Meal-Prepping: Chicken or Eggplant Parmesan Casserole

The month of July has been a very busy month.  Our class unfortunately was cancelled due to everyones schedules. But I wanted to make sure these very simple and yummy recipes got in your hands.

The same ingredients can be used for both the chicken or the eggplant parmesan. Substitute one for the other.

Ingredients:

  • 2-4 frozen lg boneless skinless chicken breasts or 1 medium eggplant sliced thick.
  • 1 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp dried or fresh basil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese (Optional)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (OR 2 cups of rice krispies)
  •  1 gallon bag
  •   1 quart bags

Directions:

  1. Write the name of your recipe on the gallon bag as well as cook 8 hrs low.
  2. On the small bag write ‘Toppings’.
  3. Put your bread crumbs or crushed rice crispies in the small bag, add your Parmesan cheese and squish it through. If you want mozzarella cheese add it in this bag as well.
  4. Seal pushing out all air and set aside.
  5. Put your frozen chicken 🐔 or sliced eggplant in the big bag.
  6. I also will sprinkle fruit fresh or a little lemon juice on the eggplant to prevent Browning.
  7. Now add in your basil, garlic, pepper, olive oil and tomatoes over your chicken.
  8. Carefully add your topping bag on top.
  9. Seal pushing out the air.
  10. Put in the freezer.

Day before cooking, that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking. 

  1. Carefully remove topping bag, set aside.
  2. Dump contents of the large bag into your Crock-Pot. I use my casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.
  3. Evenly spread everything out.
  4. Sprinkle the contents of the topping bag over top.
  5. Cook on low for 7-8 hrs.
  6. NOTE: You can also wait to put your toppings on about an hour before serving.
  7. Serve over pasta if you like.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Meal-Prepping: Maple Glazed Chicken

Crock-Pot cooking and meal prepping doesn’t need to be tedious and boring.  The idea is to plan ahead so you can enjoy meal time.  Here is a very quick and delicious meal.

Ingredients:

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup of Dijon or Spicy brown mustard
  • 1/2 Cup of REAL Maple Syrup
  • 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic thin sliced
  • 1 gallon freezer bag

Directions:

  1. Write on the bag Maple Glazed Chicken with your date. Also write 8 hours low.
  2. Put your frozen chicken 🐔in your bag.
  3. Add in all of your ingredients and squish the bag to cover the chicken.
  4. Seal bag pushing out as much air as possible.

Day before cooking that in the refrigerator.

Day of cooking put contents of the bag in your Crock-Pot.  I use my shallow casserole Crock-Pot for this recipe.  Cook for 8 hours on low.

Enjoy!

Until next time,

Mrs. Kay L Rice

Meal-Prep 101: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

Meal-Prep 101: Crockpot Cilantro Lime Chicken

THIS CLASS WILL BE HELD ON APRIL 20, 2017 at Quest Community Church (Westerville, Ohio) in the back kitchen area at 6:30 PM Quest Meal-Prep Class

The following recipe is for our class on 04/20/2017 at Quest Church.  This versatile recipe is is great to have as a go to in the freezer.  It can be used as a main dish served over rice, as burrito filling, soft taco filling, added to a casserole or soup, pretty much anything you can imagine.  Even if you can’t join us in person, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

INGREDIENTS (for each meal bag):

  • 1 1/2 lbs chicken breast (or thighs)
  • 4 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 fresh bunch of cilantro, chopped with the stems
  • 1 (16 ounce) bag of frozen corn
  • 1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1 can of jalapeno and tomatoes diced.
  • 1 can of green peppers or 2 jalapeno peppers diced (optional)
  • 1 tsp of cumin.

Other items you will need:

  • Cutting boards (two, 1 for produce, 1 for the chicken)
  • Latex gloves (2 pair, 1 pr for the chicken 1 pr for the jalapeno peppers if you are chopping)
  • Knives (1 for chicken, 1 for produce)
  • Can opener
  • teaspoons and tablespoons
  • garlic press or a use your produce knife
  • 1 large gallon freezer bag
  • 1 quart freezer bag
  • marker to label your bag.

