Five Fabulous Freezer Meals

No matter how detailed you meal plan or stock your kitchen, inevitably there will be days where it’s 5:21pm and you’re staring at the fridge hoping a healthy, delicious meal will hop out and jump on the plate, ready to eat.  While I have yet to see that actually work,  I do have the next best thing and an answer to the “what’s for dinner?” question.

Freezer meals are a wonderful  way to have healthy food for your family that can be ready quickly. Here are five of my favorite recipes that work great for freezing ahead of time and having on hand for when you need them, like when your toddler has spilled a giant bag of pasta on the floor {true story}.  They also make great meals to take to a friend in need.

 

Homemade Frozen Pizza

Frozen pizza is actually easy to make and have on hand for a quick dinner.  Making pizza is one of my daughters’ favorite things to help with but sometimes it’s better to have one ready to go that won’t make a mess or involve fighting over who used more sauce.  This way you get the convenience of frozen pizza but made with the ingredients your family likes and without added preservatives or extra ingredients that aren’t needed.  I find if we make a couple extras pizzas to freeze on pizza night it works perfect.

Ingredients:

Crust, homemade or pre-made which can include naan bread, flat bread, pita bread or healthy pre-made crusts.

Tomato sauce

Italian seasoning

Salt & Pepper

Shredded Cheese

Favorite Toppings for example mushrooms, olives, peppers, cooked chicken, pepperoni, spinach, chives.

Pepare the crust, if making homemade do not precook it, roll out thin on a flat pan.  Add seasoning and salt and pepper to the tomato sauce to taste or use already seasoned pasta or pizza sauce.  Spread a layer of sauce on the crust(s).  Add cheese and toppings.  Freeze the uncooked pizza for about 30 minutes then wrap in parchmant paper (this prevents the toppings from sticking to the container) and store in an airtight container or bag.   When you are ready to eat the pizza bake in 375 degree (f) oven for 15-20 minutes. (For homemade crust add 10-15 minutes to cook time).

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Cheesy Rice Bake

Ingredients:

2-3 cups Cooked Rice

2 cups Tomato Sauce

1 tsp Salt

1/4 cup Barbecue Sauce

1/2 cup Cooked Chicken, chopped (optional)

1/2 cup grated Sweet Potato or Golden Beet

1/2 cup shredded Cheese

Mix all of the ingredients together except cheese in a large bowl until well combined.  Spread into a glass baking dish.  Top with cheese.  Cover with foil and freeze (for up to 3 months).  I find it’s helpful to write on the foil with marker what it is, the date you prepared and the baking instructions.  Bake covered frozen rice bake for 30-45 minutes at 350 degrees (f).  Serve warm with plain Greek yogurt and a little cilantro.

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Mushroom Quiche

Ingredients:

1/4 cup graham crackers
3/4 cup whole grain pretzels
4 tbsp Coconut Oil, melted
5-6 large Eggs
1/4 cup fresh Mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup chopped Green Onions
1 tbsp fresh Parsley, chopped fine
1/2 tsp Salt
pinch Black Pepper
1/4 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 cup Feta Cheese, optional
Put the graham crackers and pretzels into a large sealable plastic bag.  Roll the bag with a rolling pin until well crushed into crumbs, this is the part the little ones will love helping with.  Mix together crumbs and coconut oil in a small bowl, until well combined.  Press firmly into the bottom of a glass pie plate.  Bake the crust in a 400 degree F oven or toaster oven for about 8-10 minutes, allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Whisk eggs until blended.  Add in the remaining ingredients and whisk a bit more.  Pour into the crust.  Cover with foil and freeze (for up to 3 months).  I find it’s helpful to write on the foil with marker what it is, the date you prepared and the baking instructions.  Bake for 45-50 minutes at 375 degrees(f).

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Homemade Bean Soup

1 can Black Beans (no salt added)
1 can Pinto Beans (no salt added)
1 cup Veggie or Chicken Stock
1/4 cup Chopped Carrots
1/4 cup Chopped Celery
1/4 cup Chopped Green Pepper
1/4 cup Chopped Green Onion
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Juice from one small Lime
2 Tbsp Fresh Cilantro (chopped)
Drain and rinse the beans, set aside.  Add chopped carrots, celery, green pepper and green onion to a stock pot on medium heat with a splash of olive oil.  Let the veggies sweat for 5-10 minutes stirring occasionally.  Purée the beans together in s food processor.  Add the pureed beans and the rest of the ingredients to the stock pot.  Cover and allow to cook on medium low heat for about 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Allow to cool and add to an airtight container and freeze (for up to 3 months).  Defrost in the refrigerator overnight or in the microwave or on the stove.  Serve warm with plain Greek yogurt, cilantro and cheese.

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Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Ingredients:

5 -6 large Tortillas
1 (15 oz) can Black Beans
1 small Sweet Potato
1 clove Garlic, minced
Juice from ½ lime
2 tbsp Chopped Pablano Pepper (Red is an even milder substitute)
2 tbsp Chopped Cilantro
1 cup Shredded White Cheddar, plus extra for topping
1 tsp Garam Masala spice (optional)
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Plain Greek Yogurt
Fresh Salsa

Peel and cube sweet potatoes (into 1/4 inch pieces).  Add to a medium saucepan of boiling water, turn heat down to medium high and cook for about 15 minutes, until tender.  Drain and set aside.  Drain and rinse beans.  Combine the beans with garlic, lime juice, peppers, cilantro until well mixed.  Gently fold in sweet potatoes and 1 cup cheese.  Lightly oil a rectangle baking dish and add 2 tbsp salsa to the bottom of dish.  Warm the tortillas a bit to make them soft and flexible for assembly.  Add a large spoonful of your mixture to each tortilla then roll them up, placing them lengthwise in the pan tightly.  Top with ¼ -1/2 cup salsa and sprinkle with cheese.  Cover with foil and freeze (for up to 3 months).  I find it’s helpful to write on the foil with marker what it is, the date you prepared and the baking instructions.  Bake for 50-55 minutes at 350 degrees F.  Serve warm with plain Greek yogurt and shredded lettuce.

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