Meal-Prepping Meal: Louisiana Gumbo

I have truly enjoyed teaching a class at our local church for freezer style meal prepping meals.  There is no greater pleasure than passing along every day life skills, tricks and passing on the joy of knowledge!

This month’s class is a very simplified version of Louisiana Style Gumbo stew for freezer meal prep and crock-pot cooking for the busy family.  These instructions are exactly as they appear in my class packet for those coming to a location to do their meal prep.

I hope you enjoy!

MEAL-PREP  Class: SEPTEMBER 22, 2016

CROCK-POT Louisiana Gumbo

Please bring to class your own knives, cutting boards, freezer bags and please bring a cooler to bring your items in and take your bags home in.  Freezer/cold packs SHOULD BE USED since you are transporting meat proteins.

INGREDIANTS for EACH Bag:

  • 1 LB kielbasa sausage (approximately a half of a prepackaged “long link” of kielbasa) (I like the hot), CUBED (Sliced in rounds, each rounds sliced in quarters)
  • 1 ½ CUPS (1 LB) CHICKEN CUBED (COOKED, weight is precook weight) Dark meat is best but you can use chicken breast.
  • 1 (12 OUNCE) PACKAGE OF “SMALL SALAD SHRIMP” (or if you can find it, and prefer it, pre-shelled (cooked) crawfish meat ß I prefer the crawfish meat. You can also use imitation crab meat).
  • 2 CUPS (10 OUNCE) FRESH OR FROZEN OKRA (SLICED)
  • 1 SMALL ONION (CHOPPED)
  • ½ CUP CHOPPED BELL PEPPER (approx. 1 pepper depending on size)
  • ½ CUP CHOPPED CELERY (2 STALKS) I like to use the leaves as well.
  • 1 (14.5 OUNCE) CAN DICED TOMATOES WITH JUICE (want spice use diced tomatoes with jalapenos)
  • 1 CUP OF RICE (uncooked) (I like Thai Cargo Red Rice, purchased from Asian markets)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s Cajun seasoning (You can buy at Meijer’s/Kroger’s most chain stores)
  • 1 1 gallon freezer bag
  • 1 1 quart freezer bag (for your rice)

 

THE DAY BEFORE THE CLASS PREPPING

Please make sure all of your meats are cooked and prepped, you can bring all of your meats. The kielbasa and shrimp can be bought “precooked”.  For ease of putting together the freezer packages, you may want to measure out your cooked meats in individual bags.  These should not be your final “freezer” bag.

DIRECTIONS Day of class

  • For each meal you will need 2 freezer bags, 1 quart bag and 1 gallon bag.
    1. On the quart bag, you can write “rice”
    2. On the gallon bag, write “Louisiana Gumbo stew” and the date created (9/22/16) Also write, “Add 3 cups water on day of cooking” on your label.
  • In each of your quart bags add 1 cup of your uncooked rice.
  • Seal the bag, and push out all the extra air. Set to the side.
  • In your gallon bag put in your:
    1. Cubed prepped kielbasa sausage
    2. Cubed prepped chicken
    3. Shrimp (or cooked seafood of choice)
  • If you have fresh okra, slice now toss the caps & tips away. Please note, if you have never worked with okra before, yes, the centers are “slimy” but the taste is ever so good.
  • Add in your bag your sliced okra. 2 cups each bag.
  • Chop your onion(s) add in approximately 1 cup each bag.
  • Chop your bell pepper(s) add in approximately ½ cup each bag
  • Chop your celery stalk(s) add in approximately ½ cup each bag.
  • Open the can of diced tomatoes, add the tomatoes and the juice into your bag.
  • Now we are going to add your seasonings. I do not add salt until the day I cook, however, you are more than welcome to add your ½ tsp salt now.  (The flavor will cook out).  The Tony Chachere’s Cajun also has salt in it, so keep that in mind.
  • Add your ½ tsp ground pepper to the bag.
  • Add your 1 tsp of red pepper flakes to the bag.
  • Add in 1 TEASPOON of Tony Chachere’s Cajun Seasoning.
  • Now very carefully add one bag of uncooked rice to each of your gumbo gallon bags.
  • Seal your gallon bags CAREFULLY as not to spill the contents. This may take dexterity and maybe an extra set of hands. (I like to double bag mine.)

