Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Freezer Meals

Senor helped me prepare some freezer meals for the days ahead when our impending little one decides to make her debut and we are too exhausted to cook. There will be several entries of this nature coming up as I complete the meals. It literally took less than an hour and approx $45 to put these particular ones together and it will be enough for 8-9 nights of dinner. It's nothing impressive or fancy BUT if you are in need of some freezer meal ideas and have a little time (don't worry about space)...they're worth trying. For the chicken meals I placed 2 chicken breasts in each freezer zip-lock bag and then split the mixture b/t the bags so we made 4 dishes and divided them into 8 bags. Did that make sense?!

1. Cranberry Chicken (from Senor's sister)
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 c french dressing
1 packet of Lipton's dry Onion soup mix
1 can cranberry sauce (whole berry or the regular stuff)
optional: I often add whole frozen cranberries if I can find them
Mix up the dressing, soup mix and sauce. Blend well, stir in a few Tablespoons of water and divide the chicken and mixture b/t 2 freezer bags. When ready to cook, thaw enough to dump into a casserole dish and bake at 350F til done.
Recommended sides: rice, carrots, green beans/brocoli

2. Honey Mustard Apricot Chicken (senor found this on on-line somewhere)
4 boneless/skinless chicken breasts
1 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp curry powder
1/4 c honey
3 Tbsp dijon style mustard
2-3 Tbsp apricot jam
Mix up the ingredients (not the chicken), place 2 breasts in each zip-lock bag, split the honey mixture b/t the 2 bags. Be sure to push all the air out of the bag before sealing. When ready to cook, thaw enough to dump into a casserole dish and bake 350F until done.
Recommended sides: rice and fruit or salad

3. Chicken Adobo (from mi madre)
4 chicken breasts with bone (skin removed)
1 c soy sauce
1 c water
1/2 c vinegar
1/2-1c onion, chopped (I used the pre-chopped frozen stuff)

Mix up the liquids and onion, place 2 chicken breasts in each freezer bag, split the liquid concoction b/t the two bags; when ready to cook thaw enough for liquid to soften, place in a large stock pot, add 2-3 bay leaves and cook on low/simmer til chicken is done.
Serving recommendations: rice, brocoli, carrots, salad, you get the jist

4. Chili (everyone has a recipe for chili I've decided...this is mi madre's)
1 lb ground beef
1-2 c chopped onion (I used the frozen pre-chopped kind)
chili powder/cumin (maybe 1 tbsp chili powder and 1-2 tsp cumin??)
2 large cans Bush's Chili style beans mild sauce (don't drain)
2-3 cans Delmonte stewed mexican/chili style tomatoes (don't drain)
1 can dark kidney beans (rinse, drain and replace with 1/2 can water)
1 can light kidney beans (same thing as dark)
1 can pinto beans (same as kidney beans)

Brown the beef and onions, add chili powder and mix til it looks like taco meat. Season with cumin as desired. Allow it to cool completely. B/t 2 freezer zip-lock bags divide the cans of beans/tomatoes. Then add half beef mixture to each bag. When ready to cook, thaw enough to remove from bag and put in large stock pot, cook on low (probably will take 30+ min) and add ketchup/chili powder/water to taste.
Serving suggestions: tostidos, cheese, sour cream, corn bread

Like I said, nothing fancy, but if you can find the items on sale/bulk and have a little extra time...save yourself some effort down the road one night by having a quick meal on hand! what meals do you like to make for the freezer?

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