Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Meals to Freeze

I have a bunch of ideas of things to do before I go back to work on the 26th, Monday, February, 2007.

I'm thinking a haircut, since the last time I went to a stylist was when I was still smoking. Also, I need to get my car fixed from that little bump over xmas in Michigan. I'd like to order and receive a truckload of compost from the county, which can be dumped into the empty garden space to await the new raised beds I plan to make.

That's right. Raised beds. With PVC frames stretched with chicken wire around them. NO BUNNIES! My stepfather might come down to visit, with my mom of course, in early April.He's got the raised bed mojo, since up at the cottage they're dealing with deer as well as bunnies. Do you think I'll have deer to worry about? Better safe than sorry. I also think it'd be prudent to line the bottom of the bed with smaller-guage chicken wire, for the sake of gophers and other things that tunnel.

Then I've got a visit from Jamie tentatively planned for a couple weeks later, after the projected end of the last frost. She's gonna help me plant. I've got the sorrel started inside so far, and I should really do a plan to figure out when to start the other seedlings.

Something else I'm planning to do before I go back to work is to stock up on home-cooked food. I am looking to eat healthily when at work, this time, and one way I can do that is to make a dinner every night until I go back and freeze several portions of each. Reach in, grab food, get on the highway.

Did I mention I've signed on for a commute of about 30 miles each way?

This is what I have on the menu so far. If you know of a good, healthy recipe for freezing (potatoes don't freeze very well, I've found), feel free to chip in with suggestions!

• Chicken Paprika from The Joy of Cooking. I've tweaked it some, because I am wary of freezing sour cream. Basically my plan is going to be to eat it sans fatty goodness. Oh, and I also added tofu cause I had it around. Beefs up the quantity (I slay me!) on the cheap.

• Chili: boring but a good standby. Healthy, tasty, filling.

• Chicken Saag? Dal? Some kind of Indian goodness that won't lose quality in the freezing process.

• Beef Stew/Pot Roast. Do you even know how long it's been since I've had stew? I don't care if the potatoes grow mealy in the freezer. This sounds fabulous.

• Stuffed peppers. I've always done this with rice, tomatoes and ground beef.

Wow. Substitute the Indian for Curried Chicken Divan and the chicken paprika* for veal stew, and I am my mother circa 1983, when she had to cook for 8 every Wednesday!

The Suggestion Box is open for other ideas, both for food and fun things to do before I go back to work. WORK!! YAY!!

Guidelines: reheatable, cheap, healthy, tasty, does not use coconut milk, and makes enough for about 4-8 servings, cause I'm gonna want some variety here, folks! Oh, and ideally that you can freeze together with the rice/noodles or whatever starch might accompany it.

*where is that 's' character with the upside-down circumflex I'm looking for, anyway?