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Garlic Lime Chicken ~ BEST Freezer Meal

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Garlic Lime Chicken…  by far the most versatile dish we have discovered on this FREEZER MEAL journey that has become life!

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This chicken is perfect anyway you cook it… it started as a perfect grilled chicken (thaw and throw it on the grill), then a baked chicken (pan fry, crock pot it or throw in the oven then serve over rice with veggies – I also thicken the sauce)… and now I have begun cooking all day in the crock, then shredding it and using it for AMAZING wraps!  Our favorite has become this shredded chicken with some jack cheese and diced up veggies – cucumbers are phenomenal – then drizzled with ranch!  We have even taken to making double batches…  we get a FULL sit down meal out of it, then have wraps for a quick dinner and THEN use the leftovers to make delicious quesadillas (another quickie meal for busy weeknights!)…  entire family approved – 5 thumbs up – TRULY!!!!

Because I am on my 3rd week in a row of making a batch of this chicken (family demanded) I just knew I had to post it to share!

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This is such a GREAT recipe to make ahead and freeze…  Give it a try!

 

GARLIC LIME CHICKEN (Freezer Meal)

 

Ingredients:

  •  2.5 lbs chicken breasts – trimmed and cut in 1/2
  •  1/2 Cup Low Sodium Soy Sauce (MAKE SURE you use LOW SODIUM soy sauce – it makes a HUGE difference!)
  •  1/4 Cup Lime Juice
  • 1 TBS Worcestershire Sauce
  •  2 TBS Minced Garlic
  •  1/2 tsp Dry Mustard
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Pepper
  •  1/4 cup water

 

Instructions:

Everything into a freezer bag!   Thaw 24 hours prior to cooking…  OBVIOUSLY – you can just make and cook but a bit of marinating is better!

Preferred Cooking Method:  Crockpot, 4-6 hours on high or 6-8 hours on low

You can serve the chicken as is (You may add cornstarch to remaining sauce to thicken and use as a “gravy/sauce”) – or OUR FAVORITE way to eat – Shred chicken, in crock, with 2 forks…  stir around in juices…. And serve on wraps (ladle the chicken out with a slotted spoon) with diced cucumber, shredded cheese and ranch dressing!

 

TRY IT – TELL US WHAT YOU THINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!       

 

 

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Creamy White Chicken Chili

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Creamy…white chicken chili… I had only heard about it – you know, saw it on menus, but never deviated enough from my standard order to try anything new… BUT then, it happened… someone with me ordered the WHITE CHICKEN CHILI!!  The smell alone…wholly Moses! Spice and garlic and YUMMMM… so of course I had to taste test – you know in the name of truly caring about my friends and making sure their food is safe for consumption… OMG… that stuff was AMAZING!!!!!!!! I knew then and there – just as sure as that cup of soup would now be mine – I had to remake this recipe!

Regular Chili has always been a favorite in our house…. Click HERE for our favorite regular CHILI recipe… but sometimes we overdose a bit on the red sauce versions of things – and even though that statement is so far from the truth – having another chili (soup really) option is AWESOME!

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Go ahead – get this WHITE CHICKEN CHILI rolling, then make a batch of the Copy Cat Red Lobster (Cheddar Bay) biscuits to serve along with it… what a perfect combo!!

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Creamy Crockpot White Chicken Chili
Serves: 4-6

Ingredients:
• 2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts – *cooked and shredded = 3 cups
• 3 tablespoons butter
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 cup milk
• 4 cups broth – either from the carton or make with bouillon chicken base
• 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
• 1 teaspoon cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 can chopped green chiles (4.5 ounce size = ½ cup)
• 1 can corn, drained = 1 cup
• 2 cans white beans, drained = 2 cups (cannellini, white kidney, butter or great northern)
• 1/4 teaspoon pepper
• Salt to taste if needed
• 1/2 cup sour cream

Instructions:

*If you don’t have precooked shredded chicken in a twenty pound stash – SERIOUSLY, I know the CRAZY that I am – then go ahead and cook and shred your chicken… any cooking method will do but I generally cook up large amounts in my crockpot with a bit of garlic and season salt in a cup of broth for about 8 hours on low (overnight even). The meat will fall right apart and can easily be shredded with 2 forks. So set aside 3 cups of cooked, shredded chicken.

In a pan, melt the butter then whisk in the flour – stir constantly. Add the milk and mix well. At this point you can pour this “cream starter” into your crockpot (if you want to set it and forget it) – or continue in your soup pan (where you will need to stir regularly – but the soup will thicken quicker).

Add the broth and then the chili powder, cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, STIR REALLY WELL, and add the chicken, green chilies, corn and beans. At this point you could FREEZE this soup and then cook it another time.

Cook on low for 4-8 hours (It’s a broad range, but that is the beauty of it). Add salt to taste and just prior to serving, add the sour cream – either stir it all in, or just plop a dollop in each in bowl.

Chicken Souvlaki and Tzatziki… heaven help me NOW!!!!

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My all-time favorite meal is CHICKEN SOUVLAKI… I order it every time we go out!

I have attempted to “recreate” the pita sandwich at home but it never was quite right… and that is because I was using store bought marinades and they never quite hit the mark… now do not get me wrong… I am no hater on packaged foods… sometimes others have perfected it so well that there is no reason to attempt to make it – hello RAGU and BETTY CROCKER BROWNIE MIX… but I was wasting time and money trying store bought marinade.

You know how something is always better if someone else makes it for you… even a PB&J… AGREED?? WELL – I studied recipes and tried combinations and THIS RECIPE is SERIOUSLY – NO LIE the BEST chicken souvlaki I have ever had.. Sure I wish someone else would have made it for me, but it STILL was that good!!

I took 3 huge chicken breast and sliced them into strips! Then I poured all of this marinade on top of the chicken in a gallon freezer back… This is the point that you could squish the ingredients around, get all the air out and FREEZE this meal for later….

We tossed it into the fridge to marinate overnight and although you could crock pot this, or grill it, or even bake it… I was in a hurry, so I threw it into a skillet and heated it thoroughly – on med. Low heat – for about 15 minutes.

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Here is the SOUVLAKI marinade (perfect on 2-3 pounds trimmed chicken breast):

 

1/3 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 TBSP red wine vinegar

1 TBSP dried oregano

1 TSP dried thyme

1 TSP salt

1 TSP black pepper

2 TSP minced garlic

 

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Then because I am sometimes beyond crazy, I decided to attempt Tzatziki Sauce… This is the creamy cucumber-y goodness that totally puts this dish over the top… The ‘internets’ offers up 1,000s of recipes and there seems to be a great controversy over using Greek yogurt or plain sour cream. I have a gorgeous – amazing cook – Greek goddess friend, so I asked her… “Hey Didi… what up with the tzatziki sauce?” (Actually I WRONGLY called it cucumber dressing because I cannot pronounce Tzatziki – LOL) Ms. Didi’s exact response was, “Real Greek yogurt my friend is thick and creamy w/ a little bit of tang. In the US, the Greek yogurt has “a lot” of tang. So you see some subbing because of the tang, using sour cream, which provides creaminess…”

Next it was on to the cucumber… how do I peel and seed and grate and drain… OH my!! Luckily back to the ‘internets’ and my friend Pamela – another gorgeous girl and amazing cook (aren’t I lucky to be surrounded by gorgeous women that can cook!) – Pamela straightened me out on the cucumber… 1 – Buy the English cucumber, you won’t need to peel or seed it. 2 – Just grate it into a cloth lined colander. 3 – sprinkle the cucumber shreds with salt and allow to drip. AND 4- the one I learned on my own… actually set the colander in the sink because one little cucumber produces 18 gallons of slimy green water!!

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Here is the recipe I used for the cucumber-y goodness – TZATZIKI:

 

2 cups sour cream

1 TBSP each: olive oil, white wine vinegar, lemon juice and minced garlic

Season with salt and pepper

1 grated and drained cucumber

1 TBSP chopped fresh mint!

Puree and allow to chill, then indulge!!!

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Finally – to set up the perfect SOUVLAKI bar… I made a large salad, plated all of the cooked chicken, warmed pita breads and set out bowls of:

  • black olives
  • sliced onion
  • green pepper
  • cherub tomatoes
  • feta cheese

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My entire family went NUTS – they all LOVED it! AND strangely, every single one of them declared they had never had souvlaki before… even my husband… WHAT??? I totally live in the twilight zone!

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So – just as I did again, make a batch of this so you too can have the BEST MEAL EVER this week!! Let me know what you think… I live for your comments!!

