Freezer Recipe: Coconut Lime Chicken

coconut lime chicken

Lately I have been trying to fit in a little experimenting with some freezer recipes in all that spare time I have.  That was quite funny wasn’t it?  Well, we are all in the same boat at times.  Short on time and long on a list to do, but we can always prepare a freezer meal or two at a time.  I find it much easier and just as rewarding to get a meal or two in the freezer while I am already cooking something else.  Freezer meals make life easier and keep us out of the drive thru line.

For me it is helpful to have any recipe ready to go whether it is a freezer to slow cooker recipe, freezer to oven recipe or a freezer to grill recipe.  After publishing the post on Meal Ideas For Busy People, I decided it was time to try this recipe.  I kept looking at it thinking it was going to be easy to get in freezer and quick to cook.  It also goes along well with our family’s quest to overcome rising grocery prices.  I mean, I can buy chicken at rock bottom prices and have this prepared and ready to go in the freezer. Many times I find chicken breast or thighs near the sell by date for a big discount.

This delicious Coconut Lime Chicken recipe is a tasty freezer to grill recipe that deserves your attention, and was great paired with lime rice and a vegetable.

I used boneless chicken breasts, but you can also use boneless thigh meat.  Thigh meat is dark meat, but will usually be a bit moister after grilling.

This recipe was adapted from the original recipe at Living Well Spending Less.

coconut lime chicken ingredients

 

Coconut Lime Chicken (Coconut Lime Chicken Printable PDF)

Ingredients:

Juice from 4 Limes
¼ cup olive oil
1 Can Coconut Milk
4 Cloves Garlic, pressed
¼ tsp Ginger
2 tsp Seasoned Salt
1 tsp Black Pepper
4 – 4 1/2 lbs. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts or Thighs
2 Gallon Size Freezer Bags, labeled with recipe name, cooking instructions and date

Trim chicken and divide equally between 2 freezer bags.  In bowl, wisk together lime juice, olive oil, coconut milk, garlic, ginger, seasoned salt and pepper.

Divide the liquid mixture between the two freezer bags of chicken.  Flatten to get as much air out as possible without leaking out mixture, and then seal bags.  Store in freezer until ready to use.

Thaw in refrigerator overnight and then grill about 6-8 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of your meat.

HINT:  If my chicken breasts are thick, I will often butterfly them (cut thickness in half) before freezing. 

freezer coconut lime chicken

I hope your family enjoys this recipe as much as we did.  My kids are already requesting that I make it again.  Since it was so easy, it will make the list of go to recipes.

What are your thoughts on freezer recipes?  Do you have a favorite you would like to share?     

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Meal Ideas For Busy People

By now most schools have gotten started, and along with all that comes the activities, appointments and after school commitments.  So what do you do to keep your family out of the drive thru or from hitting that convenience store for a quick lunch?

Drive Thruphoto credit

You read these great tips I have found for freezer meals and amazing and healthy lunch ideas!

You guessed it, I’m in the same boat as you.  Things get pretty busy around here when school gets started (we are starting Monday), and I don’t have time to be in the kitchen all the time worrying over meals, while I need to be helping the girls with school ….. or washing and folding the never ending laundry.

I found several great articles on lunch ideas, freezer meals and slow cooker freezer meals.  I will be trying some of these over the next couple of months as well as using some of my favorite recipes to help my family stay out of the drive thru.

I will be sharing my experiences, opinions and recipes with you guys, as well as pictures of my work, good or bad.

I will also return to sharing my grocery shopping trips and amounts with you guys again!  I didn’t know everyone liked them so much, but I have gotten so many emails asking for me to start doing this again and I am happy to oblige.

Lunch Ideas photo credit

Rock The Lunchbox has great ideas in pictures to help you get started on packing those lunches.  You can check the boxes towards the top to see ideas for different dietary needs.  There is also a place to print some coupons for healthy lunch additions.

