5.18.2012

MORE Freezer Meals

The morning of Mother's Day Scott asked what I'd like to do...
Mani/pedis with some seriously awesome ladies - check.
Lunch with those same ladies - check.
Bulk grocery shopping - check.
Cooking 9 freezer meals - check.
Snuggle time with Chunky Monkey after it's all said and done - check.

Waaait a minute... Yep, totally wanted to prep more freezer meals (we're almost out of the first batch of 10 freezer meals). In the kitchen all evening is how I wanted to spend Mother's Day. Don't judge.

After going through the freezer meals we've eaten thus far, we whittled down a few meals we thought were re-make worthy, and I found a handful of new meals to try.

The Meal List
French Chicken Broccoli Supreme *new
Chicken Tater Bake *new
Taco Casserole *new
Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken *new
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice *new
Chicken Enchiladas
Upside Down Fettuccini Bake
Lasagna
Taco Soup

Before we go on, the thought of making a bunch of meals may seem daunting, I get it. However, I found if all the ingredients are set out for each meal, and all the veggies are chopped right away, the task seems to move along quite smoothly. And, it's a must to understand - and accept - the fact that most of your day will be dedicated to prepping and making meals. Keep in mind, one day/afternoon of work will save TONS of time during the week when you just need to pop a meal in the oven, or crock pot, and BAM! Dinner is ready. That, my friends, is glorious.

Here's the run down of recipes for the new stuff...

French Chicken Broccoli Supreme (a fancy way of saying chicken and broccoli casserole)
3 cups cooked chicken breast
1 lb fresh broccoli
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar
2 tubes Ritz crackers
1 stick butter, melted
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 can condensed cream of chicken soup

In a greased 9x13 pan layer chicken and fresh cut broccoli florets.
Make cream of chicken soup according to label instructions.
Pour soup over chicken/broccoli.
Top with cheddar cheese.
Crush crackers (be sure the cracker pieces aren't crushed too finely) in a large zip lock bag.
Add melted butter and poppy seeds to crackers and mix.
Top chicken/broccoli/cheese with cracker mix.
Cover and freeze.

To bake:
Thaw.
Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Source: French Chicken Broccoli Supreme, slight adaptations from Just Get Off Your Butt and Bake!

Chicken Tater Bake
3 cups cooked, cubed chicken
2 cans (10.5 oz) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1 package frozen veggies (I used a blend of peas, corn, beans, and carrots)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
1 package frozen Tater Tots

In a large sauce pan combine soup, milk, and butter.
Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through.
Remove from heat; stir in chicken, veggies, and 1 cup of cheese.
Pour chicken mix into greased 9x13 pan.
Top with frozen Tater Tots.
Cover and freeze.

To bake:
Remove casserole from freezer 30 minutes prior to baking. DO NOT THAW.
LEAVE FOIL COVER ON.
Bake at 350 for 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours, or until heated through.

Chicken Tater Bake, slight adaptations from Taste of Home
Be sure to label your meals, as well as add what ingredients will be needed to finish the meal, along with baking instructions.
Taco Casserole
1 box Rotini noodles, cooked and drained
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 lb ground turkey
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup (2 packets) taco seasoning
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup shredded cheddar, or Mexican, cheese

Brown ground turkey and onions. Drain if necessary.
Mix taco seasoning and tomato sauce with turkey/onion mix.
Mix together noodles and sour cream.
Place noodle mix on bottom of greased 9x13 pan.
Top noodles with turkey mix.
Sprinkle top with shredded cheese.
Cover and freeze.


To bake:
Thaw.
Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Taco Casserole, slight adaptations from Joyful Momma's Kitchen

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken
4 chicken breasts
1 cup honey
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup onion, diced
1/4 cup ketchup
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp veggie oil
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
4 tsp cornstarch
sesame seeds

In a large zip lock bag place chicken.
In a large mixing bowl combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, garlic, oil, and crushed red peppers. Pour mixture in to zip lock bag with chicken.
Remove as much as from bag as possible and seal.

To bake:
Thaw.
Place chicken and mixture in crock pot.
Cook on low 3-4 hours, or on high for 1.5-2.5 hours, or until chicken is cooked through.
Remove chicken from crock pot, leave sauce.
Dissolve 4 tsp cornstarch in 6 Tbsp of cold water, pour in to crock pot, stir to combine with sauce.
Replace lid and cook on high for 10 minutes or until sauce is slightly thickened.
Cut chicken into bite-size pieces, return to crock pot and toss with sauce before serving.
Sprinkle with sesame seeds.
Serve over rice or egg noodles.

Slow Cooker Honey Sesame Chicken, slight adaptations from Six Sisters' Stuff
Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice
4 chicken breasts
1 large onion, chopped
1 - 8 oz box of yellow rice mix, prepared as directed on label (cook just prior to serving meal)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 - 10.5 oz can cream of chicken soup
1 can whole kernel corn, drained

Place chicken and chopped onions in a large zip lock bag.
Remove as much air from bag as possible and seal.

To bake:
Make rice according to label instructions.
Thaw chicken/onions.
In the crock pot place the chicken and onions.
Spoon cream of chicken soup over chicken.
Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours, or on high for 3-4 hours.
Ten minutes prior to serving add cooked rice, corn, and cheese.
Stir to combine.
Serve hot.

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice, Southern Plate

If you plan to make several of the meals be sure to correctly calculate how much of everything you need, and double check ingredients you have on hand. And, don't forget to pick up aluminum pans, zip lock baggies, and crock pot liners!
Once you've stocked your freezer be sure to stand back and admire your work :)
Obviously I picked easy meals to prep, as well as bake later on. When the new meals are made I'll be sure to throw up posts for each.

If you're planning to make all 9 meals mentioned, here is the list of every item needed, as well as how much of each item is needed. I printed this list off and crossed off what I already had at home.


FREEZER MEAL GROCERY LIST
PRODUCE
onion 6
broccoli 1 lb (one head)
garlic 2
SEASONINGS
Taco 2 pkts
Ranch 1 pkt
CONDEMENTS
ketchup 1 bottle
FROZEN FOODS
mixed veggies 1 bag
tater tots 1 bag
CRACKERS
Ritz 1 box
DAIRY, BUTTER, EGGS
butter 1 box
sour cream 2.5 cups
mex cheese 1 bag
mozzarella 2 bags
parmesan 1 container
eggs 5
cottage cheese 24 oz
shredded ched 3 bags
SPICES/BAKING ITEMS
oregano 1 tsp
parsley 5 Tbsp
basil 1 tsp
veggie oil 2 Tbsp
cornstarch 1/4 cup + 4 tsp
red pepper flake 1/4 tsp
honey 1 cup
sesame seeds 1
chicken broth 1/3  cup
PASTAS/RICE
fettucini 1 box
lasagna 1 box
rotini (spiral) 1 box
yellow rice (Zataran) 1 box
CANNED FOODS
diced tomatoes 3 14.5 oz can
tomatoe paste 2 8 oz cans
black beans 1 can
kidney beans 1 can
corn 2 cans
tomato sauce 1 can
crushed tomatoes 1 28 oz can
SOUPS
cream of chicken 4 10.5 oz can
INTERNATIONAL FOODS
green chilies 1 can
tortillas 10
soy sauce 1 bottle
MEATS
chicken breast 16
Italian turkey sausage 2 lb
ground turkey 3 lb


STORAGE CONTAINERS
9x13 aluminum      5
Aluminum pie tin   1
Gallon zip lock      2

Happy cooking!!

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