Saturday, August 18, 2012

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs Freezer Meal Recipe

Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs
makes 6 entrees, about 20 meatballs each

6 lbs lean ground beef
3 cups dry bread crumbs
2/3 cup milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup minced onion
2 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 18 cloves)
1 Tbsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
2 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup corn starch
1 (106 oz.) can pineapple tidbits, drained, juice reserved
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 1/2 cups red wine vinegar
Optional: Vegetables
bite-size pieces of raw green bell pepper, onion, and/or carrot

Using your hands, thoroughly combine beef, breadcrumbs, milk, eggs, onion, garlic, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Shape into 1- to 1 1/2-inch meatballs, placing finished pieces close together on lightly greased broiler pans or rimmed baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes (center of meatballs read 160°). Cool.
While meatballs are baking & cooling, mix brown sugar and cornstarch in a large stockpot. Add pineapple juice, soy sauce, and vinegar; stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Cool sauce. Divide cooled meatballs and sauce evenly among freezer bags. Divide drained pineapple tidbits (and optional vegetables) evenly among the bags of meatballs and sauce.

Bag Label:
Sweet-and-Sour Meatballs    Date:___________
Oven directions: Thaw. Place in ungreased baking
dish. Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 30 min., until
heated through.
Crock Pot: Thaw. Place in a slow cooker. Cook on
low 2-5 hours, until heated through.
Serve over rice.

Baked Potato Chowder [SOUP] Freezer Meal Recipe

Baked Potato Chowder [Soup]
makes 4 entrees, 6 servings each

10 lbs russet potatoes, baked and cooled
1 cup butter
2 cups chopped onion
1/4 cup dried parsley
2 Tbsp. beef bouillon granules (may substitute vegetable bouillon)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 9 cloves)
1 Tbsp. dried basil
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. black pepper
2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour (or 2 cups all-purpose)
12 cups water
4 cups half-n-half
1 pound sharp cheddar cheese, cut into large chunks

Cut potatoes in half; scoop out flesh. Set potato aside and discard skins.
Melt butter in a large stockpot over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add parsley, bouillon, garlic, basil, salt, and pepper; cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add flour; cook, stirring, 2 minutes longer. Mixture will be like a paste. Gradually add water, half-and-half, and potato; cook, stirring frequently, until soup has thickened, about 30 minutes. Add cheese; cook, stirring, until melted. Cool. Freeze.

Bag Label:
Baked Potato Chowder    Date:___________
Thaw. Bring soup to a simmer over medium
heat. Do NOT boil.

Urban Garlic Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe

Urban Garlic Chicken
makes 2 entrees, 4-6 servings each

2 whole chickens (each 4-5 lbs.)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 9 cloves)
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 carrots, peeled & cut in half
2 celery stalks, cut in half
1 onion, peeled and cut in half
2 (1-gallon) freezer bags
2 (1-quart) freezer bags

Rinse chickens. Remove neck & giblets; discard. Pat dry. Combine oil, vinegar, garlic, thyme, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
Place chickens, breast side up, on a work surface. Gently loosen skin on breast and legs by working your fingers between skin and meat. Using half the marinade for each chicken, rub under and over the skin and in the cavity. Put one chicken in each 1-gallon bag.
Divide carrots, celery, and onion evenly between the 1-quart bags and seal. Place one bag of vegetables directly into each bag of chicken. Freeze.

Bag Label:
Urban Garlic Chicken    Date:___________
Oven directions: Thaw. Place chicken, breast side up, in a greased baking dish. Put vegetables in cavity. Roast in 325° oven for about 1 1/2 hours (thermometer reads 180°).
Crock Pot directions: Place frozen chicken & vegetables in crock pot. Cook on low 8-10 hours. Drain juices (for gravy) and bake uncovered crock in 350° oven for 15 min. to brown the skin.

BBQ'd Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe

BBQ'd Chicken
makes 3 entrees, 4 servings each

6 lbs chicken breasts
2 tsp. oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/4 cups ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup bourbon
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. smoked paprika
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
4 tsp. jerk seasoning, recipe follows

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add ketchup, water, bourbon, lime juice, paprika, brown sugar, and jerk seasoning. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes, stirring frequently. Cool sauce.
While sauce is cooling, rinse and trim chicken as desired. Divide chicken evenly among the 3 freezer bags. Divide cooled sauce evenly over chicken. Freeze.

Jerk Seasoning Recipe
Mix together the following spices:
1 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. ground allspice
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

Bag Label:
BBQ'd Chicken     Date:____________
Thaw. Grill chicken, turning every 5 min. & basting frequently w/marinade. Do not baste chicken during last 5 min. of grilling. Discard remaining marinade.

