Dinner from the freezer

I used to home school. I did it for eight years. My son is almost 22 and is out in the working world happily selling insurance. My daughter is taking dual credit classes at a local community college for her senior year, so my job there is pretty much done.

 When we were in the thick of home schooling I used to do quite a bit of monthly cooking and freezing of dinners so on busy days I would have a meal I could pull out and pretty much heat and eat.
After the kids got older and were more independent, I found it would just be my husband and I many nights. If I had a busy day, we just found it easier to go out to dinner. I really enjoyed that for a while…..not having to cook so much. Especially for just the two of us. 

Being gluten intolerant poses a problem with eating out too much. Eating out is very risky. If you do it a lot, you will have a high chance of getting sick from cross contamination. We do eat out, but I try to be very careful where and how often. 

Recently, on the weekends I can end up with a house full of people to cook for. Sometimes our son has his girlfriend here for the whole weekend, and even sometimes her roommate. Or, his friends will be home from college and stay here. So I go back and forth between no one to cook for and a house full. 

Believe me, I cherish every moment of a house full of people to cook for. All too soon, we will be alone.
That leaves me with the problem of what to do on those nights where I'm just too tired to cook and I just don't want to go out to eat because of the risk, or I have a house full of people. One of the my goals for the winter is to come up with either quick easy dinners or freezer meals I can just pull out and bake or heat up. Also, finding simple short cuts to make the meal go quicker. 

Hopefully about once a week I can post a quick easy dinner and come up with some freezer meals to post.
So, I will be experimenting with freezer meals in the very near future. I have many, many books on the subject that I used to use in my home schooling days. I am hoping to convert some of the recipes and see how they work out gluten free. I have never frozen gluten free pasta before so I don't know how it will work out yet.
But for now, I do have one good tip to save time. 

When I go to Sam's Club, I buy several whole chickens. Like me, you have probably noticed that most rotisserie chicken has wheat added. I have no clue why this is needed. I used to buy them for quick easy meals. But now I roast my own. It's so easy. I roast several at a time. I have a large roasting pan. I just wash them, pat dry, rub with salt, pepper, garlic, rosemary and olive oil. Bake at 350 till done. I use a thermometer and bake till about 170-180 for chicken. 

After they have cooled, I pull all the meat off the bone and chop it. Then place in several freezer bags and freeze. This is a lifesaver. You can defrost the meat later for everything from making chicken salad, to chicken quesadillas, chicken casseroles, soup, etc.
If you have a bag of this frozen chicken in your freezer, some jared sauce (my favorite is Trader Joe's Thai Red Curry Sauce), some veggies (fresh or frozen) and a bag of Trader Joe's frozen brown rice, you can make a dinner in the skillet in 15 minutes!
More freezer tips to come!


Filed under Chicken, Freezer cooking

2 responses to “Dinner from the freezer

  1. I’d love to use your tip on pre-cooking the chicken, but somehow leftover cooked chicken always seems to have a weird taste compared to freshly cooked. Do you have that problem when you freeze it? Or do you have tips on how to avoid it?

  2. Glutigirl

    I think it makes a difference if you cook a whole chicken. For one, I think the meat is more tender to begin with and it has a better flavor. When ever I freeze the meat from a whole chicken, I use it in casseroles or soups or something that has a sauce or dressing, so I don’t really notice any difference in flavor. Also, I never re-freeze something after it’s been thawed and cooked again.

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