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Meal Ideas Needed...

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beggsy Jan 18, 2009 08:15 PM

Our community prepares meals for families in distress (due to illness etc) and I need to make a meal for 4. It must be fully prepared so it just needs to be reheated. They have requested no chicken and it sounds as though they have had a lot of 'freezer' meals. I would like to prepare something other than the usual lasagna or beef stew. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thanks so much!

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  1. soypower RE: beggsy Jan 18, 2009 10:14 PM

    I think stir-fries do reasonably well being frozen and re-heated...Maybe a pork & vegetable stir fry? Just put some steamed rice in plastic containers, top with stir fry and freeze.

    http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/rec...

    1. ideabaker RE: beggsy Jan 19, 2009 04:48 AM

      I am not sure where you are located, but it looks like Canada... so it would be very cold about now. Shepherd's Pie is always a winner, loads of great recipes (some easier than others and all tasty) here on the CH boards, just search "Shepherd's Pie Recipes". I particularly like http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ho... which uses mushrooms, plain button mushrooms or baby bellas work fine here, and it is great upon the reheat (actually better than eaten right away).

      Other "comfort foods" come to mind, such as meatloaf and veggies, tuna casserole, baked "Mexican" lasagnes, etc. Happy cooking!

      1. k
        KiltedCook RE: beggsy Jan 19, 2009 07:09 AM

        Tourtiere freezes well and thaws nicely. Stir fries won't unless they have heavy sauce. One U.S. Personal Chef Association menu I really like it Pork Chops with Apples & Yams. Sear the chops. Then cooke diced yams in a bit of orange juice concentrate until nearly soft. Add the chops back to the pan to warm up and get flavor. Then add diced Granny Smith apples - peeled or not, and cook until they are almost soft

        1. b
          beggsy RE: beggsy Jan 19, 2009 08:22 AM

          Thanks all! I think I'll make the shepard's pie. Much appreciated!

          1. ideabaker RE: beggsy Jan 22, 2009 09:12 AM

            Hmm... Food Network seems to be having technical problems and won't link to its recipe... so here it is... courtesy of Food Network, when it is working...

            Beef Shepherd's Pie

            Ingredients

            * 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
            * 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
            * 1 medium onion, diced
            * 3 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
            * 1 rib celery, sliced
            * 1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, quartered
            * 2 cloves garlic, minced
            * 1 tablespoon kosher salt
            * 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano
            * 3 tablespoons tomato paste
            * 1 pound ground beef
            * 1/4 cup canned low sodium beef broth
            * 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
            * Freshly ground black pepper
            * 4 cups Mashed Potatoes, recipe follows
            * 1/4 cup grated Parmesan, optional
            * Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

            Directions

            Heat the olive oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, mushrooms, garlic, half the salt, and oregano. Cook until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until mushrooms are soft and tomato paste has turned brick red, about 8 minutes more. Stir in the beef, the broth, the remaining salt, the Worcestershire, and some pepper, breaking up any large clumps of meat, cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 3 minutes.

            Transfer the meat and vegetables to a 2-quart oval casserole dish and spread the mashed potatoes over the top, leaving a 1/4-inch boarder around the edge. Make a decorative pattern on the top of the potatoes, if desired. Sprinkle with cheese, if using, and dot with the remaining tablespoon of butter. Bake until potatoes brown and the juices bubble around the edge, about 40 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

            Copyright 2005 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved.
            Mashed Potatoes:

            1 1/2 pounds russet potatoes, peeled quartered

            2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more for seasoning

            3/4 cup whole milk

            6 tablespoons unsalted butter

            2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

            Freshly ground black pepper

            Put the potatoes in a saucepan with cold water to cover by about 1-inch and add the salt. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, uncovered, until the potatoes are tender but not mushy, about 15 minutes. At the same time, combine the milk and butter in a small saucepan and warm over low heat until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

            Drain the potatoes and return to the saucepan. Toss the potatoes over medium heat until dry. Add the heated milk mixture and mash the potatoes until just slightly chunky, then stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper, to taste.

            1. f
              fern RE: beggsy Jan 25, 2009 04:22 PM

              I think when families are in these situations and pretty much living on "freezer meals" the thing that gives is fresh food. Bagged salad and store-bought dressings get old fast. If you bring along a really good, freshly made salad with a jar of homemade dressing and maybe a dish of prepared fruit/ fruit salad, I'll bet they'd love that.

              It's good of you to lend a hand.

              btw, that Shepherd's Pie sounds good!

              2 Replies
              1. re: fern
                b
                beggsy RE: fern Jan 25, 2009 05:34 PM

                I agree. I ended up making homemade beef and barley soup, fresh baked rolls and a nice salad with romaine, cucumber, dill with homemade lemon dressing. Thanks for everyone's advice.

                1. re: beggsy
                  goodhealthgourmet RE: beggsy Jan 25, 2009 06:01 PM

                  next time you might also consider chili - there are so many possibilities for variations...though i'd skip the white chicken chili given the nature of the request ;)

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