Freezer Cooking – Round 2!

My plans to cook and freeze my family’s dinner for the week frizzled last weekend, so I was stuck cooking almost everyday. Oh, there were a couple of days eating takeout too. Ugh. Once you get used to eating homemade meals, there’s just no substitute. I’ve learned from my mistakes and decided to create a set list of “must do’s” for everyday of the week. It’s the only way to get done what needs to get done.  And today is freezer cooking day. Yippee!

Once the kiddies were sound asleep, I went to work. I made two dishes in about 2 hours, give or take 30 minutes of Facebook and other distractions, i.e. Netflix and did I mention Facebook?

Veggie burritos (Pictured above)

Ingredients: Brown rice, Corn, Black beans, Fresh locally made mild salsa (Garden Fresh Gourmet’s Jack’s Special Salsa to be exact), Salt, Pepper, Garlic powder, and Tortillas (We always use organic when possible.)

Directions:

  1. Cook rice. I followed the directions on the back of the rice bag and made 8-10 servings. I made more than I needed for the burritos so I could use rice in other dishes.
  2. Once the rice is done, mix it with the other ingredients in a large bowl. I didn’t measure the rest of the ingredients, but if I had to guess I’d say to use 1 cup of corn, 1 15 oz. can of black beans, 1 1/2 cup of salsa, and season to your liking.

I was able to make 8 tortillas from this mixture. Feel free to add cheese to the mix too. Simply wrap each burrito individually in waxed paper and store together in a Ziploc gallon-sized bag. When it’s time to eat, we’ll just heat them up in the microwave for about 60-90 seconds (you may need more time, depending on the microwave.) We’ll alternate eating these for lunch and dinner throughout the week. I’ll even see if my oldest will eat one. Not holding my breath, though.

Veggie Burgers185429_495333493843371_546509190_n

I’m still on a quest to find the perfect veggie burger, but I must say, this one has potential. I strayed from the original recipe a bit, but it’s definitely a good starting point.

I added about a 1/2 cup of vegetable broth for moisture, 1/3 cup of brown sugar for sweetness and 1 cup of rice to bulk it up. I left off the sweet red pepper, garlic, and onion because my son and hubby aren’t fans. Personally, I think they would be delicious in the burger, so please keep them if you’re feeling frisky!

I followed the directions in the original recipe and wrapped 4 burgers together in waxed paper pods (if you will) and separated the pods with aluminum foil. They were then put in a Ziploc gallon-size bag and put in the freezer. I have 12 burgers total.

When it’s time to cook the burgers, I’ll take them straight from the freezer to the oven for about 20 minutes on 375 degrees (as suggested here), then I’ll transfer them to our stovetop grill to cook the rest of the way. I’ll brush on some ketchup mixed with brown sugar while they’re grilling to keep a little moisture and add some additional sweetness — this is my substitute for BBQ sauce, thanks Paula Deen! I’ll serve the burgers on grilled whole grain buns topped with lettuce, tomato and cheese with some sweet potato fries. Yummo!

I was pooped after a long day and didn’t have the energy to make the third dish. I think I can do it tomorrow though. I’ll update this post if I get around to it.

So far, I’m super happy about the results of freezer cooking and will hopefully develop the recipe insight and stamina it takes to cook more than one week in advance. Baby steps.

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