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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, mamas! I thought it would be a neat idea for us to share our favorite freezer recipes, since a few of us will be stocking our freezers for those babymoon days when we do NOT want to cook! We'll have more important things to do come February...like cuddling babies!


So, post your favorite frozen foods recipe here!

Meatloaf:
1 lb. ground beef
1 green bell pepper
1 small onion of your choice (I like red)
1 large egg
milk
italian bread crumbs

let ground beef come to room temperature before mixing...it's REALLY cold straight out of the fridge!

Line a bread loaf pan with aluminum foil
Finely chop onion and bell pepper
Mix ground beef, egg, pepper, onion, and some bread crumbs together, mushing with your hands. Add milk as needed to get the consistency right, and to get the loaf to "hold".
After all ingredients are mixed, put in loaf pan and mold to pan. Fold aluminum foil over loaf, until it is completely sealed. Then store in freezer bag.

When ready to eat, add sauce to top (ketchup, worchestershire sauce and honey, until the flavor works for you) and bake for an hour at 350, after the loaf has thawed. If you don't want the sauce, you can bake the frozen loaf for 90 minutes at 350.
 

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What a fun idea!
I have a little folder going, but I want to taste-test some of the recipes before I lay them on anyone else. This one is tried and true. It's a pasta sauce, but with a totally different flavor:

meatless provencale marinara sauce

serves a couple and one kid-doubling recipe is just fine, but adding more canned tomato sauce will mean you need more herbs and wine to enhance the flavor

olive oil
small-med onion chopped
garlic -Can use up to 3 cloves, 1-2 is probably the norm
can of tomatoes -I use my own canned tomatoes, but when using store-bought, italian recipe stewed Del Monte are a great choice, or just toally whole stewed tomatoes with no extra flavor
small can of tomato sauce
red wine-nothing sweet. You want a Merlot or Shiraz or something
fresh mushrooms sliced a pound is fine
1/2 TBSP Herb Du Provence-you can find that at many stores or places like World Market-a decent substutie would be to herb with thyme, rosemary crushed well, basil with optional tarragon, winter savory, lavander,
BY NO MEANS ADD MARJORAM OR OREGANO-they are 'pizza' flavors and can quickly overpower this sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Saute chopped onions in olive oil to start softening. Add chopped mushroom and herbs now or a little later is fine too. You may need to splash a bit of water as you wait for the mushrooms to start releasing their juice. The ideal time to add the garlic is before the mushrooms make everything too watery. It essentially 'quick sautes' it which brings out the flavor, but doesn't overcook it. It would overcook if added at the beginning. Add maybe about 1/2 c of wine and cook everything down on a med-high heat for about 10 minutes. You want the juices to condense, but you don't necessarily want them all to go away.

Now add your tomatoes and sauce and simmer for a bit. I like to add a little more red wine (maybe another 1/2 c-I never measure anything when I cook) and make the sauce more of a burgandy color. Allow to cook long enough to release the alcohol.

Serve over pasta-use in a lasagna base, etc. I have made this so often, I can go from start to finish including veggie prep in 22 minutes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since I just made this for dinner tonight, it's stuck in my head.


2 lb ground beef
one large onion, chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
2 TB olive oil
1 lg can crushed tomatoes
2 15oz cans kidney beans (drain one can)
1 lg jar (24-28oz depending on brand) thick and chunky salsa
1 sm can diced green chiles (do not drain)
1 sm can sliced (or diced) jalapenos (do not drain)
1/4 C. dry white wine
3 TB chili powder
1 TB dried oregano
1 TB ground cumin
2 tsp salt

Heat olive oil over medium heat in dutch oven. Brown onion, garlic, and ground beef in oil. Drain.

Add all other ingredients, stirring after each addition. Bring to a boil for a few minutes, then turn down to low and let simmer for at least an hour, stirring occassionally. Honestly, the longer it simmers the better it is.


We serve it Cincinatti-style (over spaghetti) and top it with some grated sharp cheddar cheese.

Freezes very well!
 

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I definitely want to put stuff in the freezer.... but I didn't know what actually freezes well, and for how long? How do you find out?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
For me, it's just been trial and error, for the most part. I'm sure you could google "freezer meals" and get a good list of things to prepare, and shelf life of those things.
 

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Okay, I froze my first meal last night. Here it is, I LOVE this recipe.

Chicken Chilli:

2 large chicken breasts cut into 1/2 inch chunks
2 T Olive oil
1 T butter
1/2C chopped onion
1/2Cchopped celery
1/2C chopped red bell pepper
1 or 2 Jalepenos, chopped fine
1T coriander
1T cumin
1 t red chiles- more or less depending on the amount of heat you like.
Chilli Powder to taste (I use about 2 T per batch)
3-4 C chicken broth
1 can great northern or pinto beans
1/2C chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Important note: I love spicy stuff as does dh, but when I make this I do not put any Jalepenos or red chilles in it anymore. It is still slightly hot due to chilli powder and this way dd can eat it too. Dh adds tobasco to make it hotter for him. I found that even one jalepeno and no other peppers was too much for dd.

