Make ahead meals

oilpainterSeptember 26, 2009

Summer is salad and barbeque time here, but in the winter it is casseroles stews and the like.

Once a week I make casseroles or something that can be frozen. The casseroles do not contain potatoes because I find they do not freeze well. Instead I use ones with rice or noodles.

I triple the recipes and make 3 casseroles--actually it just being my husband and I now I make it into 6. I use tin foil dishes to cook them and freeze them in--I buy them at dollarama 4 for $1. It only takes a minute more to make 3 instead of one

I make lasagna and do the same, I again get 6.

I cook up a big pot of stewing beef--add onions,celery, beef broth, bay leaf and spices. When the meat is tender I remove it from the heat, cool and package it in containers with enough for a meal. When I use it I bring it up defrost in the microwave put it in a pot and add my veggies and maybe a bit more broth and salt and pepper--instant stew.

I never make a small pot of mock sukiaiki, hungarian goulash or chilli and a few other things I'm probably forgetting. They can all be frozen in meal sized containers.

Whatever I make it is that nights supper plus meals for the freezer. The bonus is a couple of nights a week I don't cook and there's always something to serve unexpected company.

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naturalma

I haven't gotten into the freezing thing much (expect chili one time and I LOVED IT) but I have a menu for 1 cook day 2 staple ingredients 3 meals

Staples: Shredded Chicken & Rice
On prep night - boil chicken in water w/chicken broth, boullion cube or salt and cook a ton of rice, 5c+!
shred chicken while hot and put the food away.
If using black beans for fajitas, go ahead and soak them in water too!
Meals - Chicken fried rice
Chicken fajitas w/ black beans
Mango chicken w/rice
Dessert - Red Raspberry Sherbet

Mango and Mandarin Chicken
Fry frozen Mangos in some oil with lime/lemon juice and season with salt n pepper
Add chicken and mandarin oranges once most of the water has evaporated and season again to taste (cajun seasoning is nice if on hand)
heat rice
*I add a bit of soy sauce to mine afterwards

Chicken Fried Rice
scramble egg(s) and fry in oil, set aside in a bowl
saute green onion, fresh ginger or minced garlic, and 1c frozen peas, add to bowl that's set aside
add more oil, salt and pepper chicken, 5c cold rice, add soy sauce, 1-2 tsp sesame oil, and 2-4 tsp rice wine.
once combined well add bowl of other ingredients
voila!!
*rice has to be cold when added to the pan, light soy sauce needs extra salt & rice wine makes all the difference to make it taste like real fried rice. Try to add liquid seasonings to pan not directly on rice. (sesame oil and rice wine will run $2 each, but since so little is needed it will last forever! and since you only need like a tsp of ginger it won't cost much if you buy a tiny piece - ours was less than $.50, just use a fine grater to shred it, to store it put it in a glass of water in the fridge and change daily)

Chicken Fajitas
cook beans w/ lots of seasonings and just enough water to cover them
heat fajitas shells in oven or prep for frying pan and warm up some rice
season chicken, lime/lemon juice is nice, and fresh/frozen bell peppers
Add cheese, rice, beans, chicken, salsa, lettuce, tomatos, sour cream... yum!
*beans are done when cut in half and no white is showing and is tender of course

Red Raspberry Sherbet
Ingredients
2 cups low-fat milk
2 cups frozen raspberries or 1 (10-ounce) bag, thawed
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
sugar to taste

Directions
In a food processor/blender, combine milk, raspberries and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
Transfer mixture to a shallow dish or bowl and cover with plastic. Freeze until firm.
*got this recipe from Food Networks' Robin Miller - she has tons ideas for oawc!!

So that's my menu for one week. I would love to hear your ideas also as I'm new to this and want some more recipes and menu plans to keep it going!! I hope your family enjoys this as much as we did!! (=

    Bookmark   April 2, 2010 at 3:04AM
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