April's Freezer Meals- Super Fast Cooking Session

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This past weekend I  shopped for and made 12 meals in about five hours! The meals were six different recipes that I doubled.   Normally, that would be impossible for me simply because cooking all day overwhelms me.  But this time around I picked some pretty easy recipes (except for the lasagna) which greatly helped get the job done.  Here is what I did...

I started with Ree Drummond's Spicy Bean recipe, but did the pintos in a crockpot so that I wouldn't have to watch them closely.  I basically threw the beans and the water in the crockpot in the morning and then went to get my hair done!  I then came back later and added the rest of the ingredients after the beans were cooked through.  I have learned the hard way that you should not add any type of salt to beans until they are cooked.  NOTE: Chili powder contains salt.  The beans will be served with rice or cornbread.

The lasagna was the hardest recipe simply because there are more steps...so instead of hard, I guess I should say "time-consuming".  It is so worth it!!

Lisa's Lasagna
(This is the best lasagna I have ever tasted!)

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1 16 oz can diced tomatoes
1  8oz can tomato sauce
1  6 oz can tomato paste
2 t. dried basil
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz lasagna noodles
1 T. oil
2 eggs
2 1/2 cups ricotta
3/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 T. dried parsley flakes
1 lb. mozzarella, thinly sliced

Cook meat, onion and garlic til the meat is browned. Drain. Stir in the undrained tomatoes and next 4 ingredients. Cover and simmer 15 min. Meanwhile, cook noodles til tender in boiling salted water with oil added to the water. Drain and rinse noodles. Beat eggs; add ricotta, 1/2 cup Parmesan, the parsley, 1 t. salt and 1/2 t. pepper. Layer half of the noodles in a 9 by 13 pan. Spread with half of the ricotta filling. Add half of the mozzarella cheese and half of the meat sauce. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Bake in 375 degree oven for 30 min. until heated through. Let stand 10 min.

I then put the components for Impossible Broccoli Quiche together. Four bags make the meal: chopped onion, frozen broccoli, shredded cheddar, and the egg-milk mixture.  These smaller bags are then put in a gallon-size Ziploc bag with the recipe.  It is just a matter of throwing the ingredients together and baking the quiche on serving day.

I then made Ree Drummond's Sesame Noodles, but did a similar set-up to the quiche.  I had four bags also: the sauce, the chopped green onion, the package of uncooked noodles, and then I added a small bag of frozen stirfry veggies (not in the original recipe).  All those items went into a gallon baggie.  So on serving day, I only need to cook the noodles, steam the stirfry veggies and then mix all the ingredients together.

The last two recipes are the easiest and great for grilling season!!!  I bought two bags of chicken breast tenderloins.  I then made two different marinades/sauces for the chicken which I bagged and froze. On serving day I just need to thaw the chicken and let it marinate awhile before grilling or baking it.

Barbecued Orange Chicken
Honestly, I have no recipe for this.  I just dump these ingredients together and mix.
Zesty Italian dressing (maybe about 1 cup)
1/2 cup orange marmalade
Barbecue sauce (about 1 cup)

Maple Cranberry Chicken
1 cup maple syrup
1/2 cup whole cranberry sauce

So what do you make and like to freeze?  I would love to hear your ideas!

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