Stir fry chicken in oil and butter with chilli powder until nicely browned. Remove chicken and stir fry veggies in chicken juices. Add liquid if necessary. Add other spices to veggie mixture and simmer for a few minutes. Add chicken back or I put them all into a big pot at this point, add broth and simmer for 1 hour. Then add drained beans and cilantro. Cook until heated through.

Serve with sour cream and shredded cheese and more cilantro to garnish if you like. We warm up tortillas to dip, but flat bread or garlic bread would be yummy too.

This recipe doubles well and it freezes well.
 

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I have a vacuum sealer and they are AWESOME because you can pretty much make anything and vacuum seal single servings on paper plates or a big bag full of multiple servings. I'm going to be doing lots of these healthy frozen dinners rather than buying the more expensive and less nutritious microwave dinners
 

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these are from cooking light. when i freeze stuff like this i just write the cooking directions right on the foil, so even dh can reheat them.

Savory Breakfast Casserole

The vegetarian sausage adds a lot of sage flavor to the casserole and doesn't need to be precooked. The sausage often comes in a tube and is usually located in the refrigerated area of the produce section, near the tofu. Although we call this dish a breakfast casserole, you can serve it for dinner with sautéed greens or roasted red-skinned potatoes.

2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
8 large egg whites
4 large eggs
14 ounces meatless fat-free sausage, crumbled (such as Gimme Lean!)
4 cups (1/2-inch) cubed white bread (about 4 1/2 ounces)
Cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350°.
Combine the milk, 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, green onions, and next 5 ingredients (green onions through eggs), stirring with a whisk.

Divide sausage and bread evenly between 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans coated with cooking spray. Pour egg mixture evenly between pans. Top each pan with 1/4 cup cheese.

Cover each pan with foil. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 3. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 40 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 50 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 2 casseroles, 3 servings per pan

CALORIES 316 (26% from fat); FAT 9.2g (sat 4.3g,mono 2g,poly 0.6g); PROTEIN 30g; CHOLESTEROL 162mg; CALCIUM 347mg; SODIUM 864mg; FIBER 2.2g; IRON 3.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 26.7g

Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoky Marinara

This dish goes straight from the freezer to oven - no thawing required. The fire-roasted tomatoes in the marinara sauce give the dish a subtle smoky flavor. You can also easily vary the filling by adding basil or oregano and a different cheese. (We tried fontina instead of mozzarella and threw in some arugula for a peppery bite.) Make some garlic bread and a green salad and dinner's on.

1 pound jumbo shell pasta (40 shells)
Cooking spray
1 (12-ounce) carton 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1 (15-ounce) carton ricotta cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
6 cups Smoky Marinara
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain and set aside.
Preheat oven to 375°.

Coat 2 (13 x 9-inch) baking dishes with cooking spray; set aside.

Place cottage cheese and ricotta cheese in a food processor; process until smooth. Combine cottage cheese mixture, Asiago, and next 6 ingredients (Asiago through spinach).

Spoon or pipe 1 tablespoon cheese mixture into each shell. Arrange half of stuffed shells, seam sides up, in one prepared dish. Pour 3 cups Smoky Marinara over stuffed shells. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat procedure with remaining stuffed shells, Smoky Marinara, and mozzarella in remaining prepared dish.

Cover with foil. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover frozen casserole with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until the shells are thoroughly heated.

Yield: 2 casseroles, 5 servings per dish (serving size: about 4 stuffed shells and about 1/2 cup smoky marinara)

CALORIES 470 (30% from fat); FAT 15.7g (sat 8.8g,mono 4.7g,poly 0.9g); PROTEIN 28.3g; CHOLESTEROL 47mg; CALCIUM 508mg; SODIUM 916mg; FIBER 5.3g; IRON 3.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 52.7g

Smoky Marinara

Look for fire-roasted tomatoes (we used Muir Glen) in the organic section or with the canned tomatoes in your supermarket.

This recipe goes with Four-Cheese Stuffed Shells with Smoky Marinara and the Butternut Squash Lasagna

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh or 2 teaspoons dried oregano
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1 (28-ounce) can crushed fire-roasted tomatoes, undrained
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, undrained

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, basil, parsley, and oregano; sauté 1 minute, stirring frequently. Stir in vinegar and remaining ingredients. Reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes.

