Freezer Meals

My Freezer

June 17th, 2012  |  Published in Cooking, Freezer Meals  |  0 Comments

We loaded up our freezer with meals in anticipation of Dave’s last few weeks of architecture school. We always have a few meals in there, but this is about as full as it gets at any one time. I thought I would share some of my favorite freezable recipes with you.

What meals do you freeze? I’m always looking for new ideas!

Top Shelf:
Baby food (carrots, carrots/broccoli, peaches, apples, butternut squash, yams, beets, green beans, pears)
Cowboy Cookies (I freeze the dough in balls so that I can pop a few in the oven anytime we want fresh cookies)
Chicken Flautas
Blueberries
Teething ring

Bottom Shelf:
Vodka Sauce

Spaghetti Sauce (x2)
Macaroni and Cheese with broccoli
Enchiladas (x2)
Sloppy Joes
Hamburger Buns
Meatballs
Cream of Tomato Soup (x2)
Chicken breasts
Pumpkin puree

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Freezer Meals: Spaghetti Sauce

August 9th, 2011  |  Published in Cooking, Freezer Meals, Recipes  |  3 Comments

Just over a week until my due date! Our little girl is still happily wiggling away in there. The waiting is the hardest!

Here’s one of our favorite meals to freeze. It’s delicious, super easy to double, and a great way to use up all of the veggies in your fridge.

Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef

Ingredients:

  • olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • assorted veggies (e.g. carrots, zucchini, squash. green pepper, etc.)
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 6oz can of tomato paste
  • 1 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes if you’ve got ‘em!)
  • 1 26 oz jar of tomato sauce
  • 1.5 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Dice veggies, simmer in a large pot with olive oil until softened.
  2. Add ground beef and cook until browned.
  3. Add tomato paste, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, salt, pepper, and brown sugar, stirring well.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. Enjoy with pasta.
  6. To freeze, store flat in freezer bags. Heat up in saucepan when ready to eat.

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Freezer Meals: Chicken Flautas

July 31st, 2011  |  Published in Cooking, Freezer Meals, Recipes  |  5 Comments

Frozen Flautas

I’m past 37 weeks, so I guess the baby can come any day now! I’m hoping she holds off at least a week so I can finish letterpressing a friend’s wedding invites. Plus it just hit summer in Oregon and I’ve only gotten to wear my polka dotted maternity bathing suit once. I’m hoping for at least a few more swims in the rivers!

Anyway, the point of this post is to share another freezer meal. We’re up to nine meals in the freezer. Hopefully we can double that and I can document all of the recipes here. These chicken flautas are one of our go-to meals. We’ll buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store when we’re too lazy to cook, and use all of the leftover chicken the next night for this recipe (or chicken and dumplings or chicken noodle soup or some other chicken recipe). The recipe makes ~30 flautas, so it’s enough to bake up a batch for dinner and freeze the rest for later. We usually make the flautas along with this delicious Spanish Rice. Yum!

Chicken Flautas

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts – cooked and shredded
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 30 (6 inch) corn tortillas
  • vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, salsa and ground cumin. Set aside.
  3. Brush one side of each tortilla with olive oil. Stack tortillas on a plate.
  4. Microwave tortillas for 8-10 minutes, checking periodically until tortillas are hot and flexible. You want to be able to roll them without having them flex back or crack.
  5. Put a spoonful of the chicken mixture near the edge of a tortilla and sprinkle some cheese on top.
  6. Roll up tortilla and place on a cookie sheet, seam side down.
  7. Repeat with all of the tortillas until chicken mixture is gone.
  8. If freezing, stick cookie sheet in freezer for 1-2 hours. Then collect frozen tortillas into a freezer bag.
  9. When ready to cook them, bake flautas for 15-25 minutes or until tortillas are a little crispy and golden brown.

