Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Farmer's Casserole

I got this from the Once A Month Mom March Menu, for our attempt at true Once a Month Cooking. I believe that will be my ONLY attempt.  I like our way of sharing the work between friends, or tripling my regular dinner meals.  It was exhausting.  But, I have to admit, there's a lot we could have done different to make it go faster.  Chopping the night before would have made things MUCH simpler.  Anyhow, this is one of my favorite breakfast recipes, and I would love to always have these one hand, but we like them so much I use them up right away.  I think I'm going to start making this in batches of 10!

Author/Source: Martinez, Howell & Garcia from Don't Panic - Dinner's In the Freezer
Servings: 12

12 cups frozen shredded hash brown potatoes
3 cups Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
3 cups Cheddar cheese, shredded
4 cups diced ham or Canadian style bacon
18 ounces canned mild green chilies
1 cup green onions, sliced
12 each eggs, beaten
48 ounces evaporated milk
1 teaspoon pepper
0.5 teaspoon salt

1. Grease 4 8x8 pans. Arrange potatoes evenly in the bottom of baking dishes.
2. In a large bowl, mix together cheeses, ham, green chilies, and green onions. Sprinkle evenly among the 4 pans.
3. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, pepper and salt. Pour egg mixture evenly among pans over potato mixture in dish.
4. Cover with foil and write the following instructions: Thaw completely. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until center appears set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Containers Needed: 2 8x8 or 9x9 pans Deep Dish
This is one of the few meals that shouldn't be packaged in a Freezer bag.  I like to put everything in Freezer bags if possible. But this one does need the pan.  You can use disposable foil pans, or just freeze it in your dish.  Or even better, if you want to still be able to use your dishes while this is in the freezer, you can line the dish with plastic wrap or foil (b/c of the runny eggs, be aware of where you place the edges of the wrap), prepare the meal, then for a few hours or overnight, so it firms up.  Then you just pull the meal out of the dish and put the formed casserole in a freezer bag.  When ready to cook, remove it from the bag, remove the plastic wrap/foil and place it back in the dish to thaw.  The eggs do run into crevices, so I had to very carefully remove the foil before cooking, but it worked.  You can dip the bottom in warm water to loosen it from the foil a bit.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Asian Lettuce Wraps

1 (20 oz) pkg ground turkey
1/2 c hoisin sauce
1/2 c Asian peanut sauce
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1 to 2 carrots, peeled and julienned
Fresh cilantro
1 head boston lettuce leaves, cleaned and dried
1 bunch sliced green onions (opt)

Cook turkey; pour off any liquid. Add hoisin and peanut sauces; heat through. Serve with the rest of the ingredients and build your own lettuce wraps. This is great with rice- my kids love this meal.

Note: The hoisin and peanut sauces aren't cheap- next time I will try to make my own

Monday, May 4, 2009

Old Fashioned Meat Loaf

Courtesy Paula Deen with changes by Sara Brown

1 lb ground beef, turkey, or both
½ cup chopped onion
½ cup chopped bell pepper
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces canned diced tomatoes with juice
1 cup Pepperidge Farm stuffing mix

1/3 cup ketchup
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon mustard

Prep Directions:
Salt and pepper meat, mix all meatloaf ingredients well and shape into a loaf. Wrap loaf in Plastic Wrap and place in Freezer for 1-2 hours to firm up (this is so loaf will hold it's shape while being stored).
Mix ingredients for topping and place in Quart-size Freezer Bag.
Once loaf is firm, place plastic wrapped loaf into a Gallon-size freezer bag, along with smaller bag of Topping. Remove air and seal.

Serving Directions:
Thaw completely. Place loaf in baking dish, cover with Topping. Bake at 375 degrees for 1 hour.

Serve with mashed potatoes

Serves: 6

Maui Wowee Chicken

I started out with a recipe originally from Mom's Budget, but that recipe calls for 4 cans of Cream of Chicken Soup, which meant I would need 32 cans of soup for our 8 meals! I tested the recipe, and although my husband really liked it, it tasted too much of Crm of Chicken Soup to me. It is quick and easy though, so worth trying out if you want something fast to make. I knew I could make the sauce a little more fresh, and make it less expensive as well. So I tweaked my own version of it, closely using a recipe for Hawaiian Chicken in my What's For Dinner cookbook by Jana Schofield (Thanks Grandma, it's one of my favorites!).