Sweet & Sour Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe

Sweet & Sour Chicken

3 cups cooked chicken pieces
1/2 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp. corn starch
1 1/2 cups chopped bell peppers
1 (20 oz) can pineapple tidbits, drained

In about 2 tsp. oil, saute bell peppers until tender crisp. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, ketchup, brown sugar, and corn starch. Add to green peppers and bring mixture to a boil. Stir until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in pineapple and chicken. Bag and freeze. When thawed, heat through and serve over rice. This is also yummy when served with fresh tomatoes.

Bag Label:
Sweet & Sour Chicken    Date:___________
Thaw. Heat through and serve over rice.
(Optional: serve with chopped fresh tomatoes.)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chicken Rolls with Crispy Almond/Rye Breading Freezer Meal Recipe

CHICKEN ROLLS with Crispy Almond/Rye Breading
Makes 3 entrees, 4 servings each

1 tray (about 6#) boneless, skinless, chicken half breasts
12 rye crispbread (such as Wasa) crackers, ground into crumbs (see note)
3/4 cup smoked almonds, finely ground (Blue Diamond: found in snack aisle)
3 egg whites, lightly beaten
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese
Wax paper
12-14 toothpicks
6 one-gallon freezer bags, label 3

NOTE:  Use food processor to finely ground rye crispbreads and smoked almonds.

1.  Rinse and trim chicken as desired.  Lay out two shallow dishes.  Combine rye crispbread crumbs and ground almonds in one dish.  To keep breading from absorbing excess moisture from the eggs, pour half the breading mixture into a small bowl and set aside; use this to refill the shallow breading dish as it empties.  Put the egg whites in the second dish.
2.  Working with 4-6 half breasts at a time, lay each piece of chicken, smooth side down, between two sheets of wax paper.  Pound chicken to 1/2-inch thickness with a rolling pin or meat tenderizer.  Note the number of chicken pieces.  Set chicken aside.
3.  Slice the block of cream cheese lengthwise into two long strips, then cut the strips into cubes equal to the number of chicken half breasts.
4.  Spread one cream cheese cube on each piece of chicken.  Starting from the widest end of each half breast, roll the chicken and secure the end with a toothpick.  Dip the chicken into the egg whites, then roll through the breadcrumb mixture until well covered.  Place each chicken roll on a rimmed baking sheet.  Discard remaining egg and breading.
5.  Place coated chicken rolls in freezer for 1 hour.  Divide frozen rolls evenly among the double-bagged freezer bags.  Seal and return to freezer.

Bag Label:
Chicken Rolls     Date:_____________
Remove rolls from freezer and place in 
greased 9-inch square pan. Cover; place 
in refrigerator to thaw completely. Bake 
uncovered at 350° for 45-60 minutes, or 
until cooked through.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sweet Asian Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe

Makes 3 entrees, 4 servings each

1 tray (about 6 lbs.) boneless, skinless chicken half breasts
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 tsp. curry powder
3 Tbsp. minced garlic (about 25 cloves)
2 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
3 gallon freezer bags, labeled

1.  Rinse and trim chicken as desired.  Divide chicken evenly among the three freezer bags.
2.  Combine the brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, and curry powder in a medium bowl.  Divide marinade evenly over chicken.
3.  Measure 1 Tbsp. minced garlic and 3/4 tsp. crushed red pepper into each bag.
4.  Seal and freeze. 

Bag Label:
Sweet Asian Chicken      Date:___________
GRILL Directions: Thaw. Prepare med-low fire. Cook chicken, turning every 5 minutes and basting frequently with the marinade, for about 30 min, or until chicken is heated through. Do not baste last 5 min & discard remaining marinade.
STOVE TOP Directions: Thaw. Cut marinated chicken into 1/2-inch strips. Heat 1-2 Tbsp. oil over med. heat. Stir-fry chicken for about 25 minutes, or until done. Serve with soba noodles or rice and sweet Asian coleslaw. 

Pecan-Crusted Chicken Strips Freezer Meal Recipe

Makes 3 entrees, about 12 strips each

1 tray (about 6#) boneless, skinless chicken half breasts
2 cups honey
1 cup spicy brown mustard
3/4 cup olive oil
1Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon black pepper
3 cups panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
1 1/2 cups (8 oz.) pecans, finely ground
6 gallon freezer bags (label 3)
3 quart freezer bags

1.  Rinse and trim chicken as desired.  Cut each half breast lengthwise into 3 strips.  Divide chicken evenly among the three unlabeled gallon freezer bags.
2.  Combine honey, mustard, oil, salt, garlic, and pepper in a medium (mixing) bowl.  Divide sauce evenly over the chicken. 
3.  Seal bags.
4.  Into each of the 3 quart freezer bags, measure 1 cup panko and 1/2 cup pecans; seal.  Place one bag of chicken and one bag of pecan/breadcrumb mixture into each labeled gallon bag. 

