I have a ton of online friends who are currently expecting a new addition to their family soon. They are all the time asking for recipes that are easy to make and easy to freeze. It's just my luck to get an email today full of freezer recipes! Let the freezing begin! The best part? These are healthy. Yum, yum. Mama's in the kitchen, again!
Baked Ratatouille-Sausage Penne (pictured above)
- 12 oz. uncooked turkey Italian sausage links
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 14-oz. can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano, undrained
- 3 tbsp parsley (fresh snipped is best)
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper (optional)
- 1 lb. eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/2 in. cubes
- 6 oz dried whole wheat or whole grain blend penne pasta
- 1/3 c finely shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place sausage links in an unheated skillet. Add 1/2 inch of water to the skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes or until juices run clear; drain off liquid. Cook for 2 to 4 minutes more or until browned, turning occasionally. Remove from heat. When cool enough to handle, cut sausages in half lengthwise; bias-cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Set aside.
2. In a large skillet, cook garlic in hot olive oil for 1 minute. Stir in undrained tomatoes, the 3 tablespoons parsley, and, if desired, the crushed red pepper. Bring to boiling. Stir in eggplant. Reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, cooking it for the minimum time listed; drain. Return pasta to hot pan. Stir in eggplant mixture and sausage. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish.
4. Bake, covered, about 30 minutes or until heated through. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Uncover and bake about 5 minutes more or until cheese melts. If desired, sprinkle with additional parsley.
Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through Step 3. Cover baking dish with plastic wrap and then foil. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days or until completely thawed. Bake as directed but add 10 to 20 minutes to the covered baking time. Sprinkle with cheese as directed. Serve as directed through Step 4.
- 2 c sliced fresh mushrooms
- 3/4 c chopped raw red or yellow sweet pepper
- 1/2 c chopped onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp butter or margarine
- 1/4 c all-purpose flour
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme, crushed
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 c fat free milk
- 1 10-oz pkg frozen spinach, thawed and well-drained
- 2 c cooked white or brown rice
- 2 c cooked chicken or turkey
- 1/2 c finely shredded Parmesan cheese
2. Spoon mixture into a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake about 10 minutes more or until heated through. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.
Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through Step 1 and part of Step 2. After sprinkling with remaining Parmesan cheese, cover baking dish with plastic wrap and then foil. Label and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days or until completely thawed. Bake as directed in Step 2 but add 10 to 20 minutes to the covered baking time.
Spicy Steak and Beans
- 1 1/2 lbs beef flank stead
- 1 10-oz can chopped tomatoes with green chiles, drained
- 1/2 c chopped onions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh snipped oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano, crushed
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt and black pepper, each
- 2 small red, yellow, and/or green sweet peppers, cut into strips
- 1 15-oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- hot cooked brown rice (optional)
- crumbled queso fresco or feta cheese (optional)
1. Trim fat from meat. If necessary, cut meat to fit into 3-1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Place meat in cooker. In a bowl stir together undrained tomatoes, onion, garlic, dried oregano (if using), chili powder, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Pour over meat.
2. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 7 to 9 hours or on high-heat setting for 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 hours.
3. If using low-heat setting, turn to high-heat setting. Stir in sweet pepper strips and pinto beans. Cover and cook for 30 minutes. Remove meat; cool slightly. Shred or thinly slice meat across the grain. Stir fresh oregano (if using) into bean mixture. 4. If desired, spoon rice into soup bowls. Arrange meat on top of rice. Spoon bean mixture over meat. If desired, sprinkle with cheese.
Make-Ahead Directions: Prepare as directed through Step 3 but do not stir in fresh oregano (if using); cool quickly, stirring frequently. Transfer mixture to a freezer-safe container. Seal, label, and freeze for up to 3 months. To serve, thaw mixture in the refrigerator for 1 to 2 days or until completely thawed. Transfer mixture to a large saucepan. Heat through, stirring frequently. Stir in oregano (if using) as directed and serve as directed in Step 4.
As always, feel free to leave a comment!