Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Dill Chicken and Vegetables in Foil Packets

As I write this post it is the middle of the summer.  It's the season for grilling and camping.  These foil packets are easy to assemble and easy to clean up.  If it's raining or chilly you can bake them in your oven.   If you are camping you can put them in the coals around the fire.  We usually grill them at home.  You can make a bunch in advance and then just take out how many you need and thaw them in the fridge or cooler. 

These easiest to make with individually frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts.  I bought a bag of 12 chicken breasts for $11.  That's 92 cents a piece. 


4 frozen chicken breasts
4-8 ft of heavy duty aluminum foil
1 bag California style frozen vegetable mix
1/2 onion
4 sprigs of fresh dill
4 Tbsp margarine or butter
onion powder
garlic powder
non stick spray


Tear off a sheet of heavy duty foil and lay it on the counter.  Spray the center with non stick cooking spray.
Place one frozen chicken breast in the center of the foil.  Sprinkle with garlic powder, onion powder, salt and black pepper.
Slice the onion and place 1/4 of the onion slices on the chicken breast.  Top with 1/4 of the frozen California blend vegetables.
Chop the dill fronds until they look like a fresh pile of grass clippings.  =)  It smells amazing!
Now place 1 Tbsp of margarine or butter on top of the veggies and sprinkle with 1 heaping tsp of freshly chopped dill.  If you cannot find fresh dill you can also use dried...but it gives great flavor when used fresh.
Now carefully pull up the sides and roll down to form a seal.  Then fold the sides over and press together.  You don't want any of the buttery goodness leaking out while cooking!
If you need to you can wrap this first packet in an additional sheet of heavy duty foil to prevent leaks. Now repeat this sequence again with the other 3 chicken breasts.  Place two foil packets into a gallon zippered bag and label.  Then place the remaining two into a gallon zipper bag and label.
Put in the freezer until you are ready to meal plan.  Then thaw in the fridge or cooler for two days before cooking.  

Grill the chicken in the foil for 10 minutes on each side.  (total of 20 minutes). 

If you are camping you can nestle the foil packets down in the hot coals for 30 minutes. 

In the oven place the foil packets on the center rack and bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.

Then open the foil carefully and pour out onto a plate.  Enjoy!
Christie aka Keeza

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Veggie Tray Soup

Well we are moved into our new home.  My husband and I are so happy that we were able to sell our two bedroom home and find a beautiful three bedroom home in the neighborhood we wanted.  Now that we are mostly unpacked and had one casual backyard party I am back to my favorite hobby!  Freezer Cooking!  I can't tell you how much Subway sandwiches we have eaten in the last four months.  We absolutely love Subway, but we both miss having home cooked meals around the table.
So here is one that I have been meaning to try for years.  After our Independence Day party we had lots of food leftover.  But after many days of burgers, pasta salad, taco salad and potato chips we still had a lot of veggies left over from our veggie tray.  I don't want them to go to waste so I whipped up a veggie tray soup.  It has the consistency of a bisque.  It has a ton of flavor and not too many calories. 
1/2 cup carrot sticks
1/2 cup celery sticks
2 C broccoli florets
2 C cauliflower
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
32 oz fat free, low sodium chicken broth
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
4 Tbsp margarine
4 Tbsp all purpose flour
1 Tbsp black pepper
1 Tbsp all purpose seasoning
1 Tbsp fresh or dried parsley
In a large saucepan melt the 4 Tbsp margarine.  Set up a large cutting board and chop the veggies and add them to the pan in this order...onion, celery, carrot, garlic.  Sauté until the root vegetables start to get tender.
Add 4 Tbsp flour and stir well.  Once you can no longer see bright white flour slowly stir in the chicken broth.  This is how it looked half way through adding the chicken broth.
Drain the can of diced tomatoes and add to the pan.  Lastly chop the broccoli and cauliflower into bite sized pieces and add to the pan. 

 Put a lid on the pan and simmer for 5-6 minutes.  You just want to take the crunch off the broccoli and cauliflower without turning them into mush.
Shred the 8 oz of sharp cheddar and slowly stir into the soup.  Add pepper and all purpose seasoning and fresh or dried parsley to taste.  I did not need to add any salt because the cheddar is quite salty.
I make two quarts of soup.  Yum!
It's creamy and hearty...I can't wait to have some for dinner.  Feel free to throw in some leftover grilled chicken or steak from your summer parties.  It turns a dried out tray of vegetables into something moist and delicious. 
Give it a try with your party leftovers and let me know how it turns out.
Christie aka Keeza