Friday, January 22, 2010

Freeze Ahead Meals


If the topic of this post makes you want to die of boredom...stick with it for a minute. There is a giveaway below!

I should start off by saying I am not pregnant. But as part of my New Year’s resolution to attack life with gumption, I’d really like to be at some point in the future. And although I am extremely grateful that I've had the opportunity once already, pregnancy is pretty rough for me. With my daughter I spent a lot of time throwing up and the rest of the time feeling like I was going to die. Is that dramatic enough for you? While I was pregnant with her I had the constant thought, “I can never do this again because there is no way I could take care of another child and be this sick”. So I keep putting it off, pushing back the date of when we’ll eventually start trying for baby number 2 because I am scared.

But no more! 2010 is the year of no excuses. So I have told myself to buck up. Life is hard sometimes and I just have to figure out a way through it.

So as part of my (multi-faceted) plan, before I get pregnant I’d like to freeze enough meals for 4 months, so my poor child will at least be fed through the worst of it.

But I need your help! I know there are whole websites devoted to this subject, but I’d love to hear from you. It’s always funner to use a new recipe that is tried and tested. So what are your favorite freezable meals? They can be simple. They can be unconventional. They can be breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And I’d love some vegetarian ideas.

I am not super savvy in this area of meal preparation but I have a few tricks I live by:

  1. Instead of making a huge recipe and having tons of leftovers that will probably go to waste before they get finished, I prepare the whole recipe (or double it sometimes) and only cook what we will eat and freeze the rest to be cooked later. It’s more appetizing as a brand new meal than a crusty leftover.
  2. I freeze things in the container they will eventually be cooked in. Then when they are frozen I pop them out (run a little hot water on the back of the dish) and store them in a plastic bag or food save them. Then when its time to cook them, it's easy to just pop them in their dish and toss them in the oven. Its convenient to do this with multiple meals at once.
  3. I often make large pots of things like homemade macaroni and cheese with veggies for my daughter’s lunch and then freeze it in individual portions. I use plastic sandwich bags and spread them flat so they thaw more easily. It’s a life-saver on those days when I have no time or have run out of ideas of things to feed her. I just grab one and place it in a bowl of hot water, which thaws and heats it just right.

So please post your best-loved freezable recipe, including freezing directions, in the comments section. And make sure you come back and see what others have posted and try a few.

And as a little incentive, each recipe will earn you a spot in a drawing for a copy of this sewing book, “One Yard Wonders”.



I realize it has absolutely nothing to do with frozen meals, but I happen to have my hands on a few copies, and thought you might like it. Plus there are several cute apron patterns in it, and since you are surely going to feel like a domestic goddess after whipping your freezer into shape, you’ll deserve to look like one too.

Or if you aren’t interested in winning the book…do it for the sake of my unborn child;)

Submission deadline is Sunday 10:00PM MST.
Winner announced Monday.

Thanks and Love,
Danielle

43 comments:

~linds said...

I felt EXACTLY the same way when I was pregnant and I'm making EXACTLY the same excuses about #2.

I don't have any super suggestions though. We freeze a lot of soup. And anytime we have leftover spaghetti I top it with sauce, pepperoni and cheese to freeze for a quick meal. Looking forward to seeing what others suggest!

Erin said...

Here is my favorite trick I do for those nights I just don't feel like cooking. I buy my meat in bulk when it goes on sale, and freeze it. But I do leave some out and cook it. Chicken goes in the crock pot and gets shredded, and I brown some ground beef. On the nights that I don't have a lot of time to prepare a meal, I have a big part of it already done. I have my shredded chicken for chicken sandwiches, pizza, enchiladas, etc. Last might I made tacos in about 10 minutes by warming up some already cooked ground beef and cooking it with some chopped onions and seasoning.

Jessica said...

I am obsessed with the freezer, so I'll keep the list short and offer our favorites.

