Trying This Freezer Meal Thing – Day 1
This is going to be as compact and informative as I can make it. I have been very sick(as you can read on my last post, and that was only me touching on the first month I was sick. It is now Augusta, I am still sick, and I was rushed to the ER yesterday for non-Epileptic seizures… will fill everyone in as soon as I can).
I woke up one morning, knowing I needed to make our money stretch, knowing my husband has been crazy busy with work and taking care of me, and feeling like something was going to happen. So cooking I must do. People were then asking me for recipes. So, I will lay out what I did. This is the first time I have EVER done anything like this. It would have been a lot quicker if I hadn’t have been sick, and whole heck of a lot easier. Oh well!
I have a unique way of organizing my cooking lists whenever I do massive baking. For me, it’s easy for me to keep track, it’s in my face so I don’t forget anything and it’s always fun moving my stick notes from one place to the next as I finish!
So there you have it. I do that at Thanksgiving and Christmas, and now for my Freezer cooking. 🙂 I feel organized and more able to see exactly where I’m at in the grand schemed of things.
First things first…. I took a few days and dug through multiple sites. At first I thought I needed freezer meals that were specifically for that. It wasn’t until after I started cooking that I realized that you can do it with pretty much any of your favorite meals! This also, even while sick, was easier then I thought it would be! That was exciting for me.
Everything right now takes me a lot longer and I have to be more careful because I forget things, and lose track of where I’m at, so my chance of error is VERY high. I managed to get through without to many mishaps.
My Day 1 Ta Da List:
Gluten-free flour mix
Gluten-free Bisquick mix
Boiled eggs(for lunches etc)
Baked eggs(for breakfasts)
Jam – strawberry/rhubarb and strawberry blueberry
Quinoa – split into 1 cup bags(one of my fav things when sick)
Oatmeal Banana muffins
Taco Chicken – 2 meals
BBQ Chicken – 2 meals
Keto Fajitas – made 2 meals – for Kenny
Keto Taco Chicken w/veggies – for Kenny
Mini Meatloaf Cups
I decided to start with the simple recipes, and recipes that OTHER recipes relied on to be made. So, gluten-free bisquick and my gluten-free all purpose flour were up first.
1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
1 1/2 cups potato starch
3 Tbsp sugar(I used sugar in the raw and it was perfect)
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp gluten-free baking powder
1 1/2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp sea salt
In a large bowl whisk or mix together well. Store in air-tight container or Ziploc bag.
Note: The original instructions said to sift it 4 times, but I don’t have a sifter, so I sifted it 0 times! Mine worked perfectly 🙂 The original recipe can be found over at “Carla’s Gluten Free Recipe Box” 🙂 She appears to have some wonderful recipes that I can’t wait to try!!! So head on over and visit her.
2 cups of mix
1/3 cup shortening/butter, softened
2/3 cup milk – I used almond milk
Cut in shortening with fork until small pea size balls form. Stir remaining ingredients until soft dough forms. Drop onto cookie sheet and bake. SO delicious and light & fluffy!!!
1 c brown rice flour
1 c tapioca starch or potato starch(not potato flour!)
½ c almond meal
1 tsp xanthan gum
Mix well and store in airtight container or ziploc bag
This is my all time favorite gluten-free flour to make. I absolutely love it! I use tapioca starch in my. Perfect to replace flour in almost any recipe I have tried!
I decided I wanted to try my hand at a pectin free/sugar free Jam recipe I found. I was excited and hopeful. I was NOT disappointed!!!
1 1/3 cups of strawberries
2/3 cup rhubarb
2T honey (it called for raw, but I just used regular… PLEASE SEE NOTE**)
2 T chia seed
Process all ingredients in a blender and refrigerate over night. The chia seeds will gel, thickening the fruit puree.
Mine actually didn’t thicken up good until day 2, which was fine, but my GOODNESS was it good! The chia seed, which I normally hate, didn’t add any flavor at all. I was delighted about that.
Add additional diced fruit if you life it chunky.
**NOTE: Please keep in mind the flavor you might be going for when picking out your honey. I didn’t realize our honey was clover honey, and STRONG clover honey at that. So that completely changed the flavor of the jam. I LOVE clover, so it’s all good to me!
Next up I whipped up a batch of Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Muffins to get baking while I worked on some of the meat recipes. I also got a pot of quinoa on the stove to cook(to use in my meatloaf cups), and got 2 dozen eggs boiling.
These are SO easy to make and SOOOO good!
1 cup greek yogurt
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 ripe bananas
2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
Preheat oven to 400F. Spray or oil tins, or line 12 muffin cups with liners.
Place all ingredients, including bananas in a blender or food processor, and blend until oats are smooth. You can add oats 1 cup at a time and blend in between.
Divide batter into muffin tin, and bake 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
I then moved on to all my chicken recipes. This, for some reason, seemed a little more daunting to me. This is what I did though.
Amazing recipe given to me by a friend of mine a number of years ago… it is now a family favorite!
Oh! and don’t forget to write your directions on each bag before you start adding ingredients! VERY important, and will be much less of a headache!
