Happy holidays from all of us here at LCK! This week’s Dinner Plan is filled with my favorite holiday EATS! From Apple Cider Braised Chicken to Slow Cooker French Onion Soup, this meal plan will definitely not disappoint!
New to the meal plans? You can find them all, equipped with *free* printable shopping lists, in our easy Meal Plan Tab on the blog! If you’ve been loving them, we’d love to hear your favorites so far!
Apps: The Pork Belly Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Dressing on page 236, Spinach Dip-Stuffed Mushrooms on page 116, The Ultimate Meat & Cheese Board, Easy Chorizo and Kale Soup on page 130, Shredded Brussels Sprouts Salad on page 154, Winter Harvest Salad on page 138, and The Best Shrimp Cocktail on page 92 are my go-tos!
On The Side: The Pork Belly Brussels Sprouts with Lemon Dressing on page 236, Caramelized Butternut Squash on page 220, and Creamy Mashed Roots Two Ways on page 238
Cocktails: Apple Cider Sangria on page 256
Main Dishes: Holiday Desserts: Nanny’s Potted Chicken on page 160, Balsamic Braised Short Ribs on page 204, and Maple-Crusted Salmon on page 186
Holiday Desserts: Crunchy Chocolate Cookies on page 294, Brown Butter Apple Crisp on page 308, and Pear Tartlets on page 290
As always, if you have meal plan feedback, please send me an email at Lexi@Lexiscleankitchen.com! I’d absolutely love to hear from you!
If you have been wondering which of my healthy, clean eating, gluten-free recipes are good make ahead freezer-friendly meal recipes, this is the post for you! Freezing meals is such a time saver and a great way to reduce food waste, BUT it can be really hard to tell which meals are freezer-friendly and if they are freezable, the best way to freeze them for re-heating.
The Best Freezer Meals (Healthy & Gluten-Free)!
Similarly to my round-up of Cooking for Others, I have consolidated my go-to make ahead freezer-friendly recipes into this healthy gluten-free Freezer Friendly Meals post! For the most part with these, I’m reheating on the stove-top, in the oven, in a toaster, or on occasion, in the microwave (I avoid this, mostly). Over time I will be adding to this list, so make sure to keep coming back if you are always on the look-out for healthy, simple, and delicious freezer-friendly breakfasts, main dishes, snacks, and desserts!
What is Freezer Cooking?
Freezer cooking is when you create meals and freeze them or freeze ingredients for a meal, to make meal times easier for a busy new mom, somebody dealing family issues, and so much more. It’s really great for anyone to have freezer-friendly meals ready to go in a pinch! They are often done in bulk so you have a few meals at a time!
Tip: Always clearly label the freezer bag or container with the date.
Classic Chicken Soup: To preserve the textures of meat and vegetables in soup, it’s important to cool hot soups completely before freezing! To quickly reduce the temperature, transfer to large, shallow containers (13- × 9-inch baking dishes) and refrigerate uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cool. Freeze for 3 months.
Copycat Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls: Make sure to freeze the chicken, seasoned cauliflower rice, and black beans separately and add avocado and dressing when serving. Freeze for 3 months. [dairy-free, egg-free]
Turkey Chili, Game-Day White Chili, Sweet Potato Chili: To preserve the textures of meat and vegetables in soup, it’s important to cool hot soups completely before freezing! To quickly reduce the temperature, transfer to large, shallow containers (13- × 9-inch baking dishes) and refrigerate uncovered, stirring occasionally, until cool. Freeze for 3 months.
Sloppy Joe: Freeze the meat and the bread separately. Freeze for 3 months.
Chicken Milanese: Place the chicken cutlets on a small tray lined with parchment paper and freeze. Move to a freezer-friendly ziplock bag once frozen. This will prevent the chicken cutlets from sticking together. Freeze for 2-3 months.
Eggplant Pizza Crust: Wrap individual crust in foil, then freeze. Will keep for 3 months frozen, defrost for 15 minutes or so. Reheat in a large frying pan with the lid on over medium-high heat. This allows the crust bottom to crisp and the cheese to remelt without burning!
Pizza Crust: Wrap individual crust in foil, then freeze. Will keep for 2-3 months in the frozen, defrost for 15 minutes or so. Reheat in a large frying pan with the lid on over medium-high heat. This allows the crust bottom to crisp and the cheese to remelt without burning!
Marinated Chicken: Place raw chicken in freezer-friendly bags. Pour in the marinade. Freeze the raw chicken and marinade together for up to 2-3 months. Let thaw before cooking.
Stir-Fry: Poach the chicken and slice it before freezing. Chop the vegetables and freeze them raw. Freeze these ingredients in a single layer on a sheet pan before transferring them to a freezer-friendly container. This ensures that the ingredients freeze individually instead of in a solid block! Freeze for up to 2-3 months.
Slow Cooker Carne Asada: Freeze braised pork shoulders in their cooking liquid. This preserves the juicy flavor and tender texture while guarding against freezer burn. Portion meat into freezer bags, add cooking liquid and freeze for up to 1 month!
Slow Cooker Shredded Chicken: Make sure to cool shredded chicken completely. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months! De-frost, and then heat up in a soup, on the stovetop heated in salsa to add to a burrito, or warmed in the oven or on the stovetop and served on top of a salad!
Pesto Chicken Salad: Make sure to cool shredded chicken completely. Freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months! Freeze pesto separately. Defrost then combine.
Burritos: Freeze for 3 months. Reheat in the oven or in a microwave if you choose to use one!
Tomato Sauce: Let cool completely before freezing. Freeze for 3-4 months.
Meat Sauce: Let cool completely before freezing. Freeze for 3 months.
Sweet Potato Fries: Blanch sweet potatoes first! Slice sweet potatoes into strips or as desired. Bring a pot filled with water to a boil, then boil fries for 5 minutes. Place in strainer and rinse with cold water immediately to stop the cooking process. Place on cooking sheet and put in freezer for an hour to flash freeze.
Strawberries & Blueberries: Dry well. Place berries onto a rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and slide them into the freezer. Once the berries are firm, transfer them to storage bags or containers and return them to the freezer to be used as needed!
Zucchini or Squash: You can freeze squash without blanching but you have to use it within 4-6 weeks. if you blanch first, they will last up to 12 months. Fill a large pot with water and bring to a boil. Slice or dice squash as desired. Place cut squash into the boiling water for 2-3 minutes. transfer squash from boiling water into a bowl full of ice water for 2-3 minutes to stop the cooking process. Freeze completely for about 2 hours. Place frozen squash into freezer bags for storage, removing any access air, and place back into freezer. Keep up to 12 months in the freezer.
Broth: Pour the broth into ice cube trays and place in the freezer. Remove frozen broth cubes and store in a freezer bag!
I am always on the lookout for delicious dairy-free recipes and wanted to compile some of my favorite dairy-free recipes that you should add to your must-make list ASAP! These dairy-free recipes are so delicious, you won’t miss the dairy one bit!
Now that I am back from traveling this past week, I am getting back into the swing of things with these healthy recipes that are delicious and perfect for any night of the week!
My friends at Pacific Foods have created a free e-book for you to cook with! Plus you can take their un-graded quiz (testing your non-dairy knowledge), for the chance to win a variety 12-pack of Pacific non-dairy beverages!!