This week I tried a concept that I have seen a few times in different magazines. You do all of your cooking for the week in one day and then freeze your meals so that you can enjoy them during the weeknight with minimal effort. It was a very scary few hours in kitchen Sunday morning, but it made the rest of the week so much more enjoyable because I didn’t have to scramble around at 4pm deciding what to do for dinner. I am going to try my best to share with you the 5 meals that I made and the steps I took as simply as possible. Just be warned that your kitchen may end up looking like the one above!
N.B There are numerous spelling errors in this post, and I will probably refer to lasange with a number of different spellings, but seeing there is so much to type up I don’t care! 🙂
The five dinners were:
1: Spicy chicken wraps with homemade hummus and veggies
2: Kumara topped Shepherds pie
3: Salmon, vege and chickpea quiche
4: Chicken Lasagne
5: Quinoa meat load with roasted veggies
Where possible, I doubled up on recipes. For example, the roast veggies that are served with the chicken wraps are the same veggies used in the lasagna and quinoa meat loaf.
Before you even begin you need to make sure you have:
- Containers or zip locks to freeze your meals in
- Two tinfoil containers to freeze the pie and lasagne in ( you know, the kind you get from Pack n Save)
- 2 medium non stick pans ( unless you want to wash them in between)
- 1 little roasting pan
To make this post as simple as possible for you to follow i’m going to write out all of the recipes FIRST and then i’ll tell you what order to make them in.
Roasted Vege Mix
3 red onions
4 courgettes ( I would probably use carrot next time to reduce costs)
2 table spoons of Tuscan seasoning
1. Chop up the veggies, spray with oil and sprinkle with herbs. I baked mine for about an hour at 190 degrees C
2. Once they had cooled off I divided them into three portions and put two of those portions in the fridge, and used the third portion in my lasange.
2/12 cups of Quinoa
5 Cups boiling water
Boil the water, then add the quinoa and let it simmer until all of the water has absorbed. When it had cooked I set it aside.
Spicy Chicken Mix
900 g lean chicken tenders ( or you could use chicken breast and slice it up)
1/4 teaspoon dried chili flakes
2 tablespoons sun dried tomato pesto or tomato paste
2 teaspoons of minced garlic
2 red onions thinly sliced
– Heat a non stick pan and cook the chicken. Drain off any liquid ( gross, that’s a pet peeve of mine). Add garlic, chili flakes, pesto and onions and then cook for about 5 minutes more.
Spicy Mince Mix
900g lean mince
2 onions chopped
3 cups mushrooms sliced
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 table spoon of curry powder
1/4 cup beef stock
1/4 cup red wine
670g canned tomatoes or pasta sauce ( If using canned tomatoes I would drain the liquid)
2 cups corn kernels
3 cups cooked quinoa
3 tablespoons of parsley
– Heat a large non stick pan with oil and brown the mince. Add remaining ingredients and bring to the boil, stirring to mix well. Simmer a stir a few times for about 20 minutes until thickened.
– Cool completely. Divide into 2 portions. Place 1 portion in a bag labelled Kumara mince pie and place it in the fridge. Use the remaining portion to make the quinoa meat loaf.
Quinoa Meat Loaf
– Mix together 1 portion of the spicy mince mix, 1/2 cup oats, 1/4 cup dates ( chopped), 1/4 cup breadcrumbs, and 1.5 cups of grated carrots or courgettes.
– Spoon into a loaf tin. Leave to cool completely before wrapping for freezer and label it Meatloaf.
– Use 400g fresh lasagne sheets and 1 portion of spicy chicken mix. Layer it with frozen or fresh spinach and 1 portion of the roasted veggie mix in a freezer proof tinfoil container, finishing with a pasta layer.
– Pour over 670g jar of Passata and sprinkle with 1/2 cup grated cheese. Cool completely before freezing and label Chicken Lasange.
Stir Fry Vege Quinoa
3 cups cooked quinoa
400g frozen stir fry veggies
1-2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1.5 tablespoons of soy sauce
ground black pepper
– spray pan or wok if you are fancy with oil over a high heat. Add quinoa and quickly stir with a spatula.
– When heated through add garlic and veggies. Continue to cook for a few more minutes
– Push quinoa to side of the pan. Crack eggs and begin stirring with spatula until almost set. Mix in rest of quinoa mixture. Add soy sauce. Season with pepper.
– Cool before placing equal portions into 2 bags. Seal and label bags salmon quiche and Chicken lasange and then place both bags in freezer.
Salmon, Veggie and chick pea quiche
2 cups coconut evaporated milk
1/2 cup self raising flour
425g salmon large chunks
1 cup canned, drained chick peas
1-2 teaspoons curry powder
400g asian style frozen stir fry mix
1 cup grated cheese
1 red onion sliced
– Mix eggs, flour and milk together with a whisk. Add salmon, chickpeas, stirfry veggies and cheese.