COOKING DIRECTIONS

  • The day before you want your gumbo:
    1. Take out of the freezer and place in your refrigerator, upright in a bowl, in the bags they are in, do not open.
  • The morning of your meal:
    1. Remove the separate bag of rice (rinse off to avoid a mess).
    2. Dump all of your gallon bag ingredients into the crock-pot.
    3. Dump your bag of uncooked rice into the crock-pot.
    4. Add in 3 cups of water into the crock-pot.
  • Set on Low and cook for approximately 7 hours. (You can cook longer if your day runs longer…)
    1. If at the end of the day, it is too “thick” for your liking you can add more water. (Sometimes I will add tomato juice or V8 style tomato drink).
    2. Before Serving, you can add your salt, or a tad bit more salt. Remember SALT flavor cooks out as it cooks, but retains the sodium content.  DO NOT be heavy handed on the salt!
  • Serve in a bowl with a dash of hot-sauce!

Enjoy!!!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Spaghetti Squash Alfredo Cassarole

This is one of my favorite recipes and it is very low calorie!  A friend of mine from Australia gave me the recipe and it has been a frequent for the last few years here in the Rice Household.  Enjoy!

Spaghetti Squash Casserole

From: Rice Household

Serves: 8 -9

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 35 min

Ingredients

  • 1 large spaghetti Squash  Boiled and scrapped and drained
  • 1 small sweet onion Diced
  • 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 6 cloves of garlic—diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh sweet basil chopped
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup Small Curd Cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup Almond Milk
  • 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 can of black olives sliced
  • 1/2 jar Marinated artichoke hearts
  • 10 cherry tomatoes
  • Shrimp or chicken cubed

Instructions

(Preheat oven at 350 F)

1:Cut your spaghetti squash in half and then the half in half around the center not long ways.  Boil until the strings start coming off.  Drain off hot water, cool with cold water.  Scrape into a colander to drain off all moisture.  Then transfer into an olive oiled sprayed casserole dish.

2:While the squash is cooking saute the onion and garlic until caramelized, then add in the mushrooms.  Add in 3/4 of the diced olives and the artichoke hearts.  Very last add in the cherry tomatoes and 1/2 of the fresh sweet basil..

3.In a blender, combine the yogurt, cottage cheese, almond milk, Parmesan cheese and the remaining fresh sweet basil.  Blend until it is the consistency of cream.  (You may or may not need to add a little more almond milk.)

4.Fold in your “cream” mixture into the squash that is in the casserole dish.  Make sure it is thoroughly through all of the squash, pulling the strands apart where needed.

5.Fold in your sauteed items into the squash, again dispersing throughout the entire casserole.

6. Place your chicken and or shrimp on the top.

7. Finish off with you remaining olives and cherry tomatoes

8.Bake at 350 F for 35 min.

 

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

 

 

Pasta Fagioli Soup

After making this soup many times at home I decided to share it with my Women’s Bible Group one evening.  As it turns out, it was very well liked.  Since I was asked to share my recipe, here it is!

This is an amazing white and red bean soup with such an amazing savory broth and pasta that it can not help but give you that warm home feeling!

pfsoup

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground turkey
  • 1 small onion diced small (1 cup)
  • 1 large carrot diced (1 cup)
  • 3 stalks celery, chopped (1 cup)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2  14-ounce cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can of red kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 15-ounce can great northern white beans with liquid
  • 1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce
  • 1 12-ounce can V-8 sauce
    • NOTE:  Instead of the tomato sauce, tomatoes and V-8 I use my own Italian Soup Stock
  • 1 tablespoon of white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of FRESH oregano
  • 1 teaspoon FRESH basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of FRESH thyme
  • 1/2 pound (1/2 a box) of Ditalini pasta

Directions:

  1. Brown your ground turkey in a large saucepan or pot over medium heat.
  2. Drain off most of the fat.
  3. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic and saute for approximately 10 minutes with the meat.
  4. Put all the items in your crock pot.
  5. Add in the remaining ingredients, except the pasta.
  6. Turn your crockpot on low and cook for 6ish hours.
  7. About 45 min before serving, boil and drain your pasta until a touch less than done.
  8. Add your pasta to your crockpot and continue to cook on warm for the remainder of the 45 minutes.
  9. Serve.
  10. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy this recipe!  Please let me know if you enjoyed the recipe and if you added your own touches to improve.

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice