Healthful meals that freeze well
I am a special ed high school teacher, planning on a very busy fall. In addition, my husband has high cholesterol, so we are trying to avoid foods high in sugar, cream, butter, etc. I thought it would be a great idea for me to make some dinners that I can freeze now and reheat as needed. Do you have any recommendations? Thank you!
If you make the following with lean ground turkey instead of traditional beef, you get some low fat ready meals:
Chilli - freeze in servings, reheat and eat by itself, with some rice or a jacket potato.
Bolognese - either freeze the sauce, or make a pan of baked penne, cool, then cut and freeze in servings. You could also make this into a lasagne, using low-fat cottage cheese as your dairy layer.
I've also made vegetarian lasagnes that freeze well, using squash, mushrooms, eggplant - whatever is in season. Again substituting any heavy dairy layers with low fat cottage cheese and sometimes even low-fat greek yoghurt (Fage 0%).
I also make a spicy chicken and rice soup in Autumn - when I want to freeze it, I leave out the rice and cook a small amount of either rice or orzo to add when reheating.
With produce getting ripe, I'd buy a bunch of green/red peppers and stuff them with a combination of things. They freeze well and aren't apt to get freezer burn. You could stuff them with a combination of panko/ground cooked turkey and cottage cheese or ground cooked turkey/onions/garlic/shredded lowfat cheese. Either way, pour tomato sauce over them and bake, then freeze 2 peppers per quart freezer ziplock. I'm a teacher, too, and I always make up a batch of things in late summer and freeze them for nights where I'm too tired to cook fall semester.
Going off Emme's ratatouille recommendation — I freeze bags of pre-chopped squash and eggplant. Sautee onions, garlic, bell peppers and spices, add the frozen squash and eggplant, a can of tomatoes (or frozen tomato sauce if I have too much) and simmer. That gives me a good 30-40 minutes to work while dinner's cooking.
Now is also the time to freeze fresh fruit and veg. I always cook 4 extra corn and cut the kernels off and freeze them in small bags.
2 cups of frozen corn in the freezer is a great start to easy pasta, chowder and fritters, also relishes and fritta.
Peaches cut and frozen are great all winter. Same with blueberries and plums.
Timely inquiry, as I've just spent a fair amount of time cooking for a friend who is trying to lose weight, but doesn't cook and hates vegetables steamed. If any of these interest, I can sketch recipes...
Salmon Croquettes - almond meal instead of bread crumbs... very easy, fat free except for the heart-healthy omegas in salmon
Stuffed Zucchini Boats - using veggies and TVP
Eggplant and Veg et al stackers
Thank you so much!!! You are a GREAT friend to help with all that. The dr. recommended a diet high in healthy fats, low in the sat/trans fats, so salmon croquettes sound perfect!!! I'd love that recipe. What is TVP? I think I have just had bad experiences freezing things. I grilled chicken and froze it and it was totally dried out. Maybe I just need to wrap things better.
Salmon Croquettes - basically a couple of cans of boneless, skinless salmon drained and "shredded," so to speak. I dice and cook (sometime in pan, sometimes lazy in microwave) one - two onions, depending upon size... i like mine onion heavy. Add to salmon, along with chopped parsley (to taste), egg whites (2-4) for a couple of cans, S&P, then just enough almond meal/powder, so they hold together in a loose patty. they'll be wet. then either form into patties and place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 350-375 til they're golden 15-20 min usually, but don't overbake or they'll dry out. or pan fry in Pam... brown one side, flip, repeat, voila. great by themselves. or with other veggie stuff. or i make baby ones in my mini mold pans and use as croutons in a creamless creamy cauliflower soup. or a lemon sauce... etc.
TVP - textured vegetable protein, takes on the flavor of what it's cooked with and resembles ground meat
yes, wrap well! i'm a fan of double method, or i have good luck with tupperware. or ziplocs.
Hi coffee'n. :)
There's many recipes/threads running about with great suggestions. You might want to go to the "Home Cooking" board and page through the threads a bit. Or you could search "freezer meals" "make ahead meals" "casseroles" and similar keywords.
Don't know how experienced a cook you are, but if you need help modifying a recipe, you can post a thread asking. :)
I agree with chili. Here's a discussion on Ellie Krieger's Confetti Chili. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/758433
It is healthy and tastes great. My husband, not known for his healthy choices, enjoys this quite a bit. We add green onions and cilantro to this too. Great for a quick meal after work or during Sunday football.