Swidget 1.0

Monday, June 15, 2009

parsley parmesan chicken

2-3 lbs. fresh fryer parts (or boneless chicken tenders)
1/4 cup italian dressing
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 T parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

Before day of cooking....
1. Package chicken into freezer bags in desired portions. I like to cut up chicken breasts into smaller pieces.

Day of cooking...
1. Place chicken parts and salad dressing in a bag to marinade.
2. Combine the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper into a separate ziploc baggie.
3. Place all into a larger freezer bag. Label and freeze.

Baking day....
1. Roll chicken one piece at a time in the crumbs (or just put it all in a bag and shake!). Then place the chicken in a greased 9x13 (or 8x8 for smaller portions) pan or on a cookie sheet. (If desired spoon excess dressing over chicken--I don't do this step, but others have told me it is good.) Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes to 1 hour or until the thickest part is done.

We enjoy this with a salad or green beans...and perhaps some mashed sweet potatoes.

Sausage Calzones

Recipe yields 4 calzones. The hubby and I usually split one and then freeze the rest to reheat later.

1 1/3 lb. italian sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
handful parsley
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
handful parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped pimento
2 tubes of prepared refrigerated pizza dough (I usually use two bags of Trader Joes whole wheat dough...you could also make your own)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
tomato, marinara or pizza sauce for dipping

Before day of cooking....
1. Brown sausage. Package and take to cooking day.

Day of cooking....
1. Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and pimento. 2. Roll pizza dough out on nonstick cookie sheets in 4 equal pieces. Spread 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of the sausage mixture on each rectangle. (Work only on one half of rectangle of dough!). Fold other half of dough over filling, pink edges firmly to seal. If your dough tears, remove a bit of filling and repair.
3. Wrap calzone in foil (spray foil with cooking oil before wrapping!) and place in a freezer bag.

Baking day....
1. Thaw and unwrap.
2. Bake 12-15 minutes at 425 or until golden brown. (My hint: spread foil on your cookie sheet before baking...makes for easy clean-up for the cheesy mess that oozes out during baking!)
3. Serve with tomato sauce for dipping. YUM!

Savory Marinade (for any meat)

Whisk together...

1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley

To freeze: Place this in freezer bag...add meat of choice (I enjoy using pork loins or chops OR chicken breast). On cooking day, thaw completely and bake or grill.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my all-time favorites. You've gotta love it when all the food groups combine into one dish that even the kiddos enjoy! This recipe came from an old neighbor, from way back when I used to babysit her little ones...to think I now have my own that age!

2 pie crusts (I make my own)--don't need until day you want to eat it!
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I love to use rotisserie chicken...gives it an extra kick!)
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
10 oz. frozen pea and carrot blend (or mixed veggies)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. thyme

Before day of cooking...

1. Cook and shred/dice chicken. I must admit, I almost always just buy a rotisserie chicken at Costco and dice it up...better flavor in my opinion! :)

Day of cooking....

1. Combine all ingredients (except crust, obviously) in a bowl and mix well.

2. Place mixture in ziploc freezer bag (double bag if you want). Label and freeze.

Baking day...

1. Make pie crust (enough for 2 crusts...top and bottom)...or buy crusts.

2. Place bottom crust in pie pan (I tend to use a square 8x8...its deeper and has more room for filling!). Saute the onion and celery in olive oil until soft. Combine all ingredients (including celery and onion), stir to mix well, and pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust, pinch edges together, and prick vents.

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, until deep golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Creamy Wild Rice Soup

1 1/2 lbs. chicken, cooked and diced
1/4 cup butter
1 large onion, diced
4 carrots, diced (or one 16 oz. bag of baby carrots)
3 celery stalks, diced
12 oz. sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup flour
32 oz. chicken broth
1 1/2 cups wild rice (cooked)
1 Tbsp. salt
1 tsp. dry mustard
1/4 tsp. curry powder
2 cups milk

Before day of cooking....
1. Cook and dice/shred chicken.
2. Cook wild rice.

Day of cooking....
**You will need a LARGE stockpot for each batch!
Add chicken, carrots, mushrooms, celery, onion, butter, and chicken broth to a large stockpot. Heat over medium high heat until veggies are tender. Add dry ingredients (EXCEPT wild rice). Reduce heat and stir in milk...cook through. Stir in wild rice at end.

To freeze: Double bag in ziploc freezer bags OR freezer safe plastic containers. To serve thaw and heat through.

