My second nephew came into the world last week, and my sister asked if we could help stock her freezer so she would have plenty of healthy meals for the inevitable hectic days ahead. Earlier this month, we selected the recipes and made a master grocery list. My Mom was able to pick up many of the non-perishable items on sale, and it was really helpful to have all of the ingredients on hand when we started to cook. Here are the five dishes we made for the freezer:
1. Jamie Oliver’s Vegetable Tomato Sauce & Ziti Casserole
We started by making a huge batch of Jamie Oliver’s Vegetable Tomato Sauce. It’s a tasty sauce with onions, peppers, carrots, zucchini, butternut squash, and tomatoes of course. We added yet another 28 oz. can of tomatoes, to make sure the sauce had a deep red color. Then we used a portion of the sauce and a pound of pasta to assemble two ziti casseroles with ricotta, Parmesan, and mozzarella cheese. In the end, this recipe yielded two ziti casseroles, two containers of sauce which can be used for pasta or pizza, and lunch for the cooks.
2. Turkey Chili
My sister’s favorite chili is based on this Weight Watcher’s Turkey Chili recipe, which includes plenty of vegetables like peppers, zucchini, and corn. I only took a small taste from the pot before it was packaged into containers, but it was good.
3. Spinach Mini Quiches
I adapted my favorite crustless quiche recipe a bit to make these mini quiches. I mixed 3 eggs, 1 cup of reduced fat cottage cheese, 1/2 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar, a 10 oz. package of spinach, and a dash of salt and pepper. This filled about 10 regular sized muffin cups, which were baked, cooled, and then put into the freezer for busy mornings.
4. Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes
We were starting to get a little tired by this point, and took a well deserved shortcut by using frozen chopped vegetables for these macaroni and cheese cupcakes. We also skipped the beans in this recipe, since two of the recipes already had beans. The cupcakes looked a little dry in the freezer, and might need a fresh sprinkle of cheese when reheated. But they’re still so cute!
5. Bean Burritos
The final recipe was brand new. We made these bean burritos which contain brown rice, a bean mixture, and cheddar cheese. The burritos are assembled, and then wrapped individually and frozen. When you take a burrito out of the freezer, you can cook it in either the microwave or oven. One of the tortillas ripped (oops!) so my Mom and I split a burrito for lunch and it was tasty. Even though this is a new recipe, I think it’s going to be a winner.