The further into the semester we get the crazier and more hectic our schedules become. It is so easy to let nutrition fall to the wayside (it usually lands right next to exercise, the first to fall) during these times, that I always feel the need to take a stand. I know through careful and casual self-observation that I am a better person -- mentally, physically, and emotionally -- when I eat healthfully. Freezer Cooking is my stand against junk eating. Last fall my sister and I spent a glorious Fall Break weekend cooking, cooking, and cooking some more. We made no less than 16 different recipes in large enough quantities to stock up both our freezers for the second half of the semester. Unfortunately, we have not been able to get together to do it again, so I had to take matters into my own hands. Our old freezer (7+ years) was on the fritz so we bought a new one. It seems smaller on the outside, but overall is the same or slightly bigger than the last one. I love that it has a lock, power light, and temperature controls all on the outside! I know, I am a freezer nerd!
I am hoping that these meals and staples will get us through the next few weeks until there is time to replenish the freezer again. I will list here what I made and provide links to recipes that have them!
Lasagna Florentine Roll-ups -- I have been wanting to make these for 7 years (according to the date on the recipe I have been saving). I used whole wheat noodles which I think is a wise choice as they can stand up to all the handling, freezing, and cooking.
Pinto Beans -- nothing special or fancy. I just cooked up a big pot (with a few bay leaves) so I can freeze in gallon bags. Beans of all shapes and sizes are a huge staple for us.
Bread Machine Cinnamon Rolls -- I really wanted to have these made for this morning, but I was out of AP flour, so I now have two pans in the freezer -- ready for when the urge hits next!
Oatmeal Pancake Mix -- this is my sister's favorite mix and it is ingenious in that you keep it in the freezer and use as needed. You mix 1 cup of the mix with 1 cup buttermilk and 1 egg, and voila! awesome pancakes!
Homemade Yellow Cake Mix -- I made this today so I can use it in this recipe (Coconut Tres Leches Cake) for a potluck dinner I am attending later this week.
Enchilada Casserole, Two Ways. I made up a recipe for this. One pan is a layered enchilada casserole using a mix of kasha/spinach/cream cheese/taco seasoning alternately layered with corn tortillas, red sauce, pinto beans, and shredded monterey jack cheese. The other is more traditional in that the enchiladas are rolled (filled with either the kasha mix and cheese OR freshly roasted peppers from our garden and cheese). The latter is being eaten tonight!
Sesame Sprinkle -- thank you Mark Bittman!
Okra Ratatouille -- basically a ragout of fresh okra, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, and pickled garlic. SO GOOD!
I still have a few more things I want to make but ran out of time. Oh well, maybe in a few weeks!