 

Tasty Tuesday ~ ‘Jacked Up’ Chicken – Bacon Bake

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WHOOOAAA – aaaaaamazingggggg!!! SERIOUSLY – you have to make this!

A few weeks ago I had a chicken, bacon melt and it was so good and I kept thinking of how I could make it a FREEZER MEAL… so I searched the giant internet’s recipe files and I tried a few sauces and VOILA, the Jacked Up Chicken Bacon Bake was created!

My original sandwich housed Swiss cheese but I figured Pepper Jack would put this dish right over the edge and it sure did!!

Here we go….

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast (cut in ½ width wise) I used 4 breasts divided
  • ½ lb cooked bacon
  • 2 cups cheese – This time, I shredded and used Pepper Jack but have used sliced swiss before too… You just need to completely cover the chicken.
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 box stuffing mix
  • 1 stick of butter

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Slice chicken breast (width wise) so the breasts are thin and place breast into a greased (spray Pam) casserole or 9 x 13

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  • Cover chicken with strips of bacon

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  • Cover bacon with cheese

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  • Mix soup, milk and sour cream – pour over cheese

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  • Melt stick of butter, mix stuffing into melted butter – pour over sauce and “push” into topping

 

  • Cover dish with foil and bake covered for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven then remove foil covering and continue baking for another 15 minutes

 

  • Pull from oven, allow to sit for 5 minute then serve

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Baked Ravioli

Baked Ravioli

BAKED RAVIOLI

 

Yet another AMAZING dish that tastes like you spent all day in the kitchen to create this Italian masterpiece!!

I read about this dish HERE on a favorite foodie blog of mine… she references the “Disney” version but sadly I am not familiar…. Although tell me we are making a cheesey, saucey delicious dish and I am all in! And there is just something so hearty and YUM about the beefy- tasting- saucey- goodness that is created here and the layers of cheese…. Oh my!!!

I re-created the sauce to make it even easier and to fit into my new “Meatless Monday” menu plan. The hardest part is waiting for the sauce to “simmer” but I did that ahead of time and then prepared the dish and threw it back in the freezer and cooked it later… ala ~ another PERFECT FREEZER MEAL!!!

Here we go….

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups of sauce, yours, mine – HERE, jarred… whatever sauce you like
  • 2 cups beef bouillon (I made mine with bouillon cubes)
  • Package of frozen ravioli
  • ½ cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 6 THIN slices of provolone
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella

DIRECTIONS:

  • Mix sauce and bouillon on the stovetop and bring to a boil while stirring…. Then turn down to LOW and simmer for 1 HOUR! (You need the sauces to ‘meld’ !!)
  • Spray a 9X13 pan and pour about ½ the sauce in the bottom
  • Layer your Raviolis on the sauce and cover with remaining sauce.
  • Sprinkle the parmesan, lay the provolone and cover with the mozzarella.
  • At this point, you can FREEZE this dish and simply pull out when you want it, let thaw in fridge overnight and cook as directed below (you may need extra cook time if the dish is not thawed)
  • Bake at 375 for 30 minutes – uncovered!
  • I then gave it a 2 minute BROIL just to really toast the cheese…. (along with the garlic bread I made!!)
  • Serve immediately – ENJOY!

 

Tasty Tuesday ~ THE Orange Chicken

Orange

THE Orange Chicken

We are still laughing over the fact that I became so obsessed with making a delicious Orange Chicken that I pulled out my tri-crock and actually made 3 different sauce combos at one time to see which we preferred… as we tasted and discussed the sauces we realized that no one in my family had ever actually had Orange Chicken so we are not even sure what it is supposed to taste like… but we did make a variation of sauce that was so refreshing, a bit tangy, a bit sweet and A LOT delicious – and we all agreed and couldn’t wait to make it a meal!

3 crock

HERE it is… throw it all in the crock pot, or in a freezer bag to cook later.

I cooked mine in the crock on low for about 6 hours… then I actually threw it all in a skillet and ‘stir fried’ it for a few minutes to get the sauce to thicken… an unnecessary step but made for some amazing carrots I’ll tell you!

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The more chicken you use, obviously the more you could feed….

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We served this over rice… SCRUMPTIOUS!!!

