Saturday, November 24, 2012

Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry

Today I had two solid hours to work on freezer meals.  I bought two family packs of chicken breasts at the store and made them into 10 meals.  I grilled two breasts for dinner.  I baked the other 10 breasts and cut them into cubes. 

Then I made 4 quarts of Broccoli Chicken and Wild Rice soup, 3 8x8"pans of Green Bean Chicken and Rice casseroles and two bags of Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry.  Phew!   I must admit that this recipe is pretty simple.  Kind of like freezer cooking 101.   In my defense, I would like to say that I needed something to balance out the soup and casserole.  So yes, this is pretty basic.  Please feel free to get fancy and make your own Teriyaki marinade.  Me?  I'm whipped!  I cooked and assembled for two solid hours. 


4 chicken breasts cooked and chopped      6.08
2 bags of stir fry vegetables                       3.96
2 bottles Teriyaki sauce                             4.16  


Take two gallon zipper bags and pour one bag of vegetables into each bag.
Then add half of the chopped chicken to each bag.  I also added half a sliced onion to each bag because the vegetables that I bought did not have onion.  Feel free to add in any veggies you have in your fridge that you would like to use up...mushrooms, celery, carrots, asparagus, green beans etc.
Pour one bottle of Teriyaki sauce into each bag.  Seal and squeeze to mix.  Then label and freeze.
When you are ready to cook please let one bag thaw in the fridge for two days.  Then pour the contents of the bag into a medium sauce pan and heat over medium heat.  Serve over rice.

I made two meals for $7.10 plus the cost of rice. 

If you are new to freezer meals and batch cooking you should try this.  Then when you have an incredibly busy day you have a meal ready to go in just a few minutes. 

Christie aka Keeza

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Raspberry Basalmic Glazed Dinner

I was reading through some freezer cookbooks and I found a great recipe for raspberry basalmic glazed chicken.  I tinkered with it a little bit to find a way to incorporate a vegatable without getting too many more pots and pans dirty.  Then I added fresh herbs and doubled the glaze to cover three different proteins.  I tried it with regular basalmic vinegar but the carrots came out such a dark brown my husband thought I made cocktail weenies for a side dish.  Man was he disappointed when he bit into one and discovered it was a baby carrot!  He did admit that they were pretty great tasting carrots, but he would have prefered the weenies.   Now I make it with white basalmic vinegar and the carrots get to keep their great orange color.


1 cup white basalmic vinegar                     1.50
2 10oz jars seedless raspberry preserves    4.00
1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce               .50
3 sprigs of fresh thyme                                 .50
2 lbs baby carrots                                        2.64
1 large white onion                                       .30
3-4 pork steaks or pork chops                     5.95
3 chicken breasts                                         4.02
1 ham steak                                                  3.53

You can make this dish with all chicken or all pork.  Whichever you prefer.  I like to mix up the proteins so there is more variety.  We may even grill one, and bake another so they have a little different flavor.


In a large frying pan stir together all of the raspberry preserves, 1 cup of white basalmic vinegar and 1/3 cup reduced sodium soy sauce.  Pull the leaves of the thyme off the stems and add them to the pan.  Heat over medium heat until the preserves melt into the vinegar and the sauce starts to bubble. 
Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce reduce by 2/3rds.  Once it gets syrupy and thick then you can turn off the heat. 
This will take about 20-30 minutes.  So while the sauce is reducing place the carrots in a large sauce pan and cover with water.
Bring to a boil and cook for 5-8 minutes.  Once a fork can just barely pierce the carrots when poked, turn off the heat.  Drain the carrots and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.  Divide into three sandwich bags and set a side.
Then take out three gallon sized zippered freezer bags.  Open the packages on your meat and place the ham into one bag, the pork steaks into a second bag and the chicken in to the third.  Peel and slice the onion.  Add 1/3 of the onion rings to each bag.  Set aside.
One your sauce is reduced by 2/3rd, you protein has been divided and you carrots have been partially cooked and cold shocked you are ready to bring it all home!  Add one ladle of sauce to each bag of protein and one ladle of sauce to each sandwich bag of carrots.  If you have any sauce left after you have been around to each bag, then divide between the protein bags.  Seal them up and match a carrot bag to each protein bag. 
Mix them well with your hands to distribute the glaze all over the carrots and meat.  Take out three new gallon size zippered bags and label each one.  Then put one bag of protein and one bag of carrots into each labeled gallon freezer bag.
Place them in the freezer for later or the fridge for later tonight.  Please allow two days in the fridge to thaw before cooking if you are making the freezer meal. 

