Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Batch Cooking

It took a little longer then expected but I have healthy, homemade, frozen, easy to access food in my freezer again. I made a batch of marinara, chili and vegetable soup. 

I used our recipes that DH and I had created on the marinara and chili. The Chili Recipe turned out awesome. The jalapenos and anaheim peppers were spicy and made the chili more flavorful then usual. I substituted chicken broth for the beer in that recipe and left more seeds and ribs in the peppers.

The red sauce recipe I had made a few years ago was good, but I guess my tastes have changed some. I spiced it up with more oregano, pepper flakes and a pinch of salt and omitted the meat in my original recipe.

The vegetable soup is my latest, soup-er easy recipe. I love making soup, and eating soup, and now freezing soup. It is my ultimate comfort food.  The recipe I made up is basic, so depending on how I feel, I can toss in some cooked chicken, or a hand full of noodles or more veggies.

Vegetable Soup
4 carrots sliced into medallions
4 ribs of celery sliced into soup style pieces
1 onion diced
4-5 cups of broth (or water with bullion)

Heat a stock pan, spray with cooking spray or drizzle with olive oil. Saute onions until translucent. Add carrots, celery and broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 10-12 minutes.  

You dont want the veggies over cooked because when you freeze them, and re-heat the soup they will be even softer. 

Cool soup and freeze in baggies. 

Re-heating all of these dishes is simple. I put the baggy in the microwave on defrost for a couple of minutes, then break the food up into piece in a pan, cover with a lid and heat on low. When I want to add noodles to the soup, I toss an handful in while defrosting the soup. They are usually done all at the same time. Pretty simple and convenient. 

One recipe I didn't have time to make was homemade tomato soup. DH isn't a big fan of tomato soup, and  I have acid issues, so I didn't prioritize making it this time. It is very tasty though and great with noodles as well.

Tomato Soup
1 8 ounce can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 cups of water
1-2 tsp. onion powder
1-2 tsp. of basil

Put all ingredients in a stock pan, warm through. 

You can add more seasonings if desired, I also use 1-2 tsp. of tomato bullion is I think the soup needs more flavor.