Asian Honey Chicken

This is a recipe we have made in our CAP groups before and it was a big hit. I like to buy several family size pkgs of chicken and marinate it before it is frozen.

I’ll take you through the steps and show you how easy and versatile and delicious this chicken is to make.

I cut the chicken into large 2″ chunks for stir-fry or kabab if I decide to grill it with chunks of squash, onions or zuchinni. yum.

A glass measuring cup or large coffee cup will assist in holding the bag upright while you fill it with marinade. Lay it flat to carefully squeeze out air without squeezing out the marinade.

I’ve labeled and dated my chicken (in case I make more at a later date I want to be sure to use this first). You can see these two flat bags take up less space in my freezer than the two large trays earlier plus it’s ready to grill or pan fry without the prep work. Enjoy the recipe!

Asian Honey Sesame Chicken

Ingredients:

2 ½ pounds chicken pieces

½  c. soy sauce

2 T. canola or vegetable oil

2 T. sesame oil

3 T. honey

Kitchen Tip: spray measuring spoon with cooking spray and honey will easily slide out

1 T. sesame seeds

2 garlic cloves, minced

¼  tsp. ginger

Directions:

Rinse chicken and pat dry.  Cut into 2-3 inch chicken squares and divide between two freezer bags.  Combine all the marinade ingredients and mix well to distribute honey.  Divide marinade between two bags of chicken.  Squeeze air out and seal. 

Suggestions:

Serve on a bed of hot cooked brown rice.

Thread the cubes on skewers for Asian Kebabs.

Slice into smaller strips prior to marinating for stir-fry; add veges and cooked brown rice.

Thawing Tip:

Place bag in a plastic shoe box to catch the condensation while thawing in the fridge. Wash box after use to prevent cross contamination.

Printable Asian Honey Sesame Marinade recipe

Chicken Quesadillas

Remember the chicken I grilled last week (it was frozen in 2-cup portions)? I’m using it, along with the leftover grilled veges from a previous night for our Mexican entrée. Anything can be grilled in a tortilla, especially leftovers. I used our Panini grill to fold a single tortilla stuffed with veges, cheese, black olives and chicken.  I added homemade pico de Gallo from www.ourbestbites.com (made at he beginning of the week) and sour cream on top (a dinner in less than twenty minutes again).

Meatball subs and homemade fries

Remember how I double whatever I’m cooking. I made ten microwaved baked potatoes the night before and wrapped them in foil after they had cooked in the microwave. I had five leftover potatoes for another meal. I sliced the leftover potatoes into thick cut slices and grilled them into healthy french fries. It takes a light toss of olive oil and some sea salt sprinkled on top, a medium hot grill and careful eyes for instant fries.

We had our frozen meatballs (cooked) reheated on sub rolls smothered with marinara and cheese. Here’s another reason why I freezer cook and double everything I cook; dinner on he table in about twenty minutes (the picture is not that great because I took it on my camera phone).

I also served he same grilled veges from the night before too (not pictured and we use the same grill basket). I still have some leftover which I will cut up and use in my chicken quesadillas tomorrow. This will be my last night to use the veges since it will be three days old (I don’t like to use food over three days old to avoid any contamination or food poisoning).

Baked Italian Meatball Subs

Ingredients:

12-16 meatballs

4 whole wheat sub rolls

1 recipe marinara or 1 favorite jar of marinara

4 slices provolone cheese

Directions:

Toast 4 large whole wheat sub rolls or hot dog buns work under preheated broiler for 5 minutes. Cut 3-4 thawed meatballs in half and place on one side of sub roll or in between a partially split sub roll.  Top with homemade marinara or favorite jar marinara and a piece of sliced provolone cut in half.  Toast subs until hot and bubbly. Serve immediately with additional warmed marinara if desired.

Freezer Bags and reheating questions

Here’s a question from a class attender.

Q. I made spaghetti sauce for the BBC family. I froze it and will bring it to MOPS Wednesday. I am going to try to made some rolls and freeze them for future use. What type of bags do you use? Does it make a difference if it’s store brand freezer bags? Just to clarify when taking a few out for dinner, how do you re-heat them? Wouldn’t they get dried out if you bake them again?

