Thursday, June 21, 2012

Freezer Cooking Exchange

I'm going to admit something to you that I am not particularly proud of...

I really don't like cooking.  No really, I really, really don't like it.

Nonetheless, my family still needs to eat and ordering pizza every night simply isn't in our budget or our healthy eating plan.  So, I am always looking for ways to make cooking for my large crew easier and quicker. 

We will often double up meals that are easy to freeze to put an extra in the deep freeze.  But occasionally, I like to go one step further and have a cooking day, cooking and freezing several meals at once.  A couple weeks ago I even talked a couple of friends into a Freezer Meal Exchange!

The idea was simple enough.  Each of us would make five different meals times 3(number of families involved) for a total of 15 meals.  We would keep one set of meals for ourselves and exchange the other 10 meals with each other so that we would end up with 15 different frozen meals.

I made two of my meals on separate evenings just by tripling our dinner for the evening.  But I wound up making 3 of my meals (times 3 for a total of 9...are you still following my math?) in one evening with the help of Chad and A10.

Below you'll find some pics of our experience along with the recipes I used.

All lined up!  It took just 3 hours to get 9 meals made.

Lots of chopping! I chopped and separated the ingredients in bowls.  Above is cooked and cubed chicken and squash in the background. 

Sauteing squash and zucchini.  Polish Sausage to mix in for yummy jambalaya.

I think it's best to write instructions directly on the lid if you have a disposable lid.  Be sure to include the name of the dish, instructions for cooking/reheating, and the date it was prepared.

And for the dishes I made.  Please note I am including instructions for one meal only in each recipe.  You will need to double your recipe (or triple it, etc.) to participate in an exchange or freeze extra.

1. Jambalaya

1 box of Instant Brown Rice (14 oz)
1 zucchini, washed and sliced
1 squash, washed and sliced
2 lbs of Turkey Smoked Sausage, sliced 
Creole Seasoning (We use Tony Chachere's)

1. Prepare rice according to package instructions.
2. Saute squash and zucchini until tender.  Add in smoked sausage and cook until warmed through. Drain.
3. Mix rice and sausage/veggie mixture and add seasoning to taste.

Reheating Instructions:
Let Dethaw.  Transfer to stove top and heat through.  Can add cheese if desired when serving.

 2. Poppyseed Chicken
You'll find this recipe here.

3. Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 cup chopped celery
3/4 cup chopped carrots
1/2 cup chopped red onion
3 cans (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium Chicken broth
1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14.5 oz) beef broth
1 can (10 oz) diced tomatoes with mild green chilies
2 cups cooked, cubed chicken breasts
2 cups frozen corn
2 tsp dried parsley flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder

1. Saute the celery, carrots, and onion in oil until tender.  Stir in chicken broth, black beans, beef broth, tomatoes, corn, chicken, and seasoning.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes uncovered.

2. Serve with tortilla chips, cheese, and sour cream if desired.

Reheating Instructions:
Let dethaw.  Transfer to stove top and heat until warmed through.

4. Cowboy Casserole

You'll find this recipe here.

5. Pizza Bake

Sorry.  I didn't get a picture of this one before we ate it all up.

1 box of rotini noodles
1 package of pepperoni
1 lb of breakfast sausage
2 jars of pizza sauce
4 cups of shredded mozzarella

1. Cook noodles according to package.  Drain and pour noodles into the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
2. Fry and crumble sausage. Drain.  Mix in pizza sauce.  Stir and pour over pasta.
3. Add a layer of pepperoni.
4. Top with mozzarella cheese.

Cover and freeze or continue to bake.

Cooking Instructions:
Let dethaw.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until warmed through.

 Do you have freezer meal recipes that you love?  Let me know!

Pin It Now!

1 comment:

  1. I seriously Love this! I might just have to suggest this to my church!
    What an awesome way for ladies to cut our time in the kitchen!



Related Posts with Thumbnails