-Manacotti shells (recipe on the back of the box, easy, tasty, and makes you feel like you spent a lot more time on dinner than you actually did!)
-Chili (very versatile and full of good protein and fiber, can be paired with cornbread, fritos, potatoes, etc)
-Marinated chicken breasts (these work best for lunches, such as salad topped with chicken, a chicken wrap full of veggies, etc. I cut in cubes, marinate, cook, and freeze in snack sized baggies)
-Fruit smoothies (again frozen in snack sized baggies, choose your favorite frozen fruits, mix them all together in a big bowl [while frozen], scoop out into 1 cup serving sizes, refreeze, then when you need a smoothie, combine yogurt, fruit juice, and frozen fruit...yum)!

Those are my favorites (and I really want that cute apron pattern!), so I hope you enjoy!

Jenn Shideler said...

I too, felt exaclty the same way when I was pregnant! It's the worst. My suggestion is do #2 like me, and accident, then you have no choice but to deal with it. :)

My best freezer idea is french toast. Freeze the leftover is freezer ziplock bags. When you are ready to eat them, just defrost a little in the micro and pop them in the toaster. It makes them come out warm and a little crunchy, instead of soggy. Very good!

Natalie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leslie said...

Danielle- I always love your posts. Just a few weeks back my girlfriends and I dedicated hald a Saturday making freeer meals. Being pregnant myself...shhhhh! It has been a lifesaver. Our favorites were chicken enchaladas, stuffed red peppers and chicken pot pies. I will find the recipies and post them (or email them to you).

Rosalee said...

I actually haven't ever frozen a meal, but it is definitely something I want to start doing more. I've thought about freezing taco soup, but like I said, I haven't done it yet. But I'm excited to read everyone's entries.

Bloom said...

OK first of all, let me mention that Danielle has a pattern published in that book. She is too modest to mention it, so I will!

Next. I probably don't qualify for the giveaway, huh?! But my favorite freeze ahead is Taylor's Rigatoni sauce. It is one of our FAVORITE meals--it's a recipe he cooked at Cucina Biazzi, which says a lot. The recipe is here:

http://feedyourfamily.blogspot.com/2007/08/im-back-again.html

In it, he explains freezing instructions. I will just add that we usually scoop about 4 servings into each gallon size ziploc and then lay them out flat in the freezer.

The deal is, you just have to thaw/warm the sauce, cook some rig, cut up some red pepper to throw in, and add your feta at the end. It's the greatest ever.

anne

Rachael said...

Danielle, I have a whole bunch of recipes for freezer meals that I made when I was pregnant with Isaac. Let me know which ones you want and I'll email them to you...

Black bean enchiladas
Egg rolls
Spinach black-bean enchiladas
Chicken enchiladas
Chimichangas
Pesto manicotti
Feta spinach lasagna
Swiss loaf
Rosemary chicken with zucchini
Calzones
Savory lentil soup
Salsa soup
Smoky black bean chicken wraps
Chicken san choy bau (like P.F. Chang's lettuce wraps)

I also made granola and whole-wheat waffles in big batches and froze those. And I made eight weeks of meal plans and shopping lists (using about 2 freezer meals a week) that coordinate with those.

My best freezer meal tips: don't do anything with potatoes. They don't freeze well when they're fresh and incorporated back in.

And my go-to meal on a day when I feel awful: freshly baked whole-wheat bread (usually I can stand to spend the five minutes mixing up dough), fresh fruit and vegetables. Or things that I've previously canned and frozen. It's healthy and I know everyone will eat it without complaining.

And hopefully this pregnancy will amaze you and you'll never be as sick as you were with Avery! I remember being pregnant with Abigail and thinking, "Never again! Cannot do this when I have a child!" but my pregnancy with Juliet was actually so much easier than I expected, partially because I just had to deal with it and keep on going. And because I think I was already used to having a child and not having as much me-indulgence as I did when I was childless...you just kind of learn to keep on trudging through.

Then again, with Isaac I was on bed rest, so who knows anyway. :-)

Jen Frame said...

I love to make burritos! In a tortilla, I put some ground beef, refried beans, and cheese. Instead of putting them in a big pan, I put 2 burritos in little individual zip bags. That way we can just pop them in the microwave and cook - just like the frozen burritos in the store. Super easy and delicious too!

Melissa said...

