Archive for the ‘Freezer Meals’ Category
I love bananas … I could eat 2 or 3 a day as I attempt to meet the recommended daily number of fruit servings. However, not unlike Goldilocks, I am very picky about the ripeness factor of my bananas. I probably like them greener than most people, almost “crisp” if a banana can be such a thing.
You can only make so many loaves of banana bread! I’ve even been known to share what I consider to be bananas-ripe-beyond-edibleness with Jen and her family (who live conveniently right down the street) or take them into work.
I bought some bananas yesterday – they had just the right amount of green and I’ve already eaten a couple. By tomorrow they will be “too ripe” on the ripeness scale! The reason I bought new bananas yesterday is because I had bought a large bunch prior to last weekend thinking I would do some baking before a good friend came to visit. Well, I did bake, but made those yummy Butterscotch Brownies again and some Irish Soda Bread muffins for our St. Patrick’s Day dinner … no banana recipes! So, I had six ripe, but not yet mushy, bananas sitting on my counter … Jen and the kids are out of town and the college is closed for spring break – I couldn’t bring myself to just throw them away, so what to do? I’ve frozen over-ripe mushy whole bananas still in the peel before, which is convenient for future banana bread or muffins, but needed another plan.
I follow the Freezing Your Way Fit blog of one of Jen’s friends (the source of that yummy hummus recipe). Her post on “Unleashing the Power of Your Freezer” under “Getting Started” helped me change the way I was saving leftovers; previously a large container of frozen leftover soup would eventually be thrown away to make room for something else (and probably was harboring some bacteria since larger portions take longer to freeze), but small individual portions go with me to work for lunch … saving time and money! This past year I’ve lost over 50 lbs. (and kept it off without denying myself treats) by doing two things – trying to eat healthy and adding some minimal exercising to my daily routine. Instead of eating half of a pie, my guilty pleasure now is sucking down a frozen fruit/Greek yogurt/honey smoothie!
Back to the bananas … I wondered if they could be frozen in a manner which would be convenient for adding to my smoothies? Yep, it worked! I knew if I just sliced and threw them into a bag they would probably end up in a sticky lump so I sliced and then froze them individually overnight on a cookie sheet. They didn’t even turn brown.
This morning I divided the frozen little nuggets into six freezer bags.
And, then put the six small bags into a larger labeled bag (wouldn’t do any good if I just lost them in the freezer!).
Who would’ve thought I could write a whole post just about bananas? :-) Rain is pounding down outside today, our last day of spring break … I think I saw some split pea soup in the freezer this morning.
A couple of days ago I shared a yummy dessert recipe from Gooseberry Patch’s new-not-yet-in-stores-near-you cookbook, Meals in Minutes — 10th Anniversary Edition. This cookbook is full of yummy, quick and easy recipes — I had a hard time selecting just a couple to make for review purposes!
I love zucchini, year round, and had all of the ingredients necessary for this recipe right on hand. It was delicious! Most of the time I am cooking for one (which is not a whole lot of fun). I try to make at least one dish on the weekend which will make a good Sunday dinner, lunch on Monday, and then provide some leftover which can be frozen for the future (because two days in a row is about all I can take any meal — this way I’m not throwing out food, and I have a variety stocked up in the freezer, especially for the working-through-lunch days, and I’m-tired-of-cold-cereal-after-a-long-day-in-the-office days).
Oak Ridge, NJ
1 cup biscuit baking mix
4 eggs, beaten
¼ cup oil
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 cups zucchini, sliced and quarters
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
In a bowl, combine baking mix, eggs, oil, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper; Stir in vegetables.
Spread into a lightly greased 13”x9” baking pan.
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 45 minutes. Serves 6 to 8.
My friend B is the Freezer Food queen! She has really helped me to see the benefits of keeping a freezer full of homemade prepared food. Just about anytime you open my freezer, you will find individual portions of this Sausage and Egg Casserole that I adopted from one of B’s recipe. My husband loves being able to grab one of these and hit the road to work. He can heat it up when he has a moment in the morning at the office.
Sausage Egg Casserole
1 roll of Jimmy Dean or breakfast sausage of your choice
10 eggs beaten
16 oz low fat cottage cheese
1lb shredded Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese
2 4oz cans diced green chile peppers
1 cup flour (whole wheat or white)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/3 cup butter, melted
Cook sausage. Drain and set aside. In a large bowl, beat eggs. Add cottage cheese, shredded cheese, and chiles. Stir in sausage. Cover and refrigerate overnight. –> I almost always skip this step. The only time I cover and regfrigerate it over night is when I want to cook it in the morning and eat it hot out of the oven (like Christmas morning or on a weekend).
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the melted butter and then stir whole flour mixture into the egg mixture. Pour into a greased 9×13 pan. Bake 40-50 minutes or until lightly browned. Let casserole cool for 10-15m before serving.
If you are freezing the casserole, cut individual portions and place side by side (without touching) on a cookie sheet or tray. Cover with tin foil and freeze. Once frozen, bag individual portions into freezer bags. Mark with name and date.
I am going to say that this will be one of our new features here at Threaded Together, but I am not going to fool myself! I will try…that is all I will say!
Since I have been staying at home, I have gotten into cooking meals that can be frozen and eaten later. We don’t always eat homemade frozen meals but when I am not in the mood to cook a meal it is great to be able to pull out a meal that is ready to pop in the oven without any prep or fuss!
Chicken Divan Casserole is one of our favorite meals. This is my version…both my mom and my sister make theirs a little differently. Hopefully they will comment on the post or write their changes in the comments. This recipe is great. You can throw it together and cook it in the same day, throw it together and freeze it, or throw it together and take it to a friend who needs a prepared dinner.
Chicken Divan Casserole
2 cups of rice, cooked
2-4 chicken breasts (I usually only add two chicken breasts to make the meal stretch more), cooked and chopped
one bag or box of broccoli, steamed
one can of condensed chicken soup
about a cup of mayonaise
one and a half blocks of extra sharp cheddar cheese
1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl.
2. Place mixture in a lightly greased 9×13 pan.
3. If you are going to eat immediately, bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. If you are not eating immediately, follow the freezing tips.
I walked into the kitchen to take a picture of the finished product and this is what I found. The rest of my family was already seated in the dining room. You can see that this is definitely a family favorite in this house!
If you are going to freeze the meal, freeze before baking. When ready to eat, bake at 350 degrees for about 45m or under heated through.
I have also frozen individual serving sizes of the casserole for my hsuband to take to work after it was been cooked. Once it has been cooked, cut into individual serving sizes and place on a small tray or plate. Cover with tin foil and leave in freezer for a few hours. Once the individual serving sizes are frozen, separately bag in freezer bags. When you are ready to eat, reheat in microwave for a few minutes until heated through.
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