A. The best way to freeze spaghetti sauce is to allow it to cool at room temperature for 2 hours and then refrigerate. Use quart size bags and open them up in a bowl or glass liquid measuring like the picture and ladle it into the bag.  Name brand bags, such as Ziploc or Glad work the best with liquids, stews and soups since they have a double zip closure. Be sure to leave about 2 inches of space and carefully squeeze excess air out without squeezing food out; this may take some practice if it’s your first time. Lay flat to freeze and they are stackable too.  I will try posting a picture of this procedure when I do it next time.

Tip: Place frozen bags of food on a plate or use a plastic shoe box inside the refrigerator to consolidate condensation in your fridge.

You may use generic bag brands for quick breads and/or snacks because there is not as much pressure as liquids. If you freeze already baked breads and you want to warm them, there are several options. Microwaving on a lower power level is one option. It generally takes a couple minutes on 50 to 70% power level depending on how many you are reheating. Oven warming is another option which I only use if I am already baking a casserole or it’s not as time and cost effective. Warm breads inside a piece of foil to prevent drying out. You can remove from the foil the last few minutes to crisp bread or brush with butter if desired. I also warm breads on the grill using the same procedure as oven. I use a lower temperature on the grill so the bread does not burn. Thawing the bread prior to any warming is much more time effective.

Baked Italian Meatballs

 1 egg, beaten

¾ cup soft breadcrumbs (about 1 slice) or ¾ cup rolled oats

1/3 cup milk

1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon garlic powder

1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning

2 pounds ground turkey or beef
Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl except turkey. Mix on low speed for about 1 minute. Mix in turkey and mix on low until thoroughly mixed. Shape meatballs using a 1” scoop.  Place all on a single layer pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Remove and drain on paper towels and let cool 15 minutes.  Divide approximately 40 meatballs among 2 freezer bags, approximately 16-20 meatballs per bag. 

Baking Day:

Thaw completely for 24 hours. Reheat on a microwave safe dish for 10 minutes or until hot or bake in 350 degree oven for  15-20 minutes. Top with warmed marinara sauce if desired.

Meal ideas:

Meatballs subs with provolone and marinara

Meatballs and spaghetti

Meatballs and mashed potatoes

Meatball pizza

Meatball panani sandwich

Meatball appetizers

Sweet and Sour Meatball s served over rice

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

I freeze cookie dough balls and baked cookies to thaw on the day of lunches. It keeps them fresh longer and they are just as easy as opening a bag of chips ahoy only healthier with no preservatives. I double this recipe in my Kitchen Aid mixer and carefully mix in the last amount of flour because it is FULL. Just mix it slowly on stir mode at first and then proceed to 1. I also use the stir mode to incorporate the chocolate chips. You may have to hand mix the chips into the bottom part of the dough, but this process is so much easier with a stand mixer rather than a hand mixer. I don’t believe a hand held mixer will handle a double batch. That’s why is imperative to invest in a nice quality stand mixer and the holidays offer the best prices and incentives.

This is a modified version of a Kitchen Aid recipe. It’s a tried and true freezer cookie recipe.

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

2 sticks of butter, softened

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

1 ½ cup unbleached all purpose flour

1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour (we like King Arthur or Eagle Mills)

12 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tsp. vanilla

Cream butter and eggs.  Add dry ingredients and stir until there are no dry patches. Fold in chocolate chips and vanilla.  Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Cool one minute and remove from baking sheet and cool on wire racks. You can also freeze baked, cooled cookies in containers or freezer bags.

Freezing:

Freeze dough into 2-3 logs placed on wax paper.  Wrap tightly in foil and label and date. Slice and bake additional 2 minutes when ready.  Allowing dough to rest for 5 minutes allows easier cutting and removal of paper. Or freeze dough balls (I use a 1″ stainless steel scoop) on a chopping board or tray small enough to lay flat in your freezer. Freeze for approximately 1 hour and transfer dough balls to a quart freezer bag. Label bag with baking instructions: Bake 375 12 minutes. No thawing is necessary with this method. It’s easy for children and hubby to make fresh baked cookies.

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