Place the protein on a baking sheet and bake topped with the onions uncovered for 30 minutes on 350 degrees.  While the ham, pork steak of chicken is baking pour the carrots into a small sauce pan and heat over medium high heat stirring frequently until the liquid is gone and the carrots are nice and shiney like little new cars. 
Here's the ham steak after it's been baked.
Here it is all put together for dinner.
Sooooo good!  I was able to make three raspberry basalmic glazed dinners for $7.64 each.  The meat had a great savory quality and the carrots had a smooth sweetness.  Although the glaze was the same it has a different taste on protein and vegeatables.   

Christie aka Keeza

Friday, November 2, 2012

Stuffed Pepper Soup

This week the weather has changed.  Our warm balmy summer nights of grilling burgers and chicken breasts have given way to cool fall breezes and steamy pots of bubbling soup.  Bell peppers are in season right now so I compiled this recipe from a few online recipes and my favorite veggies.  By using one pound of ground beef and one pound of Italian sausage it adds a lot of flavor to this hearty soup.  


1 lb ground beef                    3.85
1 lb Italian sausage               1.81
1 sweet onion                        1.06
2 cloves garlic                         .05
2 stalks celery                         .25
2 carrots                                  .25
3 bell peppers (any color)     2.00
28 oz crushed tomatoes        1.79
32 oz beef broth                    2.89
2 cups instant brown rice      1.25
4 cups water
2 Tbsp all purpose seasoning
2 tsp black pepper
parmesean cheese and parsley for topping


In a large pan brown the ground beef and Italian sausage together.  Meanwhile chop the onion, mince the garlic, chop the celery and peel and grate the carrots.  Once the beef and sausage are browned drain the grease and set aside.  Pour 2 Tbsp of olive oil in the pan and saute the onion, garlic, celery, and carrots.  As those veggies are softening up chop the peppers and set aside. 
Once the onions and celery start to get soft, add the peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.  I love all the beautiful colors in this dish!
Next find the biggest soup pot you have in your cupboard.  This recipe makes between 4 and 5 quarts of soup.  In your soup pot add the sauteed vegetables, browned beef with sausage, 28 oz of crushed tomatoes, 32 oz of beef broth and 4 cups of water.  Stir well and bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Once the soup is boiling, reduce heat to a simmer and add 2 cups of instant brown rice.  Let simmer 5 minutes.  Next turn off the heat and allow to cool.  Sprinkle in 2 Tbsp of all purpose seasoning and 2 tsp black pepper.  I find that the soup gets plenty of salt from the sausage, crushed tomatoes and beef broth, but you can add a little if you like. 
Divide into quart freezer containers.  I had enough for 4 quarts to freeze plus two bowls of soup for dinner tonight.
We topped our soup with Parmesan cheese.  This is also tasty with parsley.

             This soup was so fabulous.  It has a great hearty quality from the brown rice and ground beef with sausage.  All the vegetables give a crunchy texture and a wonderful fresh flavor.  The crushed tomatoes were sweet and didn't need any sugar to mellow the flavor.  It's a well rounded dinner that freezes beautifully.

I was able to make 4 1/2 quarts of soup for $3.38 a quart.  Not bad huh? 

Christie aka Keeza