A happy freezer is a stocked freezer, especially when the refrigerator is empty and there is no time to cook. But, more times than not, all that I have in stock is a frozen pizza and some chicken nuggets. Sure, the pizza is organic, but it still has 770 mg of sodium – and neither of those options constitute a full, healthy meal.
So, I asked friends and searched the web for some healthy, quick recipes for frozen meals.
Low-sodium Chicken Pot Pie Minis
- 1 chicken breast, poached and diced
- cream of chicken soup substitute: While many chicken pot pie recipes call for Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup, it contains 870 mg of sodium, which is really unhealthy. Instead whip together this easy substitute: 1 tablespoon flour, 3 tablespoons butter, 1/2 cup chicken broth, 1/2 cup milk and salt and pepper to taste. In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, add whisk in the flour. Remove the saucepan from the burner and mix in the chicken broth and milk. Return the mixture to the burner and gently boil while stirring, until mixture thickens. Then, add salt and pepper.
- 1 cup fresh mixed veggies
- 2 (10 ounce) cans Pillsbury Grands
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix chicken, cream of chicken soup substitute and veggies together. Grease a 12-cup muffin tin and press one Pillsbury Grand into each cup. Spoon chicken mixture into each cup. Then cook for 15 minutes, or until mixture is bubbling and Grands are light brown.
Similar but different: Single-serve soup — Make your favorite broth-based soup. Then, pour it into a muffin tin and freeze. When you are ready to eat a cup, just pop it out and microwave.
Corn, Broccoli and Cheese Calzones (recipe adapted from www.thekitchn.com)
- 1 1/2 cups chopped broccoli florets
- 1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels
- 2/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 2 pounds whole wheat pizza dough
- olive oil
Combine broccoli, corn and cheese together in a bowl. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Divide the dough into six equal pieces. Roll each dough piece into a 8-inch circle. Pour a heaping 1/3 cup of filling in the bottom third of the calzone, leaving an inch boarder around the edge. Brush calzones with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes. Rotate the tray and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, until golden brown with bubbly filling. Allow calzones to cool completely. Then, pop them in freezer bags and put them in the freezer until ready to eat.
Freezer Berry Smoothie
- single serving freezer bags
- Greek yogurt ice cubes (fill an ice cube tray with Greek yogurt and freeze)
- sliced bananas
Fill the freezer bags with equal amounts of bananas, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries. Add in four yogurt ice cubes. Pop in the freezer and blend with a cup of milk when you need a smoothie. A bag with about 1 1/2 cups fruit and four yogurt cubes serves two.
Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos (recipe adapted from joelens.blogspot.com)
- 3 large boneless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 cup cilantro lime pesto (recipe below)
- flour or corn tortillas
- favorite taco toppings
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves without stems
- 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sliced, toasted almonds
- 3 tablespoons chopped, fresh garlic
- 1 1/2 teaspoon lime juice 1/2 cup shredded asiago (Parmesan or Romano can be substituted too)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 1/4 cup chicken broth
To make the pesto, mix together the cilantro, olive oil, almonds, garlic, lime juice, asiago, salt and chicken broth on low speed for 2 minutes.
Cook chicken in a pan on the stove. Then, cool. Place chicken in a freezer bag with pesto sauce. When ready to eat, thaw and heat chicken pesto mixture. Spoon into tortilla and add your favorite toppings.