Has anyone been waiting around, biting their nails with anticipation and just dying to know how the freezer meal experiment went???? Well…it went great! And the best part about it, as you can imagine, was the fact that I had 3 dinners ready-made, and 2 that I didn’t have to lift a finger to prepare. How amazing is that??? It was like the heavens parted. A couple of my weeknights were freed up and it was glorious.
So if you didn’t get to read Freezer Meals – Part 1, I decided to make Valerie Bertinelli’s tuna noodle casserole recipe. I loved it. I will say this though…if you choose to make it, use cremini mushrooms! The only substitutions I made were using 2% milk instead of whole and tuna in water instead of oil. Any other subs may make this dish less than a show stopper.
Now on to the other meals that we shared…
Meal #1 – Korean Meatballs
Say wha???? Before you get scared off and completely stop reading this post, let me just say that this dish was freakin amaze balls! My sister, Emily, made it and it kind of masquerades as spaghetti and meatballs, so the kiddos don’t really know what hit them. There’s even kimchi in the meatballs and in case you haven’t heard, that stuff is super healthy for you. The great health benefit is that it has tons of healthy bacteria. Happy gut, happy girl!
Emily started off by making the sauce and then a *@#! ton of meatballs. Some for our family, some for her, and some for my parents.
*** You can freeze the meatballs and sauce separately and then make the noodles according to the package directions while preparing the meal.***
Here’s the recipe.
Noodles – Cook according to package SAUTÉ instructions (below):
- Pour noodles into a bowl.
- Cover with very hot tap water.
- Stir to separate.
- Soak noodles for 20-25 minutes. Do not over soak.
- In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tbsp. each vinegar and sesame oil, 1/4 cup green onions, and the bread crumbs and ground beef.
- Finely chop 1/4 cup kimchi and add to beef mixture.
- With wet hands, form meatballs the size of ping-pong balls.
- Combine remaining 2 tbsp. soy sauce, 4 tbsp. each vinegar, 4 tbsp. sesame oil, and 1/4 cup each green onions and kimchi juice. Stir in chili garlic sauce.
Putting it all together…
- Heat vegetable oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat.
- Add meatballs and cook, turning, until well browned and cooked through, about 12 minutes.
- Lift meatballs to a rimmed baking pan, cover with foil, and keep warm.
- Wipe out meatball skillet (leaving some residual fat) and toss in noodles with sauce.
- Stir fry for 4-6 minutes.
- Add remaining 1 cup kimchi.
- Divide noodles among 4 bowls, top with meatballs, and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup green onions and the sesame seeds.
Meal #2 – White Chicken Chili
This is an oldie, but a goodie in our family. My mom’s been making it since I was in high school and it’s ALWAYS a welcome meal during a cold, gray, Ohio winter day. I even made this recipe for a chili contest at work (again, back in the 1800s before I became a SAHM) and it won! Try it! Here’s the recipe.
- 2 chickens (3.5 lb each) *you could use store-bought rotisserie chickens and call it a day
- 8 cups water if using fresh/frozen chicken or 3 cups broth if using rotisserie chicken
- 2 tbs. vegetable oil
- 3 large or 5 medium onions (that’s a lot, so feel free to cut back if needed)
- 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced (unseeded for spicer chili)
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/4 cup flour
- 4 oz. can diced green chilies, drained
- 2 19 oz. cans white kidney beans, drained
- 1 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 1 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Toppings can include: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, lime, cilantro
If you choose to use fresh/frozen chicken, place thawed chicken in a saucepot with water (covering the chicken) and heat to boiling Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 40-45 min until tender, turning chicken several times. Skim fat off the broth and reserve 3 cups broth. If you choose rotisserie chicken, clean the meat from the chicken and set aside.
In a 5 qt. pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft. Stir in jalapenos and garlic. Saute 1 minute. Add flour, pepper, cumin and salt. Stir to combine mixture.
Stir 3 cups broth and green chilies into onion mixture. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly until thickened. Remove from heat. Meanwhile, bone and skin chickens. Cut meat into 3/4 chunks. Add chicken chunks and beans to thickened onion mixture. Serve with toppings and enjoy!
Thanks for following our freezer meal saga! I’ll post more recipes as we go! Happy cooking friends!