Think Outside The Sandwich is a video over at 100 Days of Real Food.  You will find some great ideas in this video as well as a recipe index for many real food recipes.  You might also find 10 Recipes to Freeze For School Lunches and 10 Ways To Switch Up Your Kids Lunch very useful as well.

The Humbled Homemaker has 5 Easy Real Food School Lunches Ready In 30 Minutes For Less Than $5.

20 Non-Sandwich School Ideas For Kids featured allergy free and gluten free ideas and pictures for getting those lunches packed.

Don’t Waste The Crumbs has a great read on Making Your Own Healthy Homemade Lunchables.

freezer slow cooker freezer meals

New Leaf Wellness shows you how to prepare Five Freezer Slow Cooker Meals in an Hour, as well as Seven Slow Cooker Recipes In an Hour and also How To Stock Your Freezer In Four Hours or Less.  

There is also a list of 25 Freezer Meals That Don’t Require any Cooking Ahead of Time, complete with links to the recipes.  I also found this article on Freezer To Crockpot 101 very helpful.  

Ruth at Living Well Spending Less also has 10 awesome Freezer Meals In an Hour and 7 Easy Tips For Freezer Cooking Like a Pro.

Midget Momma can help you Prep 16 Meals With Fresh Ingredients In About an Hour.

The final link I have for you today has many great recipes, tips and photos in it from Stockpiling Moms.  I think you will really enjoy reading through the whole Freezer Cooking Series.

I hope these ideas can help make meal prep easier for all of you.  I know I got some great ideas from all these amazing bloggers, and I can’t wait to get started and share everything with you.

If you have some recipes, tips or ideas to share, I would love to hear from you either in the comments or by sending me a quick email.  Guest posts are always welcome at Practicing Frugal as long as they meet the needs of the site.

Are you ready to get some meals in the freezer?  Which ones got your attention?

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How Our Family Is Responding To Rising Grocery Prices – Freezing Produce

The USDA Economic Research Service recently published their 2014-2015 Food Price Outlook, and it basically says what we all have probably already noticed at the grocery store, and that is that food prices are rising.

While the USDA ERS states that food prices were relatively flat in 2013, we are noticing the crunch this year as the prices are increasing at a historical norm (about 2.8% per year since 1990), but meat prices will continue to rise due to the Texas/Oklahoma drought and the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus (pork).

So I have been trying to be a bit more diligent about preparing for the price increase.  While I may have to increase our grocery budget this year, but I am going to do all I can to try not to have to increase it too much.

This summer we focused on getting fresh produce in the freezer, whether it was homegrown, purchased from a farm, or on sale at the grocery store.

It is important for me to let you know that this has been a very busy summer for us, but I have managed to put up a record number of items in the freezer, and I even canned some jelly and peaches.  I must say though, that the pictures of these events went away in a very unfortunate wet cell phone death (not so frugal, but never fail I made do with a free used phone).

rising grocery prices

The first thing I have been putting in the freezer is tomatoes.  Yes, I do freeze them whole until I have enough tomatoes and/or time to process them.  I will be cooking these down for tomato sauce that I will freeze in freezer bags.

rising grocery prices

We then made a trip to a fairly local fruit farm and were able to pick 25 lbs blueberries, 46 lbs peaches and 2 lbs blackberries.  After eating blueberries fresh, adding them to yogurt and making muffins and pancakes, I froze the rest in 2 cup portions in freezer bags. I froze them on a cookie sheet before putting them in a bag, which allows me to use less than the entire package, as the berries do not stick together in the bag.

We also ate fresh peaches before canning peach halves and freezing peaches in 2 cup portions in a light simple sugar syrup.

The enormous blackberries were a blessing after spending several days picking tiny small berries in the wild around our house.  My arms looked like I got in a cat fight after picking the wild berries, but they were very good in blackberry cobbler.  I also used some of the big blackberries for a cobbler and then froze the rest the same way I froze the blueberries.

All in all this was a great family fun trip.  We scored the berries for $1.70 a pound and the peaches for $ .99 a pound.

rising grocery pricesOur garden has produced an amazing amount of tomatoes, okra, and grape tomatoes this year.  My lettuce, cucumbers and zucchini did not fare so well.

