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  1. #1
    Mega Poster JKfmAustin's Avatar
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    Default Freezer meals!

    Anyone making freezer meals for after baby? I went a little crazy a few weeks ago and spent several days doing nothing but cooking freezer meals...lol.

    So far I have the following in my 2 freezers. I no longer have anymore space so I guess I'm done. Let me know if you guys want recipes for any of the meals (I have nutritional info for all of them if you're interested). They're mostly healthy low-ish calorie meals.

    Chicken and barley soup - 2 servings
    Creamy chicken pot pie soup - 2 servings
    Cabbage roll soup - 4 servings
    Baked Penne with chicken and sun-dried tomatoes - 2 casseroles - 4 servings each
    Shepherd's pie, lightened up - 6 servings
    Turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes - 4 servings
    Chicken and broccoli noodle casserole - 6 servings
    Tuna noodle casserole - 6 servings
    Mongolian Beef - 4 servings
    Sweet n spicy beef and noodles - 4 servings
    Guilt free bbq chicken - 4 servings X 2
    Teriyaki chicken - 4 servings X 2
    Chicken divan, lightened up - 6 servings
    Baked penne with sausage and spinach - 2 casseroles - 4 servings each
    Sweet potato chicken casserole - 4 servings
    Santa Fe Turkey stuffed Peppers with Cilantro lime rice - 6 serving
    Cheesy jalapeno popper stuffed chicken breasts with fiesta lime rice - 4 servings
    Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy and garlic mashed potatoes - 2 servings
    Pumpkin and sausage pasta - 2 servings
    Arroz con pollo - 2 servings
    Chicken and white bean chili - 4 servings
    Gnocchi with spicy tomato sauce - 2 servings
    Turkey Burger patties - 8 servings
    Marinara sauce - 2 X 2 serving bags
    Breakfast burritos (Turkey sausage, egg, potato, bell peppers and cheese) - 16
    Turkey sausage, egg and potato breakfast sandwiches - 6
    Bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwiches - 6
    Blueberry muffins - 12
    Cranberry orange muffins - 12
    Chocolate chip muffins - 6
    Wheat dinner rolls - 20
    And some leftovers that I froze.

    I think I have enough food to last us a few months...
    Last edited by JKfmAustin; 01-07-2013 at 05:47 PM.
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    Jina (31)
    DH (33)


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  2. #2
    Supporter Jokr's Avatar
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    Holy crap!! You want to ship some of that up here for me?!?
    Lol and I thought I was doing good just stocking the freezer with meat we bought on sale and a few pre-made items!

    So far I have:
    3 turkey pot pies (lol yay for Xmas leftovers!)
    1 baked spaghetti casserole (I swear it should last 8-10 servings, it's huge!)
    1 or 2 batches of pre-made spaghetti sauce
    4 individual servings of beef stew
    4 individual servings cream of tomato soup
    About 8 random individual servings of mics. other soups
    (.......problem is, some of these soups are already nearly a year old, and I'm not sure how it'll do getting re-heated)


    I'd LOVE some of your recipes!! If you have any of these already written up, I'd love to see them:
    Baked chicken penne w. sundried tomatoes
    Chicken & broccoli noodle casserole
    Sweet & Spicy beef & noodles
    Baked penne with sausage and spinach

    I have to make a batch of chicken chili, and mini turkey meatloves to freeze, hopefully I have time to do that over this weekend. I also really like the idea of freezing muffins and cookies! Do you freeze them before or after baking?

    My big problem is DH.......I'll make something that should last us 3 meals, he'll eat half of it for dinner, and then take the other half for lunch the next day! (and when you combine his freakishly fast metabolism and physical job, he can eat us out of house and home and not gain a pound!)
    ~ JO


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  3. #3
    Mega Poster JKfmAustin's Avatar
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    Jo, haha...I had fun making all of these since I cook for fun.

    Muffins, cookies, pies, cakes, waffles and pancakes are so easy to freeze. I freeze them fully cooked though it's nice to freeze cookie dough if you like warm freshly baked cookies.

    Can I have your DH's metabolism?! Lucky guy...lol.

    Anyway, here are the recipes you wanted. I hope you like them...it's pure torture to cook all of these meals and not be able to eat them right away!

    BAKED PENNE WITH CHICKEN AND SUN-DRIED TOMATOES
    (This isn't exactly "healthy"...but it's really good!)

    Makes 2 - 8x8 casseroles.

    Ingredients

    6 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dishes
    Coarse salt and ground pepper
    1 pound penne rigate
    1 teaspoon olive oil
    2 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves (8 ounces each), halved horizontally
    1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
    4 garlic cloves, minced
    6 cups whole milk
    10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and thinly sliced
    1/2 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and thinly sliced
    1 1/2 cups shredded provolone (6 ounces)
    1 cup finely grated Parmesan (4 ounces)

    Directions

    Preheat oven to 400. Butter two shallow 2-quart baking dishes. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta 3 minutes short of al dente; drain pasta, and return to pot.

