Category Archives: Freezer Cooking

Pineapple chicken freezer meal

freezer meal pineapple chicken
Hello everyone! I’m so sorry that I haven’t posted in a while. I’ve spent the last few weeks sick. Like going to bed on Saturday and waking up on Wednesday type of sick. I spent most of the time making muffled hacking noises and drooling on my pillow.

While I was sick, I had serious issues with dinners. It’s not because I didn’t have food. I had plenty of prepped meat and vegetables in the freezer. I even had some freezer meals prepared. But my family was at a loss as to what to make for dinner.

The instructions on my freezer meals just weren’t clear enough. Usually when I make up freezer meals, I scrawl something like Bake at 350 or the name of the freezer meal on the plastic, since I know how to prepare most of the meals. This just didn’t cut it when I was incapacitated.

So I’ve resolved to start making freezer dinners more family-friendly. Something that even my junior high kid could cook if needed. The first meal? Pineapple chicken.

There are lots of pineapple chicken freezer meals on the web. However most pineapple chicken meals involve dumping the contents in the crockpot. I like crockpot freezer meals as much as anyone else. But cooking chicken in the crockpot causes it to shred. And I don’t like shredded chicken for Asian dishes.

This meal takes about 15 minutes to prep, and 15 minutes to cook.

To prep meals for the freezer

This recipe makes up three meals – one for now and two for the freezer. You can adjust it as needed. Each meal serves 6 and costs $3.52 per meal.

You’ll need:

  • Freezer bags – gallon size
  • Freezer bags – quart size
  • Sharpie or permanent marker
  • Printout here – pineapple chicken download
  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs — $5.25
  • 3 bell peppers — $1.50
  • 3 20oz cans of pineapple chunks, juice reserved — $2.99
  • 6 Tb soy sauce — $.12
  • 3 garlic clove, minced — $.24
  • 1 Tb grated ginger — $.11
  • 1 Tb cornstarch — $.04
  • 6 Tb brown sugar — $.12

First, cut up the chicken into bite-size chunks. Divide among three quart freezer bags. Seal and mark the chicken bags. Set aside.

freezer meal pineapple chicken

Drain the pineapple and set the juice aside. Divide the pineapple among three quart freezer bags. Chop and seed the bell peppers. Divide between the pineapple bags. Seal and mark the vegetable bags. Set aside.

freezer meal pineapple chicken

Next, prep the sauce for freezing. Combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl.

Here’s a tip when prepping liquids for the freezer: line a cup with an empty freezer bag and pour the liquid in the cup. This keeps the liquid from spilling when you pour. A third of the sauce needs to go into the freezer bag. Seal and mark the sauce bag. Prep two more sauce bags and set aside.

sauce in cup

Place 1 tsp cornstarch in a quart bag. Since you don’t have to worry about freezer burn for cornstarch, you can place the cornstarch in a quart sandwich bag.

Place a bag of sauce, a bag of chicken, a bag of pineapple/peppers, and a bag of cornstarch into a gallon size bag. Place one of the cooking instructions from the PDF in the gallon bag with the rest of the quart bags (The instructions should keep dry). Bag the next two meals. Freeze.

This is best served over cooked rice or cauliflower rice. If you’d like, you can bag the uncooked rice, write instructions for cooking the rice, and tuck into the gallon bag. You can also fill a quart bag of prepared cauliflower rice and add to the gallon bag.