I did manage to blanch the okra and freeze it in bags for future use.  I had heard that you can freeze the okra without blanching it (makes it easier to cut without it falling apart), but I have not tried it.  Has anyone done this?  Do you have any okra suggestions for me?   I am pretty new to okra, but have found it easy to grow.

rising grocery prices

Our next project was to deal with 145 ears of corn.  What was I thinking when I asked hubby to order 1 bag of corn, and he insisted we get 2!  Crazy I know.  After my back recovered from shucking, blanching, cutting the corn off cobs and packaging for the freezer, I am really glad we purchased all that corn.  This cost us $40 for the 2 big bags.

rising grocery pricesNow our freezer is looking much more prepared for the months to come.  I’m not done yet, I have a few other things up my sleeve to get this freezer stocked, and I plan to share those with you guys as they come around.

What are you doing in response to the rising grocery prices?  Have any ideas you want to share?

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Homemade Chicken Nuggets

My girls like the idea of chicken nuggets, but they never like them when we are out anywhere, so I decided it was time to find a great recipe to make at home.  I searched over many great recipes for homemade chicken nuggets and tried a few different combinations I put together, but this combination won the taste test with my girls.

chicken nuggets

HOMEMADE CHICKEN NUGGETS (PDF Printable Homemade Chicken Nuggets)

Ingredients

1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 1/2 cups corn flakes
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp black pepper
3/4 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp salt
3/4 tsp Creole Seasoning*
1 cup buttermilk *
Non stick spray for baking pan
Cut chicken into 1 1/2 or 2 inch pieces.  Place chicken pieces into buttermilk for 1-2 hours. Place corn flakes, flour, black pepper, paprika, garlic powder, salt and creole seasoning into food processor (or blender) and blend to crumbs.  Pour mixture into plastic bag.  Add chicken a little at a time to bag and shake to coat.  Place on a baking sheet sprayed with non stick spray.  Bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes (or until no longer pink), turn nuggets over after baking for about 20 minutes.

I was able to get 30 chicken nuggets out of this recipe.  The amount you get will depend on the size you cut your chicken.

chicken nuggets

* I use Tony Chachere’s creole seasoning but any will do or you can use seasoned salt, but be sure to reduce salt added to recipe if you use seasoned salt.
* No buttermilk?  Use 1 Tbsp lemon juice (or 1 Tbsp vinegar) placed in measuring cup and then add milk until reaches 1 cup mark.  Stir and let sit for about 5 minutes.

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Freezer Cooking: Putting Homemade Meals In The Freezer

I have been reading other blogger’s freezer cooking posts for a while now, thinking it would be so great to get some meals into the freezer, but an actual day where I just cooked meals for the freezer is not in the realm of possibility for me.  Not only is it just not possible, but I just don’t want to cook all day. Never Ever!  I like cooking, but I think an all day jam session might put me over the top.

Truthfully, I was also putting it off because the image of age old freezer burnt items in the freezer just didn’t appeal to me.

Everything I read kept telling me that freezer cooking is different nowadays.  So I guess that meant I needed to give it a try.

So that’s when I decided that I can do short freezer cooking sessions like Money Saving Mom does in her Freezer Cooking In An Hour Series.  I could even start cooking double meals and freezing the second one.  What an excellent idea.

freezer noodle bake

I started my freezer cooking adventures with this Sour Cream Noodle Bake after watching The Pioneer Woman’s episode on freezer cooking.  I figured if Ree liked it, then I would too, because I haven’t found anything Ree makes that I haven’t liked!

This noodle bake is so simple but yet very delicious.

I doubled the recipe and had a sizeable batch for supper and a 9 x 11 foil pan for the freezer.  I have since made the recipe (doubled) again and froze 1 – 9 x 11 pan and 1 round pan and I had enough for supper.