Our family loves homemade tacos. I cook our ground beef in a skillet on high heat with season salt, chili powder and 16 oz tub of fresh salsa. As it heats, I cut into it repeatedly to make the meat less chunky (this takes a few minutes) and then let it simmer, stirring occasionally until all the liquid has cooked out. We use low fat ground sirloin, so the liquid usually cooks right out. After we've done tacos for the night, I freeze the leftover meat for our next taco meal. The meat takes about 20 minutes to cook, so it's so nice to have that ready in the freezer to pop in the microwave and defrost. If you have Spanish rice cooked and bagged, you can add that to your meal, and having grated cheese on hand is always a plus. We use fresh salsa to substitute for tomato and onion, so there is no chopping there.

Hope that helps. Not very creative, but I have found that if I double some of the meals I'm making and freeze the second portion, we are set for another meal when there's little time (or mood) to cook.

Best wishes with your pregnancy. Who knows? Sometimes baby #2 brings different symptoms from baby #1 and you might have a better go. :)

Katrina said...

Oh I didn't think about breakfast food when we were talking about this yesterday. Waffles, pancakes, and french toast (I do eggless versions) all freeze well. Re-heat them in the toaster or toaster oven of course so they aren't soggy. I love breakfast for dinner so these work for any meal!

Also, I'm going to try out a lentil loaf recipe next week that I bet would freeze well. You could heat it up and eat with veggies or even put it on a sandwich.

We made veggie sloppy joes last week using TVP. You could freeze that easily too. You could also do beef of course. And with the leftovers, I added spaghetti sauce and put it over pasta. It was a hit.

Here's the recipe for that:

We used crushed instead of sauce. It's fresher tasting that way. And I recommend some horseradish on the bun for some extra zing.

Ingredients:

* 2-3 tbsp olive oil
* 1 onion, diced
* 1 green or red bell pepper, diced
* 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
* 2 1/2 cups tomato sauce
* 1 tbsp chili powder
* 1 tbsp soy sauce
* dash hot sauce or tabasco sauce (optional)
* 1 tbsp sugar
* 1 1/2 cups TVP
* salt and pepper to taste
* 5-6 hamburger buns

Preparation:
In a large skillet, sautee the onion and peppers in olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, or until onions are soft.

Reduce heat to medium low and add the remaining ingredients (except buns) and stir well to combine. Allow to simmer for at least 15 more minutes.

Spoon onto hamburger buns and serve hot.

---

Oh, remember those veggie enchiladas I made last summer? You could freeze those. The inside is just tofu, black beans, onions and rice cooked with taco seasoning and some tomatoes or salsa. Then I put tomatoes or salsa on the outside too. You could put peppers in them or whatever veggies you want. And could put cheese on them too if you want.

I will keep freezer meals in mind and let you know if I think of more.

Pearlmarie said...

I don't have any tips for frozen food, but I DO for morning sickness. I am in the throws of it right as I type, and these have helped me a lot:

1. Sea bands--little black wrist bands you buy at a drug store that have acupressure points. THESE WORK. I PROMISE.

2. Zofran-- if you have insurance, have your Doctor prescribe this miracle anti-nausea pill. It truly takes a significant edge off.

3. Tums/Anti-acid--This one took experiencing it to believe it. I don't take it when I have heartburn (because I don't have that yet), but when I feel nausea. IT WORKS. This may be obvious to you, but it wasn't for me. I am grateful I finally tried it.

Good luck. Baby #2 will be worth it (this is #3 for me), it's just about enduring to the end. Blech.

Heather said...

These are just a few of my families favorites (including the kiddos). I am a big fan of freezer meals and I need to stock my freezer again but haven't had the motivation or the money to buy all ingredients up front. Good luck to you. I have more if you would like some more.


Cheese Manicotti

1 8-ounce package manicotti
1 ½ cups Ricotta cheese
2 cups cottage cheese
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 ½ cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 T dried parsley flakes
1 t salt
¼ t pepper
3-4 cups Spaghetti sauce

Do not cook manicotti. Combine all ingredients except manicotti and spaghetti sauce. Grease foil baking pans. Cover bottom of pan with spaghetti sauce. Stuff manicotti with cheese mixture. Arrange on spaghetti sauce in pan. Pour spaghetti sauce over all. Cover with heavy freezer foil. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350. Uncover, top with more Mozzarella cheese and bake an additional 10 minutes or until cheese melts.