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INGREDIENTS:

  • 2-3 lbs Chicken, Large (or bite) size chunks
  • 2 cups carrots (I used 1 bag)
  • 2 Cup diced (large chunk) peppers
  • 2 TBSP minced Garlic
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1 cup Orange Juice (prepared – not concentrate)
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • PINCH of Red Pepper Flakes

Orange

 

Stuffed Pepper Soup… OMG YUMMMMM

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Stuffed Pepper Soup

Oh me – oh my…. DELICIOUS!!!!

Is there a food you remember from child hood as NOT your favorite? My Mom always made stuffed peppers and I wouldn’t even try them…. Insisted I did not like them (meatloaf and mashed potatoes too = weird kid, I know!) Man, did I miss out by avoiding the stuffed pepper… it is now one of my favorite foods!

And soup – who doesn’t love soup….??!!

Combine the two and BAZAMMMMM…. Your taste buds will rejoice….. YUMMMMO!!

Easy ingredients I had right on hand…. Threw it all together in a small crock and let is simmer all day…. The house smelled heavenly and the taste…. OMG…. Make it now!!!

BONUS – this soup is full of yummy veggies that the kids all ‘surprisingly’ LOVED!!! We served it with grilled cheese but truly a hearty meal all on it’s own!!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2lbs fried ground beef (I always have mine fried up with diced onion and garlic…. I used 3 cups of cooked beef right from my freezer!)
  • 2 cans condensed Tomato soup (about 20 oz or 2.5 cups if you are making your own)
  • 3 beef bouillon dissolved in 3 cups water
  • 2 cups Diced tomatoes (you can use a can – or use your own delicious canned ‘stewed’ tomatoes – my favorite ingredient to have on hand)
  • 2 cups chopped green peppers
  • 2 cups cooked rice (another ALWAYS in my freezer – do you make double when you make rice?)
  • Salt and pepper to your liking…

 

Directions:

Throw it all in a crock – seriously…. So easy! I simmered it on low for about 4 hours.

 

Notes:

Definitely a new favorite!! Thanks for encouraging me to give it a shot Julie!

FYI – the remainder thickened A LOT in the crock… I added another cup of beef broth (may still need more) and there is plenty for a another meal!

 

Menu Monday ~ Weekly Meal Plan

burger stroganoff

~ WEEKLY Meal Plan ~

Cooking through my freezer as I need room for the upcoming turkey sale! Here is this week’s meal plan…. Hope there is something you will want to try!!

 

Monday –

Chicken Margarita – an amazing balsamic chicken and noodle recipe from a MEAL APPEAL weight watchers meal session. It froze beautifully and reheated perfect…. For anyone that had it, I have to say I added a cup of ranch dressing …. Probably blew the WW points there but it was delicious!!!

 

Tuesday –

Lots of pork left from my roast last week, so I am reheating it and serving on warm tortillas = Pork Carnitas!

 

Wednesday –

Hawaiian Chicken – another FREEZER Meal from my collection!

 

Thursday –

Burger Stroganoff – created this last week and OMG was it phenomenal! I shared the recipe HERE – go ahead make a double batch!!

 

Friday –

Chicken Pot Pie – I have one in my freezer, it’s warm and hearty and always a big hit in my house!

 

Saturday –“ FAITH, FAMILY, FRIENDS and FOOTBALL”

Football, football, football… have I mentioned my boy is on the #1 team in the league?? We start playoffs in Medina (our game is at 8:10 PM – I know!) and our little “minis” are playing too, so we will be there from noon til midnight….probably PIZZA for dinner!

 

Sunday –

Me and the Food Network! Home all day – huge beef roast for the crockpot, potatoes, carrots and beans! I will come up with some amazing dessert and I hope to make at least a few jars of applesauce!

Ground Beef Stroganoff ~ FREEZER meal

burger stroganoff

Crock-Pot Ground Beef Stroganoff ~ (a FREEZER Meal)

* I know I say it alot… but some food just doesn’t look good in pictures – hahaha!  DON’T let that fool you – this was AMAZING!!!

