January 30, 2012

What's for Dinner? It's in the freezer!

After being sick on Friday, a fun baby shower on Saturday and folding/putting away clothes all day on Sunday, I had zero desire to plan a menu/go to the grocery store.  That's when I realized I didn't have to, because I had enough frozen meals to get us through the week.  So here is what Momma Aimone's family is having for dinner this week.

Serves 4

-1 onion, chopped
-1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
-2 cans chopped green chile peppers (4 ounce)
-4 teaspoons ground cumin
-1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
-1 can chicken broth (14.5 ounce)
-2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
-3 cans white beans (15 ounce), rinsed and drained
-1 can black beans (15 ounce), rinsed and drained
-1 can whole kernel corn, drained

1.  In slow cooker, mix together onion, garlic, green chile peppers, cumin, cayenne pepper, chicken broth, white beans, black beans and corn.  If you like your chili a little thicker, puree one of the cans of white beans first.
2.  Add chicken breasts
3.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
4.  Before serving, shred the chicken and stir.

Serving Suggestions
Serve with shredded Monterey Jack cheese, sour cream and tortilla strips.

Chicken Tacos (adapted from America's Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution)
Makes 4 cups

-1 onion, minced (I used 1 tablespoon onion powder)
-3 tablespoons chili powder
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-2 teaspoons ground coriander
-2 teaspoons ground cumin
-1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
-1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
-2 pound boneless chicken breasts
-Salt and pepper
-1 tablespoon lime juice

1.  Add onion, chili powder, garlic, coriander, cumin, tomato sauce and sugar to slow cooker.
2.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to slow cooker and coat evenly with sauce mixture.
3.  Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 8-10 hours (depending on your slow cooker)
4.  Transfer chicken to a large bowl and shred.
5.  Let liquid in slow cooker cool and remove any fat from surface with a large spoon.
6.  Toss shredded chicken with 1 cup liquid; add more liquid as needed to keep moist and flavorful.
7.  Stir in lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Filling can be refrigerated in airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.  If frozen, let filling thaw completely before using.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

-1 box of spaghetti or your favorite pasta noodle
-1 jar of your favorite pasta sauce
-1 pound ground beef
-1/2 teaspoon sea salt
-1 tablespoon onion powder
-1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
-1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
-3/4 teaspoons dried oregano
-3/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
-1 1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
-1/3 cup skim milk
-1/4 cup grated parmeson cheese
-1/2 cup bread crumbs

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2.  Combine ground beef, sea salt, onion powder, garlic salt, Italian seasoning, oregano, red pepper flakes, Worcestershire sauce, milk, parmeson cheese and bread crumbs in mixing bowl
3.  Form into 16 meatballs.
4.  Place on baking sheet (I placed mine on cookie drying rack on top of baking sheet) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until no longer pink.
5.  Meanwhile, cook pasta and pasta sauce as directed.

Serving Suggestions
Add a tossed salad and some garlic bread for a satisfying meal.  If there are leftover meatballs, I suggest freezing them to use later in the winter.

Cheesy Chicken  Bundles (from Don't Panic, Dinner is in the Freezer)
Serves 6

-1 cup bread crumbs
-1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/4 teaspoon pepper
-6 boneless chicken breasts
-1/2 cup butter, melted
-2 tablespoons butter, melted
-1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  Mix together bread crumbs, 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese, salt and pepper.
2.  Dip chicken pieces in 1/2 cub melted butter, then in cheese mixture.
3.  Tuck sides of chicken breast under to form individual bundles.
4.  To freeze, wrap each bundle in plastic wrap, and then place in freezer bags.
5.  To serve, thaw then place chicken bundles in large, shallow baking dish.
6.  Melt 2 tablespoons butter and pour over bundles.
7.  Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
8.  Bake uncovered at 350 degreees approximately 1 hour, until chicken is crispy.

Serving Suggestions
We'll most likely have this with either baked potatoes, roasted potaotes or some kind of rice and a veggie.

 Chicken Pot Pie (adapted from allrecipes.com)
Serves 8*

-1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts
-1 cup sliced carrots
-1 cup frozen peas
-1/2 cut sliced celery
-1 can chicken broth
-2/3 cup butter
-2/3 cup chopped onion
-2/3 cup flour
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon black pepper
-1/2 teaspoon celery salt
-1 3/4 cups chicken broth
-1 1/3 cups milk
-2 (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts

1.  You can combine chicken (cubed), carrots, peas and celery in a saucepan.  Cover with chicken broth and boil for 15 minutes.  Or you can do what I do and combine whole chicken breasts, carrots, peas and celery in slow cooker.  Cover with chicken broth and cook overnight (8-10 hours) on low.
2.  Drain chicken and veggies and set aside. (Shred the chicken if using the slow cooker method)
3.  In a saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and clear.  Stir in flour, salt, pepper and celery salt.  Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk.
4.  Simmer over medium-low heat until thick.
5.  Remove from heat.
6.  In a large bowl combine chicken mixture and hot liquid.
7.  Spoon mixture into crust-line pie pan (I skip this part).
8.  Cover with top crust, seal edges and cut away excess dough.  Make a few small slits in the top to allow steam to escape
9.  If freezing: Cover tightly with saran wrap and aluminum foil.  If baking: Bake in 425 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes or until pasty is golden brown and filling is bubbly.
10.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
White Chicken Chili (adapted from allrecipes.com)

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