November 12, 2011

A Saturday of Cooking

I decided last week that I needed to make a couple of meals this weekend that I would be able to freeze so that during the week I would be able to have a nice cooked meal.  I have been super busy during the weeks recently with class, workouts and work and lately I have noticed that I either have no time or no motivation to cook.  

Today's menu was ... 
Chicken Noodle Soup
Two Veggie Lasagnas
Two Bean Zucchini Chili
Vegetarian Calzone

First the chicken noodle soup!  I placed a whole chicken in the crock pot and covered it with onions, carrots, celery and a bunch of spices.

 I covered it with water and turned the Crock Pot on 'Low' and let it cook over night.  In the morning I strained the chicken and the broth - being sure to drain the broth into a big pot.  Then I placed the chicken in the fridge to cool for a while.

Since the broth from the crock pot may not be enough, I supplement with some Swanson Chicken Broth.  I also chopped up a couple of carrots, celery and an onion to cook with the broth.  Once that is complete I picked the chicken and placed the pieces in the broth to cook.
While the broth and carrots/celery/onion/chicken is simmering I cook the noodles separately.  (I learned after the first time making chicken noodle soup that if you cook the noodles in the broth it basically becomes a chicken noodle casserole.)  After everything is cooked I divided up the broth into containers and let it cool.  Once cooled I add the noodles!

The next thing I made was a very large calzone, which I cut in half and froze separately to make two meals.  I love having calzones on Friday after a long week and they are super easy to make and then reheat.  The dough I used is a whole wheat dough from Trader Joe's.  I filled the calzone with ricotta cheese, mozzarella and some broccoli - yum!

Next up was two vegetable lasagnas - they are so delicious and feed me for nearly a week.  I normally make two 8 x 8 pans of lasagna at a time and freeze them and then pull them out whenever I need.  I previously posted about making veggie lasagna here but this time it was even easier because I used some peppers from the farmer's market that I had frozen from the summer.

The last thing I made is a new recipe and one that I found in a magazine on my way down to Virginia last week - Two Bean Zucchini Chili!  I chopped up an onion, two peppers (one green and one red), two zucchini and sauteed everything in some margarine.
Once everything is cooked down I added a can of petite diced tomatoes and about half a can of tomato sauce, as well as two cans of beans and added chili powder and some crushed red pepper; I covered the pot and let the chili simmer for about an hour.

Once it was finished I divided the chili into containers and it was ready to freeze and looked delicious!

So after about three straight hours of cooking, this was the result!

I placed almost everything in the freezer, which is now incredibly full and I am set for quite some time with meals!

Happy Saturday!!

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