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Before we get started, Write on your Gallon freezer bag, Cilantro Lime chicken, thaw over night.  Crockpot cook for 6-8 hrs low.
  2. Prepare your chicken on your chicken cutting board, put on your latex gloves.
  3. Cut your chicken in half then in half again and then in quarters.
  4. Place the chicken in your quart freezer bag.

  5. Remove your “chicken gloves” & discard.
  6. Add in two tablespoons of lime juice in with your chicken.
  7. Remove the air from your “chicken bag” and seal, place to the side.  Now, clean off your chicken cutting board with hot soapy water and keep away from your produce.
  8. On your produce cutting board, chop your fresh cilantro.  make sure you use the stems, this is where most of your flavor comes from!
  9. Place in your gallon freezer bag.
  10. Dice your onion and place in your gallon freezer bag.
  11. Add in your frozen corn and rinsed black beans to your gallon freezer bag.
  12. Add in your small can of jalapeno/diced tomatoes.
  13. IF YOU WANT FRESH DICED JALAPENO PEPPERS, PUT ON YOUR LATEX GLOVES FOR PRODUCE.  You WILL thank me later.
  14. When you cut fresh peppers, keep in mind the heat is in the seeds, more heat, leave the seeds, less heat, makes sure you leave out the seeds.
  15. Add your Peppers to the gallon bag. (removing your gloves after working with your peppers.)
  16. Add in your cumin.
  17. Add in 2 tablespoons of lime juice.
  18. Gently roll and place your chicken bag on the top of your produce.
  19. Push out the extra air and seal the gallon bag.  (I like to double bag my items.)
  20. Flatten bag and freeze.

Day be before preparing instructions:

  • Set upright in the refrigerator (in a bowl in case it leaks) to thaw.

Cooking day instructions:

  • Open bag carefully and pull out your chicken bag.
  • Put the chicken in your crock-pot first.
  • Dump in the remaining ingredients from the gallon bag on top of the chicken.
  • Set crock-pot on low and cook for 6-8 hours.
  • Before serving, shred with a fork the chicken and stir into the cooked ingredients.
  • Serve over rice, with corn tortillas as soft tacos, in large flour tortillas as burritos, over corn chips as nachos anything your heart desires.
  • The shredded left overs are also great to freeze and have on hand for soups!

Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

 

 

Meal-Prepping 101: Beef Stew

Beef (or any meat) Stew

On February 16, 2017 at Quest Community Church, Westerville, Ohio, we will once again be joining together to work on our meal-prepping skills.  The second recipe for this class is a traditional Beef Stew (The first recipe, is Cranberry Chicken posted on 2/11/17 on this site).  Stew is a traditional standby in the Rice Household.  It is perfect for meal-prep as a freezer meal before and after being cooked.  If you enjoy canning, it can also be prepped in individual and family servings by using a PRESSURE CANNER (please see the post on this site for Turkey/Chicken Stew, under the canning and preserving page).  But I digress.  The nice thing about stew is that it can be made with pretty much anything you have on hand as well as tweaks here and there for what you like and what you don’t like.  Example: Some people my love parsnips, others may not, some people think you are weird putting in peas in a stew, some say oh that’s a must have.  My Grandma and Mom would refer to their stews as “refrigerator stew”, that meant anything left over from previous meals got thrown in a pot and cooked as soup/stew.  In short the “waste not want not” method of country cooking.

For our class on 2/16/17, I will be outlining the meal prep freezer way to put up stew before cooking, although here and there I will also outline other methods.  Ready?  Here we go!