Beef Chimichangas

These are great to make and "feed your freezer" with...pull them out one at a time for a tasty lunch or grab as many as you need for a family dinner. You should be able to easily multiply the ingredients to make batches of 32 or more...depending on what you have room for in your freezer.

1 lb cooked beef

16 oz salsa (as spicy as you like)

16 oz. can refried beans (fat-free work)

Taco seasoning
1t Minced onion
1t Chili powder
1/2 t Garlic powder
1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Salt
1/2 cup Water

16-8 inch flour tortillas
1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese, shredded

oil, for frying (optional)

Before day of cooking....
1. Brown ground beef with taco seasoning.

Day of cooking...
1. Combine ground beef, refried beans, salsa, and cheese in a large bowl.
2. Microwave tortillas briefly to soften.
3. Fill tortilla with ½ cup of meat mixture and top with cheese. Fold in the ends and roll it up.

Freezing and cooking directions:
Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes (straight from freezer—no need to thaw) OR heat them in ¼ in. deep oil in skillet for approx. 18 minutes over med-LOW heat (turn them once and watch them carefully). **We’ve also found they work well in the microwave…just unwrap, place on a plate and microwave for 1 minute…then 30 seconds at a time until warmed through. YUM

Chicken Chimichangas

Chicken breast (5-6ish)
Taco seasoning (1-2 packets)
Salsa (1-2 cups)
Cheese--mexican blend or co-jack are my favs (2 cups-ish--or more...I like them cheesy!)
Frozen corn-1 cup
Black beans-1-2 cans (depends how "beany" you want them!)
Sliced olives-1 can--this is optional...we just like olives!
Flour tortillas--30-40 (you want the 8 inch ones)
Aluminum foil and gallon freezer bags for packaging

I am estimating amounts...as this depends on how many you would like to make, and how "stuffed" you want each chimi!

Before day of cooking....
1. Toss chicken breasts (split chicken breasts will work...just take the skin off and toss in without deboning...you can debone when you shred later!) into a crock pot. Cover with taco seasoning and salsa. Let simmer all day on low heat. Remove from crock pot, shred, and package to take with you on cooking day.

Day of cooking....
1. Stir beans (drained and rinsed), cheese, corn and olives into meat mixture in a LARGE bowl.
2. Warm tortillas in micro briefly to soften.
3. Place 1/3-1/2 cup of mixture on each tortilla. Wrap it up (be sure to "tuck in" the ends).
4. Wrap each individual chimi in aluminum foil and place in freezer bag.

Baking instructions...
1. No need to thaw!
2. Unwrap and bake at 350 for 35 to 40 minutes.
OR for a more authentic (albeit..less healthy!) taste...
2. Place 1/4-1/2 inch of oil in skillet and heat over medium heat. Place chimi in oil and cook for approx. 8 minutes per side or until just golden
OR for a quick meal...or hubby's lunchbox!
3. Microwave on medium power 2-3 minutes. (obviously you should remove the foil first!) :)

Baked Ziti

This recipe makes 4-8x8 pans or 2 9x13 pans of baked ziti. Tweak amounts if necessary! :)

4 cups cottage cheese
8 eggs
8 cups mozarella cheese
1 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
64 oz. spaghetti sauce of your choosing
2 lbs. meat--ground beef, italian sausage or a mixture of these--this is optional!
32 oz. pasta--rotini or penne shape work well

Before day of cooking....
1. Cook pasta according to instructions. Be sure to cook just until "al dente" and not overcook since you are freezing this. Drain and package in ziplocs or whatever container you would like to take to your cooking day.

2. Brown any ground beef or sausage and package to take along for cooking.

Day of cooking...
1. Mix cottage cheese, eggs, and mozarella cheese in a large mixing bowl. Stir pasta into this mixture.
2. In separate large bowl mix spaghetti sauce with meat.
3. Place a layer of sauce on the bottom of each pan (4-8x8s or 2-9x13s--aluminum foil or something like Glad Ovenware (this is my preference...they go straight from freezer to oven and clean SO easily!).
4. Cover sauce layer with 1/4 (or 1/2 if using 9x13) of cheese and pasta mixture.
5. Cover with remaining sauce.
6. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
7. Cover with lid. If using aluminum pans I recommend placing the entire pan into a ziploc freezer bag to prevent leaks! Label...freeze....ENJOY!

Baking instructions....
1. Thaw completely.
2. Cover with foil (if you are using an Ovenbake remove the plastic lid first!) and bake at 350 for 20 minutes...then remove foil and bake an additional 20 minutes.