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March 2000 Issue
Making Your Own Frozen Foods
by Ronda L. Halpin
Table of Contents | Single-page view

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Frozen Stir-Fry Medley

The best time to assemble this easy stir-fry combination is when snap peas and broccoli are available at their freshest.
  • 2 c. fresh sugar snap peas
  • 2 c. fresh broccoli flowerets
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained
  • 1 c. sliced fresh mushrooms
  • 1 c. diced red pepper
  • 1 c. diced green onions
For Final Preparation:
  • 2 T. teriyaki sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 2 T. wok oil
  • 1 c. thinly sliced beef, pork or chicken pieces OR 1 c. cubed firm tofu (try a combination!)
Combine snap peas, broccoli and salt in a large steamer basket. Steam vegetables until crisp tender -- about 6-8 minutes. Add remaining ingredients to the steamer basket and mix until evenly combined.

To freeze the vegetable medley, spoon the mixture into carefully labeled freezer bags in 2 cup increments. Seal the bags and freeze for up to 6 months.

To stir-fry, prepare the sauce by combining the teriyaki sauce, garlic and red pepper in a small bowl. Mix thoroughly and set aside.

Measure the wok oil into a wok or skillet. Heat over high heat and quickly stir-fry your desired meat or tofu choices for 3-5 minutes or until meat is nearly cooked and/or tofu is slightly browned. Add the contents of the 2 cup frozen stir-fry medley to the wok and continue stir-frying for 2-3 minutes or until vegetables are warm. Add the sauce and mix until well-coated and warmed through -- about 4 minutes. Serve immediately over hot cooked rice.

  • Yields: 5 freezer bags; 4 servings prepared with each bag
  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes for initial preparation plus another 15 minutes for final preparation


Pasta On-The-Go

This peppy sauce dish freezes well and is perfect for thawing overnight in the refrigerator. Making dinner in the evening can be as simple as microwaving it gently for a few minutes and pouring it over hot cooked pasta!
  • 4 T. margarine
  • 2 c. chopped onion
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 T. flour
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 5 1/3 c. milk
  • 6 c. shredded Swiss cheese
  • 4 (15 oz.) cans great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 (4 oz.) cans diced chili peppers, rinsed and drained
For Final Preparation:
  • 4 c. hot cooked penne pasta
  • 1 c. diced fresh tomatoes
  • Shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
Melt the margarine in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until the onion is tender, but not browned.

Stir in the flour and pepper. Add the milk all at once. Cook and stir the mixture over medium heat until it becomes thickened and bubbly.

Add the cheese and stir until it is melted. Stir in the beans and chili peppers.

To freeze the sauce, spoon the mixture evenly into carefully labeled 4-serving freezer containers. Seal the containers and freeze for up to 6 months.

To serve the sauce, warm the sauce in a microwave-safe container for 5 minutes at medium power. Stir the sauce halfway through. Pour the hot sauce over prepared pasta and garnish with tomatoes and cheese, if desired.

  • Yields: 4 freezer bags; 4 servings prepared with each bag
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes for initial preparation plus another 15 minutes for final preparation


Marinated Chicken Strips

These tasty chicken strips are perfect for adding to salads, casseroles and even just dipping and popping in your mouth!
  • 4 tangerines
  • 1/2 c. teriyaki sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 T. sliced green onions
  • 1/2 crushed red pepper
  • 6 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Using a sharp knife, slice each of the tangerines in half and either squeeze the juice out manually or use a juicer. Take care to remove any seeds from the juice. Add the teriyaki sauce, minced garlic, green onions and crushed red pepper to the juice and mix well.

Place the 6 chicken breasts in a large plastic storage bag. Add the tangerine marinade and seal the bag. Rotate and flip the bag to generously cover the chicken breasts. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate for at least 4 and up to 12 hours -- flipping the bag occasionally.

To cook the chicken, prepare a grill with hot coals. Remove the chicken from the storage bag and discard the marinade. Grill, covered, until no pink remains in the center of the chicken breasts and the juices run clear -- about 15 minutes, turning once. Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and slice into 1/2 inch strips.

To freeze the chicken strips, place each cut breast into a carefully labeled freezer bag. Seal the bags and freeze for up to 6 months.

Suggested uses for marinated chicken strips include: salad toppings, pita stuffings, pizza toppings, casserole additions, and appetizers.

  • Yields: 6 freezer bags; number of servings per bag varies with use
  • Preparation Time: 20 minutes plus marinating time

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