My family really likes eating the frozen pre-packaged meals like Voila! or some of those Banquet meals found in the frozen aisle. Often times I have thought that I could make them on my own at home (frozen chicken, pasta, and vegetables), but I always get stuck on the sauce.
I'd recommend you first off buy what you are looking to duplicate. Take notes, ask your family what you could use, and go for it!
Gravy over mashed potatoes, Alfredo sauce mixed with chicken and noodles or cheese melted over broccoli or
precooked and sliced potatoes.
I'd keep a couple of bottles of marinade etc. on hand. They have alot of them in the asian aisle too - teriyaki, sweet and sour, etc. Expiriment!
I have never had a frozen meal, (honestly), but I have heaps of them in my freezer. I have cooking days when I'll make enough for up to 4 more meals - put what I want into freezer boxes, and freeze them. Into a suitable sized dish when I want one, and warm up slowly in the oven (about a half hour). This works just great for casseroles, roasts (I don't like a lot of frozen vegetables, so just put meat and gravy together) You can freeze enough plain spaghetti or rice for a meal, and add anything to them after defrosting in warm water, then heating in boiling water. Again, make loads of sauce, and then freeze as much as you want. Even gravy on its' own will freeze if you've thickened it with cornstarch - plain flour will separate when you re-heat it. There is very little you can't freeze, even if recipe books say you can't. We eat out of the freezer - I love my "big cook" days, and it's very satisfying to see the full-sized freezer loaded up, knowing that dinner is always just a heat-up away if you feel you can't be bothered to cook that night. I hope this has been of some use to you. Experiment! !
Best wishes, Honto
here's a web site I like.
It has tons of recipes that can be frozen. And alfredo sauce is so so simple and you can jazz it up with asparagus, red pepper...you can even make a creamy tomato basil with it. Search on google for homemade alfredo sauce.
I always cook extra when I make a meal, I have a food saver, I put it on a regular plate and seal it, then date it and put in freezer. Take the dinner out defrost in microwave or defrost in fridge. Tastes like you just cooked it. Not a lot of leftovers. Use as salad plate for little ones.
I have found I actually like the canned gravy. It is spiced nicely, very smooth and so convienent to use. Homemade gravy can be frozen also in separate containers and added when putting together your dish.
I don't think you could freeze this, but you are looking for a sauce for chicken, pasta and veggie combo. We use extra virgin olive oil. It could be added quickly to a frozen chicken pasta dish.
We toss pasta with olive oil, garlic powder, black pepper, dried oregano and dried basil. All seasonings just added to our taste. Don't add so much EVOO that it pools in the bottom of the bowl. Then toss in bite size cooked chicken and broccoli florets. That's all my husband likes in his. I also add feta cheese, black olives, and mushrooms to mine. Just as good as at an italian restaurant for a lot less money.
We use the this spaghetti just because it is always in the house, but great with spiral pasta too. I have tried macaroni with it too. Wasn't so great.
quick tip. freeze your sauce choices in an old fashion ice cube tray. pop out the cubes and put a couple in each freezer bag of pasta, chicken and veggies. Meal in one bag then.
One old time trick is to use a condensed soup like condensed chicken soup for the sauce... works great! Naturally you tailor the condensed soup to the meal so a large chicken pot pie might get a can of condensed chicken soup.
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