holdingdownthehome

Life as a military wife and mother

What to freeze? July 6, 2011

The great thing about freezing food, is that almost ANYTHING can be frozen if you do it right. Here is a website with a lot of helpful tips on freezing different foods.

One of the things I’m starting to freeze more of are eggs! Eggs can get mighty expensive so when they are at rock bottom prices I buy a ton of them. Not to mention, hopefully in the fall our chickens will have started to lay and that will yield about 6 eggs a day.

You can check that website for how to freeze them but they want you to add sugar and stuff. You don’t really have to do that. I actually crack the eggs that I want to freeze into a big bowl. Mix them gently and pour into ice cube trays. Once frozen transfer cubes to a marked freezer bag. One cube is 1/2 an egg or 1/8 of a cup of egg. These are so great for cooking and baking. Having meatleaf? Put the egg cubes over night in the fridge to thaw, then use in the recipe! I don’t use the frozen eggs just for like, scrambled eggs.

Speaking of Meatloaf! Here is a great recipe that Weight Watchers friendly:

3/4 c Ketchup
1/4 c Minced onion
2 tbsp. Chopped fresh parsley (dried)
1 tbsp. Brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper
2 Large egg whites (1 egg white and 1 egg, to bind better)
1 1/2 lb. Ground round
1/2 c Quick-cooking oats
Cooking spray

Combine 1/2 cup ketchup, onion, and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl; stir well. Add meat and oats; stir just until blended. Shape mixture into a 8×4-inch loaf pan coated with cooking spray.

Brush remaining 1/4 cup ketchup over meat loaf

Bake at 350 for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until done. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

Cut into 12 slices

-OR-

I LOVE to freeze meatloaf. Use a disposable loaf pan (like from a dollar store). If the meat had been frozen before, then go ahead and cook it. After it is COOLED, Put on some Glad Press and Seal (so that it is touching the meat in the pan, then wrap in foil tightly. Put in the freezer. When you want it. Take it out in the morning to thaw and warm in the oven for dinner.  Another option is to portion the meatloaf into servings, wrap individually in plastic wrap or foil and put in the freezer (label them of course). Now you have individual portions to take to lunch or feed the husband when you are out of town. 🙂

If the meat has not been cooked you can freeze it uncooked and just bake when you are ready to eat it, letting it thaw first of course.

** NEVER REFREEZE UNCOOKED MEAT ONCE IT HAS BEEN THAWED**

VOILA! Go ahead and make three or four. Easy dinner for you when you need it or an easy when to get a meal to someone else when they need it.

 

Once a Month Cooking for Weight Watchers June 25, 2011

Filed under: Dinner Bell is Ringing!,Frugal living,Organization,Uncategorized — holdingdownthehome @ 19:46

I’m still new to blogging so I’m working on narrowing down the scope of this blog. One focus I would like to have that fits into frugal, organized living is the idea of Once a Month Cooking (OAMC).

The basic idea being take a couple days out of the month (or even one day a week), and doing lots of cooking and freezing it.

This works for me because I CAN cook and am pretty good at it, I just DON’T LIKE to cook. So, when I get in the mood to cook I better take advantage of it. Another plus to this is that I am on Weight Watchers® and MUST have healthy options at all times. I find if I get in a mood where I want to eat but don’t have something healthy to grab, I will grab something bad because it’s easy.

Another plus? Less processed food. I am trying very hard to stay away from “boxed” food as much as possible. So, while I could pop a Smart Ones® type meal in the microwave for a low point meal, it’s much better for my health to have something I prepared that’s not full of junk.

In this section of my blog I will be posting recipes that can be frozen for later use. Most of them will be Weight Watchers® friendly and I will try to have the nutrition information and Points Plus® values posted with the recipes.

So to get us started, here is a recipe I posted a few months ago for Pineapple-Honey Glazed Chicken. When I make this, I double, triple, or even quadruple the marinade. Then put each portion in a freezer zip bag and toss in the freezer. When we want to have this meal, in the morning I grab the marinade out, and my thawed chicken, put them all in a container in the fridge and let them go all day. Then just cook them for dinner.

The rice in this recipe can also be frozen, either in bulk or in individual portions. Then I just toss them in a bowl with a spoonful or two of water, put in the microwave just until warm through. Easy, peasy dinner!

Stay tuned for lots more freezer meal ideas!

