Inspired by a couple of blogs I frequent, mostly this one, I decided to make a bunch of food this afternoon to fill up my freezer with meals and add-ons for the next few weeks.
Here's how it went:
Round 1: roast & shred chicken breasts for chicken noodle soup & lentil barley soup, make honey whole wheat bread dough & let it rise
Round 2: pinto beans for Henry into the pressure cooker, batter for whole wheat waffles (had a little helper to crack the eggs), brown meat for sweet & sour pork (recipe below) & latin american pork stew
Round 3: cook waffles, saute veggies & make sauce for sweet & sour pork, form bread into loaves and let it rise again, make & bake whole wheat banana muffins (recipe below),
Round 4: chop veggies & finish chicken noodle soup (dinner tonight), bake bread, package all food into bags and containers for freezing.
In between the rounds there were boys to feed, diapers to change, boy to pick up from school, naps to give, and loads of dishes to wash, but to have that much food in the freezer at the end of the afternoon was very fulfilling and also exhausting. I would definitely recommend it.
**I prefer to make my whole wheat bread into mini loaves, as opposed to large ones because I can just pull out one loaf from the freezer, slice it, and it is just the amount our family eats for one meal.
**And in case you're interested, here are the recipes as promised. I added asparagus into my sweet & sour pork instead of peppers, because it was on sale at the grocery store today.
Banana Whole Wheat Muffins
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 cup sugar (could substitute sucanat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup mashed banana
1/2 cup applesauce
1/3 cup oil
1/4 cup oats
Mix dry ingredients with wet ingredients, bake 350 degrees--mini-muffins, 13 minutes, large muffins, 15 mins. Yield: about 28 mini-muffins or 14 large muffins
Sweet & Sour Chicken or Pork
2-3 boneless chicken breasts or pork loin chops, cut into small pieces, seasoned well with salt and pepper
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, sliced
1 red or green pepper, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small can pineapple chunks
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
2/3 cup water
1 1/2 Tbsp. oil
1/3 cup vinegar
2 Tbsp. soy sauce
Brown seasoned meat in oil, remove from pan. Saute carrots, onions, peppers in oil with salt and pepper until barely soft, add garlic and cook one minute. Add meat back into pan and turn off heat.
In another sauce pan, combine sugar and cornstarch and whisk in water. Add oil, vinegar & soy sauce. Turn on heat and cook until thick and clear (about 3 mins), stirring continuously.
Pour sauce over veggie/meat mixture, add pineapple.
Eat right away over rice, or put into freezer container and freeze for up to 2 months.
Defrost in fridge, heat until bubbly.