    In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Season chicken with salt and pepper; cook until opaque throughout, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Halve each piece lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise.

    In a 5-quart Dutch oven or heavy pot, melt butter over medium. Add flour and garlic; cook, whisking, 1 minute. While whisking, gradually add milk; bring to a simmer, whisking frequently. Add mushrooms and tomatoes; cook 1 minute. Off heat, gradually stir in provolone and 1/2 cup Parmesan.

    Add chicken and pasta to pot; season with salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between baking dishes; sprinkle each with cup Parmesan.

    Bake, uncovered, until top is golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

    Cook's Note

    To Freeze: Prepare through step 4; let cool. Cover tightly with foil, and freeze, up to 3 months.

    To Bake From Frozen: Preheat oven to 400, and bake (still covered in foil) on a rimmed baking sheet until center is hot, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove foil; bake until golden, about 15 minutes more.



    Chicken and Broccoli Noodle Casserole

    Ingredients:

    6 oz Ronzoni Smart taste noodles (or no-yolk)
    2 tsp oil
    4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
    12 oz fresh broccoli florets, chopped
    1 tbsp butter
    1 medium shallot, minced
    3 tbsp all-purpose flour
    1-3/4 cups fat free chicken broth
    1 cup 1% milk
    12 oz cooked shredded chicken breast
    4 oz shredded reduced fat sharp cheddar (Sargento)
    cooking spray
    3 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese
    2 tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs (I used whole wheat)

    Directions:

    Cook noodles in salted water until al dente, or slightly undercooked by 2 minutes. Set aside.

    Heat oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on medium heat until golden, about 1 minute. Add the broccoli and a little salt, saut? and cover the broccoli for about 3 minutes on medium heat until the broccoli begins to soften. Set aside.

    Preheat the oven to 375?. Lightly spray a 9 x 12 casserole dish with cooking spray.

    In a large pot, heat butter over medium-low heat, when melted add the shallot and cook until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the flour and a pinch of salt and stir well, cooking an additional 2-3 minutes on medium-low heat.

    Slowly whisk in the chicken broth until well combined over medium heat; whisk well for 30 seconds, then add the milk and bring to a boil. Simmer on medium heat, mixing occasionally until it thickens (about 6-7 minutes). Remove from heat and add reduced fat sharp cheddar and 1 tablespoon of the parmesan cheese; mix well until the cheese melts.

    Add the shredded chicken, noodles and broccoli to the sauce and mix well until evenly coated.

    Pour into a casserole dish and top with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs. Spray a little more cooking spray on top and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes. Place the casserole under the broiler a few minutes to get the crumbs crisp and golden (careful not to burn).

    Cook's note:

    To freeze: prepare as directed but do not bake. Let it cool completely and cover tighly with foil and freeze.

    To serve: Thaw in fridge and bake for 25 minutes in 375 degree oven.

    Servings: 6 ? Serving Size: 1/6th ? Old Points: 6 pts ? Points+: 8 pts
    Calories: 313 ? Fat: 9.9 g ? Protein: 27.2 g ? Carb: 31.2 g ? Fiber: 4.4 g ? Sugar: 2.6 g
    Sodium: 256.7 mg (without salt)


    Sweet-n-Spicy Beef and Noodles

    Ingredients:

    1 lb. lean flank steak, chopped into bite-size pieces
    1 tbsp sea salt
    1 tbsp coarse-ground black pepper
    1 tsp olive oil
    1 medium white onion, diced
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
    1 medium green bell pepper, cut into strips
    1/2 medium jalapeno pepper, diced
    1 cup sugar snap peas
    8 oz. whole-wheat pasta noodles
    1 tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
    2 tbsp honey
    1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

    Directions:

    Boil water for pasta, and cook according to package directions (under cook pasta by 3 minutes). Drain and set aside. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat, then saute onion, garlic, peppers, and peas just until they start to get brown and tender. Remove veggies from heat and set aside. Season steak with salt and pepper, then cook in same skillet until meat has reached desired doneness. Add soy sauce, honey, and red pepper flakes to skillet, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, and add in veggies and cooked pasta noodles. Stir to saute another 4-5 minutes.

    Freezing Directions:

    Package cooked pasta in a quart-size freezer bag and seal. Pour sauce ingredients, veggies, and chopped steak into a gallon-size freezer bag and seal. Place both bags inside another gallon-size freezer bag; label and freeze. To serve, thaw in refrigerator, then cook according to directions above.

