June 29, 2015
How to stock your freezer with ready-to-eat dinners
Black beans. I hate buying canned goods. They're heavy and they take up space. Sure, they're not really expensive. But I also hate opening cans. So by making my own black beans, I'm eliminating a bulky grocery item. You buy a bag of dried beans, you follow that recipe I'm linking to there, and you get 4 quart-size freezer bags of beans. In each one, I put a little more than you'd get in a can. Don't fill the bags the whole way. Lay flat to freeze.
Pinto beans. See above. Scott brought home a giant bag of pinto beans from a farmers' market last fall. I finally got around to making some of them, and I ended up with about 8 bags to add to vegetable soups and chili.
Salsa Chicken. I don't do these in lettuce wraps because lettuce wraps don't have carbs and I like tortillas and tortilla chips and stuff made with lots of carbs. You could do just about anything with this chicken though. Salads, quesadillas, nachos...it's my go-to recipe.
Marinara. My friend's recipe is the one I use. Not going to lie: I use this mostly as pizza sauce because we don't do a lot of pasta. This just means I don't have to buy the bulky glass jars of Barilla Tomato Basil. I appreciate that.
Chicken stock. Another recipe for those of you who hate putting cans in your shopping cart, putting cans on the conveyor belt, putting bags of cans in your car, carrying bags of cans into your house, and then putting them in the cupboard. This, I'm pretty sure, is why I make my own stock.
Fajita meat. I posted this recipe a few weeks ago with some quinoa. You can put it in tortillas with fajita fixings, grill it up in quesadillas, or put it over some quinoa or rice Chipotle-style. Very versatile.
Tortilla Soup. We love this soup. I make it when I want something really good to eat on the weekends and I freeze bags of it for later. It might be one of the best recipes I've ever found online.
Mongolian Beef. This is also a go-to recipe of mine. It's a people-pleaser. Perfect for potlucks (I've taken it to work before) or for freezing.
White Chicken Chili. I really liked this. I don't make it nearly often enough. I'm not a fan of ground beef, so this is the chili I would opt to make. I have the hardest time finding ground chicken for some reason. They never have it at the commissary and sometimes I can't even find it at Safeway.
Vegetable Soup. I haven't posted a recipe for this yet. Truthfully, I make it a bit differently every time, but I'm working on a batch this week. It's perfect for when your husband wants something for dinner and you don't want to cook. Will share soon.
Do you have a favorite freezer meal? Make anything in advance?