Ingredients for each meal:

  • 1 lb of meat (beef, venison, pork, turkey, chicken…)
  • 1 1/4 cups diced onion (I prefer red onion but its your preference)
  • 2 tsps. (or 4 cloves) garlic, minced
  • 1 small can of tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons of Thyme
  • 1 cup of carrots diced/sliced (I like lots of carrots, so about 5 carrots sliced)
  • 2 cups of diced/sliced celery
  • 1/2 cups of frozen peas (do not get canned, they get squishy)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of APPLE CIDER Vinegar

Ingredients to be added the day of cooking:

  • 1 tsp of Sea Salt
  • 1/2 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 Cups of Broth (to match the meat you use)

Freezer Containers needed if freezing:

  • 1 quart freezer bag
  • 1 gallon freezer bag
  • Pen to write contents and cooking additions for day of cooking

BEFORE CLASS DIRECTIONS:

  • Label you large gallon freezer bag with the title of your recipe and date prepared:
    • example:  Beef Stew 2/16/17
  • Keep your quart freezer bag with your large gallon freezer bag.
  • Since we will be working with raw meat, please, make sure you keep your product fresh and sealed and COOL in transport to and from class and put in the freezer as soon as you return from class.  You also may want to prepare the meat and keep in your refrigerator at home and then add to your bag once you return from class.
  • Cube your meat into small pieces.  I will be using venison for my stew.
  • Make sure you trim off any grisly or large fat portions (and skin if poultry).
  • Put in your quart freezer bag and press out any air and keep cool.

Class Instructions:

  • If you brought the meat with you, keep cold in your cooler while we prep the rest of the items.
  • Chop all of your vegetables starting with your onion.  Add each to your gallon bag after you finish with them.
    • Side note here:  I also like to add things like parsnips, sweet potatoes, fresh beets, peppers, potatoes, spinach and frozen lima beans or black eyed peas.  I’ve even been known to throw in butternut squash cubes.
  • Add in your frozen peas (or other frozen veggies) to your bag.
  • Your bag is getting full now. Carefully add all of her herbs and shake so it flakes down over your veggies.
  • Add in your tomato paste and “squish” it through the bag.
  • Add in your Apple Cider Vinegar to your meat.
  • Now, we need to add our meat.  Since we have all these wonderful veggies in here, we do NOT want to taint them with raw meats!!!   Very carefully, put your meat in its bag sealed, in the large gallon bag on top of the veggies.  Meat is in the bag, but not touching your veggies.  If you cook your meats ahead of time, you can add them directly in the bag, however, your meat will be very shredded when you cook the stew (which is fine, its a texture thing).

NIGHT BEFORE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Take out of the freezer and stand upright and thaw over night IN the refrigerator.

DAY OF COOKING INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Very carefully open your gallon bag and retrieve the meat bag.
  • Open the meat bag and dump the contents in the crock pot.
  • Dump the veggie/seasoning contents over the meat in the crockpot.
  • Add in your 2 cups of broth (to match the meat) to the crock pot.
  • Cook on low for 7-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Add your salt and pepper before serving to retain flavor and not needing to re-add.

FREEZING AFTER COOKING:

Stews and soups are great for freezing left overs for other meal preps.  Put in a large gallon bag or in individual sized freezer safe containers and place level in your freezer.  You can reheat later in the microwave or stove top quickly because everything is already cooked.

CANNING AFTER COOKING:

I enjoy canning left over soups and stews in half pint jars individual servings that I can grab and go for work or for a quick lunch and dinner.  ALL SOUP and STEWS must be PRESSURE CANNED.  The rule of thumb is the amount of time for the longest pressure cooking standard ingredient.  Example:  Meat and beans must be canned (half pint or pint) for 75 minutes and quarts need to be canned for 90 minutes at a pressure of 11 lbs.  If you are unfamiliar with a pressure canner don’t make soup your trial run.

I look forward to seeing you all in class and for those who can not attend, I hope you enjoy this recipe, and let me know what you think.