    Servings: 4

    Nutrition Information:
    439 calories; 45.8 carbs; 8.4 g fat; 6.8 g fiber; 40.3 g protein; 10 WW PointsPlus


    Baked Pasta with Sausage and Spinach

    Makes 2 ? 8x8 casseroles

    Ingredients:

    olive oil spray
    1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano
    8 oz fat-free ricotta
    8 oz part-skim mozzarella, shredded
    14 oz uncooked sweet Italian chicken sausage, removed from casing
    12 oz high-fiber or low carb rigatoni pasta
    1 tsp olive oil
    2 cloves smashed garlic, roughly chopped
    10 oz package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess liquid
    salt and fresh pepper to taste
    4 cups Quick Marinara Sauce (recipes below or you can use your favorite sauce)

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 375?. Spray a 9- x13-inch baking dish with olive oil spray.

    Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

    In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta, 6 tablespoons of the Pecorino Romano cheese and half of the mozzarella cheese.

    Meanwhile, in a large deep skillet, brown the sausage breaking up into small bits until cooked through; set aside. Add the oil to the skillet and saut? garlic about a minute, careful not to burn. Add spinach and season with a little salt and pepper and cook another minute. Return the sausage to the skillet and add the marinara sauce; cook on low about 2-3 minutes.

    When the pasta water comes to a boil, cook pasta according to instructions for al dente, but undercook them by 4 minutes less; drain and return to pot.

    Put half of the cooked pasta into the prepared baking dish and top with half of the meat sauce. Spoon the ricotta mixture on top of the sauce in an even layer. Cover with the remaining pasta and the remaining sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and Pecorino Romano cheese.

    Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 6-7 minutes or until the mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned.


    Cook?s note and freezing instructions ?

    Prepare and directed but do not bake. Let is cool completely and cover tightly with foil and freeze. To serve ? thaw and cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 6-7 minutes.


    Servings: 8 ? Size: 1 3/4 cups ? Old Points: 8 pts ? Points+: 10 pts
    Calories: 398 ? Fat: 12.5 g ? Protein: 27.5 g ? Carbs: 44 g ? Fiber: 6 g ? Sugar: 1.5 g
    Sodium: 636 mg (without salt)



    Quick Marinara Sauce

    Ingredients

    1 tsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, smashed
    28 oz can crushed tomatoes
    1 small bay leaf
    1 tsp oregano
    2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
    salt and fresh pepper to taste

    Directions

    In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn.

    Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 15 -20 minutes. Remove from heat and add fresh basil.


    Servings: 6 ? Serving Size: 1/2 cup ? Old Points: 1 pt ? Points+: 1 pt
    Calories: 51.5 ? Fat: 0.8 ? Carbs: 9.0 g ? Fiber: 1.1 ? Protein: 0.1
    nidia and jesse.red like this.
    Jina (31)
    DH (33)


    DS - 1/31/13 - My IVF Miracle and the love of my life!!

    MC 8/24/10 @ 12w
    MC 1/31/11 @ 11w6d
    MC 8/18/11 @ 8w1d - ID Twins!
    CP 12/20/11

  4. #4
    Prolific Poster CrysRee31's Avatar
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    holy cr@p! I haven't even begun to start cooking yet!!

    I'm focusing on organizing the house and reorganizing the kitchen lol

    I do plan to have a few meals in the freezer though, mainly for the days I just don't feel like cooking - from the looks of you two I'm way behind!
    Crystal







  5. #5
    Mega Poster JKfmAustin's Avatar
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    Haha Crystal! I don't think you're behind at all. I started cooking at 32 weeks and honestly it only took 3-4 full days to make everything. The hardest part for me was finding recipes that would freeze well.
    Jina (31)
    DH (33)


    DS - 1/31/13 - My IVF Miracle and the love of my life!!

    MC 8/24/10 @ 12w
    MC 1/31/11 @ 11w6d
    MC 8/18/11 @ 8w1d - ID Twins!
    CP 12/20/11

  6. #6
    Prolific Poster CrysRee31's Avatar
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    I have limited time on my feet each day though, because of the numbness in my leg. However I don't plan to have a ton of stuff frozen 3 or 4 casseroles, a batch of perogies (which my BFF and I are doing next week) and maybe some chili, some spaghetti sauce and some pizza dough and bread. Really more for the first 2 weeks postpartum.

    We don't have a deep freeze anymore so I don't have as much room to have stuff as I used to. Bread is my biggest thing, DH is a good cook and DD1 cooks one night a week as well but I bake our bread every week from scratch and although it's not hard it's a bit time consuming because it takes all day and has to be kneaded regularly. Now that my belly is in the way I find it harder and harder to make it lol I have to knead it off to the side! Might have my grandmother help next time she comes for a visit and get her to do a big batch with me -. We can plug Nick's summer beer fridge back in out in the garage and fill that freezer too I guess.

