Frozen Assets


Mostly Vegetarian Monthly Meal Plan

SUBMITTED BY: Stephanie (reposted from A Frugal Simple Life)

MOSTLY VEGETARIAN MONTHLY MEAL PLAN (for the freezer)

Here’s one of my plans:

This is only main dishes. I always serve greens, salad, muffins, etc. to go with my meals.

Enjoy! I hope this can help someone eat a few meatless meals.

The Full Month Plan:
1. Meatless Tamale Pie
2. Popeye Pie
3. Lentil Stew Continue reading



Turkey-Stuffed Manicotti

This is one of my family’s favorite ways to use up turkey leftovers. Freezes ahead great, too! It’s from my original Frozen Assets book under the 10-Day Holiday Meal Plan.

From: Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for Month

TURKEY-STUFFED MANICOTTI
(Makes two casseroles)

I’ve found that cooling the manicotti shells completely before stuffing them makes the stuffing process much easier than attempting when the noodles are hot. I’ve also discovered that using a long-handled infant feeding spoon with a tiny bowl works perfectly for stuffing the shells.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 4 cups cooked chopped or shredded turkey
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 4 cups tomato sauce or 2 jars (15 ounces each) spaghetti sauce
  • 16 manicotti shells, cooked until just barely soft

Directions:

  1. Heat the butter in a large skillet over medium heat, and brown the turkey for 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the ricotta, black pepper, Parmesan cheese, green onions, parsley, rosemary, and eggs. Mix well.
  2. Cover the bottom of two(2) 9″x12″ baking pans with 1 cup tomato sauce. Stuff the manicotti shells with the turkey mixture, and place them in the baking pans. Pour in the remaining sauce. Cover the baking pans with foil. Label them, and freeze (if you wish to bake at a later time).

To Serve:

  1. Thaw the frozen meal in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before serving.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. To serve, sprinkle 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese over the manicotti. Bake, uncovered, for 35 minutes, or until bubbly and hot in the center.

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Beating the Breakfast Rush Hour

In many families, morning is a hectic and hurried time. Frequently parents feel fortunate just to get everyone out the door fully dressed each day. Serve a hot cooked breakfast every morning? Not a chance. Breakfast (if it’s served at all) often consists of grabbing a toaster pastry and a quick glass of juice as the family runs out the door racing headlong to work and school.

I’ve discovered that taking an hour or two on an occasional weekend to prepare breakfast items for the freezer, takes much of the insanity out of the weekday morning rush. Continue reading



Power Outages and Freezer Safety

If you suffer a power outage, keep your freezer closed!   Little or no thawing should occur within the first twelve to twenty hours.

If you know a storm’s heading your direction, fill empty milk jugs with water and freeze them solid before the power goes out.  A full freezer will stay frozen longer than a partially empty one.

A simple way to know if things have thawed and perhaps refrozen during a power outage is to put a bowl of ice cubes into the freezer prior to a problem.  If the ice cubes have melted and become just a bowl of water (or refrozen into a bowl of ice), you’ll know that the contents of your freezer have experienced the same thing.  Your frozen goods would no longer be safe to eat in that case.

It’s actually a good idea to keep a bowl of ice cubes in your freezer at all times in case the freezer comes unplugged or if the power goes out at some point when you’re not home or on vacation.  I keep my ice cube “indicator bowl” inside a freezer bag so the ice doesn’t dry out and evaporate.

If your freezer is full of food and the power will be out longer than one day, you have two options.  You can either move the contests of your freezer to a rental frozen food locker, or you can purchase dry ice for your freezer.

If you use dry ice, lay cardboard over the packages in your freezer and place dry ice onto the cardboard.  Never place dry ice directly onto your packages of food, and always wear heavy safety gloves when handling dry ice.  A 50-pound block of dry ice should keep your food frozen for two to three days.

Stay safe!

~Debi (author of Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month)


 You can order your copy of Frozen Assets right now from Amazon.com by clicking here. (Currently discounted!)



Debi’s Baked Ziti

This is one of those recipes my family can never get enough.  I remember my youngest daughter when she was about three, holding out her plate with a huge smile and asking in a sweet little voice, “More yummy noodles, Mommy?”

Always such a pleasure when the kiddos enjoy an easy meal the grown-up folks love, too.

This recipe is reprinted with permission from my book, Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month (SourceBooks). Continue reading