Monday, September 22, 2014

Easy, Freezable Meals

My sister asked me to share my tips for quick and easy, freezable meals.  The first one I'll be sharing is lasagna.  I think everyone knows how to make lasagna.  So I have just a couple of tips for making it easier and healthier.

You can easily whip up a couple of pans of this, freeze it, then eat it later!  It takes no more effort to double the recipe than it does to make one pan.

- This may seem like common sense, but to save time, get the water boiling first, then start browning the meat.  Continue to cook the noodles while the meat is browning

- To make it nice and healthy, throw some vegetables in with the meat.  To save time, steam the veggies while the meat is browning and the noodles are cooking.

- Stock up on frozen veggies.  Our grocery store, Publix, has frozen organic vegetables that are very yummy.  I included broccoli, corn, peas, and fresh zucchini.  I use frozen veggies almost every day.  I love using them for stir-fry, lasagna, casseroles, as regular sides, and sneaking them into anything else I can think of.

- Use gluten-free noodles.  They are easier to digest, and since they're mixed in with all the other flavors, you won't notice any weird taste.

- Mix the ricotta cheese with a little bit of milk to make it creamier and easier to spread.

- Add pre-minced garlic with the meat and/or veggies.  I use pre-minced garlic in almost everything I cook.  It adds just as much flavor as fresh garlic and yet saves so much time.  I keep a big jar of it in my fridge and use it in rice, veggies, ground beef, and anything else I can think of.

- Use pre-shredded cheese.  I look for organic cheese that doesn't have any other weird ingredients.  It's not too much work to shred fresh cheese if you have a food processor, but since we're always looking for ways to save time, I stuck with pre-shredded.

Other than that, my lasagna was pretty straight forward: layer of sauce, layer of noodles, layer of veggie/meat mix, layer of ricotta, sprinkle of mozzarella, sprinkle of parmesan, repeat layers, top with a layer of noodles, sauce, sprinkle of parmesan, bake at 350 for 30 minutes.  

This was technically my first time making lasagna, and I think it turned out pretty good.  Peter loved it, even though it had peas in it.  ;)

Let me know your kitchen tips and time-savers in the comments.  I'd love to know your tricks!

Also let me know if you're interested in more posts like this.  I've been challenging myself to come up with creative ways to use up all our food and not let anything go to waste.  If you're interested in seeing more recipes, let me know.



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