Bag Label:
Pecan-Crusted Chicken Strips  Date:_____
Thaw. Place breadcrumb mixture on a plate. 
Shake excess sauce off each piece of chicken, 
roll in crumbs, and place on greased baking 
sheet. Bake at 350° for 30 min., until crust is 
golden and chicken is cooked through.

Rice Pilaf [SIDE DISH] Freezer Meal Recipe

RICE PILAF (side dish)
Makes 4 side dishes, 4-6 servings each

1/4 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. butter
6 cups white rice, uncooked
2 cups chopped carrots (about 4 medium)
1 cup chopped celery (about 4 stalks)
1 cup chopped onion (about 1 medium)
8 tsp. chicken bouillon (may substitute vegetable bouillon) granules
4 tsp. dried parsley
1 tsp. black pepper
4 quart freezer bags, labeled

1.  Heat olive oil and butter in large skillet over medium heat.  Add rice, carrots, celery and onion; cook, stirring, until rice is golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes.  Cool.
2.  Divide rice mixture among the freezer bags.  Into each bag, measure 2 teaspoons bouillon, 1 teaspoon parsley, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
3.  Seal and freeze.

Bag Label:
Rice Pilaf (side dish)   Date:_________
Remove from bag & place frozen pilaf
in a medium saucepan & add 3 cups
water. Bring to boil; reduce heat & cook,
covered, for 20 min., or until water is
completely absorbed.

Slow Simmering Bean Soup Freezer Meal Recipe

Slow Simmering Bean Soup

1 15-oz. can red kidney beans, drained*
1 15-oz. can pinto beans, drained*
3 cups water*
1 14-oz. can stewed tomatoes
1 10-oz. pkg. frozen corn
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup chopped onions
1 4-oz. can green chilies
2 Tbsp. beef bouillon granules
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. minced garlic

Combine all ingredients* and pour into a freezer bag.  When thawed, simmer for four hours on top of stove or all day in a slow crock pot.

*Add water, cans (2) of beans, and canned tomatoes after thawing.

Bag Label:
Slow Simmering Bean Soup     Date:_________
Thaw and add 3 cups water, 15-oz. kidney beans,
15-oz. pinto beans, and 14-oz. stewed tomatoes.
Simmer 4 hrs. or all day in crock pot.

Ham Fried Rice Freezer Meal Recipe

Ham Fried Rice

1 1/2 cups diced ham (thick deli sliced, diced)
1 8 oz. can sliced water chestnuts, drained
1 4 oz. can mushrooms, drained
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper (about 1/2 pepper)
1 cup frozen petite peas
3 cups cooked rice
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
2 eggs

Combine all ingredients except eggs. Pour into freezer bag. When thawed, add about 1 Tbsp. oil in frying pan over medium heat. In a separate bowl, beat eggs. Fry scrambled eggs in oil, then add rice mixture. Stir fry until heated through.

Bag Label:

Ham Fried Rice     Date______________
Thaw.  Add 1 Tbsp. oil to frying pan over
med. heat. In a separate bowl, beat 2 eggs.
Fry scrambled eggs in oil, then add rice
mixture. Heat through.

BBQ Chicken Freezer Meal Recipe

BBQ Chicken

3 cups cooked chicken, chopped (about 3 breasts)
1 cup chopped onion
2 Tbsp. vinegar
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup ketchup
3 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/2 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 cup water (can be omitted and added at time of cooking, see 'Bag Label')
1/2 cup chopped celery

Combine all ingredients (except water - see 'Bag Label') and pour into freezer bag. Freeze. When thawed, (add 1 cup water, &) bake uncovered at 350° for 45 minutes.

Bag Label:
BBQ Chicken     Date:___________
Thaw. Add 1 cup water. Bake at 350°
uncovered for 45 min. Serve over rice,
potatoes, pasta, etc.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Stuffed Manicotti Freezer Meal Recipe

Stuffed Manicotti Freezer Meal Recipe

Meat Sauce
3 cups cooked ground beef (about 1 lb raw)
1 1/2 cups water (can instead be added at time of baking, see 'Bag Label' below)
4 tsp. dried basil (triple if using fresh)
12 oz. tomato sauce
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. dried parsley

Cheese Stuffing
12 oz. low-fat ricotta cheese
12 oz. low-fat cottage cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
2 Tbsp. dried parsley
1/4 tsp. salt

14-16 dry manicotti shells
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (to be added at time of baking)

Combine ingredients for cheese stuffing and fill dry shells. Put into freezer bag. Then combine ingredients for meat sauce and pour over shells in bag. When thawed, bake at 400 degrees 45 minutes covered, add 2 cups grated cheddar cheese and bake additional 15 minutes uncovered.

Bag Label:
Stuffed Manicotti    Date:___________
Thaw. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Bake at 400° for
45 min covered. Add 2 cups cheddar cheese
& bake an additional 15 min uncovered.