MY NOTES – This meal was incredibly EASY, was so hearty and delicious, and most importantly of all; got all 5 thumbs up from my family – even the picky kid who always eats his noodles plain, tried it and loved it!! Dare I say, I may even prefer this over actual beef tip (stew meat) stroganoff… There is just something ultra-comforting about any type of hamburger gravy.   I may even try some over a warm biscuit – just to add some extra “love” – hahaha. All 5 of us ate (a lot) and there was still more than plenty for K’s lunch the next day. Chicken eaters (you know you 1 cup per person people otherwise known as HEALTHY eaters – LOL) could probably get 2 meals out of this! I also think you could easily substitute 4 cups of any meat – including cooked ground turkey.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 cups of cooked ground beef ( I always have some pre-made that I browned with minced onion and garlic – depending on the fat content of the beef you will need to fry at least 2 lbs. and don’t skimp on the garlic and onion – I would say I use a ½ cup of diced onion and 1 TBS garlic per lb of beef when I fry it initially.)
  • 2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (any cream soup – I am attempting to make some homemade to get away from the processed stuff – but have not succeeded yet – LOL)
  • 2 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 c water
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • packet of onion soup mix
  • packet of brown gravy mix

◦chopped mushrooms (optional)

◦egg noodles (to serve over the day you cook)

 

Instructions

Cook meat & let it cool – again I like to fry my burger with minced onion and garlic

To Freeze: Add all ingredients to a LABELED gallon size freezer bag and place in freezer.

To Prepare: When ready to use thaw in fridge overnight. Cook in Crock, on low, for 4-6 hours. You may wish to add a little more milk at the end to thin the ‘gravy’ a bit. Serve over egg noodles.

 

5/5 THUMBS UP – it’s a keeper!!

SHEPARD’s PIE ~ Freezer Meal

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THIS…. This is a meal worth making – trust me!  I dilly-dallied around and had the recipe in my file for months thinking it would be an awesome FREEZER MEAL but I never got to it.  I kept thinking it was too ‘plain’, too ‘heavy’, too ‘old fashioned’, BUT you know what is all of these things?  COMFORT FOOD!!  And this,  my friends, TOPS the list!!  It sounds a little daunting, but really it is just three steps;  the “pie” mixture, the gravy, and the potato topping.   Give it a go!! 

 

SHEPARD’S PIE – me’o’my!!

 

INGREDIENTS:

‘PIE’ MIX

  • ·         1 lb. ground beef
  • ·         2 TBS butter
  • ·         1 regular onion – diced
  • ·         1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ·         1 cup carrots – sliced
  • ·         1 cup corn
  • ·         1 cup green beans   (I used frozen veggies and they were awesome)

 

GRAVY

  • ·         2 more TBS butter
  • ·         2 TBS flour
  • ·         1 cup beef broth (I always use water and bouillon cubes to make the broth)
  • ·         2 tsp of worcestershire

 

POTATOES

  • ·         2 lbs potatoes (about 5 reg. sized), peeled and chopped up into chunks
  • ·         2 MORE TBS butter
  • ·         ½ cup milk
  • ·         2 cups shredded cheddar – divided
  • ·         Salt and pepper

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DIRECTIONS:

 

1.       In a LARGE skillet, fry burger over medium heat.  Drain burger on a paper towel covered plate – set aside.  Remove remaining grease.  * OR pull 2.5 cups of cooked burger from your freezer stash!

 

2.       In same LARGE skillet, melt 2TBS butter, then fry onion and garlic until transparent.  Put in all 3 vegetables and stir as you heat through.

 

3.       Return meat mixture to pan, with veggie mixture, and mix together.  Pour into a casserole dish or large pie plate.

 

4.       Now melt another 2 TBS butter and mix in 2 TBS flour until you have a carmel-y color ‘paste’.  Pour in the 1 cup of broth and Worcestershire sauce… stir as you heat it until you have a nice gravy.  * You can of course use prepared gravy at this point.

 

5.       Pour gravy over meat/veggie mix in casserole dish and run your spatula through it to mix together.

 

6.       Now cook your quartered potatoes until fork tender, drain and proceed to mash the potatoes adding 2 TBS butter, the milk and 1 cup of the cheese… mix and mash them good – no lumps!!  * Any 3-4 cups of prepared mashed potatoes will work but these homemade ones are the best!!

 

7.       Dollop the potatoes on the mix and spread over the top… then sprinkle with remaining cup of shredded cheddar.  * At this point you can cover TIGHTLY will foil and freeze.

 

8.       To Bake –place thawed meal, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 35 minutes.

 shepards pie - end

Serve with a small side salad or a fruit cup – COMFORT FOOD deluxe!!  YUMMMMO