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Meal Prepping 101 Class: Cranberry Chicken

One of our freezer meal recipes for our class on February 16, 2017 will be Cranberry Chicken.  This recipe is also very easy to make in a casserole crock pot fresh that day as well, as with any of our freezer meals.  This recipe is also great with pork or turkey as well as Chicken.  This is one of our freezer meals that we will be working with raw meat so it is very necessary to prepare and take precautions for food safety.

Ingredients for each meal/bag:

  • 2 pounds of chicken
  • One 14 ounce can of whole cranberry sauce
  • 1 cup of French salad dressing (yup you read that right)
  • 2 tablespoons or 4 fresh cloves of garlic
  • 1 packet of dried French onion soup mix (however, I choose to make my own using a bouillon cube of the type of meat I’m using, boiled with a small onion)
  • It wouldn’t be a “Rice Household” recipe without a kick, so we like 1 tsp of ground chipotle pepper.
  • a 1 gallon bag with the name of the recipe and date you created on it, if you are going to freeze this for later, you will need this for the class as well.
  • You will also need cutting boards, knives, spoon, latex gloves, can opener for the class.

Directions before class:

  • Please label your bag with the recipe name, the date of the class and cooking directions (at the end).  This will be for the bag if you are creating the freezer meal.
  • Please take the time to prepare your chicken before the class and place in a bag to transport, keep this cold and fresh, PLEASE.
  • you will want to cut each chicken breast into quarters, follow the directions below.
  • Prepare and label your final bag.
  • When transporting to and from class, please make sure you have a cooler WITH ice packs.  Now, on with the directions.

Directions:

  • Put on your latex gloves.
  • Prepare your chicken breasts.
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  • Take your large chicken and slice in half by placing it on the side and slicing down the middle (making the breast thinner).
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  • Now slice each of your halves in half.
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  • This will give you 8 pieces of chicken.
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  • If you are attending our class, you will want to put these in a secure freezer bag until you come to our class, if not, carry on.
  • Now, since I prefer NOT to use the French onion soup dry mix, I make my own, to do this I dice one small onion and put in a pan with 1/4 cup of water and a bouillon cube of the meat I’m using (chicken here) and boil until the onions are soft. If prefer to use the dry soup mix, add this to your gallon bag if you are freezing or to a small mixing bowl if you are not.
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  • Open your can of cranberry sauce, and put into your bowl/bag.
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  • Now measure out your French Salad Dressing and stir it in with your onion mix and cranberry sauce.
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  • At this point I add in 1 tsp of crushed Chipotle Pepper.  If you don’t like heat, you don’t need to do this, we like heat.
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  • Stir your mixture together to the point that it looks like a sauce.  If you are putting it directly in a freezer bag, squish the items together until mixed.
  • Now, add your chicken (pork or turkey).
    • If you are doing this fresh: lay your chicken slices in a casserole style crock pot and pour the sauce over top of the chicken.
    • If you are doing this for a freezer meal, add your chicken slices in the bag with your sauce.
      • In your freezer bag, carefully press out extra air and seal.  I normally double seal items with this much liquid.
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Cooking Directions:

  • If you are cooking “FRESH”.
    • Turn your casserole style crock-pot to LOW and cook for 5-6 hours, the chicken will be cooked through and tender.  The sauce cooks into the chicken and is great to put over sides like mashed potatoes.
  • If you are cooking from a freezer meal packet:
    • The night before stand up securely in your refrigerator and thaw.
    • The day of cooking.  Dump the contents of the bag in your casserole style crockpot.
    • Turn on LOW and cook for 5-6 hours.
    • The chicken will be cooked through and tender.
    • The sauce cooks into the chicken and creates a wonderful gravy/sauce to go over sides like mashed potatoes.

I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please feel free to leave me comments!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

 

 

Meal Prep Class 101: Crock-Pot Lasagna

On November 17, 2016 at 7PM we will have our next Freezer meal Prep Class at Quest Community Church.  The following is Recipe #1 which we will be working with.  Whether you can physically join us or join us in spirit, I hope you enjoy this recipe.

