To start making freezer meals you will need a couple of things. You need disposable aluminum pans so they can go straight from the freezer to a hot oven. The most common and affordable pans do not come with compartments, but you can craft simple food partitions by covering strips of cardboard with aluminum foil. I make a meat , vegetable and starch all in one day. I try to make as many meals as I can in one day. Usually I end up with 36 meals. I make turkey, chicken and meat loaf all at once and cook them all at once. You can make all the vegetables in one day along with the rice, potatoes or macaroni/cheese. I sometimes change the order of meals in the 2nd batch. You might have chicken with a difference vegetable then you had in another chicken meal. I”m sure you get the idea. But always remember to label them correctly.
Turkey Roll w/Green Bean and Rice
Makes up to 6 TV Dinners
Prep: 1 hour Roast: 35 minutes
Freeze up to 4 months
1 2 1/2 lb. boneless turkey breast half with skin
2 cups refrigerated diced butternut squash
3 oz. thinly sliced smoked ham
3/4 cup shredded Fontina cheese or Mozzarella (3oz.)
1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 14.5 oz Chicken broth
1 Tbsp. apple cider
1 Tbsp. fresh sage
Also see recipe for the Green Bean and Cranberry Rice
1. Preheat oven to 425 degree. Place the turkey breast, skin side down, on a cutting board. Butterfly turkey by cutting breast in half horizontally, cutting almost to but not through the opposite side. Spread open. Place turkey between two sheets of plastic wrap. Using the flat side of a meat mallet, pound turkey lightly until about 1/2 inch tick (about a 12×8-inch rectangle). Remove plastic wrap. Generously sprinkle turkey with salt and pepper; set aside.
2. Place a streamer basket in a medium saucepan. Add water to just below bottom of the basket. Bring to boiling. Add squash to steamer basket. Steamer covered squash for about 8 minutes or they are tender.
When the are done, mash slightly.
3. Cover turkey, skin down, with ham slice and one scoop of squash mix. Sprinkle with cheese and pecans. Starting from the long side, roll up the turkey into a spiral. Tie at 1 1/2 inch intervals with 100 % cotton kitchen string.
Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Melt 1 Tbsp. of butter; brush over turkey roll. Roast about 35 minutes, or check thermometer inserted in turkey register 165 degrees. Remove from the oven; cool. Remove the string from the turkey, cut roll into 12 slices.
4. For the gravy, in a small pan add 2 tbsp. of butter over medium heat. Add flour; cook and sir in the broth. Cook until thickened. Sir in the apple cider and sage. Cook another 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover with plastic until your ready to assemble.
Green Beans with Thyme
You will need:
16 oz. package of frozen cut green beans
3 Tbsp. softened butter
1 Tsp. snipped fresh thyme (from my garden)
finely shredded lemon peel
1. Combine the butter, thyme, lemon into a log. Wrap it in plastic and chill it until firm. It should take about 4 hours in your refrigerator. Sometime a make a lot of herb butter in the summertime and freeze for winter use. It always is good on vegetables or potatoes.
2. Cook up the bag of green bean add the butter and let it sit on the stove until you are ready to assemble.
You will need at least 2 package ( 6-oz. each) of long grain and wild rice
1/2 cup of cranberries
1. Cook the rice accord to the package and add the cranberries. I spread the rice in a shallow baking pan and let them cool off while I make other stuff.
2. Put the a side until ready to assemble.
TO ASSEMBLE YOUR MEALS:
1. Take your 12 disposable foil pans and lay them out on the table. My Mom writes out the labels for each TV dinner meal. ( It keep her busy). Divide turkey slices, rice and the green beans into each meal. Spoon the gravy over the turkey. Top beans with the butter slices. Cover the pans with plastic wrap until there is no air at all. Then I wrap them again completely in aluminum foil. Put the labels on the and into the freeze they go.
2. Here are some tips when making your meals. I cook the turkey, chicken and meatloaf all at once.That way everything is done at the same time. Also they cool off at the same time. Do the same for your vegetables, rice and, potatoes.
12 bone in chicken thighs, skinned
1 Tbsp. garam masala ( Indian Spice)you can make your own! I use cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, Cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, 1 Tsp. of each in an airtight container, store in a cool, dry place.