Freezing Garlic and Onions

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Freezing Garlic is probably the smartest thing I have ever done. Before I was married my heads of garlic would go bad before I could use the whole thing. I figured out you can freeze garlic pretty easily if you have the patience to mince an entire head of garlic. I applied a similar principle to a bag of onions I had recently that was going bad. The best part is you will save time by not having to chop garlic or onions while cooking.

FREEZING GARLIC

Supplies:

Cutting Board

Sharp Knife or Slap Chop

Head of Garlic

Plastic Wrap

Stapler

1)   Cut out small squares (3in by 3in) of plastic wrap, enough for almost each clove of garlic

2)   Peel and mince each garlic clove. It is easiest to do peel every clove and then mince all together, especially if you have a slap chop device.

3)   Spoon a Tablespoon sized amount onto a piece of plastic wrap.

4)   Twist corners of plastic wrap together and staple above garlic to keep plastic together.

5)   Repeat until all garlic is wrapped.

6)   Toss your little pouches of garlic into a freezer safe bag and put in freezer.

7)   TO USE: The garlic pouches will thaw rapidly on the counter, 10-15min. Use for any recipe.

FREEZING ONIONS

Supplies:

Sandwich bags (any) or plastic wrap

Onions

Cutting board

Sharp Knife

1)   Peel onions.

2)   Chop or slice onions.

3)   Store in bags in 1 cup amounts or one onion per bag. You can also use the same method of storing as garlic with larger squares (see above).

4)   Store onion pouches in a freezer safe bag and place in freezer.

5)   TO USE: Thaw in refrigerator for at least 6-8hours. Or on the countertop for 1-2hours. Time will vary depending on how you pre-cut and stored onions.

Menu 7

Sunday

Dinner: Cobb Salad

Mexican Monday

Pork Carnitas with smashed black beans

The carnitas recipe is a slow oven cook recipe. If you don’t have the time on a week night you can move this recipe to the weekend.

 Tuesday

Salmon, Garlic-Chunked Potatoes, and asparagus

Cut large slices of red potatoes and mix with olive oil, minced garlic and rosemary (optional). Bake in 375 degree oven until cooked through and slightly brown.

Wednesday

Green-Chile Chicken Lasagna

If tomatillos are in season find the time to make your own enchilada sauce (prep on Sunday)

Thursday

Turkey Burgers

Friday

leftovers

Saturday

leftovers

We are making some pretty big meals for two people this week, so we have two leftover days. 

Make and Freeze Sausage

We love sausage, especially Italian and breakfast sausage. But sausage is not the best food for you. It can be filled with any number of ingredients and preservatives, and pork sausage should be eaten in moderation. Now…try telling my husband he can’t eat sausage.  So far we eat sausage in moderation thanks to our busy schedules and my constant menu rotation, but I have to admit I miss sausage too.

Luckily we found a recipe for making and storing homemade sausage. This method works for us because when it comes to Italian cooking we typically remove the casing off of sausage to use in soups, casseroles, and pasta dishes. This method is also great if you make a lot of breakfast casseroles where you buy ground sausage. My favorite part about making my own sausage- well there’s a couple things. It’s easy, it’s fast, it’s cheap, you can tweek the recipes to suit your family, it’s healthier, and you know EXACTLY what is in it.

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FREEZING Homemade Sausage

Italian Sausage Recipe

Breakfast Sausage Recipe

There are so many recipes out there, but these were just two I came across.

Supplies:

2lbs homemade sausage

Plastic Wrap

Gallon Freezer Bag or Freezer safe container

1)   After you make sausage divide into 6 equal parts.

2)   Pull off 6 pieces of plastic wrap, long enough to wrap sausages (6-8inches).

3)   Place a chunk of meat shaped into a sausage on plastic wrap and roll up. Twist ends and place in bag and in freezer.

4)   TO USE: Thaw overnight in fridge. Unwrap sausage and cook in a skillet.

Menu 6

Sunday

Dinner: Pizza and Salad

Travel days = frozen pizza. If you want to make your own pizza tonight you could make English muffin/bagel pizzas OR my favorite grilled cheese pizza. Make like a regular grilled cheese, but add tomato sauce, turkey pepperoni, mozzarella and any favorite toppings between slices of bread. If you want toppings cooked (peppers, onions, etc.) you will need to cook them in a skillet before adding to sandwich.

Mexican Monday

Taco Casserole with Chicken

I am using homemade Taco Seasoning, Salsa, and Refried Beans I have frozen for this recipe. Make the refried beans without the cayenne pepper, it overwhelms the dish.

 Tuesday

Baked Penne and Sausage 

We made and froze our own Italian Turkey Sausage for this recipe. 

Wednesday

Buffalo Chicken Wraps with Blue Cheese, Cheesy Potatoes and A Veggie

Thursday

Vegetable Soup 

You can use the recipe on the bag to add fresh veggies. 

Friday

Mediterranean Tuna Noodle Casserole

Saturday

leftovers

Menu 5

Sunday

Dinner: Baked Potato Bar with Broccoli and Cheese Soup Topping

AND

Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches

Mexican Monday

Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas with smashed black beans

 Tuesday

Spaghetti and Meatballs

My husband makes the BEST meatballs. Add a little ricotta to your meatballs next time you make them.

Wednesday

Crockpot Honey Sesame Chicken with Rice and Steamed Veggies

Thursday

Leftover Day

Friday

Salmon Patties with couscous and Salad

Saturday

Pea Frittata with Roasted Vegetable on Side (turnip, cabbage, sweet potato, etc.)

Beans, beans good for your heart…

Black beans, navy beans, pinto beans, red beans, beans, beans, beans! There are so many different types of beans and they are great for you! The cheapest way to buy beans is to buy them dried, but it can be a pain to make them with the soaking (if you remember) and then monitoring a simmering pot for at least an hour.  Luckily you can make them in a crockpot and freeze them.

COOKING: Rinse beans place them in a crockpot with 6 cups of water per pound for 4-6 hours on high.

FREEZING:

Freeze beans with liquid from pot into containers or sandwich bags in a larger freezer bag. I prefer using mason jars. They are reusable, free of chemicals, and hold 2-3 servings (side dish size).

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Menu 4

Sunday

Prep: Quick Salsa

I hate tomatoes in the winter, they are expensive and they are gross. This salsa recipe lets me have delicious tomatoes from my summer garden that I have canned. Don’t knock it til you try it.

Dinner: Buffalo Chicken Cups, Loaded Baked Potatoes, and Salad

AND

Homemade Sundae Cones

Mexican Monday

Oven Baked Chicken Fajitas with Refried Beans

I froze packets of refried beans from when I made them a couple weeks ago. This will make Monday so much easier!

“Tofu” Tuesday

Lemony Lentil Soup (Crockpot Meal) with Bread

The recipe is from Parents magazine and you need a log in. Find an alternative recipe here.

Wednesday

Turkey Meatloaf and Veggies

Thursday

Leftover Day

Friday

Easy Chicken Fried Rice, Baked Egg Rolls with Duck Sauce, and Steamed Sugar Peas.

Saturday

Slow Cooked Chipotle Beef and Cheesy Polenta