Thank Heavens for Freezer Meals


Between the changes at work and our new family of three, last week was one of those that I could have easily bailed on cooking any given night and not felt very guilty at all. The fact that I only skipped one planned meal in favor of take-out is a small victory.

Home-cooked meals from May 2-8, 2016

Home-cooked meals from May 2-8, 2016

Check out the video right here:

Monday: Sweet Potato Cake Turkey Burgers + Side Salad + Grapes
Super simple freezer meal number one–this one didn’t even need defrosting! I believe the patty recipe came from Multiply Delicious and I just subbed turkey for chicken as the former is way easier to find and frequently on sale. I also doubled the recipe to make 12 patties or 3 meals at a time. We’ll definitely be making another batch because they are just so simple to have on hand and very tasty.

Tuesday: Chicken Curry with Cabbage and Peppers + Basmati Rice
Never a bad time for a good curry, this was our first try of the recipe from Loving My Nest and I think it’s a keeper. A freezer meal, yes, but I didn’t bother with the crock pot and it was the right call–the chicken may have become mealy if it cooked all day. Now, I believe I added a can of coconut milk to the mix before I froze it and, yes, it “broke” a bit (separated) when I cooked it. Would I do it again? Maybe, maybe not. I was just trying to avoid planning this meal and forgetting to have a can of coconut milk on hand and while it affected the appearance slightly, the taste didn’t suffer one bit. And, yes, I’d definitely use coconut milk over cows milk for this curry and pretty much any curry.

Wednesday: Cod Creole + Parmesan Orzo + Green Beans
What is it with me and forgetting to actually buy the fish I put on the menu?! I stuck it out this time, though, and it was definitely worth it. Cod is not only a very milk white fish it also doesn’t tend to fish-up the house when cooked. And this preparation from Hello Spoonful is just so simple it’s hard to beat! The one brand of gluten-free orzo we can find is a love-hate thing for us. We love orzo and have many dishes that call for it, but the gluten-free version puts out so much starch while boiling that it really does resemble risotto by the end more so than plain pasta. Straining it is a joke, so I usually don’t even bother, just mixing it into whatever else I had in mind and going with the flow.

Thursday: Broiled Steak + Mexican Street Corn Salad
Mmmm, Cinco de Mayo–as if we needed an excuse to have Mexican food for dinner, but I’m happy to take it anyway. The meal was mostly about the salad, which I found over on Live Eat Learn. I could have eaten a large bowl of this salad and skipped the steak and not been deprived whatsoever–I can totally see us making it again. We did a few substitutions, though. Normally I’d swap hominy for beans in most recipes, but since we were already focusing on the corn, I opted for some zucchini and yellow squash that needed to be used from the crisper. Also, while I adore feta and cotija cheese, we had a sizeable block of white cheddar leftover from my party and I shredded that up into the salad instead. I also cooked most of the ingredients for a bit to soften the squash and peppers up. I’m sure there are endless variations one could make on this salad and not go wrong–some halved cherry tomatoes come to mind, and maybe some avocado chunks, too?

Friday: Take out!
I debated making breakfast for dinner, but my heart wasn’t in it. Instead I picked up fried chicken and fixings and enjoyed the hell out of it!

Saturday: Sweet Potato Carbonara with Spinach and Eggplant
Since Todd isn’t a mushroom fan and they’re pretty High-FODMAP to boot, I substituted eggplant for the mushrooms in this recipe from Eating Well. Even though my sweet potato “noodles” didn’t hold their shape, this was a very filling, very tasty dish overall and I would encourage you to try it, even if yours ends up a bit more like a sweet potato vegetable hash like ours did.

Sunday: Shepherd’s Pie-Stuffed Potatoes + Jicama Citrus Salad
I’m sure you’ve seen those quick-cut videos of inventive food on Facebook, right? Have you actually tried any of them out? Well, I can now say that I have and it wasn’t that bad! While I did neglect to add additional liquid to make up for the thirstyness of the coconut flour I used, everything went more or less according to plan in this recipe/video from Tip Hero. I even dug out my large star pastry tip to pipe the potatoes onto the top! The salad though, that was a disappointment since my jicama ended up well past it’s use-by date (something a little hard to tell with the leathery outside to judge by). I will attempt the salad again, though, as I really do love jicama in cold salads.

Booze tip: I totally took a short cut on the citrus salad and bought the large container of pre-sliced fruit in extra-light syrup. If you are a fan of  greyhounds (the drink, not the dog, though they are lovely dogs), save said syrup and mix with your favorite gin for an slightly sweeter version of this simple libation. Fabulous, refreshing, and super-quick.

And that’s another week’s menu! I hope you got some good ideas from what was on our plates this week and have an excellent week in your own kitchen! Remember, it doesn’t have to be “gourmet” to be good, or even great. Make what you like, mix things up a bit, get some variety in there, and enjoy your meals!

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