dinner

There’s nothing like being able to just open your freezer and pop something in the oven after a hectic day. I find this to be the most true during and right after the holiday season.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have something that just needs to be heated up; no prep work required? That’s why I love freezer meals! You make do the prep ahead of time and when you’re running low on time/money/drive you can heat them up and voila.

What are your favorite Simple Freezer Meals?

25 Simple Make Ahead Freezer Meals

Here are 25 simple Freezer Meals that you can make and serve whenever you need a little extra “Me” time.

Some nights you have no clue what to cook for dinner. Last night was one of those nights. I had partially frozen chicken breast and some other things to go on. Without thinking, I started dicing the chicken breast into small pieces. I love cutting partially frozen chicken, it comes out perfectly!

Thinking about what I had to cook with it I spotted a bag of craisins. A craisin is like a raisin but with cranberries instead of grapes. In other words, awesome!

I had herbs and spices galore with some random veggies floating around. It didn’t take me long to realize I needed to combine the craisins with the chicken. I usually do a chicken salad with craisins but last night was chilly so I wanted hot food. This is what I came up with.

Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice

Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice with carrots. The taste of this dish was out of this world. The sweet and tart flavors went so well with the chicken and rice. Wild rice is the best rice in my eyes; I just love the texture and the colors!

The chicken was moist and in perfect proportions. It was a complete meal in one pot! How’s that for simple?

Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice

For an accidental creation, this was a delicious meal that I just have to share with you. It’s well balanced, full of goodies and even the pickiest eaters will love it.

Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice

So what all is in it?

It is boneless, skinless chicken breast cubed. There’s a cup of wild rice; a cup of craisins, a small yellow onion diced, 2 carrots diced, 2 sprigs of rosemary and sea salt. Of course, there are seasonings too which actually bring it all together. Oh, and wine 🙂 Well, Marsala to be exact – it added that little something that was missing. Don’t worry, the alcohol cooks off.

Cranberry Chicken and Wild Rice #Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 small carrots, chopped into small pieces
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup Marsala or other red wine
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 1 cup dried cranberries (or fresh)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced into 1/4 inch pieces

Instructions

Sautee the onions, carrots, rosemary, and thyme over medium heat (in a medium saucepan) until the onions are translucent.

Stir in the water, wine and wild rice and bring to a boil.Allow to boil for 15 minutes then add remaining ingredients.

Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for an additional 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

http://www.simplebeautifullife.net/cranberry-chicken-and-wild-rice-recipe/
Calories
241 cal
Fat
1 g
Carbs
53 g
Protein
6 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

SMALL TOWN CHEESESTEAK

Have you ever noticed there’s no lack of leftovers after a cookout? I know I’m constantly preparing more food than could be consumed by a small army. Tonight I was at a loss for what to cook and peering through the fridge left me staring at mounds of leftovers. Veggies, cold salads and burgers and hot dogs. Let’s not forget the piles of leftover buns.

I don’t know what happened but I had a stroke of genius and thought of a way to reuse the leftover goodies in a non-boring fashion. Face it, there’s only so many times you can slap a hamburger on a hamburger bun and enjoy it. Well, I always enjoy it but sometimes I just want more.

SMALL TOWN CHEESESTEAK

That’s exactly what the Small Town Cheesesteak is – something more.

 

This is my personal spin on the classic Philly Cheesesteak and it pleases me and my roomie amazingly. The beauty is you don’t have to use leftovers. Yes, it makes it much more convenient but the small town cheesesteak is super easy to make from scratch too.

To get started you need burgers, hot dog buns, cheese and your favorite veggie toppings. You’re only limited by the mess factor – the more you add the messier it will be. Sounds fun, right?!

I kept ours simple by just using sliced and sauteed peppers. I could have added mushrooms but they will serve a much higher purpose 😉 I tossed on some pepperjack cheese because, well, it’s incredible. Toasted it for 20 minutes and boom – tummy rumbling goodness.

Cheesesteak If you don’t have leftovers don’t worry! Just season and cook some burgers how you prefer them. Clean the pan (mostly) and saute your veggies; if you’re not  using onions, try minced or powdered onion just for the flavor. A little garlic is also super yum.

