Easy-freezy meals.

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August 12, 2012 by theoghartiens

I’m very fortunate to have a husband who will eat just about anything I prepare. My daughter is also open to trying new things. My son is another story, but I figure I can’t win over everyone!

I’m a creature of habit, but my family gets bored with the same meals over and over again. I needed to come up with some new recipes, but didn’t know where to find inspiration. As it happened, I visited family over the summer and was challenged to create healthy meals that would hold up in the freezer. My quinoa-stuffed bell peppers (recipe coming soon!) were a huge hit, and will last up to three months if frozen! Soups are also great for freezing, and I created a few that were very simple and delicious. Salads are also a fantastic way to add to a meal, and can cut out the overuse of carbs as a side dish. Replace that rice or pasta with a salad!

If you like, you can always add meat to any of these recipes. However, my family did not miss meat in any of these meals! Here are some new classic dishes you’re sure to love.

Fruity Romaine and Spinach salad with honey mustard dressing

Not all lettuce is created equal, but a salad made of romaine lettuce you will add a variety of textures and flavors to your meal, as well as an enormous amount of nutritional value. The vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and fiber found in romaine lettuce are especially good for the prevention or alleviation of many common health complaints. It is an excellent source of vitamin A (notably through its concentration of the pro-vitamin A carotenoid, beta-carotene), vitamin K, folate, and vitamin C.

Ingredients:

1 head of romaine lettuce, chopped

1 cup of baby spinach

1/2 purple onion, sliced

1/2 avocado, diced

1/2 cucumber, sliced

8-10 red grapes

Cherry tomatoes, halved

1/2 green apple, diced

1/2 cup brazil nuts (or your favorite nut), chopped into pieces

Honey-mustard dressing:

Whisk 2 tablespoons mustard, 1 tablespoon raw honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice together until creamy. Add a pinch of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Stir, then pour over salad. Enjoy!

Vegan cream of mushroom soup

I love mushrooms. According to Livestrong.com,  1-cup serving of diced portobella mushrooms provides 313 mg of potassium, or 9  percent of the 3,500 mg Food and Drug Administration daily value. Muscle  movement depends on potassium. A deficiency caused by low dietary intake or an  overabundance of sodium interferes with movement and normal heartbeat rhythms.

While visiting my mother-in-law, I discovered a mushroom soup recipe that called for milk and cream. I wanted to create a vegan soup that was just as delicious. Give this version a try and see what you think!

Ingredients:

1 large package of Portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 cloves garlic, skin removed and smashed

1/2 onion, roughly chopped

1/2 tsp dried thyme

2 cups organic vegetable broth

1 tsp wheat free Tamari

1/2 tsp fresh cracked pepper

2 cups almond milk, unsweetened

1 tablespoon high quality olive oil

In a large pan, combine chopped mushrooms with olive oil, garlic and onions. Saute on low heat for 10-15 minutes, or until mushrooms are soft. Remove two tablespoons of the mixture and set aside. Once they are cool, dice to use for topping.

To the pan add veggie broth, pepper, tamari, and dried thyme. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat and let cool for several minutes. Carefully pour the mixture into your high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth, adding almond milk until you reach desired consistency. I usually only add about 1.5 cups. Add salt if needed. Top with diced mushrooms and a sprig of thyme. Serves 6.

Finally, I tried out a roasted-tomato bisque recipe from my fellow Austinite, Linda Wagner. I had never roasted tomatoes before, and this soup made me realize that I was missing out! I bought several pounds of heirloom tomatoes from my favorite health food store, Natural Grocer, then roasted them according to the directions in this recipe.  This meal takes a little longer to create with the added step of roasting the tomatoes, but I know you will love the outcome. I served the soup with a side of lentil salad, but it also pairs really well with my sexy summer salad.

These soups freeze beautifully! To thaw, just leave at room temperature for 4-6 hours, then heat over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. Super easy!

Stay tuned to my blog for more recipes on freezer-safe meals. I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

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Honest Toddler

juice, crackers. tv.

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