4-6 chicken breast
2-4 cups Salsa
Add after cooked:
2-4 tbsp Reg or gluten-free flour (depending on how much salsa you used and how much needs thickened)
1/2 – 1 1/2 cups Sour cream (this will depend completely on how “saucy” you want it 🙂 We love it fairly saucy, so I do a generous amount of sour cream.
Coat each chicken breast in taco seasoning. How liberally will depending on how spicy you want your chicken. Mine is sort of right in the middle.
Pour salsa, enough to coat, into your crockpot and spread it around. Add chicken breast. Pour remaining salsa over top. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
Write directions on bag. (see below)
Add 2 cups of salsa to bag. I did 4 chicken breasts this time. I lightly coated each in taco seasoning and placed them in the back. Sealed and lay flat in freezer to freeze.
When ready to cook, as to crockpot. I would suggest pulling it out and leaving it in the fridge overnight the night before. Place contents of bag in crockpot and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
When cooked, pull chicken out onto a plate, or cutting board, and shred. Chicken should pretty much just fall apart. Once shredded add flour to sauce in crockpot. Start with 2 Tbsp, if you need more than add as you go. Once whisked in thoroughly, add sour cream to salsa and flour mixture. Stir until creamy.
Add in chicken and stir to coat. Serve as a side, in tacos or over rice. The possibilities are endless.
Everything for this recipe goes into the bag raw.
Chop the following ingredients & divide them between the 2 bags…
3 sweet potatoes, cubed
1 zucchini, chopped
1 onion, sliced
2 green bell peppers, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
4-5 chicken breasts, diced – oops… I just realized I didn’t dice mine, so it will be more of a shredded chicken when it’s done
In each bag, place…
8oz tomato paste
1T Worcestershire – I used a gluten free tamari instead
2T brown sugar – I used sugar in the raw
1T mustard powder – I didn’t have this so used 3 Tbsp reg. mustard
1 garlic clove – we are a garlic family so I did 3 in each bag
¼ tsp salt
Close up the bags, mix a bit and voila!
Reheating – This can go in the crock pot while still frozen. Add about 3/4C water or chicken broth. Cook on low for about 8 hours.
I then made 3 Keto meals for my hubby.
Keto Taco Chicken
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1/2 lg onion, sliced
14oz chicken breast (I weighed so he could track, I simply diced what chicken was left, weighted and added to the bag)
1 tsp Taco seasoning – no sugar
He can simply pull it out, fry and enjoy!
10 oz chuck steak
1/2 green bell pepper, sliced
1/2 lg onion, sliced
1 1/2 Tbsp homemade Fajita seasoning
Again, he can simply pull it out, add 1/4 cup of water, fry and enjoy.
After the muffins were done baking and I was doing deal with the chicken, I decided to make some baked eggs.
Grease a muffin tin. Crack an egg into each cup. Season as you would like. I used salt, pepper and Johnny’s Seasoning. I also took a fork, popped the yolks and and swirled them around a bit. My kids done are for huge hunks of yolk.
Bake at 350F until done, approx. 15 minutes. Or until set like.
At this point I thought I was done, but before shutting it down for the night I threw together a batch of meatloaf cups(I wanted to use the quinoa before putting putting that way) and a batch of Turkey meatballs while the meatloaf cups cooked.
Mini Meatloaf Cups
2lb ground beef (I actually did 1lb of ground beef and 1lb ground turkey)
1/2 of a large bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of a large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 to 1 cup of milk
3 shakes of Worcestershire sauce – used gluten-free tamari cause
1.5-2 cups of gf breadcrumbs (I did a combo of cooked quinoa – 2 cups – and 1/4-1/2 cup gf bread crumbs to completely thicken)
1 can your favorite tomato sauce
salt and pepper to taste
Mix all ingredients together (except only use 1/2 can tomato sauce). scoop into muffin tins, create a little well with your fingers, top w/ remaining sauce. bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes.
This will be served with pasta or rice and a veggie.
I cooled them. Put them on a cookie sheet so they weren’t touching, place them in the freezer for 20-30 minutes to flash freeze them. I then put them in labeled bags and put them back in the freezer.
On to the meatballs!
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 large egg
1/4-1/2 cup dried bread crumbs
3 tablespoons ketchup
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves (or 1 Tbs dried)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl, mix well. (Start with the 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and if it’s too wet when you mix it all together, add another 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs).
Using a medium scoop or a tablespoon, scoop some of the mixture and roll into balls.
Place the raw meatballs on a cookie sheet and freeze.
Once frozen, put in labeled Ziploc bag.
Oh! And any leftover quinoa I had, got measured out into 1 cup increments, bagged and frozen for quick easy add-ons for me 🙂
I was DONE!!!!! Well, for Day 1 anyway. I’m sorry if this was jumbled. I really did try my best to get it out as clearly as possible. I am exhausted today and my head is still muddled. Once I am doing a little better I will be going back and adding links to all the places I got the recipes from. That is just an overwhelming task right now. Time to rest….
Feel free to ask any questions you might have. My comments section is now working again 🙂
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