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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Freezer Meals

I've been intrigued by freezer meals for a while now. Especially since it allows me to be frugal when I make a meal for only 2 people. I try to freeze what I can for a later meal instead of having it every night of the week as a leftover. Plus, it is a time saver to pull a meal out of the freezer on a busy day - instead of fast food or a pizza. 

One of my friends is in the Relief Society Presidency and one day we were talking about how busy she was and how many sisters were in need of help.

In this economy it has been quite a toll on many people to help bring in meals for any length of times - especially when so many are in need.

She also talked about doing classes on freezer meals in her Relief Society meetings.

If you have a planned surgery or having a baby, you should plan accordingly and stock your freezer full of meals for your family. It's a different scenario of course for emergency illnesses. Somehow, we need to re-educate people to be self-reliant and pre-plan for when you are ill. Freezer meals are an excellent way to take care of your family when you are unable cook dinner - everyone should check it out. 



Here is a link to the Cream Cheese Chicken recipe.
Here is a link to my spaghetti sauce.

There are many great sites and ideas out in blog land. Here are just a few to help you plan to be self-reliant, save money and time at the same time. 

Here are a few recipies:
Honey Baked Pork Chops
 
Ingredients for Cooking Day:
6 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
 
Directions for Cooking Day:  Place honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic and soy sauce in blender and mix well.  Place uncooked pork chops and honey mixture in a freezer bag and freeze.
 
Directions for Serving Day:   Thaw completely.  Place pork chops and honey mixture in a baking dish.  Bake for 350 degrees for 1 hour or until pork chops are cooked.  Turn pork chops occasionally while baking.
 


Chicken Tetrazzini (Assemble after chicken is cooked)
Store in casserole dish
 
1 8 oz pkg spaghetti
2 to 4 c. cooked diced chicken
1 c. chopped onion
2 c. grated cheese
2 cans cream of chicken soup              
1 c. grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp. butter to saute onions
1 c. sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
 
Cook the spaghetti.  Saute' the onions.  Mix ingredients together and freeze.  Thaw and cook 350 for 40 minutes, then uncover and bake 20 minutes more.
 


Honey Baked Pork Chops
 
Ingredients for Cooking Day:
6 boneless pork chops
1/2 cup honey
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 t. ground ginger
1 clove minced garlic
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
 
Directions for Cooking Day:  Place honey, vinegar, ginger, garlic and soy sauce in blender and mix well.  Place uncooked pork chops and honey mixture in a freezer bag and freeze.
 
Directions for Serving Day:   Thaw completely.  Place pork chops and honey mixture in a baking dish.  Bake for 350 degrees for 1 hour or until pork chops are cooked.  Turn pork chops occasionally while baking.
 


Lasagna (assemble after noodles cooked, beef cooked, and spaghetti sauce)
Store in casserole dish
 
1-1/2 pounds lean ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Spaghetti Sauce
12 dry lasagna noodles
2 eggs, beaten
1 pint part-skim ricotta cheese or blended cottage cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
 
Brown hamburger. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add lasagna noodles, and cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until al dente; drain. Lay noodles flat on towels, and blot dry. In a medium bowl, mix together eggs, ricotta, Parmesan cheese, parsley and 1 teaspoon salt. Layer 1/3 of the lasagna noodles in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Cover noodles with 1/2 ricotta mixture, 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese and 1/3 of the sauce.  Repeat. Top with remaining noodles and sauce. Sprinkle additional Parmesan
cheese over the top.  Freeze and then bake until heated through, about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.
 


Easy Pizza Pasta Casserole    

Makes 1 large (9x13) casserole.  Serves 6-8 people.        


                                                                                             Ingredients For 6 Families

1 lbs ground beef                                                                                 6 lbs ground beef     
½  large onion, chopped                                                                     3 onions
½  clove garlic, minced                                                                       3 cloves garlic           
½   teas. Crushed Italian Seasoning                                                     3 teas. Crushed Italian Seasoning
1 TBSP. Olive Oil                                                                               6 TBSP  Olive Oil
1 (26 oz.) jar Spaghetti Sauce                                                               6 Jars Spaghetti Sauce (156 oz)
8 ounces rigatoni pasta, cooked and drained                                   48 ounces rigatoni               
2 ½ cups shredded mozzarella cheese                                              15 cups shredded mozzarella
4 ounces sliced pepperoni                                                                   24 ounces sliced pepperoni

Brown ground beef, onion, garlic and seasoning in oil. Drain. Stir in pasta, spaghetti sauce and 2 cups cheese. Place mixture in greased 9x13x2 inch baking pan. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Top with pepperoni. Cover and freeze up to 3 months. To cook now: Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, until heated through. To bake frozen casserole: Thaw in refrigerator overnight and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes, till hot.