4 cups cooked and cubed Chicken Breasts
1 (20oz) can Pineapple Tidbits
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup Sugar
1 Green Pepper (1 cup)
1/2 Onion (1 cup)
2 carrots, sliced diagonally (1 cup)
2 Tbsp Cornstarch
1/4 cup cold water
1 tsp soy sauce
On Hand:
4 cups cooked rice

Prep Directions:

To cook chicken breasts I boiled them in a large pot adding Chicken broth to the water, then I allowed them to cool and chopped. (this can be done ahead of time and packaged in 2 cup portions in the freezer for up to 2 months for fast dinner prep). Or chicken can be cooked in a large skillet with a small amount of oil until no longer pink. Remove chicken from skillet and set aside.

Drain pineapple. Add enough water to measure 1 cup. Combine juice vinegar and sugar in skillet. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Add green peppers, onions and carrots to sauce. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or until carrot is crisp-tender. In a small bowl, blend cold water and cornstarch stirring until smooth. Add to sauce stirring constantly until mixture thickens and boils. Stir in pineapple tidbits, soy sauce and chicken. Heat through, if serving right away. If Freezing, label Freezer Bag, place mixture in Bag, allow to cool completely before laying flat in Freezer.

Serving Directions:

Thaw. Heat on Stovetop and Serve over Rice.

Serves 8 (although without sides, it would probably only serve 6)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Chicken Taco Rice

(There was enough to feed my family 3 times. AND I forgot to put half of the taco seasoning in so there is usually a little more spice to it.)

2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
3 cups Chicken broth
8 oz. Tomato sauce
1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix
1-1/2 Brown rice, uncooked
1/2 cup Red or Green Pepper
1 can of corn

On Hand:
Shredded cheddar cheese

Optional Ingredients:
Tortilla chips, flour tortillas, tomatoes, lettuce, salsa, etc.

Assembly Directions:
Mix everything in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer until rice is done (about 40-50 minutes). Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Freezing Directions:
Allow rice mixture to cool. Place in appropriate sized containers. Seal, label and freeze.

Serving Directions:
Thaw in the refrigerator. Reheat in microwave until warm. You can also reheat it in a saucepan if you add a little bit of water before heating. Sprinkle cheese on top and serve with tortilla chips.

This is a great after school snack. Use it to make quick nachos or a filling for tacos.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Quinoa and Black Beans

Quinoa is a power grain- a complete protein and a great substitute for rice or taco filling. This recipe makes plenty for 8: • 1 onion, chopped • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa (make sure to rinse thoroughly) • 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper • salt and pepper to taste • 1 cup frozen corn kernels • 2 (15 ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro Directions 1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute until lightly browned. While this is cooking, soak quinoa in water for 5 minutes. Drain. 2. Mix quinoa into the saucepan and cover with vegetable broth. Season with cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes, 3. Stir frozen corn into the saucepan, and continue to simmer about 5 minutes until heated through. Mix in the black beans and cilantro. 4. Enjoy with brown rice and corn tortillas, top with cheese and avocado

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Creamy Minestrone Soup

Jana got this recipe from Allrecipes.com and tweaked it a bit.

1lb ground beef or Ground Sausage or both
8 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
4 (14 ounce) cans chicken broth
4 (15 ounce) cans mixed vegetables, with
liquid (Jana used fresh cut-up vegetables)
2 (16 ounce) cans kidney beans, with liquid
2 (14.5 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes,
with liquid
1 (16 ounce) package frozen chopped
2 tablespoons tomato paste
4 1/4 teaspoons garlic powder
4 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup uncooked elbow macaroni
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup canned garbanzo beans, drained
4 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese for topping

1. In a large stock pot over medium heat, stir and cook onions in butter until soft. Add ground beef/Sausage and cook until browned. Add broth, mixed vegetables, kidney beans, tomatoes, spinach, and tomato paste; simmer gently for 1 1/2 hours.
2. Using a slotted spoon, remove about half of the vegetables to a blender or food processor, reserving liquid in stock pot. Puree the vegetables until smooth and return them to stock pot. (Jana did not puree - she left the vegetables chunky and I agree - loved it with the chunky veggies)
3. Stir in garlic powder, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, macaroni, 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, garbanzo beans, and heavy cream; cook for 1/2 hour, stirring frequently. Pour into bowls and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese. (Jana likes to add Basil, if she has it on hand)