I had the tomatoes, celery, carrots, peas, chick peas and cheese set up salad bar style so everyone could choose what they wanted. One of the boys also added croutons (not shown).
What does this have to do with freezer cooking? I had 2 packeages of chicken, so while the chicken for the salad was cooking in one pan, I was starting a second dinner in the other pan.
Chicken and rice casserole...
cook 1-1.5 lbs of chicken breast (cut in bite size pieces)
add 2 cans of cream soup (I use 1 chicken and 1 mushroom)
2 cups of water
1 pkg onion soup mix
2 cups instant rice
For several people (or if you have 2 teenage boys in a family of 4)
2-2.5 lbs of chicken
3 cans of soup
3 c of water
2 pkg onion soup mix
3 c instant rice
This can be served right away, but we usually bake it first to thicken it up and brown it a little.
Or, what I did this time was prepare it on the stovetop, transfer to a baking pan and put it in the freezer without baking it. It freezes well and will make a great supper for a night we are just too busy to bother.
While all of this was going on I was also preparing about 3 lbs of ground beef with onions. I might sound amazing, but continue reading to see how this story ends!
I used to section the uncooked ground beef into chunks that were about 1 lb each and freeze them in tupperware containers and I could pull out whatever amount I needed. Trouble was if I didn't take it out of the freezer in the am, it was a bear to thaw and cook. One day I finally had a revelation that it would be better to brown the ground beef with onions, put it in ziplocs and take however much I need out of the bag. This works much better. I leave the bag open about an inch, roll the air out, finish closing and flatten the bag. I also put a date on all prepared meals that go into the freezer.
This can become taco meat in about 5 minutes, used in spaghetti with meat sauce, soups (like taco soup), and casseroles just to mention a few things. The possibilites are really endless. I make hamburgers in individual tupperware patty containers to freeze, but I didn't that day. The ground beef price was not great, so I will try to wait it out for a better price before attempting to stock up on hamburgers in my freezer.
I was so proud of myself! Grilled chicken salads for supper that night, chicken and rice casserole for the freezer and enough ground beef for 2 or three meals. I was on a roll. The plan was to put roast beef, carrots and potatoes in the crockpot on Tuesday morning to have dinner waiting when we got home...
So I got up early Tuesday, put the beef in the crockpot and started peeling potatoes. After I peeled the first 3 I decided to cut them up, put them in the pot, and decide how many more I might need. As I hurried to cut the first one I gashed my finger. You know what they say about the best laid plans!
I had my kids call their grandpa for a ride to school, wrapped my finger in a clean towel and drove myself to the ER. It was a deep cut, but I'll spare the graphic details. Suffice it to say I ended up with 2 shots, 3 stiches and a dead nerve in my finger. We didn't have roast that night!