I took advantage of a quiet day when I was all caught up on my "to do" list and I restocked the freezer with easy meals. This time I had the kitchen completely clean and ready to go, with my zip locs all labeled, and my recipes sitting out before I hit the store. It made clean-up easier, too.
Baked Ziti with Sausage
Simple Chicken and Rice Casserole
Crock Pot Italian Turkey (I got a good deal on turkey, so I subbed for the chicken)
Honey Mustard BBQ Pork Ribs
Green Chile Chicken (for tacos)
Indian Spiced Meatballs
Easy Crock Pot Mongolian Beef
It looks like a lot of work, but everything came together pretty quickly.
For the Baked Ziti, I followed my old faithful recipe, subbing in some ridged elbow macaroni. (See link above for recipe)
The cooked pasta gets mixed with cottage cheese and mozzarella, the sauce got cooked and crumbled sausage as an add-in.
It all gets layered in a dish lined with foil - that way, when it's frozen I can pop it out of the dish and into a gallon ziploc. To cook it, I will simply reverse the process, and bake it about 30 minutes at 350 when thawed.
The clear dish won't stay in here once the contents are frozen; I use those little casserole dishes all the time!
The Simple Chicken and Rice reminds me of the Stouffer's version, but this has a lot more chicken.
I simmered four good-sized bone in thighs and pre-made 2 c of rice while I was assembling the other meals.
While the chicken cooled a bit I made a sauce of 1 can cream of chicken soup, 1/4 c. milk, 1 cup chicken broth, 1/2 c. white wine, and a tablespoon of olive oil. When that was at a simmer I added a bag of frozen mixed veggies and cooked 5 minutes.
Then I added in all the chicken and rice, plus a 1/2 c. of shredded cheese and poured into a casserole dish to freeze. I will thaw and bake at about an hour, with some kind of crunchy crumbs on top.
The Italian Turkey is nothing more than a turkey breast with a cup of so of Italian dressing poured over. I added a little extra garlic and Italian seasoning to it. I plan on putting it in the crock frozen, and cooking all day.
For the Honey Mustard BBQ Pork Ribs, I poured a sauce of 1 c. honey BBQ sauce to 1 c. mustard over country style ribs. Frozen, they will go into the crock on low and cook all day.
For Green Chile Chicken I mixed a package of boneless, skinless chicken thighs with one can of mild, diced green chilies and 2 t. of garlic salt. After cooking in the crock all day on low, I will serve as a taco filling.
The Indian Spiced Meatballs might end up being a fail - we'll see.*
I poured a can of curry soup over frozen meatballs and a bag of chopped, frozen spinach. I added in a touch more curry and some garlic. I will simmer this on the stove top and serve over rice. (I was looking for Indian Cooking Sauce and couldn't find it at my HEB)
Last but not least was Easy Crock Pot Mongolian Beef from Who Needs A Cape? Since my family loves Chinese food, I'm sure this one will be a hit.
And that, my friends, are eight freezer meals, which if I use two per week, will carry us for a month of Mondays and Tuesdays when mom is too pooped to cook from scratch!
*The Indian meatballs were GREAT!