Freezer Cooking: Round 1

 

I’m doing freezer meals for the month of May.  I’ve been wanting to give this a try for a while, but I just haven’t done it yet.  Now, I’ve done some freezer meals in the past, but never like this.  Usually I will just make a double batch of chili and freeze half.  Or make two casseroles and freeze one.  But this is going to be some serious freezer cooking!

 

I checked my freezer and saw that I already had these meals in there – Eggplant Parmesan, Black Bean Chili, Chicken Pepian and Pizza Dough (pepperonis and cheese too).  Woohoo!  4 meals are already taken care of!

 

Here is my master plan for my first round of freezer cooking:

  • Beef & Black Bean Taco Bake
  • Teriyaki Honey Chicken (making 2 of these)
  • Orange Chicken
  • Marinated Chicken Thighs

 

Ingredients:
1 lb Ground Beef
4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
6 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 Can Black Beans
3 Cups Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or regular salsa with 1/2 cup corn)
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
6-10 Tortillas
1 Cup Honey
1 Cup Soy Sauce
4 teaspoons Minced Ginger
4 teaspoons + 1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
1/3 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Ketchup
6 oz Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
3 Tablespoons Italian Dressing
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce

You will also need a 9×13 inch baking dish, 4 gallon sized freezer bags and 1 smaller quart or sandwich sized bag.

 

 

*Tip: Write baking instructions on the foil/bag so you know how to cook it!*

 

I first assembled the Beef & Black Bean Taco Bake.

1 lb Ground Beef
1 Can Black Beans
3 Cups Black Bean and Corn Salsa (or regular salsa with 1/2 cup corn)
2 Cups Cheddar Cheese
6-10 Tortillas

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ground beef and cook until browned.

Cut up the tortillas into bite sized pieces and drain the black beans.

Combine the beef, beans, salsa, cheese (save 1/2 cup for the top), and tortillas together in a large bowl.  Pour into a lightly greased 9×13 inch casserole dish.  Sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Cover with foil.

Cooking instructions: Defrost in refrigerator overnight.  Bake at 350°F for 30-45 minutes or until bubbly.

Yield: 4-6 Servings

 

 

Next I prepared the Orange Chicken.  I also made some orange juice with the leftover orange juice concentrate – or you could double the recipe to use the rest of the can.

4 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1/3 Cup Flour
1/2 teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoons Ketchup
6 oz Frozen Orange Juice Concentrate
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

Cut up the chicken into bite sized pieces and place in a gallon size freezer bag with the flour.  Shake bag to coat chicken.

In a smaller zip top bag, combine the salt, ketchup, OJ concentrate, brown sugar and crushed red pepper flakes.

Place the sauce bag in the bag with the chicken and freeze flat.

Cooking instructions:  Thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Combine the chicken and sauce together in a slow cooker.  Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 2-3 hours.

Serve over rice.

Yield: 4 Servings

 

 

Then I prepared the Teriyaki Honey Chicken.

4 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
1 Cup Honey
1 Cup Soy Sauce
1/2 Cup Water
4 teaspoons Minced Ginger
4 teaspoons Minced Garlic

This is makes 2 meals in 2 separate gallon sized bags.

Put 2 lbs of chicken in each bag.

Combine the all the remaining ingredients together in a bowl.  Pour half the sauce into each bag with the chicken.  Freeze flat.

Cooking instructions: Thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Remove chicken from the marinade.  Grill or bake at 350°F for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Serve with rice or veggies.

Yield: 4 Servings per bag

 

 

Then I realized I still had 2 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken thighs and was going to just throw them in a bag with Italian salad dressing.  I only had about 3 Tablespoons of dressing left, so I threw a couple other ingredients in there as well.

Marinated Chicken Thighs (I will post a picture after I make this)

2 lbs Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
3 Tablespoons Italian Dressing
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Tablespoon Minced Garlic
Splash of Water

Combine all ingredients together in a gallon sized bag and freeze flat.

Cooking instructions: Thaw in refrigerator overnight.  Remove chicken from the marinade.  Grill or bake at 350°F for about 30-40 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Serve with rice or veggies.

Yield: 4 Servings per bag

 

 

It took me 1 1/2 hours to make these 5 meals.  I probably could have done it in just 1 hour if I didn’t have my 2 kids with me.

Later in the day I froze a few more things:

Bell Peppers – Chopped and put in freezer bag
Pepperoncinis- Diced and put in freezer bag
Green Beans – Blanched and put in freezer bag
Bread Crumbs – Rolls and bread ends from freezer.  Grind in food processor and put in freezer bag
Poblano Peppers – Charred, peeled, seeded, chopped and put in freezer bag
Zucchini Muffins  – Froze half a batch in a freezer bag
And I also made Refrigerator Pickles.  (Will post recipe soon)

 

*Tip: Freeze foods flat in freezer bags instead of in plastic containers!*

I had been freezing chicken stock in plastic containers because I ran out of bags.  It took up a ton of room in the freezer.  I transferred them to freezer bags and saves so much space!

 

 

 

-Beef & Black Bean Taco Bake from Eat At Home Cooks-

-Orange Chicken from The Virtuous Wife-

-Teriyaki Honey Chicken from Once A Month Mom-

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