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Freezer Meals: Macaroni and Cheese

July 28th, 2011  |  Published in Cooking, Freezer Meals, Recipes  |  2 Comments

Frozen Macaroni and Cheese

Macaroni and cheese is my husband’s absolute favorite meal. His Wisconsin roots beat out that pesky lactose intolerance of his every time it shows up on a menu. We discovered this recipe online a few years back and have never turned back. I think it’s originally from an old Fannie Farmer cookbook. We love the garlic (although you can absolutely substitute something more spicy if that’s your style!) and the fact that it freezes so easily. We always make a double recipe – one for tonight and one for the freezer. That’s definitely the easiest way to get meals into the freezer without having to set aside any extra time.

Macaroni and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces macaroni noodles
  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup cream
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • ~ 1 tbsp powdered garlic (optional)
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups good quality shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup buttered breadcrumbs

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400* F.
  2. Cook and drain macaroni according to package directions; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan.
  4. Add flour, salt and pepper. Use a whisk to stir until well blended.
  5. Pour milk and cream in gradually; stirring constantly.
  6. Bring to boiling point and boil 2 minutes (stirring constantly).
  7. Reduce heat and cook (stirring constantly) 10 minutes.
  8. Add shredded cheddar little by little and simmer an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese melts.
  9. Remove from heat.
  10. Add macaroni to the saucepan and toss to coat with the cheese sauce.
  11. Transfer macaroni to a buttered baking dish.
  12. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
  13. Bake 20 minutes until the top is golden brown.

To freeze: Once you have mixed the macaroni with the cheese sauce, allow to cool to room temperature before adding to your freezer. I always freeze it flat in a large zip-top freezer bag so that it stacks easily. When you want to make it, pull it out ahead of time and bring to room temperature. Add the macaroni and cheese to a buttered baking dish, sprinkle with bread crumbs and then bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until golden brown on top and bubbling

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Freezer Meals: Butternut Squash Tortellini

July 21st, 2011  |  Published in Cooking, Freezer Meals, Recipes  |  3 Comments

Eeks, I’m 36 weeks pregnant! How did it sneak up on me so fast?! The past few months have been busy, busy, busy cleaning out the apartment, getting the baby’s room ready, making baby crafts, learning about childbirth, freaking out about childbirth, working, enjoying summer, etc, etc, etc.

And since I’m pretty sure I’ll have even less time once the baby is born, I’m trying to prep some in advance and get meals ready and in the freezer. We got fresh sage in our CSA box last week, and I just had to find a good recipe for it! I have been holding onto this recipe from a coworker (thanks Gwen!) for Butternut Squash and Sage Tortellini for a while, so I cleared some time last weekend to get to tortellini making. I made 76 tortellini – enough for 3 meals for my husband and me.

What’s your favorite meal to freeze? I need lots of ideas so that my freezer can be stocked by the time the baby gets here.

Butternut Squash Tortellini

Butternut Squash Tortellini

Dough Ingredients:

  • 2 cups semolina flour
  • 1/4 cup cooked, mashed butternut squash
  • ~3/4 cup water
  • dash of salt

Filling Ingredients:

  • 2 cups cooked, mashed butternut squash
  • 1/4-1/2 lemon worth of zest
  • 3 sage leaves, chopped

Directions:

  1. Mix together filling ingredients. Set aside.
  2. Mix together dough ingredients. Add water slowly while mixing until dough comes together.
  3. Roll out dough.
  4. Cut out circles with a cookie cutter. Keep dough covered while you aren’t working with it to prevent it from drying out.
  5. Spoon a small amount of filling into the center of each circle.
  6. Dip finger in water, and moisten 1/2 way around edge of circle. Fold circle in half, press to seal, then bring corners together to form tortellini.
  7. Place tortellini on a waxed paper covered cookie sheet to dry out.
  8. If freezing, place trays in freezer for ~1 hour. Then collect from tray and place in freezer bags.
  9. To cook, place in large pot of boiling salted water. Cook until they rise to the top plus 1-2 minutes.
  10. Serve with sage leaves sauteed in olive oil or your favorite sauce.

Butternut Squash Tortellini

Butternut Squash Tortellini

Butternut Squash Tortellini

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