Sunday, January 5, 2014

Fiscal fast day 5, part 2: Planning ahead frozen assets, and avoiding food waste

 The source if my inspiration tonight: the huge amount of leftover, mashed potatoes. I normally would either plan on serving them the next night (we will be having a tuna casserole) or freeze for making a French Canadian version of Sheppard's pie, called Pate chinois. With my impending surgery, I am doing everything I can to get things in order, to make the transition from Mom to patient go as smoothly as possible, and without incurring extra debt/expenses.  My 1/2 pot full of mashed potatoes is coming to the rescue!
 I still had some repurposed, tin trays. Great. I already have one with lasagna and 2 with chicken-black bean-corn enchilladas awaiting in the freezer. I also grabbed a can of cream corn, instead of the normal 2, as this was a shallower pan than I would normally use, if baking it off in a 13 x 9 x 2 casserole dish.
 I browned off 2 frozen, 8 oz blobs of ground beef that I bought on sale @ $1.99/lb some months ago. Seasoned with salt and pepper, and added 1/2 of a large onion, that I chopped.
I layered the beef mixture, then the potatoes, followed by the corn, which I dotted with butter. Now covered in tin foil, and properly labeled, it awaits my upcoming recovery period. The first 3 weeks will be the worst, assuming that this recovery will be similar to what I just went through in May with the OTHER shoulder. I am avoiding any temptation to order out, grab a pizza. Dinner awaits us in the freezer. Just make a simple salad, even can open a can of another vegetable if desired, to stretch the meal, depending upon how many are home to eat supper.

Naturally, as I was clearing up tonight's supper dishes and working on this frozen asset, I took a few minutes to boil down the skin and untouched bones from tonight's baked chicken thighs. 

An hour of simmering away, and I now have just over a pint's worth of homemade chicken stock. Nice freebie.


Hawaii Planner said...

I consider frozen dinners total lifesavers. They take up so much freezer space that I typically focus on meat prep, that makes pulling weeknight meals easier. We do the following meat prep: large batches of taco meats, grilled burgers, & giant batches of grilled chicken tenderloins. With all of these prepped & ready to go at a moment's notice, dinner is almost always quick to throw together.

~Carla~ said...

I always want to do this, but don't. I think freezer meals are great... I think i'm going to have to just try it one weekend. Spend my weekend cooking up a storm and see how it goes. My issue is finding something that everyone will eat... *sigh*

Belinda said...

Good planning on your part to make up a frozen asset in anticipation of your surgery. It looks delicious too. You'll definitely save money by eating this instead of ordering pizza. Eating out can ruin a budget so quickly, which is something I struggle with at times.

j said...

I can't tell you how happy I was for frozen soups and stew while everyone was sick. I would just put it in the crockpot in the morning and then put the bread machine on(using the oven wasn't feasible since I kept falling asleep) and then everyone just ate when they pulled themselves down stairs. Plus this way I was able to make sure mom ate to since I worry about her when she gets this sick. Now I just have to restock all my soups this weekend