Saturday, March 22, 2014

Make Ahead Freezer Egg Muffin and Sqaush Lasagna

Some supplies to get cooking for freezer meals! Not all items were used ;)
Last week, I got on a kick at looking at make ahead freezer recipes. I was trying to plan out how I can make planning meals a little easier for when I started my longest and furthest away rotation...clinical. I love love Pinterest and so many great hits came up when I searched for freezer meals. It was a little overwhelming though looking at recipe lists for 10-25 meals to make at once. I just took what ingredients I needed to use up in my fridge and one trip to Walmart with some fellow intern friends after a seminar class to get ready. If you ever get in a rut in the kitchen or get home from a long day of work, it's nice to grab something out of the freezer and just pop it in the oven or microwave. Some benefits of planning ahead and making freezer meals is that it can save you time, money, and provide more healthier options!

Now, I love breakfast, so breakfast burritos and sandwich it was! I got cooking :). I had a lot of Seminole squash to use from my Dad's garden so squash lasagna got cooking. Planning ahead and freezing meals goes right along with National Nutrition Month's Enjoy the Taste of Eating Right! Plan ahead + making smarter choices = more balanced meals.

 Throwing in a homemade breakfast from the freezer into the microwave for 2 minutes can help fuel those days that might start way to early. My kind of grab-and-go. I loved the inspiration for this quickie recipe from The Yummy Life.

Breakfast Egg Muffin On-the-Go

  • 2 packs of english muffins (I grabbed both whole wheat and white)
  • sliced cheese (I used sharp cheddar and pepper jack varieties)
  • 12 eggs
  • ham (I had left over ham from my fav recipe; you can use whatever floats your boat for this!)
  • sprinkle of black pepper
  • parchment paper

This recipe made a total of 12 sandwiches. Preheat the over to 350F.  Now I had a muffin top pan that I had never used (guilty for owning it for 2+ years). This pan is perfect to bake eggs in to make a neat egg patty. Spray the muffin top tin with cooking spray, add the eggs (you can break the egg yolk to allow it to set flatter), and sprinkle with black pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the eggs have set. Start topping slices of cheese and your choice of meat on the English muffins. Top with the eggs and wrap with parchment paper! Add the wrapped sandwiches to a freezer bag and label with date and food item. Enjoy later by throwing it into the microwave wrapped for 2-3 minutes.

Savory Squash Lasagna

  •  Squash; pretty much any kind (I made close to 14 cups of the squash sauce and froze about 6 cups for future recipes)
  • chicken or vegetable stock
  • whole wheat lasagna noodles, uncooked
  • 4-5 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 2 eggs 
  • 16oz ricotta, low fat
  • Parmesan cheese
  • spinach, (use as much as you want)
  • freezer friendly pan

To make this recipe short and sweet, have fun with lasagna! Don't worry about exact measurements and just layer. Ok, so I wanted lasgana for two so I cooked a batch in a bread tin and used the rest for the freeze ahead batch.

To get started, preheat the oven to 415F. I peeled and cubed the Seminole squash (this took awhile). I then roasted the squash (a little olive oil and paprika) for about 40 minutes or until it was easily pierced with a fork. Mix about 2 cups of mozzarella, 2 eggs, Parmesan cheese (about 1/3 cup), and 16oz of ricotta cheese. Set aside.Once the roasted squash has cooled, add it to a blender in batches with some chicken/vegetable stock till you get to the desired consistency.  I made a very large batch of lasagna to freeze so I used about 5-6 cups of sauce. Spray your disposable pan of choice and start layering with sauce first. Once you have layered the sauce, add cheese, spinach, noodles, and ricotta cheese mixture in layers. Top with sauce and cheese. Double wrap with tin foil, label, and freeze. To cook frozen, preheat oven to 400 for 65-70 minutes. Or you can pull it out the night before and put it in the fridge then cook for 50-60 minutes.

Ready to freeze!

I'm getting kinda excited thinking about what I'm gonna make with the 6 cups of left over squash sauce now. Hope you have a happy and healthy weekend! I, of course also had make Roasted and Crunchy Squash Seeds when I gutted the squash.



Your doc pic of the week :).

Trip home last weekend to race Shamrock half marathon and visit my family :)