Saturday, October 20, 2012

October Freezer Cooking


October is almost gone and my freezer is full. This month I cooked with a new cooking buddy and we had a great time. The food all turned out really great; I have already tried a few of the meals. The majority of the meals I choose are from the Once a Month Mom site. It is a great site, and I love that they have tried all of these as freezer meals. We made 8 meals, so we will have a few meals we still need to cook or eat out to have an entire month, but it was still really successful. 

Over all, I think we spent about $225 for all the meals we cooked. My cooking buddy did all the shopping for meat and non-perishables at the commissary and I was shocked at the great prices. I bought all the produce from the organic co-op.  They are all gluten/dairy free, but there are no funny ingredients in them to make them this way, just simple cooking.

As I dive into gluten and dairy free meals, I have found I really don’t like substituting a bunch of ingredients to make a “normal food” gluten and dairy free. It’s a lot of work and it should not be this hard. A lot of what we made is oriental and that is all naturally dairy free and gluten free if served over rice. I know some people would have a really hard time giving up their favorites, but for me it’s not been that hard. I guess what makes it a little easier is that I feel so much better and I am still able to eat really flavorful meals. 

I will admit that when I go out to eat, it is really hard to stick to gluten and dairy free. It has been a lot easier for me if I plan our meals and freezer cooking helps me do that so much. 

Everything is strapped in and ready to go.

 Curried soup is so GOOD! I found lemon grass in the fresh herb section at the grocery store- but it was in a tube. It worked great.

 Taco Soup was in September's menu too.

 Honey Bourbon Chicken was so good last month that Matt said he would eat it this month too. I use my potato masher to break up the chicken after it cooks and I like to add a bag of frozen broccoli 1 1/2 hrs before I serve it.

 The red sauce in this recipe is so good. It was really easy to make too. Instead of layering it with raw chicken on top of rice and the sauce on top of that, I froze it all separately. I think I will pour the sauce into the crock pot and cook the chicken in it on high for 2-3 hours. It will almost be like Parmesan Chicken without the breaded chicken and cheese. 

 These are going to taste great. They look fantastic.

 I have made this before and it is really great. I will add more bell peppers to it, but I had run out on cooking day.

I have made this in the past. Her site is pretty neat; the only changes I made were that I used regular coconut milk, not low fat, and I cooked my own beans instead of using canned.

This is the recipe for Jambalaya I have always used, but this time it was not as flavorful, I think I may have forgotten to triple the spices since I tripled the recipe. I also used chicken instead of ham and sausage and those add a lot of flavor too.

Some of these recipes I doubled, tripled or quadrupled. I froze all my meals in 2-3 portion sizes and my buddy did all hers in 4-6 portion sizes for her family of 4. Making one meal vegetarian really helps cut down on cost too.

I am still not sure how to upload my shopping list, but if you want to do all of these yourself, I can send it to you in an e-mail. 

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