 

Crazy Healthy Vegetable Soup January 31, 2011

Filed under: Dinner Bell is Ringing! — holdingdownthehome @ 19:44
Tags: , , ,

This soup is so super yummy! Hubby has to lose a little bit of weight for a PT test coming up soon so we’re eating very light the next few days. Also, we LOVE soup! But, lately I’ve been reading more about sodium and how bad it really is for you. That made me look at sodium levels in canned soups. OH MY! In one can there was more sodium than you should get ALL DAY! So I’m really going to try and make more soup for us instead of relying on canned junk! My sister-in-law made this coup when we visited a few weeks ago. It’s great and very low in calories and way high in goodness! So here is the recipe!

2/3 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cup diced onion

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 cups fat-free broth (beef, chicken, or veggie)

1 1/2 cups diced green cabbage

1/2 cup green breans

1 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 tsp dried basil

1/4 tsp dried oregano

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup diced zucchini

Directions:

In a large saucepan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, saute carrots, onions, and garlic over low heat for about 5 minutes. Add broth, cabbage, green beans, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer for around 15 minutes or until beans are tender. Lastly, stir in the zucchini and continue to heat soup 3-4 minutes.

Yeah, that’s it! Enjoy!

 

What’s for dinner? January 21, 2011

Filed under: Dinner Bell is Ringing! — holdingdownthehome @ 17:56
Tags: , ,

We are jumping back on the Weight Watchers band wagon. I’ve lost 20 pounds but haven’t stuck with it. It’s time for our whole family to eat healthier and get fit! So I’m hoping to give you lots of great, affordable ideas for healthy, YUMMY dinners! Here is one of our favorites!

This Fried Rice is soooooooo good! Make it with brown or white rice (i use brown). You can do extra veggies if you want. You can make a ton of it and freeze it in portions.

Easy Fried Rice


Course: side dishes
PointsPlus™ Value: 4
Servings: 6
Preparation Time: 8 min
Cooking Time: 10 min
Level of Difficulty: Easy

Basic, easy and fast — a tasty way to use up leftover rice. Make it a main dish by stirring in cooked chicken or shrimp.*

Ingredients
2 spray(s) cooking spray
2 large egg(s), lightly beaten
1 cup(s) carrot(s), shredded
1 cup(s) scallion(s), sliced, divided
3 cup(s) cooked white rice
1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
1/4 cup(s) low-sodium soy sauce, or to taste
Instructions

* Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; warm pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; tilt pan so that eggs cover bottom.

* When eggs start to set, break them up into pieces with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until eggs are cooked through, about 1 minute more; remove eggs from skillet and set aside.

* Off heat, recoat same skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add carrots and all but 2 tablespoons scallions; sauté until carrots are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.

* Stir in cooked rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Gently stir in cooked egg and remaining scallions; heat through. Yields about 3/4 cups per serving.

Notes

* *Could affect PointsPlus value.
© 2011 Weight Watchers International, Inc. © 2011 WeightWatchers.com, Inc. All rights reserved.
WEIGHT WATCHERS and PointsPlus™ are the registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. and are used under license by WeightWatchers.com, Inc.

And for the main course:

Pineapple and Honey-Glazed Chicken

Prep: 15 min

Cook: 50 min

Serves: 8

Per Serving: 199 cal, 6g fat, 2g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 78mg cholesterol, 210mg sodium, 8g carb, 0g fiber, 26g protien, 18mg calcium

1/2 c canned crushes pineapple (freeze the extra in ice cube trays for later)

2 tbsp reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tbsp honey

1 tbsp grated peeled fresh ginger (I omit since we don’t like ginger)

2 tbsp fresh lime juice

1 shallot,minced (I use onion most of the time)

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced

1 (4 lb chicken), skinned and cut into 8 pieces (I use chicken breast)

1/2 teaspoon cornstarch

2 teaspoons water

1 tbsp fresh parsley

1. Combine the pineapple, soy sauce, honey, lime juice, ginger, shallot, and jalapeno in a large zip-close plastic bag; add chicken. Squeeze out the air and seal bag; turn to coat the chicken. Refrigerate, turning the bag occasionally, at least 4 hours or overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 375*F. Place a rink in large roasting pan/

3. Remove the chicken pieces and place on rack; reserve marinade. Bake the chicken until browned and the chicken is 180*F. Baste with reserved marinade twice during the first 25 minutes of cooking.

4. Stir together the cornstarch and water in small brown until smooth. Transfer chicken to platter, keep warm. Remove the rack from pan, with a spoon skim off any fat; pouring remaining juices into a small saucepan and set over medium heat. Cooke until the juices are reduced by half, about 2 minutes. Add the cornstarch mixture and cook, stirring constandly until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 10 seconds; stir in parsley. Serve the chicken and sauce.