I did a little freezer cooking research and decided that I would let them cool for no more than 2 hours on the counter and then chill them in refrigerator for a little while before freezing.  This should cut down on ice particles forming on your meals from condensation.

I topped my pans with foil and then secured it with a wrap of plastic wrap.  May be overkill but it would be a waste of money to end up with freezer burnt meals.

freezer cooking

The next night I cooked this Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole and was able to put 2 – 9 x 11 foil pans and one round pan in the freezer.  We also had enough for supper that night. I have made this before (it was my first actual freezer cooking attempt in years) and froze the portions in 4 zipper freezer bags.  This recipe is also simple, but very tasty.

I then made some breakfast for the freezer in the form of Baked French Toast.  This recipe is absolutely delicious.  Maybe too good!  Great for a weekend breakfast for the family.  I added blueberries to the pans before freezing and was able to make 2 foil pans for the freezer with one batch of this recipe.

I also added some cooked ground beef and ground chuck to the freezer for tacos, spaghetti and other recipes needing cooked beef.

We have really enjoyed having some freezer meals or pre-cooked items ready for us.  It has definitely kept us form going out to eat or running to the store a few times.  Not only that, but it’s a great way to save time.  I find that it’s really no more difficult to cook a double or triple batch than it is to cook one.

college girl freezer meals

The round pans were the perfect size for my busy away at college girl.  She doesn’t get much time for much cooking, so these are great for her to have ready and waiting in the freezer.

So now that freezer cooking is a lot more appealing to me, I plan to keep it going.  Trying new recipes and ideas as I go and sharing with my wonderful readers.  I may not always have a bunch of time to get it done, but a little effort here and there will add up to a significant amount.

If you need more ideas, checkout this informative post I did earlier this year on Freezer Cooking to save money in 2013.

Have any freezer cooking recipes or ideas you want to share?    

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Blueberries

Remember these guys?  All 23 pounds of them?

Blueberry Collage

Well I finally got them all taken care of one way or another last week.

jelly, jam & syrup

I made 7 jars of jelly, 7 jars of jam and 12 jars of blueberry syrup.

blueberries

I washed and froze 8 – 2 cup bags of berries.

I did this by washing, straining and then letting the berries dry on towels.  I then placed them on a wax paper lined cookie sheet to freeze for a couple of hours before putting in the bags.  This makes it easier if you only need to use part of the bag.

berries & yogurt

We ate so many blueberries too.  They were so good.  Big girl sent me a text one day while watching her sisters that said “these blueberries are like candy”.  I’m so glad she figured out how good they are!

We ate them with strawberries, yogurt and granola.

We ate them alone.  They were delicious.

Now that they are all put up I am wishing I had more!

Ball Blue Book

If you have never made jelly or jam before, I recommend this book by Ball.  The current version doesn’t have the same picture on the front.  This book is a great resource for recipes and how to can.

I prefer many of the recipes in the book over some that other people have given to me.

Do you like to can or freeze?  What is your favorite thing to can or freeze?  Have any questions about canning or berries?  

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Applesauce Muffins

Last week I saw what looked to be a great recipe for Apple Butter Muffins on Money Saving Mom.  She had came up with her recipe after changing and tweaking this recipe for Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins.

So I took it a bit further and did my own adjustments to make these great applesauce muffins this morning.  They do really taste good and I even forgot to put the topping on them.  So I bet next time they will be even better.

IMG_6260[1]

 

Applesauce Muffins (PDF Printable Applesauce Muffins)
1 Cup Old Fashioned Oats
1 Cup Milk
½ Cup unsweetened applesauce
2 Eggs
½ Cup Whole Wheat Flour
½ Cup All Purpose Flour
½ Cup Brown Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
½ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Salt Raisins or nuts (optional)

Topping:
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Soak the oats in the milk for an hour.

Mix the oat/milk mixture with the eggs and applesauce until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Add the nuts or raisins (optional).

Spoon muffin mixture into greased muffin pan.

Sprinkle tops of muffins with sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until done.

Recipe makes 12 muffins. These muffins freeze well.

applesauce muffins 2

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