Sausage and Black Bean Soup

Black Bean & Sausage Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. sausage, browned (I used hot)
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 can golden hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen shredded hash browns
  • 1 can Mexican style stewed tomatoes, undrained & chopped
  • 2 14 oz. cans chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/3 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. oregano

Directions
Brown sausage and drain off fat. Place in crock-pot. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 4-5 hours or high for 2-3 hours.

To freeze: Place soup in gallon freezer bags (double bag). Thaw completely and place in crock-pot, following instructions above.

Savory Marinade (for any meat)

Whisk together…

1 large clove garlic
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 Tbsp. worchestershire sauce
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup lemon juice
1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. parsley

To freeze: Place this in freezer bag…add meat of choice (I enjoy using pork loins or chops OR chicken breast). On cooking day, thaw completely and bake or grill.

Sausage Calzones

Sausage Calzones

I’m not sure where I found this recipe originally, but we sure enjoy it!

Recipe yields 4 calzones. The hubby and I usually split one and then freeze the rest to reheat later.

1 1/3 lb. italian sausage
2 cups ricotta cheese
handful parsley
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
handful parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. chopped pimento
2 tubes of prepared refrigerated pizza dough (I usually use two bags of Trader Joes whole wheat dough…you could also make your own)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
tomato, marinara or pizza sauce for dipping

Preheat oven to 425.

Brown sausage. Combine sausage with ricotta, parsley, garlic, parmesan cheese, pepper, nutmeg, and pimento. Roll pizza dough out on nonstick cookie sheets in 4 equal pieces. Spread 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese and 1/4 of the sausage mixture on each rectangle. (Work only on one half of rectangle of dough!). Fold other half of dough over filling, pink edges firmly to seal. If your dough tears, remove a bit of filling and repair.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. (My hint: spread foil on your cookie sheet before baking…makes for easy clean-up for the cheesy mess that oozes out during baking!) Serve with tomato sauce for dipping. YUM!

To freeze: Wrap calzones in foil before baking. Thaw completely and follow baking instructions above. OR Freeze completely bake…warm in the oven until warm through.

Chicken Pot Pie

This is one of my all-time favorites. You’ve gotta love it when all the food groups combine into one dish that even the kiddos enjoy! This recipe came from an old neighbor, from way back when I used to babysit her little ones…to think I now have my own that age!

2 pie crusts (I make my own)
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (I love to use rotisserie chicken…gives it an extra kick!)
1 can cream of potato soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
10 oz. frozen pea and carrot blend (or mixed veggies)
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp. thyme

Place bottom crust in pie pan (I tend to use a square 8×8…its deeper and has more room for filling!). Saute the onion and celery in olive oil until soft. Combine all ingredients (including celery and onion), stir to mix well, and pour into pie shell. Cover with top crust, pinch edges together, and prick vents.

Bake at 375 for 50-60 minutes, until deep golden brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Enjoy!

**To freeze…combine filling and place in a gallon ziploc freezer bag. On day of cooking, thaw completely, make (or buy crust). Assemble and follow baking instructions!

Beef Taquitos

© Shanna K 2008 

In the past I’ve purchased the frozen taquitos and my kids love them…however I figured if I’m going to eat this fatty goodness I should at least make an attempt at making them myself, foregoing all the preservatives and unknown meat parts that the manufacturers undoubtedly put in them! 

Ingredients

5 lbs roast cooked and shredded (I cooked pot roast in the crock pot the day before & only used half of it – shredding the other for this recipe)

2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

olive oil – about 1 cup (totally guessing)

garlic powder, to taste

onion powder, to taste

1 1/2 cups salsa or 1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes, un-drained 

36 corn tortillas

Dippin’s

cheese sauce

salsa

sour cream

guacamole

Preparation

Don’t let the lengthy instructions scare you away from trying these.  They’re worth it and once you get a rhythm going, they go quickly.  This isn’t necessarily a sit down with the family dinner.  I was still preparing them as the kids and hubby ate, and I sat down myself when the last two came out of the pan.  However, these make a great freezer meal as they can easily make a few dozen.

  1. Mix shredded beef with cheddar cheese, garlic and onion powder, and salsa in a large bowl.
  2. Heat oil in small skillet on medium heat and place one tortilla at a time in the oil for about 30 seconds per side.  Remove tortilla from pan and lie on a plate to fill with beef mixture.
  3. Portion a couple tablespoons mixture onto each corn tortilla in the lower 1/3 of the tortilla.  Roll up tightly (watch your fingers, the oil is still HOT)  
  4. Place stuffed tortilla in second skillet, seam side down, on low-medium heat to brown and heat through – flipping once to brown other side.  (Several can sit in this pan as you oil and stuff the other tortillas).
  5. Serve hot with condiments.

