Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Well, I managed to try some cooking and get a few meals in the freezer this past week! I came down sick over the weekend and lost some of my energetic zap for getting everything done that I wanted to accomplish, but I think I got a pretty good start.

I made:

  • 1 9x13 pan of Chicken tortillas - shredded chicken breast, 1 small jar of mild salsa, shredded cheese and cream cheese cut into cubs.

  • 3 spinach spaghetti pies - angel hair noodles, eggs, Parmesan, canned or frozen spinach (I used canned this time, but normally I use frozen thawed & drained), sauce, ground beef, cream cheese, and shredded mozzarella cheese.

  • 1 chicken/veggie lasagna - lasagna noodles, cream of mushroom soup (you're suppose to use cream of chicken, but I had forgotten to put that on my shopping list.....so I used the cream of mushroom instead), shredded chicken breast, 1 can of mixed veggies (you can also use 1 small package of frozen cooked mixed veggies), a little milk (to mix with the mushroom soup), sliced cheddar cheese (to put in-between the layers of noodles, veggies, chicken and soup).

I bought the foil pans (I bought mine at Family Dollar - two 9x13 pans for $1) so that I could just freeze them without worrying about freezing something in a glass pan, then taking it out and wrapping it up and putting it back into the freezer out of the pan. I tried that once with crab lasagna and it ended up making a mess in my freezer, so I decided that I was going to try the foil pans this time. It made a mess in my freezer because the pan tilted sideways while it was in the freezer, so that when I went to go get it after it had frozen I had a mess to clean up since a lot of the sauce and leaked out before becoming frozen.

WARNING: Make sure ALL food is level in the freezer! :) Here are the recipes that I used (or at least used the basic foundation and then adapted them to fit whatever ingredients I had)........ Spinach-Beef Spaghetti Pie - my favorite way to eat spaghetti and it is a great meal to make when having guests! This recipe came from Taste of Home. It freezes well and you can change it to fit your tastes (like leave out the spinach and use sausage instead of ground beef).

I made three pies by using 4 eggs ($1.92 for 18 eggs - 40 cents) ), 1 box of angel hair noodles ($1), 1/2 of a large jar of spaghetti sauce ($2.98 per jar and therefore 1/2 jar would of been: $1.49) , 1 1/2 8oz packages of cream cheese ($1.28 per package+64 cents for half package: $1.92) , 1 jar of spinach -$1.35, 1/2 or 3/4 amount of 1lb ground beef (I'm using the rest of the meat for a chili dish)-$2.68 per 1lb.....$1.34 for 1/2lb, 3/4-1 small package of shredded mozzarella cheese - $1.86 per bag. Total price of 3 pies: $9.36 or $3.12 per pie.

These pies will last us for 6 meals and come to the total price of: $1.56 per meal - not too bad if you ask me. :)

Ok, the next meal I made was Chicken Lasagna. I found this meal a few months ago when I wanted to make something other than traditional meat, cheese lasagna and it turned out to be a hit! I can't find the exact recipe but I tend to do my own thing anyway when I'm cooking, so I'll give you the "Heather version" -

  • 1 Cooked/shredded chicken breast - $1.92

  • 1 small can of mixed veggies (or a small bag frozen veggies already cooked) -$0.68

  • 1 large can of cream of chicken soup - $1.54

  • A little bit (perhaps 1 cup?) of milk - to mix with your soup $3.54 per gallon (16 cups per gallon) Total cost of the milk used: $ 0.22

  • 18 slices of cheddar cheese (I use the individual wrapped cheese slices) $2.36 per 24 slices Total cost: 10 cents per slice of cheese: $1.80 (it's a little less than that).

  • 9 cooked lasagna noodles -$1.00

Total Cost: $ 7.16 this meal will last the two of us for 3 meals, plus lunches.

Cost per meal: $2.38

Take your 9x13 pan and spoon a small amount of the cream of chicken soup on the bottom of the pan and and a touch of milk to make it "spreadable", then take 3 of your noodles and lay them on the bottom of the pan. Take some of your shredded chicken breasts and lay on top of the noodles, add several spoon fulls of veggies and then several spoon fulls of the soup and drizzle some milk on top to help spread it around. After you have those ingredients mixed up on top of the noodles, take 6 slices of cheese and place on top of your veggie/chicken mixture. Repeat layers. You should end with the cheese slices on the very top of your noodles. I'm pretty sure that you could combine the milk with the soup and add it to the lasagna that way, instead of taking the milk and drizzling it on top of the soup. You probably could also combing the veggies and chicken into the soup/milk mix and then just layer that with the noodles & cheese. At least you have the idea of how the chicken/veggie lasagna is suppose to be made and I do apologize for not having the exact recipe to share with you. You can freeze this recipe uncooked or you can cook it up right after you make it for an easy and wonderful tasting dinner! Bake at 350 degrees until heated (approx. 30 minutes).

Chicken Tortillas

I created this recipe to help me use up the 1/2 of cream cheese I had left over from the spaghetti pies and the chicken breast that I had left over from the lasagna (the chicken came in a package of two breasts for $3.84, so it's $1.92 per chicken breast).

  • 1 cooked chicken breast, shredded - $1.92

  • 1/2 8oz package of cream cheese - $0. 64

  • 1 jar of salsa - $1.50 (it was on sale at Food Lion for 2/$4 and I had a 50 cent coupon)

  • 1 bag shredded cheddar cheese - $2.36

  • Floured tortillas - $1.22

Total Cost: $7.64

We will probably get two good meals out of this for the total cost of: $3.82 per meal, plus we will get several lunches as well.

In a large bowl combine all ingredients (except for the tortillas) until well mixed. Place heaping spoonfuls into the center of the tortilla wraps and wrap them up and place into your 9x13 pan. Repeat. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until well warmed.

Hint: Typically the larger the meal the cheaper it will be per meal/serving because it will last for more meals than a small dish therefore stretching your money & time!

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