very quickly. Loved it! Will make some more soon. If you do the crockpot shredded chicken, this is a quick same-night cook meal, too.
I also did Baked Ziti, recipe here:
Baked Ziti (2 - 8x8 casseroles)
1lb cottage cheese
2 eggs, beaten
3oz + 1-1/2C Parmesan cheese
1/2C onion, chopped
28oz tomato sauce
20oz Italian sausage/ground beef
5 garlic cloves, pressed
1T olive oil
15oz diced tomatoes
1/2C + 2T basil
1C whole milk
salt & pepper
Whisk cottage cheese, eggs, & 1C Parmesan together in a medium bowl; set aside. Bring a large pot of water to boil, cook pasta until it begins to soften but is not yet cooked through, 5-7m. Drain the pasta.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook meat until nearly browned. Add in the onion and garlic and continue to cook until the onion is softened and meat is completely browned. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and oregano; simmer until thickened, about 10m. Off the heat, stir in 1/2C basil and the sugar, and season with salt and pepper.
In a small bowl stir together the cornstarch and milk. Transfer the mixture to the now-empty stockpot over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and cook until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and add the cottage cheese mixture, 1-1/2C of the tomato sauce and 3/4C mozzarella. Stir to combine. Add the pasta and toss to coat thoroughly with the sauce.
Split the pasta into 2 foil-lined 8x8 baking dishes and spread the remaining tomato sauce evenly over the tops. Sprinkle the remaining cheeses over the tops.
Reheating- Thaw. Remove from foil & transfer back to an 8x8 baking dish. Cover with foil, bake at 350 for 30m. Remove foil & bake for an additional 30m.
Yum! I used macaroni Quinoa Pasta since I didn't find ziti, and ground italian seasoned turkey, and served it with salad. We really liked it. I overcooked the pasta on accident though, be sure not to. I did do a double batch of this one so I have a second one in my freezer. This one could easily serve 4-6, we had it 2 nights in a row.
I also did this one, recipe again here:
BBQ Chicken (Crock Pot) (2 bagged meals)
Everything for this recipe goes into the bag raw.
Chop the following ingredients & divide them between the 2 bags...
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 zucchini, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4-5 chicken breasts, diced
In each bag, place...
8oz tomato paste
2T brown sugar
1T mustard powder
1 garlic clove
Close up the bags, mix a bit and voila!
Reheating - This can go in the crock pot while still frozen. Add about 3/4C water or chicken broth. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
Make sure to notice that says "In EACH bag" for the sauce. I didn't, so I was short on tomato paste. I served it over brown rice and black beans with a side salad. This one is O.K. I don't know, it seems like it is missing something, but we couldn't figure out what. Again we did this one for 2 days, it made a lot. If you make it and figure out what it is missing, tell me. Maybe used pre-prepared BBQ sauce instead? I don't know.
I also made up my own recipe by adapting a recipe on my Stahlbush brown rice and black beans bag, and did it last night. It was excellent, so I thought I would share.
Rebecca's Fast, Healthy, Tex-Mex Casserole
1 cup uncooked brown rice
1 can black beans
1 bag frozen corn (I used Stahlbush, which was about the best frozen corn I have ever had)
1 jar of salsa (your fav, we used the grocery store brand)
1 pound grated cheese (I used a cup of cheddar and a cup of mexi) + a little extra for top
1 package Jennie-O taco seasoned ground turkey
1 can black olives
Brown turkey. Cook brown rice according to directions. Toss all ingredients together in a casserole (I used a 9x13" pan). Top with a little cheese. Bake covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and cook another 5-10 minutes until top cheese looks melty enough. Eat. I served mine over lettuce with tomatoes, a little fat-free sour cream, and tortilla chips. It was excellent. It also made a ton, so there was enough for lunch today (rolled in whole wheat tortillas), and dinner tonight. I also made a second one, lined 2 8x8" pans with tin foil, and divided the second recipe evenly into the 2 pans to freeze. I am glad I have it frozen, but it is so lightning fast, it would be a good quick dinner any night, too.
So there you go, save Mr Danger's dinner business meeting last Thursday, I cooked in all week (I still ate at home that night, and Mr Danger's dinner was paid for, so we are still on target). I cooked in, you get my recipe reviews, we all win. Look for more freezer recipes next Wednesday!