chicken package

pineapple chicken printable

Pineapple chicken freezer meal

Pineapple chicken freezer meal

Ingredients

  • Freezer bags - gallon size
  • Freezer bags - quart size
  • Sharpie or permanent market
  • Printout of instructions
  • 3 lbs boneless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 3 bell peppers
  • 3 20oz cans pineapple chunks, juice reserved
  • 6 Tb soy sauce
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tb grated ginger
  • 1 Tb cornstarch
  • 6 Tb brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Cut up the chicken in bite-size pieces. Divide among three quart freezer bags. Seal and mark the chicken bags. Set aside.
  2. Drain the pineapple and set the juice aside. Divide among three quart freezer bags. Chop and seed the bell peppers. Divide among the pineapple bags. Seal and mark the vegetable bags. Set aside.
  3. Next, prep the sauce for freezing. Combine brown sugar, pineapple juice, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger in a small bowl.
  4. Line a cup with an empty freezer bag and pour the liquid in the cup. This keeps the liquid from spilling when you pour. A third of the sauce needs to go into the freezer bag.
  5. Seal and mark the sauce bag. Prep two more sauce bags and set aside.
  6. Place 1 tsp cornstarch in a quart bag. Seal and mark.
  7. Place a bag of sauce, a bag of chicken, a bag of pineapple/peppers, and a bag of cornstarch into a gallon size bag. Place one of the printed cooking instructions in the gallon bag. Freeze.

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7 ways to use old citrus

7 ways to use old citrus

 

It happens to all of us. Maybe you vowed that this was the year that you’d eat half a grapefruit for breakfast every day. Maybe you saw that gorgeous stack of oranges at the grocery store and had to have some.

So you end up with surplus citrus. And sometimes you might end up with an orange or lime that’s a little bit old. Not moldy or gross, mind you. But just a little. . . sad. When we have fruit that starts to look this way, everyone in the family shuns it.

But there’s still a way to salvage it. Here are seven ways to use up your old citrus:

Marinades

Juice your citrus. Then toss chicken breasts in a freezer bag and the squeezed juice. Freeze for later thawing and grilling. Some flavor combinations that I love:

  • Grapefruit juice, a few sprigs of rosemary, and a garlic clove
  • Lime juice, sliced onion, chopped fresh cilantro
  • Lemon juice, lemon zest, and thyme

Freezer meals

But why limit the juice to marinades? You can make some great freezer meals from fresh-squeezed juice.

Try either the Orange Ginger Chicken or Lemon Pepper Chicken from New Leaf Wellness:

6 Crockpot Freezer Chicken Meals

Fresh-squeezed orange juice tends to be sweeter than concentrate, so if you make this yummy recipe from Freezer Meals For Us, taste the orange sauce before adding the brown sugar and adjust to taste.

Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

Drink spritzes

You can’t get more than a half-cup of juice from most citrus, making it tough to get a good fresh-squeezed glass of OJ from one orange. However, you can use a splash of squeezed juice to freshen up a drink. Freeze the juice in ice-cube trays. When frozen, you can drop a cube in plain water. The juice cubes can add zing to other drinks too. I once put a blood tangerine cube in a Diet Coke. . .ah heaven!
Beats Diet Coke and lime any day.

Smoothies

This works best with oranges, of course. Peel the oranges and lay the segments on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet. Freeze and pop the frozen segments into  a freezer bag for use. These make the freshest tasting Orange Julius!

Green cleaner

You can also take citrus peels and steep them in vinegar. Strain the liquid after a few weeks and pour it into a clean spray bottle. There are lots of how-tos on the Internet, such as this one from  the Shabby Creek  Cottage. Just remember, you can use more than orange peels. Lemons, limes, and grapefruit peels also make a nice natural cleaner.

Sometimes the citrus is just too far gone to be edible. Don’t worry. You can still squeeze some life out of it before tossing.

Air freshener

Cut up your citrus and toss the pieces into a slow cooker or pot of simmering water. You can also add aromatic herbs and spices, like rosemary and cinnamon sticks. It’s especially great to get rid of those musty late-winter house odors.

Disposal cleaner

Finally you can always use it as a disposal cleaner. Cut up the citrus and toss a few slices in the disposal along with a few ice cubes. Grind them up. This is a great way to clean the disposal and keep it fresh. I know that many people like to freeze slices in chunks like hockey pucks, but I’d rather keep my freezer free for other things.

What’s your favorite way to deal with old citrus?

 

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