Italian Shells

1 12-ounce package shell pasta
¼ cup butter, melted
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
4 mushrooms, sliced
3 cups spaghetti sauce
1 cup cottage cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 8-ounce cream cheese

Cook pasta in salted water for 2 minutes less than shortest time recommended on package. Drain. Pour melted butter over pasta and mix. Brown ground beef with onion and mushrooms. Remove from heat and stir in spaghetti sauce. Combine cottage cheese, sour cream and cream cheese. Mix until smooth. In greased foil baking pan make the following layers: ½ the pasta, ½ the sauce, all the cheese mixture, the remaining pasta, the remaining sauce. Cover with heavy freezer foil. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Bake covered for 1 hour at 350. Uncover and top with shredded Mozzarella cheese. Bake 10 minutes.


Pineapple Meatballs

1 recipe Basic Meatballs
¾ cup BBQ sauce
¾ cup orange juice
½ cup packed brown sugar
2 T cornstarch
1 can crushed pineapple

Arrange meatballs in greased baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients. Pour over meatballs. Bake covered for 45 minutes at 350. remove from oven and allow to cool. Place in gallon freezer bag. Label and freeze.

To serve: Thaw. Heat until hot throughout. Serve with rice.

Valerie said...

I really wish I could just hang out with all of you women who know how to freeze a meal. I swear every time I freeze something besides your normal meats, it tastes weird, or I can't figure out how to re-cook it or thaw it out. I need someone to hold my hand and show me step by step (pathetic or what). So obviously I can't even help in this department becuase I am CLUELESS, which is too bad really because I am 25 weeks prego with my THIRD! and my energy is fading fast, oh and we had microwavable dinner last night...yuck!

Oh, maybe someone can help me with this questions...I don't feel like I have enough room in my fridge/freezer for a lot of things, and I have been wanting to get a deep freezer in our garage for some time. I can't fit a HUGE freezer, but more medium size. Any suggestions on what is a good one. Should it say deep freezer or is it just the same as a freezer?

Really I should win the book for being the most stupid on the subject ha ha ha...seriously.

Bloom said...

Valerie,

We just invested in a big chest freezer for our garage, and we are so excited about it! I don't think it really matters what kind it is, as long as it's a freezer. :) We just got ours at Home Depot--they have all sorts of shapes, sizes, and brands.

good luck!
anne

Vicky said...

It seems like a lot of the regular stuff has already been said. But anyway, I like to freeze things like spaghetti sauce and soup since they're so easy to reheat for a fast meal. Sometimes I make a bunch of muffins and freeze them. That could be nice if you have company coming after the baby and don't have time to make them breakfast or something. I also like to cook a bunch of beans and freeze them in bags to use in recipes later or turn into refried beans. Lately I've been cooking whole chickens in the crock pot, then shredding and freezing the meat.

Jonesy said...

First of all, after 7 pregnancies, I can tell you that EVERY SINGLE ONE IS DIFFERENT!!!! Don't let a particularly uncomfortable pregnancy stop you from trying again, because more than likely your next one will be a cake walk! Of the 7, 2 were fraught w/ morning sickness, but thanks to the miracle that is Zofran, it was completely manageable. You can do it! ;)

Now, onto freezer foods!

The suggestion to prepare meat ahead of time is spot on. If you buy your chicken, roasts (pork & beef), and ground beef & turkey in bulk when they are on sale, you can spend a day simply cooking them up whether on the stove, in the oven, or in the crockpot. (Not to mention the savings to you pocketbook!)
Buy lots of zippy bags! Don't bother with the expensive "freezer" type. Air is what's bad for your frozen food, so just push (or suck) as much air out of your bag as you can, before you seal it, and freezer burn will not be a problem for you. You can also make sauces in bulk and freeze them in meal sizes in a zippy. Then it's like an Olive Garden Mix-n-Match! Just cook up whatever pasta you like, pull out a sauce and a meat and you've got a meal!
Our fave right now is Beef Stroganoff.

