August 23, 2013

Week 33 - Freezer Makeover - Before

We were out of town last weekend for an overnight getaway with friends.  We had a blast at Upper Clements Park on Saturday and then took our time working our way back into the city on Sunday.  We didn't get home until suppertime and I was Tired (yes, with a capital T) so my plan was to get groceries Monday night.  However, at around 7pm I realized that I was donating blood Monday night... so I literally threw together a meal plan with the help of the awesome September issue of Canadian Living and reluctantly headed out the door to get some grub.

There was no real theme this week, my only goal was to fill our bellies with as little effort as possible.  But by mid-week I started to think about some of the back to school articles I've been reading.  I still have one year before Marin starts school but I've been working at a University pretty much since I left University so to me September is the real New Year... I always get excited for a fresh start!

In particular I was feeling inspired by a post from 100 Days of Real Food re freezable lunches.  I have a confession... I'm 33 weeks into my meal planning resolution but my cupboards, and especially my freezers, are a mess!  I'm not really one to freeze meals in advance or stash leftovers.  Instead I tend to cook my meals fresh and make enough for just the servings I require for that week.  But this whole idea of having a stockpile of things like soups, pizza dough and muffins in my freezer to make at least one easy lunch a week is really appealing!  I mean come on... freezing individual servings of soup in mason jars - brilliant!!  So in the spirit of back to school I'm cleaning out the freezers!  Think of it as my New 'School Year' Resolution. 


Freezer Makeover - Before

I can't believe I'm posting this because it's super embarrassing but here are the before pics...

Fridge Freezer - Before

Fridge Freezer Door - Before

Deep Freezer - Before

This project is apparently long overdue!!  I'll post after pictures next week... and now that I've put it out there I really have to follow through!  Eek!

Let's talk about the food...

Lasagna - This is note-worthy because it actually came from the freezer!  Before leaving town last weekend I realized I had 2 pieces of the 'Easiest Lasagna Ever!' frozen.  It was the best feeling in the world to know that I wouldn't have to make lunch on Sunday night.

Orange Chicken Salad - This was one of the life-saving recipes I found in Canadian Living last Sunday night.  Just what we needed after not eating the best for a couple of days.  I used the PC Organic Field Greens with Herbs Mix and added a little feta.  Marin was loving the feta and said excitedly "Mom, I have a great idea!  We can make the cheese crackers and add feta and mix it all together!!!  That's what I'm talking about!".  I think I have a little foodie on my hands.

Orange Chicken Salad

Tomato and Chickpea Salad - Another Canadian Living recipe.  I enjoyed and it was a very easy and packable lunch.

Grilled Steak and Salad - We marinated the steaks (see the Favorites/Salad Dressing & Spice Mix section) and grilled them.  To go with them I did up a foil pack with mushrooms, onions, zucchini and butter and made a super simple salad using the rest of the salad green & herb mix, tossing it with olive oil, lemon juice and honey.   A quick, easy meal that we could eat anytime!

Homemade Tortillas -  I'm (almost) speechless... I made whole wheat tortillas!!  I figured if corn tortillas were easy and worth the extra effort than flour tortillas were probably worth a try too.  I took the time to read the recipe and they actually sounded like a breeze to make.  I'll admit they take a bit of effort but they were far from difficult (thanks in big part to my KitchenAid Stand Mixer) and I think it's a recipe that will get quite easy once I make it a few more times.  And the results... totally worth the effort!!  For me the best part of eating at a good Mexican restaurant is the fresh, chewy tortillas... and now I can make them myself!!  We made a cheese quesadilla as a snack to test them when they were hot out of the pan and they were divine!  Then we had them as part of our lunch for the next 2 days (Quesadillas on Day 1 and Chef Salad Wraps on Day 2) and even on the second day they were perfect.  Plus... you can freeze them! Another item for my freezer! Hurrah!  This was the highlight of my week.

Fish Casserole - I had an idea in mind of what I wanted here.... I was thinking white fish, rice, creamy sauce and Frenches Fried Onions crumbled on top.  I couldn't find a recipe anywhere so I made one up.  I basically used a Scallop Potato recipe but with fish (I used cod) instead of potatoes.  Once the fish cooked I used a fork to break it up and added the rice and shredded mozzarella.  Once that was all bubbly I topped with the Frenches onions and put it back in the oven for a few minute.  The results - delicious!!  It was kind of like Cheesy Scallop Potatoes meets Green Bean Casserole.  Just what I was looking for.  Dave loved it too, Marin not so much.  You win some you lose some...

Fish Casserole

Slow Cooker Chicken Gyros (Recipe from Six Sisters' Stuff ) - Slow cooking in the summer is awesome - there is just nothing better than coming home on a hot day to a cooked meal.  I'm pretty excited to get home tonight to try this one out!

Now I'm off to clean my freezers!


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