You have creative rights here so go crazy!

Open up your buns and break up the burgers to add to them. Crumble, chunks – again, all up to you. Top with your sauteed veggies and your favorite cheese, pop in a preheated (to 400 degrees F) oven and toast for 15 minutes. Add your preferred condiments and dig in. Whoop whoop!SMALL TOWN CHEESESTEAK

Tell me: How do you think this small town cheesesteak will fair with your clan?

Small Town Cheesesteak #Recipe
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Ingredients

  • 4 - 8 Leftover burgers (or make your own fresh), depending on how many you are serving
  • An equal number of hot dog (or sub roll) buns
  • Fresh veggies, sliced and sauteed
  • 4 - 8 slices of your favorite cheese

Instructions

Preheat the oven to 400 F.

Tear the burgers into chunks, or crumble - your preference.

Spread burger over the buns and top with sauteed veggies.

Top burger and veggies with cheese.

Toast for 15 minutes and serve warm!

http://www.simplebeautifullife.net/small-town-cheesesteak-recipe/

Stuffed Pizza Burgers

CB-Disclosure-White-Background-600-px-wide-1Pizza or burgers? Burgers or pizza? Have you ever struggled with that decision? I know I have. My 2 favorite foods and deciding between them is nearly impossible. That’s why I came up with the stuffed pizza burgers for dinner. It’s the best of both worlds and an out of this world flavor! You really can’t beat it.

Stuffed Pizza Burgers

Jonathan and I had differing ideas on how to make Stuffed Pizza Burgers so we decided to each take a stab at it. He ultimately won so I’ll tell you how he did it. Better yet, I’ll show you!

How to make Stuffed Pizza Burgers

Stuffed Pizza BurgersThe way I was doing it left my hands disgustingly gunky. It was bad. His way took away the gross and made the burgers flawless. Yes, I am giving credit to a man – it doesn’t happen too often.

First things first, get your grill ready. If you’re using charcoal (it’s what I recommend) then you’ll want to start it before you start working on your burgers. This way you can go right from prep to cooking.

Now roll out 1/4 pound patties to about 1/4 inch thickness. Layer on 6 pepperoni’s, a handful of Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, a dollop of pizza sauce and fold it over.

Pinch the sides of the burger together to form a seal and then form them into round patties.

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Place the Stuffed Pizza Burgers on the grill and cook about 10  minutes on each side. Since they’re stuffed they take a little longer to cook thoroughly.

Stuffed Pizza Burgers

I know it’s tempting, but don’t – under any circumstances – squish the burgers.

When the stuffed pizza burgers are ready to come off the grill place them on a plate and top with extra Mozzarella cheese.
#SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias (7)You can also add more pizza sauce to the top of the burger (if you like extra sauce) or any of your favorite condiments. Make sure to have napkins on hand though, these are some juicy burgers!

#SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias

I love using Kraft cheese whenever I use cheese. I especially love the variety with a touch of Philadelphia it makes it even better! You’ll find it in the cheese aisle.

Stuffed Pizza Burgers

Cool App Alert

There’s a fun and handy app, blippar, that you can download for your apple, android, blackberry or windows device. My favorite thing about the app is it has image recognition capabilities! Just as equally great you can take a pic with Brad Paisley (I love that man!)

  • After downloading and opening blippar, you can scan (or blip) Kraft cheese products with your smartphone camera. A mobile site will populate and provide a menu bar with the following choices:
    • View Recipes: Kraft recipes for the Great American Bacon Cheeseburger
    • Take A Picture with Brad Paisley: Use your camera to take a picture with an augmented image of Brad Paisley and syndicate with #SayCheeseburger
    • Get Your Paisley Points: Register Kraft Cheese products to enter a chance to win Brad Paisley swag

#SayCheeseburger #CollectiveBias

Stuffed Pizza Burgers
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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground meat (hamburger, turkey or chicken - your preference)
  • 1 package Kraft shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1 package pepperoni
  • 1 jar (2 cups) of your favorite pizza sauce
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Instructions

First things first, get your grill ready. If you're using charcoal (it's what I recommend) then you'll want to start it before you start working on your burgers.