Stefani M. said...

Those seem like great ideas already. Here's a tip: don't be afraid to freeze a partly finished meal. I do this when I want to have the veggies in it retain firmness, so I'll cook the recipe through partway, freeze, then thaw and add the veggies when it's cooked the second time. So, I freeze a lot of pre-cooked, pre-seasoned meats because for me that's the hardest part. (Hubbies can be good veggie cutters, too.)

Okay, this may sound like a shameless plug, but I swear I get NO money for this; I just love their product: Soundformulas.com They make the most awesome prenatal (and postnatal) vitamins, with a special tummy calm blend for the queasy months. I swear, I have had LESS nausea with subsequent pregnancies because of it. Pricey, but totally worth it! (Plus, they separate the calcium and iron, too, another awesome feature.)

duck said...

How bout this...

My sister taught me how to CAN chicken. It's so easy and I use it all the time for a million different things. And I think it taste better than frozen chicken.

1. Lightly pack a Mason Jar with raw, whole chicken breast (I've used bone-in cause it was cheaper) but I suggest boneless so it's easier to just pop into any recipe

2. Add a teaspoon of Bouillon (I like the "Better Than Bouillon" from Costco)

*don't add water or anything else

3. Pressure cook it for about an hour-75 min.

DONE!!

So easy and very yummy and ready to plop into any chicken recipe!

Jesslyn said...

I hope this link works. It's a recipe I submitted to a cooking site I'm a member of. This is the BEST stew and it freezes wonderfully. There are tons of vegetables in the ingredients so it'll be easier to paste the link than to retype everything.
One tip: don't add the frozen tortellini's until you're ready to heat up each individual dinner portion. Make up the whole batch, freeze it flat in several Ziplock freezer bags, and keep the tortellini separate. Throw in a few handfuls of tortellini each time you heat up one of the bags.
Hope you like it!

http://thepioneerwoman.com/tasty-kitchen/recipes/soups/ultimate-tortellini-stew/

Jessica said...

In my old ward I would get together with women and swap freezer meals. My favorite was Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas. I got the recipe from Good things Utah. I think this is the same recipe.
http://www.abc4.com/content/about_4/gtu/story/Honey-Lime-Chicken-Enchiladas/pmH5108uSUOibyxk-tNsgg.cspx

It makes a TON and is just as yummy if you freeze half for later. It takes a while to make but it definately worth it.

Someone make a turkey pot pie that was to die for! I need to get that recipe.
Good luck!

justenoughstyle.blogspot.com
justenoughstyle.etsy.com

Tricia said...

My favorite fast breakfast when you are sick of cold cereal is a smoothie. Stock up on berries when they are on sale; peel, chop, and freeze bananas; keep some protein powder on hand; mix with a little ice and milk. Yummy. And it keeps you full until lunch.

Manders said...

Simple & Delicious magazine has a section called Freezer Pleasers maybe you might find some good ideas there.

I have the same ol' ideas as others... make a big batch of soup and freeze some. Around thanksgiving potatoes are really cheap so I made a ton of twice baked potatoes and froze them. Also, I make a few chickens and shred the chicken in small baggies for enchaladas, salad or whatever.

I would love to win that book!

Heather said...

4 chicken breasts (depending on size of family, I only use 2)
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
1/2 onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
2 pkg crescent rolls
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 can chicken broth, or
1/2 cup milk

Cook chicken and chop into bite size pieces, or shred. Saute onion & celery in 1 T. butter. Melt cream cheese into mixture. Remove from heat and add chicken. Salt and pepper to taste. Place chicken mixture in flattened crescent rolls and roll up. *Here is where you would just put them in a freezer bag*, then when ready to cook them - Bake @ 350 for approximately 15-20 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

To make gravy, combine soup, broth, or milk together. Heat and serve over chicken pillows.

becky said...

