These once a week cooking recipes are fairly easy and fast, but the best part is they help you avoid those expensive store-bought frozen meals on the nights when you didn’t have anything ready (we all know how expensive those “take-out” nights can become). I haven’t tried all of these so if you do, please let us know how it was!
FRENCH BREAD PIZZA:Spread pizza sauce sauce on french bread. Top with cheese and toppings of your choice. Wrap and freeze. Bake frozen at 400/425 for 20-30 minutes.
EASY STIR FRY:
Divide a large bag of mixed frozen veggies among freezer bags. Divide in a bag of frozen shrimp or cooked chicken breast. Freeze. Just throw in a wok in the frozen state and add soy sauce or stir fry sauce while it cooks.
Boil pasta, drain. Add a bottle of salad dressing, jar of olives, can of artichokes, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Optional : add cooked diced ham or chicken. Bag and freeze. Just thaw and eat.
Uncooked manicotti, uncooked chicken breast (sliced into strips). Stuff a piece of chicken into the uncooked manicotti shell. Continue until all are filled. Place 1/3 sauce in freezable baking pan. Place stuffed manicotti in pan, top with the rest of the sauce mixed with 1 cup water. Top with cheese. Wrap and freeze. Bake from the freezer at 350 for 1 – 1 1/2 hours. Watch the pasta after a while if it looks dry add a little more water to the baking dish.
TACO RICE: (this has minimal cooking)
1 lb cooked ground beef or turkey, 1 chopped onion, 1 taco seasoning packet (or homemade), 1 can diced tomatoes, 2 cups cooked rice. Mix all ingredients together in a pan. Bring to simmer, simmer for 20 minutes until thick. Bag and freeze. Makes a good taco, taco salad, burritos or on top of tortilla chips for nachos. Can be doubled/tripled.
QUICK TURKEY ROLL UPS
1lb deli turkey meat
3 cups prepared stuffing
1 can cream of chicken soup mixed with 3/4 cup water or about 2 cups homemade chicken flavored white sauce.
Place a spoonful of stuffing on the end of one turkey slice. Roll up. Continue to fill and roll until all the turkey is used. Place rolls in a foil baking pan or freezable baking dish. Pour white sauce or cream soup over the top of the turkey rolls. Top with cheese if desired. Cover dish, freeze. Either thaw and bake or bake from the frozen state.
QUICHE IN A BAG
1 cup cooked sausage or diced ham (Optional)
10 oz. frozen package chopped spinach or broccoli, thawed a little and broken up.
1 cup cheddar cheese
1 small onion chopped
2 cups milk
1/2 cup flour
2 tsp. baking powder
Mix eggs, milk, flour and baking powder with a wisk or mixer until well incorporated. Add meat, veggies, cheese and onion. Pour into a freezer bag. Freeze. To cook, thaw bag, squish the bag well a few times to incorporate the ingredients. Pour into a pie plate sprayed with non stick spray. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes until set. You can vary the meat and veggies each time you make it.
CROCKPOT REFRIED BEANS
Soak some dried pinto beans in water overnight. In the morning dump in the crockpot with more water to cover. Add a chopped onion and garlic. Let cook all day. If you need to, drain some of the liquid when they are done cooking. To the cooked beans, add cumin, corriander, salt and pepper to taste. Then mash with a potato masher, leaving it a little chunky. Then just cool, bag and freeze. They freeze very well.
FRUIT CRISP MIXTURE
6 cups oats
3 cups nuts (optional)
1 1/2 cups brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups butter or margarine , melted
2 tsp cinnamon
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl. Divide among 6 freezer bags. Store in freezer. To make fruit crisp, place fresh, frozen or canned fruit in bottom of baking dish. Sprinkle fruit crisp mixture on top. Bake at 375 for about 25-30 minutes.
20 PIE CRUSTS FOR THE FREEZER
Dough will last up to 1 year in the freezer
3 lb can shortening
5 lb bag flour
3 cups ice water
2 Tbsp salt
In a large bowl, mix flour and salt. With your hands, cut in the shortening, adding ice water to form a dough. Shape into 20 disks. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and place in freezer bags. Freeze. Thaw in fridge or on counter for 30 minutes when needed.