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Quick Meals

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay...I'm feeling, well, tired.

Dh, who has been gone all week, just came home late tonight to tell me that he'll have long days this week, and then after he's off for Thanksgiving, he'll be gone for a little over 2 weeks. After the Christmas break he's not sure what he'll be doing, but almost guaranteed gone most of the time (if not including the time) until the baby is born.

This week the kids and I have been eating a lot of bananas and raisins, almonds, dried cherries, sliced cheese, english muffins, and egg sandwiches. I'd like to actually be eating around here...and more vegetables. It's been bad enough this week I actually made some peas to go with our egg sandwiches tonight. Last night we had potatoes and carrots...but no chicken because I didn't get it in the crockpot in time.


What are your best, yummiest, quickest, healthiest (and easy on the dairy and wheat...and no soy) freezer meals? I'd like to make a stash before dh leaves again so I can just pull it out and feel like I truly fed us...

And, of course, they will be awesome when the baby comes!

(Oh, when posting, be careful of copyright issues....)
post #2 of 11
Thread Starter 

Garlic Rosemary Chicken

I'll go first.

2 chicken breasts (doesn't matter...fresh or frozen)
6 potatoes, cut into 4 pieces each
1 lb baby carrots (or whole carrots, peeled and chopped into baby carrot size pices)

Put chicken in 9X13 casserole dish. Surround with carrots and potatoes. Cover and freeze. Just before baking, drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, rosemary, and salt to taste. Bake (covered) at 350 degrees for one hour (if baking immediately) or 2 hours (if frozen). Check chicken regularly after 45 minutes either way to be sure it doesn't get too dry.

Serves our family of 2 adults and 2 children, sometimes with enough leftovers for another adult lunch.
post #3 of 11
I like to make large batches of curry, chili or soup, all of which can be frozen semi indefinitely in portion size servings. You can freeze them in tupperware, or freezer bags. If you have time pop them in the fridge earlier in the day to thaw, or if you don't, pop the bags into a pot of very warm water for a bit to thaw, then pour into a pot to heat up. Or skip all that and microwave them
Also, making huge batches of rice and freezing serving size portions is also really handy.

I tend to refer to www.vegweb.com a lot for easy recipes, if you need meat many many many of these can be adapted by chopping up some chicken breast, sauteeing, and throwing it in when it seems sensible.

Hope you get some rest soon, good luck

Here are some direct links to recipes that seem relatively simple to make big batches of. Always consider doubling quantities.

Chili: http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=10416.0
Minestrone Soup http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=24228.0
A curry recipe http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=15314.0
post #4 of 11
A personal fave of mine (not freezer meal, but pretty fast and easy) is: (this feeds three)

2-3 baby squash- yellow or green quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch pieces
2-4 garlic cloves minced
red pepper flakes to taste
sea salt
olive oil

2/3 package of rice spaghetti

In a skillet heat oil on med high until hot (not smoking). Add squash and season lightly with sea salt. Stir when browned slightly on one side. When squash is browned but slightly firm add garlic and pepper flakes. When squash is almost tender add shrimp and heat until they are cooked (I use small shrimp that are bite sized and cleaned/cooked already). When the shrimp are done and the heat is off, I add a little bit of fresh extra virgin olive oil.

Add cooked spaghetti, toss and serve.

This takes about twenty to thirty minutes to make. Sometimes we buy the squash in bulk at the farmers market and pre-prep it like this and freeze it, and it works really well for this recipe.
post #5 of 11
I second the chili.

I also buy the Zatarain's jumbalaya mix (near the rice-a-roni), make it in the crockpot, and add lots of stuff to it as it cooks. I always add a can of diced or stewed tomatoes, lots of corn, some sort of beans (black, pinto, kidney, whatever), and meat (cooked first) if I have it (usually chicken or sausage). Then just microwave to reheat and eat it by itself or with tortillas.
post #6 of 11
How about crock pot meals?
I'm trying to make casseroles on weekends and freeze them, since hubby now works second shift, but since I've been on a no-dairy, no-wheat diet, it seems like I spend my weekends baking bread and making goat cheese.

There are some good meal planning and recipe blogs that you might be able to take inspiration from.
post #7 of 11
I try not to put too much in the freezer b/c I have texture issues and really don't enjoy the way most things reheat. Most pasta dishes Iam OK with though and definitely chili....yummm!

I am not a big cook, but I do like easy yummy meals. One you may be able to freeze well is pulled pork.
I just get the leanest tenderloin I can find then I trim it up some more. Put it in a small pyrex with some seasonings (salt, pepper, parsley, garlic, etc) a little bar b que sauce and a little water. It goes in the oven on like 300*-325* for 3-5 hours. It depends on how big it is. You know when it is done when you can take two forks to it and "pull" it apart.
I put it on some squishy rolls with some extra sauce and call it a meal! My dc love it too!
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the ideas! (Sorry I've taken so long getting back to this thread...).

I've joined forces with a friend and the first of January we're going to make a month's worth of meals...I'm really looking forward to this trial run! If it works well, we'll do it again and I should be set when the baby comes!

We're not necessarily going to make the whole meal and freeze it...you're right on about the texture. But, we'll do every step we possibly can to avoid dishes and work later. Thanks for your ideas!
post #9 of 11
Originally Posted by justKate View Post
I also buy the Zatarain's jumbalaya mix (near the rice-a-roni), make it in the crockpot, and add lots of stuff to it as it cooks. I always add a can of diced or stewed tomatoes, lots of corn, some sort of beans (black, pinto, kidney, whatever), and meat (cooked first) if I have it (usually chicken or sausage). Then just microwave to reheat and eat it by itself or with tortillas.
How do you do this in the crockpot? I work FT, so I'd love to be able to put this together before I leave in the morning.

post #10 of 11
I make mini frittatas, and freeze them. Forgive the "toss it in" nature of this recipe, I really don't have a formal recipe, but I think you can get a similar one at Martha Stewart.com

Grease 12 regular muffin tins
I whisk up 12 eggs
a little milk (water could be substituted)
seasoning like salt/pepper

I put fill each tin 1/2 way, then to each add:
canned black beans
raw, thinly sliced zucchini
sun dried tomatoes (sliced small) or diced fresh tomatoes
a little cheese on top (grated parm or cheddar)

Bake at 350 until cooked through (about 10 minutes?)

Sometimes I also line the tins with thawed, pre-made puff pastry before I add the eggs and fillings. It freezes beautifully, and you can microwave in seconds to warm. Works for us for any meal of the day!

Due 2/10/09
post #11 of 11
Quick Enchiladas

1/2 C favorite Salsa
8-10 flour tortillas (or corn if you prefer)
XL can re-fried beans
1 can chicken (or cooked, diced)
1/2 can black beans
1/2 C frozen or canned corn (fresh will work too)
1/2 C thinly sliced onions
1 can enchilada sauce (we prefer Verde/green)
3/4 C shredded cheese (we like the Mexican blend)

Preheat oven to 350
in a 13x9 glass pan, pour salsa, and spread over bottom.

In a bowl combine: re-fried beans, chicken, black beans, corn, and onions. Mix and microwave until warm. (I do this to decrease oven cooking time.)

Lay out tortillas and spread each with the warm bean mixture. Roll up tortillas, lay side by side over salsa in pan. Pour enchilada sauce over all, top with cheese. Bake about 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly.

Serve with sour cream.

Due 2/10/09
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