Italian Chicken                                                                           

                                                                                                       Ingredients for 6 families
¾ c. Prepared Italian Salad Dressing                                                     4 ½ c. prepared Italian Salad Dressing
¼ c. Lemon Juice                                                                                1-½ c.  lemon juice
2 teas. Instant Chicken Bullion                                                           12 teaspoons Instant Chicken Bullion
¼ teas. Pepper                                                                                     1 ½ teaspoons pepper
1 teas. Italian Seasoning                                                                       6 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts                                                 24-36 boneless/skinless chicken breasts 
       
Place chicken in a 9 x 13 pan.  Stir all ingredients together.  Pour over chicken.  Cover and bake 350 for 35-45 minutes.  


Beefy Chicken Loaf   - Serves 6



Loaf Ingredients                                                                   Ingredients for 6 Loaves

1 egg                                                                                                     6 eggs
¼ cup milk                                                                   
 1 ½ cup milk
½ teas. seasoning salt                                                                         3 teaspoons seasoning salt
½ teas. pepper                                                                                    3 teaspoons pepper
1 TBLS Worcestershire sauce                                                            6 TBSP Worcestershire sauce
1 onion, finely chopped                                                                      6 onions, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef                                                                           6 pounds ground beef
½ pound ground chicken or ground turkey                                        3 pounds ground chicken or ground turkey
¾ cup rolled oats, not instant   (may be ground                                    4 ½ cups rolled oats, not instant
into crumbs by running through blender)


Sauce Ingredients                                                                           Ingredients for 6 families (Sauce)

¼ cup ketchup                                                                                     1 ½ cup ketchup
1 TBLS mustard                                                                                    6 TBLS mustard
1 TBLS brown sugar                                                                          6 TBLS brown sugar
1 teas. Worcestershire sauce                                                              6 teas. Worcestershire
½ teas. chili powder                                                                           3 teas. chili powder

Combine loaf ingredients together in a large bowl and mix well to ensure even blending. Pack into a loaf pan, or muffin tin for mini loaves. Mix sauce ingredients together and spread evenly over loaf. Bake uncovered for 60 minutes at 350 degrees. To freeze: wrap unbaked loaf well, label and freeze. To serve: defrost overnight and then bake as directed. Add 30-45 minutes baking time if baking from frozen.


6 comments:

Ann Marie said...

Our freezer died last year and we bought a new chest kind. I hate it.. as it's so hard to find anything.. most of my freezer stuff goes to waste. I told Chad... we need to buy a NEW standing one.. so I can be more organized.. and do this again. Right now.. it's almost like we have no freezer.. as it's a nightmare to find anything!

Garden of Egan said...

I was really into freezer meals several years ago. It was such a blessing when my family was little. It was also a total budget blessing! It was a chunk of money to spend all at once, but once I did, my savings was incredible.
I would do the 30 day cooking, it would take me about 8 hours.
I did teach a class in RS with it.

I've started doing it again, only on a much smaller scale. I'll cook a double batch and then freeze half.

I agree with you on the self reliance. When my hubs was still the bishop we got a phone call one night from a family. The mom said they were moving into the ward and would like meals for about a week while they got settled. I was a little amazed. We have about 50 couples move in and out about every 4 months. We certainly couldn't do that for everyone.
I just gave this lady the number of the RS pres and let her deal with it.

Ann Marie's comment is a valid one. I have two chest freezers and they are hard to organize. You are a master at organization. Do you have any tips or helps?

Valerie said...

Thanks for all the links. I've never asked for meals to be brought in when moving or having a baby. I just cooked more simple meals. Freezer meals would come in handy many crazy, hectic days though.

Zoey said...

I wanted a like button for this! As always, you are amazing!

Sondra said...

I emailed Tauna and Ann Marie this link for a Chest Freezer organization. I thought I would pass it along on my blog - if you have a chest freezer. Heather at "Want What You Have" has some great ideas.
http://blog.wantingwhatyouhave.com/2010/06/organizing-your-chest-freezer-for.html

Tiffanee said...

WOW! Thanks for the link up. You are so sweet. I don't know how I stumbled across your blog but so glad I did!! I am loving it. Now your newest follower!!

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