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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Freezer Recipes

I'm looking for more freezer-friendly recipes to add to my repertoire. I can't bring myself to go all-the-way with Once A Month Cooking (OAMC), but as a busy mom, it's nice to be able to make a double or triple batch of something and freeze some for later, either for our family or to share with a friend. Here are a few things I like to freeze:

Tamale Pie - This recipe makes a double batch, one for now and one for later!

Crescent Ham Bundles - You can also use other "fillings". I pre-bake mine, then freeze, so they are just heat and eat, but it can be done both ways.

Black Bean Soup - A meatless meal, and SO easy!

Other family favorites to freeze include Chicken a la King, Chili, and Camp Chicken. I'll post those recipes soon. I know others freeze lasagna, though I don't have a good freezer recipe for that--anyone want to share?

I also brown up a bunch of ground beef and cooked chicken and portion them into freezer bags to be thrown into a casserole or pasta dish at the last minute and that cuts down on prep time. I do the same when I chop onions and peppers, putting extra in the freezer to quickly add to recipes. I hate chopping onions, and this way I only have to do it once in awhile!

Another thing I like to freeze is veggie purees. I freeze them in 1/2 cup portions to "sneak" into meals. I do sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and carrot most often, and I usually use pumpkin from the can. See more on "Undercover Nutrition" here. I routinely "sneak" sweet potatoes, carrot, or pumpkin into our weekend pancakes along with some vanilla and cinnamon--this makes them really yummy! I use the cauliflower in white shells, chicken a la king, or other dishes that have a white sauce. I also add carrot puree to macaroni and cheese.

When freezing a meal for later, an easy way to store them is in freezer bags. Label the bag with a permanent marker before you fill it, including the name of the dish, date, and any instructions you'll need for later. No hunting for a recipe when you pull it out next month! After you fill the bag, spread it out flat before freezing. After things are frozen, this makes storage much easier. Even if you only have a small freezer, you'd be able to store several meals this way.

What kinds of things do you freeze ahead?
I'd LOVE some new recipes to add to my freezer!

4 comments:

The Evans said...

I freeze a lot of my meals. I don't like to touch uncooked meat but like to buy it in 3 lb pkgs b/c it is usually cheaper. So I will cook the 3 lbs and make my meals right away and freeze. Some of our favorites:

Tater Tot Cassarole

1# beef
cream of mushroom
green beens

Thaw, place in baking dish, layer with tater tops bake covered @350 for 45 minutes, remove lid and bake another 10-12)

Spaghetti Bake (this makes enough for two dinners)

1# beef
2 jars spaghetti sauce
14 oz noodles
4 cups mozz cheese

Cook beef, drain. Boil noodles, drain and set aside. Add sauce and simmer 5 min. add 2 cups cheese.

Thaw, place in 9x9 pan (or i use a 11x9) sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. Bake 15-20 minutes or until bubbly.

And if I have no better ideas at the time, sometimes i will just make taco meat or sloppy joes....to have quick easy meals on hand. Enjoy

Jenneen said...

Lazy Lasagna - freezes great

1 jar (26 oz.) spaghetti sauce
2 cup cooked ground meat
1 container (24 oz.) Cottage Cheese
2 eggs
2 cups Mozzarella Cheese, divided
2 cups rotini pasta, uncooked

PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Mix spaghetti sauce and ground burger; set aside. Mix
cottage cheese, eggsand 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese in separate bowl.

SPRAY 13x9-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Spread half of the sauce mixture
into prepared pan; cover uncooked pasta and the cottage
cheese mixture. Top with remaining sauce ;
sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella cheese. Cover with foil.

***can be frozen here and cooked later***


BAKE 30 min. Remove foil; continue baking 30 min. Remove from oven; let stand
10 min. before cutting to serve

Jessica said...

Thanks so much for the recipes! Keep 'em coming! :-)

mom99-02-08 said...

I freeze alot of meals and its been such a lifesaver!! I've borrowed several good freezer cookbooks from the library. Here are a few of our favorites from the freezer:

Breakfast Burritos (makes 24)

12 eggs, beaten
1 lb bulk sausage, cooked (or curmbled links)
1/2 cup chunky salsa
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
24 flour tortillas

Scramble eggs in a large skillet until done; stir in cooked sausage and salsa. Warm tortillas in microwave 20-30 seconds or until warm and flexible. Place 1/2 cup egg mixture into tortilla; roll burrito style. Freeze burritos in single layer on lightly greased cookie sheet. When fully frozen, wrap burritos individually; place in large ziploc freezer bag & re-freeze. To serve: cook in microwave until heated through (about 2 min) or thaw burrito, wrap in foil and bake at 350* for 10 min.
Other optional ingredients:
1 green pepper, finely diced
6 potatoes, shredded and fried until cooked through (or hashbrowns)
Jalapeno slices
1-2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 onion, finely diced
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
2 green onions, sliced with tops

recipe from "Frozen Assets - How to cook for a day and eat for a month" by Deborah Taylor-Hough

Freezer Bagel Pizzas
24 Plain Bagels -- split and buttered
2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion -- diced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 - 6 oz. jar processed cheese spread
1- 14 oz. jar pizza sauce
1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1. Brown beef and onion in large skillet; drain.
2. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic salt.
3. Spread 2 teaspoons of cheese spread and 2 teaspoons of pizza sauce on each muffin. Spoon meat mixture onto pizza sauce. Sprinkle with parsley and Parmesan cheese.
4. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze. Place in 1 gallon freezer bag. Store in freezer until ready to use.
5. Bake frozen, approximately 20 to 30 minutes, at 350 degrees, or until bubbly.

Chicken Tetrazzini
10 oz. dry spaghetti -- (10 to 12)
3 cups grated cheese - Jack or Cheddar
3 Tbsp. margarine
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 can cream of mushroom soup -- (10 3/4 oz)
1 can cream of chicken soup -- (10 3/4 oz)
1 (10 3/4 oz) soup can milk
3 cups cooked diced chicken
salt & pepper
Cook spaghetti as directed until al dente; drain. Sauté onions in margarine. Mix onions and remaining ingredients with spaghetti in a large bowl. Put mixture in containers and freeze. To prepare for serving, thaw tetrazzini and put in a baking dish. Bake uncovered in a preheated 350* oven until bubbly, about 30-40 minutes.

Ham and Macaroni Casserole

1 lb cubed ham from the store or any leftover ham
1 large onion, diced
1 lb elbow macaroni
2 cups shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) margarine, melted
1 cup dry plain bread crumbs

Heat oven to 400º. Bring 4 quarts water boiling in large pot. Once water begins to boil, add onion and macaroni to pot. Return water to boiling; cook 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Coarsely chop ham, discarding any fat and bones. Drain macaroni and onion and return to pot. Add ham, cheese, sour cream and soup. Scrape into a 13x9x2 baking dish. Pour melted margarine over top. Sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake in heated 400º oven 30 minutes or until heated through and top is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Note: Prepare in two 8x8 casserole dishes, bake one and freeze one (unbaked) for another day. If freezing, top with crumbs and margarine right before baking.

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