I really do spend a couple of hours every other week or so doing some type of food prep. That used to be mostly a canning related activity, but now that I have a freezer, I include more things that are frozen. One of the biggest reasons I do this is so that I can have meals ready to go, meals that need no prep other than defrosting and popping in the oven or the crock pot. I have a chronic pain condition and have flare-ups on occasion that leave me not able to stand too long and getting dinner on the table is an issue. Before, this meant that Kip would stop by a drive thru on the way home or we would order delivery. The problem with is that I have cut out most of the processed foods--including fast food out of my diet. Once in a while it wouldn't bother me, but sometimes flare ups last for several days.
Since I have food in the freezer and in canning jars, I can put a healthy dinner on the table with almost no effort! I bought a couple of freezer cookbooks to get a feel of what freezes well, and looked through many others. A lot of the freezer cookbooks are the cook once-a-month-eat-all-month-after-one-marathon-session type cookbooks. That doesn't work for me, I never have that much stamina! I did however find some good guidelines and recipes.
This week's project was a Chicken Lasagna. First I gathered all my ingredients. I don't always do that when I am just cooking a meal, but if I am canning or cooking for the freezer, I always do.
In this recipe, the mushrooms, artichokes, broth, seasonings, and half and half are cooked together until everything is tender.
This is layered like a traditional lasagna--lasagna noodles, shredded chicken, mushroom mixture, cheese, repeat.
I now have two more dinners in the freezer!
I wrap them in heavy duty foil, and label them with the name of the dish and the cooking directions.
The chicken lasagna recipe came from this book. A lot of the meals can be frozen, but there are a lot that are just make ahead and are great to use if you are having a dinner party or whatever and you want to get as much done as possible ahead of time.