The instructions are written exactly as well will be doing them in class.

Enjoy!

SLOW COOKER FREEZER MEAL LASAGNA

NOVEMBER 17, 2016 MEAL PREPPING FREEZER MEAL CLASS Recipe #1

SERVES 6

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 ½ lbs. (precook weight) ground beef (OR ground turkey or chicken or venison), browned and drained
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces (uncooked regular noodles not the oven baked noodles) you can also use approx. a cup of the “mini lasagna noodles, or pinwheels or any noodle you like”.
  • 1 (24 ounce) can/jar of your favorite pasta sauce
  • ½ cup fresh mushrooms diced (optional)
  • 1 cup fresh onion, diced
  • ½ cup fresh green pepper diced (optional)
  • Âź cup black olives sliced (optional)
  • 2 – 3 cloves of garlic diced
  • 1 cup of small curd cottage cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tsp ground parsley
  • ½ tsp ground oregano
  • Âź tsp garlic powder
  • Âź tsp dried basil
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (prefer to not put this in as the flavor cooks out)
  • 1 Gallon freezer bag
  • 2 quart freezer bags
  • PERM MARKER FOR MARKING
  • Cooler and freezer packs to transport your goods to and from class.

PRE-CLASS PREP

  1. PLEASE, cook your ground beef the night (or nights) before class, drain off all grease and cool and place in a small bag and place in the fridge.
  2. On 1 quart bag write “cheese mixture”
  3. On 1 quart bag write “noodles”
  4. On the Gallon Freezer bag write “CROCK POT LASAGNA, the date [November 17, 2016].

CLASS INSTRUCTIONS

  1. DICE YOUR VEGGIES! If you have not already done so.
  2. First we will create our cheese mixture bag.
    1. Add in your cup of cottage cheese
    2. Add in your mozzarella cheese.
    3. “Squish” in bag and seal and set aside.
  3. Now your noodle bag.
    1. If you have not already broken your lasagna noodles do so here.
    2. If you are using a smaller shaped noodle (lots of fun here) you don’t need to break them.
    3. Add to your noodle bag. Seal and set aside.
  4. Now for your gallon freezer bag.
    1. Add in your browned meat.
    2. Add in your veggies.
    3. Add in all of your seasonings.
    4. “SQUISH” your bag to mix everything together.
    5. Add in your pasta sauce. Now it gets messy!
  5. VERY, VERY GENTLY, Add in the sealed noodle and cheese bags inside on top of the Ingredients of the gallon bag!
  6. Very Gently, PUSH out the air in the gallon bag and seal with the other two bags INSIDE the gallon bag.
  7. I like to double bag my gallon bags for a leakage safety net.
  8. Place in your freezer until you want it.

THE DAY BEFORE COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Take out of the freezer and place standing upright (in a bowl).

THE DAY OF COOKING

  1. Prepare your Large Crockpot (I use our 6 quart oval crockpot) by spraying with some “pam” type spray or use a crock-pot liner for your crockpot size. You will thank yourself later for this!
  2. Carefully remove the two separate bags from the larger bag and set aside.
  3. Dump your ingredients in from your larger bag into the crockpot.
  4. Now dump in your noodles.
  5. Stir the noodles throughout the mixture.
  6. Finally dump the cheese on the top and “spread it out a little”.
  7. Turn your crockpot on LOW and cook for 8 (eight) hours.
  8. Serve and Enjoy!

Until Next time,

Mrs. Kay L. Rice

 

Meal-Prepping 101: White Chicken Chili

We are quickly approaching our popular class at Quest Community Church for Meal-Prepping Freezer Meals on October 20, 2016 at 7PM.

October is one of my very favorite months because now we get into SOUP and STEW season!!!!  Nothing in this world is better than coming home to the aroma of a fresh pot of soup/stew that has been cooking all day!

