Last week, we had a freezer day. I've been freaking out about starting school. I'm just scared to death everything else in my life is going to fall apart because anybody that knows me knows that I refuse to do a job unless I can devote 100%. Well, devoting 100% to my students means I won't have time to clean or cook or exercise, much less do anything fun for myself.
So to ease my fears, we cooked a bunch of meals for the freezer so I can just thaw it in the morning and pop it in the oven when I get home. Me, Mom and Barb tripled the recipes for chicken enchiladas and chicken spaghetti. We cooked all afternoon and came out with 12 two-person servings of enchiladas + 2 four-person servings, 12 regular-sized chicken spaghettis (will feed 4-6) + 1 large family size (will feed 8-10). I also made 2 gallons of chili at my house. We spent about $200 on the ingredients for the two chicken dishes. If you divide that by each meal we have, it comes out to about $1.75 per serving. Not too shabby! I know it's a lot of up-front cost, but think of how glad we'll be when we ain't gotta think about dinner. :)
Several of you have asked for the recipes, so here they are.
1 chicken - boiled, deboned and chopped
1 can Rotel
1 (2 pound) block Velveeta, cubed
1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
5 green onions, chopped
1 stick butter
1 package spaghetti
After boiling the chicken, SAVE THE STOCK! In a large skillet, melt the butter and add bell pepper and green onions. Saute until tender. When translucent, add Rotel and simmer for a few minutes. Add chicken to the tomato mixture. Cook spaghetti in the chicken broth. Drain, reserving all of the broth. Put the spaghetti back into the pot and add the tomato/chicken mixture. Next, stir in the Velveeta. The heat of the pot should melt the cheese. The spaghetti will absorb most of the liquid, so keep adding broth until it's a good consistency. Pour entire mixture into a 13x9 Pyrex and sprinkle with cheese. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until bubbly.
**If you're going to be freezing this, be sure to add LOTS of extra broth. It may look too soupy, but you'll be sorry if you don't. Also, don't cook it if you're freezing.
See how this looks soupy?
12 flour tortillas
1 chicken - cooked, deboned and chopped
1 cup chopped olives
2 Jalapeno peppers, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
16 oz. sour cream
1 cup grated cheddar
1 can green chilies (optional)
2 cups chicken stock (from boiling chicken)
1 can cream of mushroom
1 can cream of chicken
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar
For sauce, mix all ingredients until creamy then add salt and pepper (you may use all cream of mushroom if you want). Grease a Pyrex and spoon some of the sauce on the bottom to prevent sticking. Mix all enchilada ingredients except tortillas; salt and pepper to taste. Place a large spoonful of the mixture on each tortilla and roll tightly. Place seam-side down in Pyrex. Sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for 45 minutes at 350 degrees (or until bubbly).
Some of you have also asked for the Weight Watchers-friendly stuffed manicotti recipe I posted on Instagram. Side note: I did not freeze this.
10-14 pasta shells or manicotti
4 oz. chopped chicken (cooked)
1 container part-skim ricotta
2 egg whites, gently beaten
1 package frozen spinach, thawed & drained
3/4 cup Mozzarella, divided
1/3 cup Parmesan
2 teaspoons garlic powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
salt & pepper
1 1/2 cups pasta sauce of your choice
Preheat oven to 350. Cook shells/manicotti according to directions on box. Do NOT overcook. They'll start to split & you won't be able to stuff. Rinse with cold water and set aside on paper towels to drain.
Spray a 9x13 Pyrex with cooking spray and spread about 1/2 cup of sauce to coat. For filling, stir together egg whites, ricotta, chicken, spinach and spices. Stir in parmesan and 1/4 cup mozzarella. Fill each shell/manicotti with mixture and place in the baking dish. Spread remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with remaining mozarella. Salt and pepper to taste and back for 30 minutes.
**You can really add whatever filling you like. If you don't like spinach, add something else. You could even make it a meat manicotti. This is the second time I've made this, and Chad really likes it. He has no idea it's not bad for you!
I really hope to make a few more meals for the freezer. Up next: chicken pot pie, homemade spaghetti sauce with meatballs, ranch stew, vegetable soup and chicken & dumplings. If anybody wants to have a freezer day with me, holler!