Thursday, September 9, 2010

Freezer Friendly Recipes


Those of you following Blossom on Facebook will have seen that I recently invested in a chest freezer (despite the fact that many would think this was a crazy idea in my tiny, but well-used, little kitchen).

We have been talking about getting a big freezer for years, dreaming of preserving some of our favourite summer farmer's market treats for year-round enjoyment. This year, the deciding factor was that Little Woods is coming, and its important to me that we are able to keep our healthy, homecooked, whole foods based diet going even if things get a little crazy around here! So... I have spent the last week buying up huge amounts of fresh food, cooking up a storm, and hubby and I even went blackberry picking (a little late in the season)! Surely this is a nutritionist's way of nesting!!!

Below are some of the basic, but lovely recipes which have filled our freezer to the brim. Whether you have a newborn at home, or struggle to get dinner on the table after a long day at work - these meals can be a lifesaver. The secret here is to cook up a massive amount of each to really get the most out of your time investment. Then freeze in dinner sized portions (I made some lunches too), and viola!


Mixed Bean Vegetarian Chili

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 bell peppers, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 (4 ounce) cans chopped green chile peppers, drained
  • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 2 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained (I used dried, soaked them overnight, then simmered for an hour in water before use...saves $$)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can other beans of choice, drained (I used dried, soaked them overnight, then simmered for an hour in water before use...saves $$)
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through,reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
  2. Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.


Basic Vegetable Quiche You can pretty much swap out the feta and chard here for any combination of cheese and vegetable that appeals to you. Just make sure whatever veg you choose is chopped.

1 storebought pie crust, pressed into a pie dish 3 eggs 1 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup feta cheese 1/2 onion, sliced and sauteed in olive oil, 3-5 minutes until soft 1 bunch kale or chard (washed, chopped, and sauteed in garlic and olive oil) 1 zucchini, shredded or other vegetables of choice (I used mushrooms!)

salt and pepper to taste


Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F. Prick the bottom of your pie crust with a fork and pre-bake it for 8 minutes. While it’s baking, whisk together milk, half-and-half, eggs, and some pepper. Remove the pie crust and sprinkle the cheese, onions, and half the vegetables on the bottom. Pour most of the egg mixture on top, then add the remaining vegetables, stirring gently so they are partially immersed in the egg mixture. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top hasn’t turned that appealingly golden brown color, broil for a few minutes at the very end.

Chicken Soup

1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 celery ribs, sliced
1 teaspoon oil
leftover chicken or turkey carcass or 3 pounds of chicken pieces
1 or 2 bay leaves
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup rice or 2 cups noodles

Heat oil in large pot. Place chopped onion, celery and carrots into pot and fry gently for about 5 minutes, until they are soft but not carmelized.

Add chicken or turkey carcass or pieces and bay leaf. Add water to cover, about 2 quarts, but this varies with the size of the carcass or amount of meat you use. Just make sure it is covered.

Add salt to taste. Boil for 2 hours, checking near the end of the cooking time to see if you need more salt. Add pepper at that time.

Remove meat and bones. Add rice or noodles and cook for about 20 minutes more. Cut cooled meat into small pieces and add back to the pot.

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