If you’re like the average family, there’s at least one or two nights each week when you’re too tired to cook. The natural options are to either order pricey takeout or feed your family a meal that was purchased from an unhealthy drive-thru menu. These options are not only unhealthy, but quite expensive as well. If a family of four spends an average of $40 for pizza on Tuesday night and $25 on fast food on Friday night that comes to a total cost of $65 per week or $260 just on takeout each month. Safeguard yourself against the takeout effect by preparing healthy dinners ahead of time and simply reheating them on the nights that you are too tired to cook a full meal.
Below is a list of three healthy recipes that will thrive in the freezer and defrost quickly for your family to eat on a busy night. Each recipe is intended to feed a family of four.
Spinach Lasagna Rolls
-Nine cooked lasagna noodles
-1 cooked and diced chicken breast
-1 32oz jar of pasta sauce
-1 15oz container of reduced fat ricotta cheese
-½ cup of grated parmesan cheese
-3 oz part skim, shredded mozzarella cheese
-1 package of frozen, chopped spinach
-1 teaspoon of dried Italian seasoning
-Salt and Pepper
-½ teaspoon of minced garlic
Place a thick layer of aluminum foil in a 9×13-in baking dish, with about an inch of overhang on each side. Spread 1 cup of pasta sauce evenly onto the baking dish. While the oven is preheating, combine all ingredients aside from the noodles, mozzarella cheese and pasta sauce into a mixing bowl. Lay your cooked and dried lasagna noodles onto a sheet of aluminum foil and spread 1/3 cup of the mixture onto each noodle. Carefully roll the noodle, ensuring that the seam side is down, place the rolled noodles onto the baking dish. Evenly pour the remaining pasta sauce over noodles and sprinkle a layer of mozzarella cheese over top. Cover the baking dish with an additional layer of foil and bake for 40-minutes.
Once baked, remove from the oven and let cool for one to two hours. Then, simply place the baking dish into the freezer overnight. The next morning, lift the foil and its contents out of the baking dish, pinch sides together to prevent freezer burn and place back into the freezer. Reheat at 350° for twenty minutes when you are ready to eat.
Chicken Noodle Soup
-3 chicken breasts, cubed
-2 carrots, chopped
-1 medium onion, chopped
-2 stalks celery, chopped
-1 tbsp. salt,
-½ tbsp. pepper
-1 tbsp. oregano
-1 bay leaf
-1 quart of water
-1 32oz package of chicken broth
-3 cups egg noodles
-2 tbsp. olive oil
Pour chicken broth and water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Chop carrots, onion and celery. Cut the chicken breasts into bite-sized cubes and set them aside. Heat a pan to medium-high heat, drizzle olive oil into the pan and add vegetables, sauté five to ten minutes or until onions are translucent. Transfer sautéed vegetables to the boiling chicken broth and add chicken and seasonings. Continue to boil for ten minutes then lower heat to medium-low for 30-minutes or until chicken is cooked. Add egg noodles in during the final ten minutes. Allow soup to cool to room temperature, and then transfer into a freezer bag and place in the freezer. When ready to reheat, allow the soup to defrost and heat for twenty minutes over medium-high heat.
Make a large batch of burritos at the beginning of the week to serve as a pre-made dinner for your family throughout the week. The best part about making your own frozen burritos is that they can be reheated in the microwave for a truly grab-and-go dinner. To make your burritos you’ll need:
-1lb of ground turkey
-1/2 cup of salsa
-1 cup of cooked brown rice
-1 large onion
-1 package of taco seasoning
-1 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
-8 large, soft whole wheat tortillas
-1 15oz can of re-fried beans
Cook the brown rice according to the package directions. Dice the onion and place in a skillet to brown with the turkey. Allow the onions and ground turkey to brown, then drain. Add the cooked rice and taco seasonings to the turkey and continue to heat for a few more minutes according to the taco seasoning instructions.
Lay out your tortillas and spread an even layer of re-fried beans onto the center of the tortillas. Spoon a generous amount of the turkey mixture onto the tortilla and add a layer of salsa and mozzarella cheese to each. Seal the ends and roll your burritos. Wrap each in a layer of aluminum foil and place into freezer-safe bags and store in the freezer. To reheat, unwrap each burrito, place them on a microwave safe plate and microwave for two minutes.
Ron Thompson is an avid blogger who loves to camp and writes for Del-Immune V® immune system supplements, a unique pro-biotic supplement made
from the lactobacillus rhamnosus which is an immune booster that helps fight fatigue and tiredness and improve your immune system naturally.