    Oh just had a brilliant idea! I'm going to try freezing the dough before the last rise like I do with my pizza dough, then i just have to take out a ball and let it thaw and rise... hmmm this could work!
    Crystal







  7. #7
    Supporter Jokr's Avatar
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    Mmmmmm Crystal I love fresh bread!!!
    And that's so awesome that your DD cooks 1 night a week! Cooking is such an important skill, and I'm always shocked at how many people don't do it! 1 of my SIL's made a cake for the very first time ever last year.....and she's 32!! And my other SIL doesn't cook at all - when my brother is out of town, she'll make a sandwich or eat cereal for dinner!

    I really hope I get some time this weekend to do some cooking - my problem is my fridge! It's so tiny and narrow, I can hardly fit anything in it! DH and I wanted to get a new fridge before the baby came, but we just don't have the money for it. Luckily though, when we bought out house this year, one of the first things we got was a deep freeze!

    My DH is quite a decent cook, but with him working nights 3 days a week, I'm the one who does the majority of the cooking, so I'm really looking forward to just being able to pull dinner out of the freezer, and pop it in the oven with no prep work at all!!

    (and my DH is Ukrainian, so our freezer is always stocked with perogies as well!!)
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    ~ JO


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  8. #8
    Supporter Jokr's Avatar
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    Oh, and I had a recipe that I wanted to put up as well. I haven't tried freezing it (although I'm told it freezes well), but it's just super fast and easy!!

    Easy Mexican Casserole:
    1 lb ground beef (we try to use ground turkey instead.....a little bit healthier)
    1 box Kraft Dinner (any kind will do, regular, whole wheat, fiber plus, etc)
    1 can corn, drained
    2C water
    1-2C salsa
    1 Pkg taco seasoning
    1/2C sour cream
    Grated cheddar cheese

    Instructions:
    - Brown the meat, and drain of any fat
    - Put all ingredients except the sour cream and cheddar cheese in a microwave bowl (including the KD - pasta AND cheese!) Stir everything together (it will look really gross.)
    - Cover and cook in the microwave for 6 minutes, take out and stir
    - Re-cover and cook in the microwave for another 8 minutes
    - Take out, stir, and let cool for 10-15 minutes
    - Stir in the sour cream
    - Serve with a little grated cheddar cheese on top.

    This is so easy, it's awesome. Especially if you have pre-cooked ground beef or turkey in the freezer, just take that out earlier in the day and let it thaw, so all you really have to do is put it all in a bowl, and put it in the microwave!
    ~ JO


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  9. #9
    Prolific Poster CrysRee31's Avatar
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    Jo she made bread for the first time at the age of 3 or 4...



    I subscribe to the theory that you raise adults not children. Not to say I don't think kids should be kids but to me it's important to teach those life lessons early. We want to raise healthy well adjusted adults who can look after themselves rather than needy grown children, (My brother fits into the later category unfortunately). I have worked with teenagers enough to see the difference in parenting styles lol I do NOT want my kids to grow up helpless!

    My DD1 does her own laundry, in addition to most of the household vacuuming and dusting (chores she enjoys). She used to wash dishes 2 nights a week but we now have a dishwasher so she's off the hook, and as I said she cooks for all of us one night a week she's 9 and well a head of some university students I've had working for me....lol

    PS not to imply I criticize people who parent differently, each family works in their own way!
    Crystal







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    JINA IM STARVING NOW!!! LOL I'm not certain what to do about freezer meals, honestly. Like Jo, I'll make something that should last 2 nights for us PLUS DH taking it to work, but he'll eat more than I had planned and it's only a one night meal...haha. I don't have much room at ALL in my freezer, I MIGHT be able to fit two casserole's in there at best. However, my DH is a great cook. He doesn't cook much because I feel like I should cook - I get home way before him and he works out in the heat/cold/wet/whatever laboring while I work in a building. Anyway, he's told me he will cook after the baby is born. But he doesn't cook NOW - even when I'm too sick to cook, I always made sure there's a pizza or something for him to eat, so I'm not sure he'll really cook. Plus he has school 3 nights a week and won't be home until late AND sometimes he works 7 days a week. So maybe I should make some freezer meals, it'd make it a lot easier on both of us. I had to talk myself into it LOL
    Jina - I want your Shephards Pie recipe (I LOVE shephard's pie), and your bacon, egg and cheese recipe. DH would love to have a handy breakfast sandwich in the morning. I'm not much of a breakfast person. Thanks Jina!!
    Jessica, Tim and Baby Julie

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