Yield: 6 cups (serving size: 1/2 cup)

CALORIES 55 (20% from fat); FAT 1.2g (sat 0.2g,mono 0.8g,poly 0.1g); PROTEIN 2.3g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 49mg; SODIUM 350mg; FIBER 2.3g; IRON 0.9mg; CARBOHYDRATE 9g

Chicken Tetrazzini

This classic dish, created and named for 19th-century opera singer Luisa Tetrazzini, is a great way to use leftover cooked chicken or turkey. The thin pasta soaks up the sauce, forming a casserole that you can cut with a fork. To make it easier to toss the pasta and sauce, break the vermicelli in half before cooking.

1 tablespoon butter
Cooking spray
1 cup finely chopped onion
2/3 cup finely chopped celery
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 (8-ounce) packages presliced mushrooms
1/2 cup dry sherry
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 (14.5-ounce) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 1/4 cups (9 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese
7 cups hot cooked vermicelli (about 1 pound uncooked pasta)
4 cups chopped cooked chicken breast (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread

Preheat oven to 350°.
Melt butter in large stockpot coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion, celery, pepper, salt, and mushrooms; sauté 4 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. Add sherry; cook 1 minute.

Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Gradually add flour to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly (mixture will be thick) with a whisk. Gradually add broth, stirring constantly. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.

Add 1 3/4 cups Parmesan cheese and cream cheese, stirring with a whisk until cream cheese melts. Add the pasta and chicken, and stir until blended. Divide the pasta mixture between 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes coated with cooking spray.

Place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly over pasta mixture.

Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Remove casserole from oven; let stand 15 minutes.

To freeze unbaked casserole: Prepare through Step 5. Cool completely in refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked casserole: Thaw casserole completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 350º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover casserole with reserved foil; bake at 350º for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 1 hour or until golden and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes.

Yield: 2 casseroles, 6 servings each (serving size: about 1 1/3 cups)

CALORIES 380 (29% from fat); FAT 12.2g (sat 6.6g,mono 3.4g,poly 0.7g); PROTEIN 33g; CHOLESTEROL 66mg; CALCIUM 319mg; SODIUM 964mg; FIBER 2g; IRON 2.8mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32.7g

Photography: Karry Hosford

Butternut Squash Lasagna

The sweet squash contrasts beautifully with Smoky Marinara. You can make the marinara in advance, and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.

Cooking spray
3 cups chopped onion
10 cup fresh spinach
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
1 (15-ounce) carton part-skim ricotta cheese
1 (15-ounce) carton fat-free ricotta cheese
3 cups diced peeled butternut squash
6 cups Smoky Marinara
12 oven-ready lasagna noodles (such as Barilla)
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375°.
Heat a large Dutch oven coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 4 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; sauté 1 1/2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Combine provolone, parsley, salt, pepper, eggs, and ricotta cheeses in a large bowl.

Place squash in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and cook on high 5 minutes or until tender.

Coat the bottom and sides of 2 (8-inch-square) baking dishes with cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup Smoky Marinara in the bottom of one prepared dish. Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups squash over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over squash.

Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup cheese mixture over the noodles. Arrange 1 1/2 cups onion mixture over cheese mixture; spread 3/4 cup sauce over spinach mixture.

Arrange 2 noodles over sauce; spread 1 cup Smoky Marinara evenly over noodles. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Parmesan. Repeat procedure with remaining ingredients in remaining pan. Cover each pan with foil.

Bake at 375° for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes.

To freeze unbaked lasagna: Prepare through Step 6. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked lasagna: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 375º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover lasagna with reserved foil; bake at 375º for 1 hour. Uncover and bake an additional 30 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 2 lasagnas, 6 servings per pan

CALORIES 254 (30% from fat); FAT 8.5g (sat 4.5g,mono 2.2g,poly 0.3g); PROTEIN 18.6g; CHOLESTEROL 69mg; CALCIUM 414mg; SODIUM 560mg; FIBER 3.3g; IRON 3.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 27.6g

Sun-Dried Tomato Meat Loaf with Red Currant-Wine Sauce

Red currant jelly and wine make a quick, rich sauce that is a nice change from the typical ketchup topping. Serve with mashed potatoes. If you decide to freeze one of the meat loaves for later, make half the amount of red currant-wine sauce now and half when you bake the frozen meat loaf.

Meat loaf:
Cooking spray
3 (1-ounce) slices white bread
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup thinly sliced fresh basil
1/3 cup sun-dried tomato sprinkles
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
2 large eggs

Sauce:
1/2 cup red currant jelly
1/4 cup dry red wine
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 400°.
Coat 2 (8 x 4-inch) loaf pans with cooking spray; set aside.

To prepare meat loaves, place bread in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs form. Combine breadcrumbs, onion, and next 7 ingredients (onion through eggs). Divide meat mixture in half. Press each portion into prepared pans.