Now roll out 1/4 pound patties to about 1/4 inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Layer on 6 pepperoni's, a handful of Kraft Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, a dollop of pizza sauce and fold it over.

Pinch the sides of the burger together to form a seal and then form them into round patties.

Place the Stuffed Pizza Burgers on the grill and cook about 10 minutes on each side. Since they're stuffed they take a little longer to cook thoroughly.

I know it's tempting, but don't - under any circumstances - squish the burgers.

When the stuffed pizza burgers are ready to come off the grill place them on a plate and top with extra Mozzarella cheese, sauce, and/or your favorite condiments.

http://www.simplebeautifullife.net/stuffed-pizza-burgers-saycheeseburger-collectivebias/

South-Beach-Diet-Phase-1-Friendly-Taco-Salad

I’ve tried so many diets over the years I should win an award. Not for succeeding at anything though. Just for the effort. You know, one of those participation trophies. I’d love to show one of those babies off. The one diet that I’ve actually seen results from is the South Beach Diet. It’s also probably the hardest diet to stick to. There’s only so much ricotta and eggs a person can eat before they say eff this. But when you make food that actually tastes good it’s a lot easier to stick with. Like this Phase 1 Friendly Taco Salad.

South-Beach-Diet-Phase-1-Friendly-Taco-Salad
My roommate and I started the South Beach Diet 2 days ago, on Monday. We’ve done fairly well so far. We even resisted the urge to eat the peanuts out of the M&M’s. Granted the M&M’s are still sitting on the coffee table, taunting us. We just haven’t had the heart to dispose of them. I think she counted them just to see if I cheat while she’s gone! We have 12 more days left on Phase 1; I’ve never made it to phase 2. I’m hoping with the support (and hand slapping) of a diet buddy we’ll make it there without issues.

South Beach Diet - Phase 1 Friendly Taco Salad

Anyway, back to this Phase 1 Friendly Taco Salad. This will work for anyone. If you’re like me and enjoy crunchy shells I’ve got something special for you. If you’re like my roommate and hate the crunchy shells you can skip the special part. You’re weird.

Sorry – sugar deprivation, don’t hate me!

Anyway, here it is. There’s no packaged seasoning – it’s a make it yourself thing so you know what’s going in it. I use lean ground beef but you could use ground turkey or chicken too. I just like my beef! Of course, ground turkey would probably be a lot healthier.

 

Taco Salad – South Beach Diet Phase 1 Friendly
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Ingredients

  • Taco Seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (more or less depending on your preference)
  • 1/3 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Taco Salad
  • 1 pound lean ground meat (hamburger, turkey, chicken...)
  • 1 cup of ripped lettuce
  • 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of onions, diced
  • Black olives (optional)
  • Something Special
  • 1/4 cup of low-fat shredded cheese (I use cheddar)

Instructions

Taco Seasoning

Combine all of the spices together in a small bowl.

Mix well.

Set aside.

Taco Salad

Brown the ground meat on medium heat in a large pan.

Drain.

Return meat to the pan and add 1/4 cup of water and the taco seasoning.

Cook over medium heat until the mixture comes to a boil.

Reduce the heat and simmer (covered) on low for 10 - 15 minutes.

While the meat is simmering spread a healthy layer of lettuce out on a plate.

Top with the meat mixture and additional toppings.

Something Special

For some extra crunch (and flavor) in your taco salad we'll make a cheesy ""shell"".

Line a microwaveable plate with parchment paper.

Take a pinch of the cheese, squeeze it together and place it on the parchment paper.

Continue to do this, leaving space between the cheese (they'll expand) until the plate is full.

Microwave for 2 minutes. Allow to cool.

Use this to add that taco shell feeling to your taco salad.

You can just use the grated cheese to top your salad if you'd prefer a non-crunchy salad.

http://www.simplebeautifullife.net/south-beach-diet-phase-1-friendly-taco-salad/
Calories
43 cal
Fat
3 g
Carbs
3 g
Protein
2 g


Click Here For Full Nutrition, Exchanges, and My Plate Info

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