To freeze for later, put seam side down on cookie sheets and freeze.  When firm, transfer to Ziploc freezer bags. 

To re-heat bake at 400 right out of the freezer!

Make Ahead Chimichangas

Make Ahead Chimichangas
These are great to make and “feed your freezer” with…pull them out one at a time for a tasty lunch or grab as many as you need for a family dinner. You should be able to easily multiply the ingredients to make batches of 32 or more…depending on what you have room for in your freezer. (or e-mail me theyakmom@yahoo.com and i’ll send you my “chart” for making larger batches)

1 lb cooked beef, pork, or chicken

16 oz salsa (as spicy as you like)

16 oz. can refried beans (fat-free work)

Taco seasoning
1t Minced onion
1t Chili powder
1/2 t Garlic powder
1/2 t Cumin
1/2 t Salt
1/2 cup Water

16-8 inch flour tortillas

1 lb. Monterrey Jack cheese or cheddar cheese, shredded

oil, for frying (optional)

Assembly and Baking Directions:

Shred chicken (or crumble ground beef). (You should have already cooked this.) You should have about 3 cups. In skillet combine chicken, salsa, beans, and seasoning. Cook and stir over medium heat until heated through. Fill tortilla with ½ cup of meat mixture and top with cheese. Fold in the ends and roll it up.
Freezing and cooking directions:
Wrap them individually in foil, freezer paper or plastic wrap and stick them in a freezer bag until you are ready to use them. Bake at 350 for about 30-40 minutes (straight from freezer—no need to thaw) OR heat them in ¼ in. deep oil in skillet for approx. 18 minutes over med-LOW heat (turn them once and watch them carefully). **We’ve also found they work well in the microwave…just unwrap, place on a plate and microwave for 1 minute…then 30 seconds at a time until warmed through. YUM!

Creamy Baked Spaghetti

I made this last night…and while we decided we would tweak it a little for next time, we also thought it was quite tasty.

12 ounces of angel hair spaghetti (we use whole wheat)
1 lb. ground beef (I used 1 1/4 lb)
1 small onion–chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (I will use more garlic and perhaps add some other italianish seasonings next time!)
salt and pepper to taste
26 oz. spaghetti sauce (I would use more than this…perhaps 32 oz.)
8 oz sour cream (I didn’t have sour cream…substituted some mozzarella cheese instead)
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
12 oz. cottage cheese
*the recipe doesn’t call for this, but I added parmesan cheese!

1. Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cool water.

2. Brown meat with onions and garlic. Drain excess grease and add salt and pepper. Add spaghetti sauce and mix well.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, and cottage cheese (this is where I tossed in some parmesan cheese). Mix well until combined.

4. Put half of pasta in bottom of a 9×13 baking dish. Layer half of the cheese mixture and half of the meat mixture. Add remaining mixtures in same order (pasta, cheese, meat)–so that meat sauce mixture ends up on top.

5. Bake uncovered at 375 for abbout 35-35 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Cool for about 10 minutes before serving.

I made the full recipe and then split it into two baking dishes…one for our dinner and one for the freezer (we do this often with meals that can be frozen–which I’m finding is most anything!)…nothing like cooking once and eating twice (or more…since we still have leftovers from both meals!)

I served this with some home-made french bread (made it garlic bread tonight) and a fresh green salad.

Parsley Parmesan Chicken

No picture…but I will take one next time I make it! This is a great meal to make ahead and freeze–just double the ingredients and stick half in the freezer!

2-3 lbs. fresh fryer parts (or boneless chicken tenders)
1/4 cup italian dressing
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs
2 T parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. salt

1. Place chicken parts and salad dressing in a bag to marinade…in the fridge (for an hour or so).
2. Combine the parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, parsley flakes, paprika, salt, and pepper.
3. Roll chicken one piece at a time in the crumbs (or just put it all in a bag and shake!). Then place the chicken in a greased 9×13 pan or on a cookie sheet. (If desired spoon excess dressing over chicken–I don’t do this step, but others have told me it is good.) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the thickest part is done.

**To freeze and cook later…Pour dressing and chicken parts in a gallon sized freezer bag. Then combine crumbs, parmesan, and spices in a quart sized freezer bag. Put both bags into a large freezer bag…and voila…all you need to do is pull the bag out the day before you want to enjoy this dinner, thaw it completely and follow instruction #3!

We enjoy this with a salad or green beans…and perhaps some mashed sweet potatoes.