– Pour into a freezer bag labelled salmon quiche and freeze.
Now here is the order I did everything in. I know it looks overwhelming, and it was for a while but it’s soo worth it!! You will have quite a few things on the stove and in the oven at one time.
1. Make up the roast veggie mix and while they are cooking also roast your orange kumara in a separate roasting dish. Once the kumara is cooked I stored it in the fridge in a zip lock bag and labeled it ( Kumara Pie).
2. Cook your quinoa and once done divide it into two and set aside.
3. While the roast veg and quinoa are cooking you need to make up the Spicy Chicken tenders.
4. While that is cooking ( I know, stay with me!! It gets better) you should make up the Spicy mince mix and put that on to cook.
5. Check on your roast veggies. After about 30 minutes turn them over and respray with oil.
6. Once the Spicy mince has cooked divide it into half. Use one portion to make the quinoa meat loaf and the second portion for the kumara topped pie. Place the second portion in a bag or container for the pie and leave it to cool before storing it in the fridge.
7. Once spicy chicken tenders are cooked remove from heat and set aside.
8. Make up the Quinoa meatloaf and place it in a freezer proof dish.
9. Remove roast veggies from oven and leave to cool.
1. Divide the spicy chicken tenders into two.
2. Prepare the chicken lasange. ( This uses the spicy chicken tenders and the roasted veggie mix) place into a freezer proof oven dish.
3. Place the other spicy chicken tenders mix portion and 1/3 of the roasted veggies mix in separate containers and refrigerate. Label them Chicken wraps.
4. Make up Stir-fry veggie quinoa and leave to cool.
5. Prepare the salmon, veggie and chickpea quiche in a bag. Label it and freeze.
6. Place roasted kumara in a container labelled for Kumara topped mince pie and place in fridge.
7. Cover and label spicy mince portion for the Kumara topped pie and place in fridge
8. Place remaining roast veggies in a freezer proof container labelled Meatloaf with roast veggies.
9. Cover items for the chicken wraps and place in the fridge
10. Divide stir fry veggie quinoa in two bagged portions. Seal, label and freeze.
YOU ARE DONE!!! HOORAY. So now you will have:
In the freezer:
– Roasted veggie mix
– Salmon quiche in a bag
– Stir fry veggie quinoa
– Chicken lasange
– Quinoa meat loaf
In the fridge:
– Spicy chicken tenders mix
– Roasted veggie mix
– Spicy mince mix
– Roasted Kumara
Here is what I did Monday – Friday with what I had set aside in the fridge and freezer.
MONDAY- Chicken tenders with hummus and veggie wraps
1 portion Spicy chicken tenders mix
1 portion roasted veggie mix
1-2 teaspoons of Cajun seasoning
Spinach or rocket leaves
1 cup chickpeas rinsed and drained
1 tablespoon tahini
Juice of a lemon
1 table spoon of olive oil
1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
Place all hummus ingredients in a blender until smooth
Heat a non-stick pan an add the chicken, veggie mix, and seasoning and toss to mix. Cook until hot and golden.
Warm your wraps or tortillas and fill!
TUESDAY- Kumara Topped Mince Pie
1 portion of Spicy mince mix
I portion of roasted veggie mix
Roasted orange kumara
fresh black pepper
1 tsp dried mixed herbs
1 tsp ginger
Preheat the oven to 190 degrees Celsius. Mix the mince and roasted veggies together and place in an ovenproof dish.
Mix the kumara with pepper, herbs and ginger and mash. Spoon onto the mince to cover and bake for 25 mins. I served this with steamed veggies.
WEDNESDAY- Salmon, Vege and chickpea quiche
1 portion of salmon, vege and chickpea quiche in a bag defrosted.
1 portion of stir fry vege quinoa, defrosted
Defrost the quiche mix and stir fry vege in the fridge overnight
Pour the quiche mix into an ovenproof dish and bake for 25- 35 mins. Heat the quinoa veggie mix in a pan until it has been heated through and then serve together.
1 chicken lasange
1 portion stir fry vege quinoa
4 cups of baby spinach or rocket
2 tablespoons balsamic dressing
Defrost the lasange in the fridge overnight. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees. Cook lasagne for 25 mins until golden. Serve with stir fried quinoa and a salad
FRIDAY- Meat Loaf with Roasted Veges
1 quinoa meat loaf defrosted
1 portion of roasted vege mix
6 slices of wholegrain bread
Defrost the meat loaf in the fridge overnight. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees. Place the loaf tin in a pan half filled with water and cook for 30-35 minutes. Meanwhile warm the roasted veggies in a pan.
Stand the loaf for 10 minutes before cutting. Serve the meat load with veges and bread.
If you made it to the end of the post, and eventually try this out PLEASE TELL ME! I would love to know how you got on and to see if my instructions actually made sense.