Thursday, October 10, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato Chowder

I've had this several at time at cooking shows for Pampered chef. It's always a hit! What's so great is that they have a section for their recipes. Of course, I often have to modify their recipes. Not only are many things microwaved, but they also call for their own pantry products. But they can still be used pretty easily!

Find the recipe here. I actually BAKE my potatoes in the oven, and cook on the stove. My recipe card says to microwave everything. Do what works for you!

Rigatoni in Creamy Tomato Sauce

I added some frozen mixed vegetable medley to this at the end and warmed it through. Just to add a little more veggie into the meal. This is excellent with shrimp too! Find it here.

Southwestern Chicken-Pasta Bake

This is delicious! Found it in All You magazine. I think I may add more peppers. It serves 10, so you can freeze half or split it up into 3 meals. Find it here.

Chili Mac Skillet

12 oz ground beef
1 can whole kernel corn, drained
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (I used dry beans that I've cooked and frozen in bags)
1 can green chilies
3/4 cup dried elbow macaroni
2 tsp chili powder
1 cup water
1.2 cup shredder cheddar cheese

Brown meat and drain
Stir in corn, undrained tomatoes, beans, chilies, uncooked macaroni, chili powder and water
Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 12-15 minutes or until pasta is tender
Top with cheese, cover and let stand 5 minutes

Olive Garden Toscana Soup

Another Olive Garden favorite! My husband always orders this soup. We eat it so much, that the restaurant version now tastes different to me. But both are still delicious! Find the recipe here.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Beef and Brown Gravy Pasta

Depending on how much you need for your family, you can freeze half of this recipe, or even break it up into 3 meals.

1 1/2 ground beef
olive oil
3 cloves garlic
1 package brown gravy, prepared (which I had a homemade version of this)
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/2 rosemary
1 lb cooked penne pasta
Mozzarella or swiss cheese

Preheat oven to 350
Brown beef and garlic in oil, don't drain
Add prepared gravy
Add rest of ingredients and mix
Transfer to casserole dish
Top with cheese
Bake until cheese is melted
Top with

Enchilada Casserole

I really suck at making enchiladas.... they always fall apart! My sister-in-law has informed me that it's because I don't fry my tortillas before rolling them. Too much pressure! I found this casserole style dish via facebook friends.

1 lb ground beef
1 dozen corn tortillas, cut into strips
1 can olives
1 10 oz can cream of chicken (I usually do homemade version, recipe here)
1 chopped onion
2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 can diced green chilies
2 10 oz cans enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350
Brown ground beef
Mix together soup, enchilada sauce, olives, onions and chilies
Add beef, tortillas and half of the cheese
Transfer to casserole dish and bake 45-60 min
Garnish with sour cream and guacamole

Note: I hardly ever have condensed soup, because they're so high in sodium. Plus, homemade is SO delicious! I can eat it by itself! I usually make the creamed chicken, and then add all the ingredients to the pot to mix it up. Brown the beef in a separate pan. The creamed chicken recipe makes more than this recipe requires. So you can measure out what you need and freeze the rest. Or you can cut the recipe down to what you need.

Homemade Cream of Chicken Soup

Since we've tried to eat more real food, many canned items have disappeared from our pantry. Not only is the homemade version better in calories, ingredients and processing... it's delicious! I usually make half of this recipe. Sometimes the recipe I am preparing for only needs yet another half of that. So I can freeze some of it. I guess if you were to logically measure that out, you should be able to get the equivalent of 4 cans of condensed soup out of this recipe. You can always measure 10 oz and freeze them in bags so they're ready to go!

Whenever I make a chicken, I remove all the meat, chop it up and freeze it. Then I use the bones to make chicken stock. For this recipe, I pull out some chicken from the freezer. You can poach some chicken or use leftovers from a rotisserie or something too!

Prepare or have ready 2 cups of chopped/shredded chicken
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
Fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Melt butter in saucepan over medium-low heat
Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute, whisking constantly
Add broth and whisk until smooth
Add milk and increase heat to bring to a simmer, whisking constantly
Cook for 1 minute then add chicken
Bring to simmer and cook 1 minute more
Remove from heat and add lemon juice, salt and pepper and ground nutmeg to taste.

Cheeseburger Chili Mac & Cheese

This feeds an army! It's a recipe from Rachael Ray. I like mine with mucho beef broth since I freeze it.

Qdoba chicken marinade

Once I discovered Qdoba, I fell in love! Their chicken marinade is amazing. Here is an at-home version.

Mother-in-Law's Crock Pot Taco Soup

Got this recipe from my favorite (and only!) mother-in-law. It's delicious every time! I usually modify the ingredients a little bit to what I have on hand (like regular beans instead of texas ranch style, or a can of chiles and a can of tomatoes instead of Rotel, or ground turkey if I have it). I recently substituted one of the cans of diced tomatoes for crushed, and one can of corn for creamed corn. This makes it a little soupier. But I will post her recipe and you can do with it what you wish!

Combine and do not drain:
2 lbs browned ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans whole kernel corn
1 can rotel

1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 package dry taco seasoning

Throw into a crock pot and simmer 4-6 hours. Garnish with cheese, sour cream (or greek yogurt is our favorite!), tortilla chips, etc.

For a freezer meal, I will split the ingredients in half between a gallon freezer bag and the crock pot.

Freezer Meals from The Pioneer Woman

I love the Pioneer Woman on food network! She did a segment on freezer meals so I thought I'd link some of them here. Along with some of her other recipes that I enjoy and also freeze well! She has a lot more freezer meals and tips, check her out!

Beef stew with root vegetables
Homemade chicken and noodle
Sloppy joes
Sour cream noodle bake
Chicken pot pie