Monday, September 24, 2012

Freezer Cooking

First I should apologize for the long time between posts.  Life got in the way.  A second apology is due for the lack of pictures in this post.  At the time I was trying to squeeze in all of the cooking and keep the kitchen clean.  I guess this post is more about making the best use of ingredients by cooking multiple dishes rather than the dishes themselves.

My latest freezer cooking all started with the purchase of four chicken breasts for $2.89.  I knew I wanted to make chicken pot pie filling.  I boiled the chicken breasts which also netted me a pot of chicken broth.  My first dish was the chicken pot pie.  I shredded three of the chicken breasts and used two cups of the chicken broth.  I also used part of a can of evaporated milk and pack of frozen mixed vegetables.  Both were bought on sale with coupons.  I finished up with onions and celery which I had on hand.  I ended up with enough filling for two pot pies.

Since I knew I would have chicken broth I also purchased fresh broccoli for $4.38 to make broccoli cheese soup.  I chopped up some onions and carrots to go along with the broccoli (I kept out one crown for another use) and added in about four cups of the chicken broth.  I also added in some half and half from the freezer.  I had bought it on clearance a while back.  I used cheese purchased on sale.

I used the final chicken breast and remainder of the broccoli in a broccoli chicken rice casserole.  I used most of a bag of brown rice again bought on sale with a coupon for about 20 cents.  I used the remainder of the chicken broth in homemade cream of chicken soup.  That gave me the equivalent of two cans of soup to go in the casserole.  It was much cheaper than buying the healthy, low-sodium canned soup. 

From the first two dishes I had some leftover evaporated milk and half & half.  I added in a bit of water to make enough for a double batch of whole wheat waffles.  Since I had cooked an entire bag of rice, there was enough left to freeze for a future meal in addition to what went in the casserole. 

I did not waste anything by planning out meals to make good use of all the ingredients. The chicken broth could have easily been frozen too.  Find ways to use up what you have rather than tossing it out.  Little things add up in the long run!


pinkladynz said...

How do you make the homemade cream of chicken soup? I really miss using the creamed can soups in casseroles.
How do you freeze the. Half and half?

Dawn said...

Thank you for your questions. Here is the link to my post about homemade cream of chicken soup:

You can add diced mushrooms or celery for cream of mushroom/celery soups. This also freezes very well. You can adjust the seasonings to your taste. I even use whole wheat flour to make it a bit healthier.

To freeze the half and half I just divide it into 1 or 2 cup portions and put it in the freezer. Thaw it in the fridge and shake it well before using.