Pineapple Meatballs

I love freezer meals. This one cooks up in the oven so you can do white rice in the cooker or brown on the stove while it bakes.

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Pineapple Meatballs

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 20 small meatballs
  • 3/4 c barbecue sauce
  • 3/4 c orange juice
  • 1/2 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 8-oz can crushed pineapple
Method

To Freeze

  1. Label gallon zipper bag.
  2. Place ingredients in the bag and freeze flat.

To Cook

  1. Thaw overnight in fridge.
  2. Place in greased baking dish.
  3. Cover. Bake at 375″ for 1 hour.

Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken

This is better than any I’ve bought.  It also tends to be a larger meal as the chickens in the poultry section tend to be larger than the ones in the deli.  The note about the potatoes is spot on.  They’re tasty but not fully-cooked.

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Slow Cooker Rotisserie Chicken

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground back pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 4 large baking potatoes or enough to fill bottom of slow cooker
Method
  1. Individually wrap potatoes in foil. Place in bottom of slow cooker.
  2. Remove giblets from chicken and discard or save for other use.  Pat chicken dry with paper towels.
  3. Combine seasonings.
  4. Rub chicken with seasoning blend.
  5. Place on top of potatoes in crock, cover, and cook on high for 4 hours. DO NOT ADD ANY LIQUID.

Note: The potatoes will not be cooked after this time, but may have absorbed some of the liquid from the process.  They can be unwrapped and microwaved until cooked if desired.

Beer Brined Roast Chicken

If you’re a skeptic, all I gotta say is, try it once.  Use bottled beer that you’d actually drink and chill it to make this a fair trial.  You may not like it even so, but most folks who drink beer, do. This is a good weekend thing because of the overnight investment in brining and the roasting and drying time.

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Beer Brined Roast Chicken

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 2 c water
  • 1/4 c kosher salt
  • 1/4 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 12-oz bottles beer (chilled, NOT room temperature)
  • 1 whole chicken (3 - 3.5 lbs)
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp seasoned salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
Method
  1. Place jumbo zipper bag in large bowl.
  2. Combine water, salt, and brown sugar.
  3. Stir until salt and sugar dissolve. Add beer.
  4. Add chicken. Seal bag and refrigerate up to 24 hours.
  5. Line 13″ x 9″ pan with foil.
  6. Remove chicken from brine and rinse under cold water.
  7. Pat dry with paper towels.
  8. Place chicken in foil-lined pan, breast side up.
  9. Refrigerate 1 hour to let skin dry.
  10. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except oil. Set aside.
  11. Heat oven to 400.
  12. Brush oil over chicken, sprinkle with rub and rub in.
  13. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes or until breast is 170 degrees.

Italian Wedding Soup

This is another freezer meal.  I tend to make three or four at a time when meatballs are on sale (or I have a coupon—or both) and freeze them. I got the recipe from a website that wanted to use fresh greens but that seemed wrong to me.  For the pasta, any small pasta works. Where I live, I can purchase little Texas-shaped pasta from Skinner that is perfect but mini-shells are good, too.  Not orzo though, as it’s too tiny.

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Italian Wedding Soup

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Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 12 oz frozen small meatballs (about 24)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb carrots, sliced
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp steak seasoning (Montreal or similar)
  • 2 1-qt boxes chicken broth or stock
  • 1/2 c uncooked small pasta
Method

To Freeze

  1. Label a one-gallon freezer bag.
  2. Put all ingredients except pasta and broth into the bag.
  3. Freeze mostly flat (meatballs don’t flatten well).

To Cook

  1. Thaw the bag overnight in your fridge.
  2. Place the contents of the bag in a slow cooker with the broth.
  3. Cook on LOW for 6 hours.
  4. Add the pasta, turn up to HIGH and cook 30 minutes or until pasta is tender.
  5. Serve.

Reuben Bowls

This recipe is from a cookbook I got in a Humble Bundle for my natal anniversary.  The book is entitled Bowls : Recipes and Inspirations for Healthful One-Dish Meals and is by Molly Watson.  I’m not sure where it’s available from, but many recipes looked good.  As I’m an acknowledged Reuben-lover, this particular one spoke to me.  I got the rye kernels from Amazon.

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Reuben Bowl

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  • Serves:4

Nutrition per portion

Ingredients
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 c rye kernels
  • 3 c chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 c mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 2 tsp prepared horseradish
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 tsp mild paprika
  • 1 c drained sauerkraut
  • 2 medium dill pickles, chopped
  • 1/2 c shredded Swiss cheese
  • 8 oz pastrami, chopped
Method
  1. Make the pilaf.
    In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 3 minutes. Add the caraway seeds and cook, stirring frequently, until the caraway smells toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the rye kernels and stir to combine. Pour in the broth, bring to a boil, cover, turn the heat to low, and cook until the kernels are tender to the bite, about 45 minutes. Stir in the pepper and remove from the heat. Cover to keep warm.
  2. Make the dressing.
    In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, ketchup, horseradish, hot sauce to taste, Worcestershire sauce, and paprika and stir to mix well.
  3. Prep the sauerkraut.
    Using your hands (or wrap the sauerkraut in a clean kitchen towel), squeeze out as much excess moisture from the sauerkraut as possible.
  4. Prep the toppings.
  5. Chop and heat the pastrami.
    Put the pastrami in a small frying pan, cover, place over medium-low heat, and heat, uncovering to stir once or twice, until hot, 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Assemble the bowls.
    Divide the pilaf among four bowls. Top with the pastrami, pile on the sauerkraut, and sprinkle on the pickles. Drizzle
    with the dressing, strew with the cheese, and serve.