Are you ready?  Let’s go!

White Chicken Chili (Makes 4-5 servings)

Ingredients (For each bag which makes 4-5 servings):

  • 2 (15 oz) cans Great Northern Beans (drained)
  • 1 (15 oz) can White Kidney Beans (cannelloni beans) (drained)
  • 1 (14.5 oz) Mexican diced Tomatoes (tomatoes with jalapeno and cilantro at Aldi’s) Do NOT Drain your Tomatoes.
  • 1 (7 oz) can green chilies (we prefer the canned hatch chilies at Meier’s)  Do NOT drain your chilies, the juice adds to your chili.
  • 1/2 C Verde (green) Salsa (Hernandez brand is our favorite.)
  • 1 Tbsp Taco Seasoning (This is totally optional, and I don’t use it due to the sodium)
  • 2 chicken breasts (cubed and cooked)
  • 1/2 C Sour Cream (use Greek yogurt to reduce calories and increase protein)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp Chili powder
  • 1 1 gallon freezer bag
  • A cooler with ice or ice packs to transport your items to and from class
  • your own knives, cutting boards, can openers, apron, etc.

Pre-Class Instructions and Prep

  1. For Health and Safety reasons PLEASE cube and cook your chicken the night before class.
  2. Once your cooked chicken is COOLED after cooking place in individual bags for each bag you are going to prepare (each bag should contain 2 breasts of cubed chicken cooked) ADD THE “JUICE” from cooking the chicken to your bag, this will add to your stock.
  3. Take the time to prepare your freezer bags.  To do this, write on each of your final bags that you wish to prepare (as many as you like and bring ingredients for) White Chicken Chili with the date (10/20/2016).
  4. Under the Contents write “On Day Of Preparation: Add 2 cups water” (for thicker chili / 2 1/2 – 3 cups for soup level or you can use part chicken broth and water as well)

Class Day!  Instructions

This meal is so easy to put together it’s totally crazy quick!

  1. Open your bag of cooked chicken and put it in your freezer bag first.
  2. Add your sour cream/yogurt to your freezer bag.
  3. “Squish” the sour cream/yogurt to where it coats your chicken nicely.
  4. Open and drain your Great Northern Beans (or otherwise called Navy Beans) , Add to your freezer bag.
  5. Open and drain your Cannelloni Beans (White Kidney Beans), Add to your freezer bag.
  6. Open your Mexican diced Tomatoes and DO NOT DRAIN, add to your freezer bag.
  7. Open your canned chilies DO NOT DRAIN, add to your freezer bag.
  8. Add your Salsa Verde to your freezer bag.
  9. “Squish” your bag a little mixing the items together.
  10. Add your Taco seasoning (optional) to your freezer bag.
  11. Add your oregano to your freezer bag.
  12. Add your cumin to your freezer bag.
  13. Add your Chili Powder to your freezer bag.
  14. Again, “squish” your freezer bag a little to mix the items together.
  15. Very gently, push out extra air and seal the bag.
    1. I like to double bag my soups and stews before laying them in my freezer.

When you want to prepare your White Chicken Chili:

  1. The day before you want to have your chili, take out of the freezer and place standing up in a bowl bag unopened in your refrigerator to thaw.
  2. The morning of cooking dump all the ingredients into your crock-pot.
  3. Add 2 – 2 1/2 cups of water to your crock-pot.  (for thicker chill / 2 1/2 – 3 cups for soup level or you can use part chicken broth and water as well)
  4. You can also add about 1/2 cup of milk if you like a more creamy texture.
  5. Cook on LOW for 7-8 hours.
  6. Serve with a spring of fresh cilantro and lime wedge if you like in each served bowl!

Enjoy!  Even if you don’t join us physically for your class, I hope you enjoy this recipe.  Please send feedback!

Until Next Time,

Mrs. Kay Rice

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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