A lot of my ideas are the same as others' - the main one I'll freeze is chicken enchiladas, made all the way and in the glass baking dish, but not baked. I just take it out of the freezer, then put it in the oven while it preheats (so you're not putting a frozen glass dish in a hot oven).

Another one we like is homemade pizza - but not just pepperoni or ham & pineapple (although those are good too). These aren't super healthy, but two recipes with chicken that we like:

1) BBQ Chicken Pizza: I make a bunch of chicken in the crock pot (~4-6 chicken breasts, 3-4 cups of water, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, & a little poultry seasoning, cook on low for ~5-6 hours) and shred it, then freeze it in individual packages (about a cup each).
Then, take about a cup BBQ sauce, add some honey (~1T) and brown sugar (~1/4 cup). Spread the sauce mix on your pizza, keeping some to coat the chicken in so it doesn't dry out. Put the chicken on with chopped red onion and mozzarella cheese.
2) Garlic chicken pizza - I use the same chicken as the recipe above, and make a white sauce by combining 3/4-1 cup of ranch with ~1T of minced garlic (more or less to taste). Spread sauce on pizza, keeping some to coat the chicken so it doesn't dry out. Put the chicken on with chopped red onion, chopped tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. You could also make a vegetarian one with the same sauce, or use an alfredo sauce as a white sauce.

Both of these could be frozen before baking (although I would maybe add the veggies when you're ready to cook). My mother-in-law freezes them in pie tins that she first sprays with cooking spray, then covers with saran wrap.

Good luck!

Jonesy said...

Ok, so here's what we had for dinner tonight:

Chicken Salsa Soup (or a version of Taco Soup)

2 C cooked chicken (refer to my last comment :))
2 cans black beans
1 16 oz. pkg frozen corn
2 14 oz. jars of your fave salsa
4 quarts water + 5 T chicken bouillon--or 4 quarts chicken broth.
2 t cumin

Dump it all in a big stockpot, and bring to boil.
Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, shredded cheese and avocado.

You can adjust the amounts of ingredients to your liking. We use less chicken, just to keep costs down, and don't find it lacking at all. Now that we're done with dinner, I'll put some in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow--hurray for not eating PBJ's with the kids!--and the rest I'll separate into 2 or 3 gallon-sized zippy bags and lay in the freezer for a future meal when I discover it's 5:00 and haven't thought twice about dinner.

lori said...

Yum! I've have nothing to add - just wanted to say thanks for the fun ideas, and Danielle, I love you and your gumption =)

Christina said...

This is my mom's recipe. There was always some in the freezer while we were growing up.

Sylvia's Spaghetti Sauce

4 lb ground meat (beef, veal, pork, italian sausage - any combination)
4 onions
2 green peppers
5 stalks of celery

Cook the meat and vegetables. Drain off the fat.

Add:

4 cans of 28 oz tomatoes (blended)
4 cans of 15 oz tomato paste
1/4 cup of vinegar
1/4 cup of brown sugar
a few dashes of tabasco
1/2 t chili powder
2 t garlic
4 bay leaves
1 T Italian spice
1 T salt
4 cups of water

Mix everything together in the biggest pot you have. Let cook on low for 4-5 hours with the lid off, stirring occasionally.

Usually I will freeze the sauce in small batches so I can pull out what I need to make a meal. I will also make lasagna at the same time and stick that in the freezer - super easy once the sauce is all done.

Sarah said...

We freeze a ton of stuff at our house. It usually doesn't stay in the freezer very long, because I don't like to cook if I know there's something ready. My sister already mentioned the spaghettin sauce, I've used Taylor's rigatoni sauce a lot, and whenever we make red beans and rice there is always more than enough to freeze a second meal. We have lots of versions of this, but this is one of the easiest:

1lb. dried red beans
1 lb. soked sausage, thinly sliced
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 red pepper, chopped
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 coves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. creole seasoning
Cooked rice

Combine first 8 ingredients along with 7 cups of water in a 4qt. slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 7 hours or until beans are tender.

Serve over rice.

p.s. you can can also freeze cooked rice.

Sally said...

OK, right now I am completely obsessed with fajitas. I haven't tried to freeze the chicken yet but I'm sure it would work fine. Here are my tips for the BEST fajitas ever. Marinate you chicken in lemon or lime juice and then cook it in that same juice. I also sprinkle in just a tad bit of fajita seasoning while I'm cooking. Of course add in the bell peppers and onions for a few minutes at the end. Next, chop up some lettuce and generously sprinkle vinegar and salt on it. Get out whatever else you like to add, cheese cilantro and ovacados are a must for me. Then the most important part is that you must only use La Banderita corn tortillas. They are found in the Mexican isle. And if you absolutely have to have flour tortillas they have those too, but seriously why ruin a perfect fajita with flour tortillas. And might I mention that the La Banderita tortillas have a lot less fat than the ones you find in the bread isle. Ok, that's it. My suggestion is to freeze ahead fajita meat and then devour as many as you can!

Stacy said...

This soup is so good and it doesn't take a long time to make, so you won't be spending all day making a bunch to freeze...

Tortilla Soup:

1 Tbs. oil
1 onion, minced
1 jalapeno chile, diced
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 C. chicken broth
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 Tbs. lime juice
Tortilla chips
Tomatoes
Avocadoes
Cilantro

1. Heat oil in large dutch oven over med. heat, add onion, jalapeno, chili powder, and garlic. Cook about 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the broth and bring to simmer, add chicken and simmer until no longer pink, about 15 minutes.

3. Remove chicken and let cool. Continue to simmer broth for 10 minutes. Shred chicken.

4. Add chicken back in, remove from heat, and add lime juice.

Eat with tortilla chips, avocadoes, tomatoes, and cilantro.

Enjoy!

Betty Rollins said...

Mine is also a very easy Chicken Soup Receipe.

Boil chicken breasts in a large pot of water. Add Lawyer's seasoning salt, lemmon pepper and chicken cubes. When it is cooked, remove the chicken. Skim off the top of the broth. Add cut up carrots, Chopped celery, cut up potatoes. Shred chicken and return to pot. Add more seasoning to taste. Cook until the vegies are soft. Stir in a package of dry noodles. Cook until noodles are done. Freeze half and eat half. Freezes well and it is easy to warm up. Great tasting soup

Amanda said...

I can't add anything, because I've never done this!!! It's something that I've always wanted to do though. Nights like tonight, when things just suck and you don't want to cook... it'd be pretty awesome to have a meal already ready to just pop in the oven :)

Great giveaway too!!!

Bloom said...

Don't forget to stash some goodies in the freezer with all these meals... 'cause you know, you're going to want something sweet to chase down all this frozen fare :)
here's a cookie recipe we've been loving lately:

* 1/2 cup butter
* 1/2 cup white sugar
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 1/2 cup peanut butter
* 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
* 1 egg
* 1 cup all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/2 cup rolled oats (I used a full cup)
* 1 cup chocolate chips

Bake at 350 for 10-12 min.

Can't wait to meet your next little angel.

xo
em

amber said...

i am obsessed with this topic.... as insane as it feels as i have never ever thought i would do this sort of thing.
anyways, i know that many people buy pizza already frozen, but my husband and i think good organic quality frozen pizza is a rip off and it doesnt even taste that good. Here is what we do, and on a budget:

make pizza dough or
for an even easier bread, make individual flat breads, perfect for picky family members:
1 2/3 c. four plus extra for dusting
salt 1 teaspoon
olive or sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon

sift flour with salt. add in very warm water and oil. mix up. then knead for a few minutes until it is smooth.

cover and then let rest for 15 minutes. and heat up a skillet that can handle a pretty high heat.

cut into about 8 pieces and roll into balls, cover with wet rag to keep moist and roll out into little circles.
place in skillet one by one and let them cook and get slightly puffy then turn over. let cool.

top flat bread pizzas with leftover pasta sauce or pizza sauce (we think the best is muir glen organic pizza sauce) and cheese and whatever toppings you like. at this point, put them on a freezer sheet and let them freeze. after frozen, put them into a freezer bag. when you want to cook them, just pop however many of them that you want onto a cookie sheet and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the cheese is bubbly!

and ps. this adds up to be sooo much cheaper than any pizzas you can buy. and lets be honest, if you are going to eat pizza, you want it to be tasty.

Anna said...

sorry, no recipes from me. :( I think when you get pregnant the second time around you'll have better luck in the sickness department. (At least that's what happened for me anyway.) I guess chili freezes well if you like chili and pancakes, too! You just put them into the toaster to reheat them. yum!

Alicia said...

Phew...cutting it close here.

It's not an easy thing to decide to have another child when you had such an awful pregnancy. My second one was just as bad as my first and none of the tricks (including Zofran) that everyone mentioned worked. 9 months of throwing up is never fun. I will definitely be making freezer meals for the next one. Brilliant!

Here is a recipe we love, is pretty low-fat, and freezes well.

Italian Baked Ziti
8 oz ziti (I like rigatoni) (about 3 cups dry)
1/2 lb. extra lean ground beef
3 cups spaghetti sauce
2 cups low-fat cottage cheese
2 TBS grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

Cook ziti according to package. Drain and set aside. Meanwhile, crumble meat in large skillet. Saute until meat is cooked. Add spaghetti sauce.

Combine the cheeses, egg, parsley, and garlic powder and mix thoroughly. Add ziti and mix well. Spread 1 cup spaghetti sauce mixture on bottom of 9x13 pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Add ziti and cheese mixture. Pour on remaining sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

eyecon said...

"Hungry Man" extra-large Salsbury steak TV dinners. That's my idea. Lived off those for four or five years. I know that doesn't qualify me for the drawing. I just want to say I'm excited about a possible sequel to Avery. :)

aliciamae100 said...

Okay, I didn't come up with it, but I tried it once and it became an instant favorite.
.....................
Crock Mock Moroc(can) Chicken
4 ckn breast halves cut into 1 inch cubes
12 oz canned diced tomatoes, undrained
1 lg red bell pepper, sedded, chopped
1 c. onion, chopped
2 T raisins or dried cranberries
2 T tomato paste
1/4 c. ckn broth
6 cloves garlic, pressed
2 tsp ground cumin
2 T peanut butter

For Freezer Meal directions:
Place all ingredients except peanut butter in a ziploc freezer bag, remove air, label and freeze. When ready to cook, defrost, place mixture in crock pot and cook on low setting for 6-7 hours (or high for 3-4 hours)or until chicken is tender. Stir in peanut butter until well mixed. Serve with couscous and lots of fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Nancy said...

While I am past the deadline for the contest, I wanted to post a website that has many freeze ahead meals. I am currently pregnant and due in less than 5 weeks, so i have been scouring the internet for recipes. There are at least a couple of vegetarian options on this site. Good luck!
http://www.marthastewart.com/photogallery/freezer-friendly-foods?lpgStart=1&currentslide=1&currentChapter=1#ms-global-breadcrumbs

Whydiss said...

Here is a very simple way of half preparing for a meal, which is a whole lot easier than starting from scratch. My two pregnancies were like your first and I would to be in hospital on a intravenous saline drip to rehydrate because I could not even hold water in my stomach, the condition is call Hyperemesis Gravidarum.

How I coped was by cooking 1 dice onion in a little oil and frying off ground beef. Let it cool and freeze in small portion.

This ground beef can be defrosted by reheated in a pan and add ingredients like:

* jar of spaghetti sauce = spaghetti bolognaise + cooked spaghetti = meal
* packet of asian frozen vegetable, oyster sauce = stir fry + rice = meal
jar of nacho sauce = nacho topping + corn chips, cheese = meal
* broth and frozen vegies = Sheppard pie base + mashed potatoes/cheese on top = meal
* tacos, enchiladas

The ideas are endless with what you can do will with some precooked ground beef, sometime we have eaten it on toast.

It would take me a couple of hours to prepare the evening meal because of needing frequent rest

Dilla said...

Hello. I'm not sure whether you eat curry or not, I mean Asian curry. But if you do, you can actually freeze the curry gravy(curry paste+coconut milk). Just make sure its boiled first. Later you can defreeze and add chicken or beef or vegetables like aubergine and ocra.