Saturday, May 16, 2009

Freezer Cooking

One of my goals in preparing for the baby is to have some "easy" food in the freezer. However, I got sick of looking for recipes and only finding things that were: a. made from pre-packaged or canned foods anyway (that's not saving me time or money), b. had lots of cheese, milk, or creamy soup, or c. would fill up my freezer with pasta and rice (I'd rather save the freezer space and add the bulky things later). My solution was to just make up my own recipe: so now my freezer has one container of "Creamy Crouton Chicken Bake", and my fridge has a smaller container to test out this week. The not-so-secret and wholly untasted recipe is:
  1. boil some chicken (take off bones if not boneless), chop, and place in freezer-safe baking dish
  2. make a sauce with some of the broth, flour, margarine, and crouton-like spices (thyme, rosemary, salt, pepper, garlic, onion, chicken bullion, basil etc.)
  3. pour the sauce over the chicken
  4. freeze
  5. thaw and bake when ready to eat
  6. serve with pasta or rice or biscuits, and cheese to sprinkle on top for the lactose-tolerant
Well, it smells good. I'll let you know if it actually works. 

Any other freezer meal suggestions that don't violate principles a., b., and c. ?


Heather said...

Maybe you can fix this one to meet your requirements -- it's good.

10oz. can cream of chicken soup (strike #1)
1 c. sour cream (strike #2)
1/4 c milk (strike # 2 1/4)
2 c. cooked cubed chicken
2.5 c. shredded cheddar cheese divided
3.5 c frozen hashbrowns
1.5 c frozen red peppers and onions OR cali mix veg
1.5 c. crushed potato chips (or hooyer cornflake topping)

Mix liquids with 1.25 c cheese and onion. Add potatoes and vegetables. Put in 2qt baking dish (2 9x9's work). Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Freeze.

Thaw overnight in fridge, uncover and bake @ 350 for 60-70min. Add chips and bake 5-10 more minutes. let stand 5-10 minutes before devouring (to increase appetite and let everything thicken).

I think iKid will like this one.

Hannah said...

That sounds good with the veggies. I can fake the cream of chicken soup without using milk, and use rice/soy milk or water instead of milk, and put cheese on only half. However, it might leave Nate's half of the casserole a little sad. I might try a version of it though.

Hannah said...

Creamy Crouton Chicken bake (the part I did not freeze) was tasty with egg noodles, although I added some more broth at the last minute (thought I was going to leave it in the oven longer while out of the house) and it ended up kind of runny.

Here is what I've done with Heather's recipe:

2.5 c. chicken broth, thickened to gravy
1/2 c. milk
2 T. margarine

3 carrots
1 lb. broccoli
1/2 onion
handful green peppers

1/2 c. ranch dressing
2 lb. hashbrowns
1 c. Monterey Jack cheese, plus some for sprinkling
3 chicken breasts, cooked, chopped

cornflakes for topping

filled one large casserole dish for freezer, and a loaf pan for tomorrow's supper (the taste test).

Lynnea Vis said...

¼ tsp minced garlic
2 medium onions chopped
2 c cooked cut up chicken
28 oz can of stewed tomatoes
1 14 oz can tomato sauce
1 green pepper chopped
10 oz can of sliced mushrooms (drained)
2 bay leaves
2 tsp basil
1 tsp salt
½ tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp pepper

In a large skillet cook the onions and garlic in 2 T hot cooking oil until the onions are tender. Add the rest of the ingredients. Simmer for 45 minutes or make in the slow cooker.

This is then served over rice or noodles etc. I have never personally frozen this recipe, but I have heard it freezes well, and it is dairy free, and fairly low on the canned foods...

Holly said...

I have a solution that requires no interference with requirements A-C.

move to iowa or even a 1 state radius, and I think mom would bring you a meal a day.

Ruth said...

Holly, you made me laugh out loud. :-)
Here's one more freezer recipe - my grandma's. mmmmmm good.

Barbecued Meatballs
3 lbs ground beef
1 c oatmeal
2 eggs
2 t salt
2 t chili powder
1 can (12 oz) evaporated milk
1 c cracker crumbs
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t pepper

To make meatballs, combine all ingredients (mixture to be soft) and shape into walnut size balls. Place meatballs in a single layer on wax paper-lined cookie sheets; freeze until solid. Store frozen meatballs in freezer bags until ready to cook.
Makes 80+ meatballs

To cook: Make Barbecue Sauce
2 c ketchup
1 c brown sugar
1/2 t liquid smoke
1/2 t garlic powder
1/4 c chopped onion

Combine all ingredients and stir until sugar is dissolved. Place frozen meatballs in baking pan; pour on the sauce. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Serve with noodles, preferably the egg kind. :-P

Aunt Kara said...

Aunt Pam and I have done some freezer cooking in the past. Cincinnati chili is something that I believe meets all your requirements - I think you can find the recipe on I freeze a family size meal flat in a freezer bag, thaw and serve over rice/noodles. You might be able to find other choices on this website too.

good luck!

carrie said...

Hi Hannah! I happened to come across your blog, and ironically I'm planning freezer meals right now as well since I'm due in 3 weeks--July 5 is the big day. I haven't made these yet, but I plan to this week:

They don't seem to take many expensive ingredients, and they also sound super easy to reheat (I plan on skipping the paper towels and just wrapping them in foil). I'm also looking for meals which don't take a lot of freezer space since we don't have a deep freezer. All the best as you prepare for your little one! :)