Bake at 400° for 55 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 180°.

To prepare sauce, combine jelly, wine, and flour in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 5 minutes or until jelly melts.

To freeze unbaked meat loaf: Prepare through Step 3. Cover with plastic wrap, pressing to remove as much air as possible. Wrap with heavy-duty foil. Store in freezer for up to 2 months.

To prepare frozen unbaked meat loaf: Thaw completely in refrigerator (about 24 hours). Preheat oven to 400º. Remove foil; reserve foil. Remove plastic wrap; discard wrap. Cover meat loaf with reserved foil; bake at 400º for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 45 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 180º. Prepare half of red currant-wine sauce; serve over meat loaf.

Yield: 10 servings, 5 per pan (serving size: 5 ounces meat loaf and about 1 tablespoon sauce)

CALORIES 271 (19% from fat); FAT 5.6g (sat 2.8g,mono 1.6g,poly 0.5g); PROTEIN 35.2g; CHOLESTEROL 122mg; CALCIUM 193mg; SODIUM 435mg; FIBER 0.8g; IRON 2.3mg; CARBOHYDRATE 18.4g

Cooking Light, MARCH 2003
 

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Wow, you ladies are amazing. My mouth was watering just scanning through the recipies. Here's my two. The beet borsch one is very "Saskatchewan" -- ie -- it must contain a pkg of onion soup mix or can of mushroom soup mix to really be considered a meal -- but is also really tasty.

Beet Soup (Borsch)

4 beets peeled and grated
2 carrots peeled and diced
2 onions sliced
1/4 - 1/2 a cabbage
1 c. celery diced

1/2 c dillweed stems or 1 Tbsp dried dill weed
1 T garlic powder
1 T. onion salt
1T beef OXO (or I just throw a beef soup bone in with the veggies)
1T onion soup mix
1 T white sugar
2 T vinegar

Place veggies (and soup bone) in a large dutch oven or stock pot with 6 c water.

Boil 1/2 c. water and stir in seasonings and vinegar. Stir this into the veggie mixture.

Bring soup to a boil, then let simmer 4 - 6 hrs, or 8 hrs in a croc pot.

Serve with sour cream and crusty bread. Freezes really well. This recipie serves about 4 - 6 , depending on your appetites and wether you eat any bread with it (dh just eats three bowls of soup, so I go to all that trouble and it makes one and a half meals
: )

Double Recipie Lasagnia

2 lbs group beef (or not)
3 - 4 cloves garlic, chopped or crushed
2 onions
3 - 4 c assorted veggies (I like carrots, celery, zucchini or peppers, whatever is around and in season)
10 - 20 mushrooms

1 can chopped tomatos
1 can spagetti sauce (set aside a bit of sauce)

1 L cottage cheese (um, I guess that's about 4 c)
2 eggs
1/3 c paremesan cheese
2 pkg frozen, chopped spinach (thawed) or 1 -2 bunches cooked, chopped spinach
oregano, basil, salt and pepper to taste

grated mozzerella or other cheese to cover top (about 1 1/2 c)

1 box no-boil lasagnia noodles, or regular noodles boiled.

Cook hamberger and all veggies in a frying pan until meat is nicely browned and veggies are soft. Mix in spagetti sauce and tomatos and set aside.

In a seperate bowl mix cottage cheese, eggs, parm. cheese, spinach, and spices.

Take two 8x11 baking dishes. Place a small bit of tomato sauce on bottom of each pan, then some noodles. Put about 1/4 of hamberger and tomato mixture in each pan, then layer noodles. Put 1/2 of cheese mixture in each pan, then another layer of noodles. Put last of hamberger and tomato mixture on the top of each pan, then sprinkle with cheese. If you are using pre-cooked noodles, you could add another layer before the cheese, but I find the no-boil ones are just gross this way.

Bake for 40 min. at 350 until noodles are soft. Serve one lasagnia and cover the other with foil and freeze. When you are reheating it, let it thaw for about an hour, then bake it for about an hour, otherwise the cheese layer doesn't thaw well.
 

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these are all wonderful alternative to the frozen taco meat i was planning
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by anabellee View Post
these are all wonderful alternative to the frozen taco meat i was planning

Frozen taco meat is good too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I love tacos.
 

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I don't know if this would freeze well but it is super easy to make!

Enchilada Chili

1 can black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can pinto beans
1 10oz can enchilada sauce
1 28 oz can cruched tomatoes
1/2 chopped green pepper(optional meaning when I remember and have time)
1 small onion chopped (optional same as above)
shedded cheese (optional)
tortilla chips

dump all but the last 2 ing. in your kettle. Bring to a boil then simmer for 15-20min. Sever with crushed or whole tortilla chips and shedded cheese.

Our DD (8.5) and DS (21months) love this recipe!
 
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