Monday, July 9, 2012

Freezer Cooking Part 1

When I was pregnant with The Good Daughter, I wanted to have a large freezer stash of meals on hand for after she was born. The Good Husband worked 12 hour shifts then, and I wanted meals I could just throw together.

I made a list of meals and ingredients and went shopping after work when I was 37 weeks pregnant with the intention of cooking that entire weekend. I dropped about $300 at the store. The next day at a routine check-up - SURPRISE! - I had to go to the hospital and get induced the next day. Needless to say I didn't make one damn freezer meal.

So this pregnancy I vowed to not wait until 37 weeks pregnant before I got started and to actually make some meals. I collected recipes for a while and thankfully just after our freezer went tits up, and we found a new one at a yard sale, I got started.

I originally had a list of 15 meals I wanted to make with a variety of proteins and meals (breakfast, lunch dinner). I had the added task of trying to find meals that wouldn't be too heavy since it will be the middle of July once The Good Son is born. That last task proved to be the hardest. I also wanted a variety of meals - ones that could just be put in the slow cooker and some that could be thawed and baked.

But I split my shopping up into two big trips and after TGD went to bed, for one week, I made meals. Below is what I made in round one.

Cilantro Lime Chicken with Black Beans and Corn (double batch)
recipe adapted from Ring Around the Rosies 
6 chicken breasts
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 limes, juiced
2 cups cilantro
1 large bag of frozen organic corn
4 minced garlic cloves
1 finely chopped red onion
2 cans of organic black beans, rinsed
2 teaspoons cumin
2 teaspoons chipotle powder
salt/pepper to taste

~Divide all ingredients evenly and place in gallon freezer bags. Shake to combine.

Instructions for Container:
~Cook in a slow cooker on low 8 hours or high 4 hours, serve with tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, and/or cheese.

Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken (double batch)
recipe adapted from Mama and Baby Love 
3 medium unpeeled sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 large red pepper, cut into strips
2 zucchini, chopped
2 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoon flour
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 tablespoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon onion powder
1/2 tablespoon ground mustard
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

~Divide all ingredients evenly and place in gallon freezer bags. Shake to combine.

Instructions for Container:
~Cook in a slow cooker on low 8 hours or high 4 hours.

Barbacoa Beef, Cilantro Lime Rice and Corn salsa
recipes from Skinnytaste 
Barbacoa Beef
3 lbs beef eye of round or bottom round roast, all fat trimmed 
5 cloves garlic 
1/2 medium onion 
1/2 lime, juice 
2-4 chiptoles in adobo sauce (to taste) 
1 tbsp ground cumin 
1 tbsp ground oregano 
1/2 tsp ground cloves 
salt and pepper 
3 bay leaves 
1 tsp oil 
1 cup water

garlic, onion, lime juice, cumin, oregano, chiptoles, cloves in a blender and pulse on high until combined.

~Trim meat of fat and cut into 4 inch cubes. Place in freezer bag and add spice mixture and bay leaves.

Day of Cooking:
~Cook in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours. Once cooked and the meat is tender, remove the meat and place in a dish. Shred it with two forks. Remove bay leaf and add meat back to the crock pot. Cook on low for 20-30 minutes.

Chipotle's "Skinny" Cilantro Lime Rice
1 cup extra long grain rice or basmati rice 
1/2 lime, juice of 
2 cups water 
1 tsp salt 
3 tbsp fresh chopped cilantro 
3 tsp vegetable oil

~In a small heavy pot, add rice, water, 1 tsp oil and salt. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When the water just skims the top of the rice, reduce to low and cover about 15 minutes. Shut off flame and keep covered an additional 5 minute.

~In a medium bowl, combine chopped cilantro, lime juice, rice and remaining oil and toss until completely mixed. Allow rice to cool completely and add to freezer bag.

Day of Cooking:
~Place rice in large microwavable bowl, add 2-3 tablespoons water to rice. Microwave 2-3 minutes. Fluff with fork and repeat. Let stand 2 minutes, then fluff again.

Corn Salsa with Lime
4 cups frozen organic sweet corn
2 vine ripe tomatoes, diced 
1/2 red onion, diced 
1 scallion, diced 
1-2 jalapeños, seeded and diced
2 tbsp chopped cilantro 
1 1/2 limes, juice of 
chipotle chili powder, to taste 
salt and fresh pepper to taste

~Combine all into a freezer bag.

Day of Cooking:
~Thaw in fridge. Serve with completely thawed.  

Honey Teriyaki Chicken
recipe adapted from Once A Month Mom
4 pieces boneless, skinless, chicken breast
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup water
2 teaspoons ground ginger
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoons onion powder

~Combine all ingredients into a gallon freezer bag.

Day of Cooking:
~Thaw in fridge. Remove from marinade. Grill chicken until juices run clear. Or to cook in oven, place in a greased baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350ºF uncovered 20-30 minutes. Uncover and bake 20-30 minutes longer or until juices run clear.

Breakfast Burritos (double batch)
recipe by The Good Wife
10 large flour tortillas
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 green pepper, chopped
1/2 green onion, chopped
12 oz turkey sausage
10 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, any flavor
salt and pepper to taste

~Add oil to skillet and cook turkey sausage on medium high heat until cooked through. Add pepper and onion and cook until veggies are soft. Remove from skillet. Turn heat to low.

~In a medium bowl, whisk to combine eggs, heavy cream, salt and pepper. Add to skillet and scramble until almost set. Allow to cool completely. Add sausage and veggie mixture and stir to combine. Add 1-2 tablespoons in each tortillas and top with cheese. Roll and wrap in plastic wrap and foil.

Day of Cooking.
~Remove from wrapper. Wrap in a paper towel and microwave on high 60-90 or until hot.

Shrimp Scampi (double batch)
recipe from What's Cooking Chicago? 
2 pounds (12 to 15 per pound) shrimp in the shell 
3 tablespoons good olive oil 
2 tablespoons dry white wine 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature 
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves) 
1/4 cup minced shallots 
3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves 
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary leaves 
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 
1 extra-large egg yolk 
2/3 cup panko 

~Peel, devein, and butterfly the shrimp, leaving the tails on. Place the shrimp in a mixing bowl and toss gently with the olive oil, wine, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Allow to sit at room temperature while you make the butter and garlic mixture. 

~In a small bowl, mash the softened butter with the garlic, shallots, parsley, rosemary, red pepper flakes, lemon zest, lemon juice, egg yolk, panko, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper until combined.

~Starting from the outer edge of a 14-inch oval gratin dish, arrange the shrimp in a single layer cut side down with the tails curling up and towards the center of the dish. Pour the remaining marinade over the shrimp. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the shrimp. Label and freeze.

Day of Cooking:
~Thaw in fridge. Bake at 425 degrees for 10 to 12 minutes until hot and bubbly. If you like the top browned, place under a broiler for 1 minute. Serve with lemon wedges.

1 comment:

Martine said...

All the recipes sound wonderful. You will have to let us know how they turn out.