Monday, December 29, 2014

Minestrone soup

Before my maternity leave is over I decided I wanted to try to do some freezer cooking. If I could find some recipes that were successful, maybe that would make going back to work easier.  I had tried this one time when we were still in the apartment and it was a disaster. We had 4 recipes of food that came out mushy and I didn't think tasted good. Not only that, we had gallon size bags of the multiple servings in our tiny apartment freezer to threw away when we moved to the house. 

I used my lovely Pinterest board that I had recently organized (thanks to 2 am feedings) into freezer cooking/crockpot recipes. I pulled 4 recipes that I wanted to try and I had one recipe that a friend had give us when they brought over a meal right after Abigail was born. 

I made my grocery list and double checked what I had in the pantry. Do you know how much effort that takes with a 3 month old? This part took me 3 days alone. Maybe I'll be fancy and make a grocery list for the 5 meals one day... But not today.  It took 2 and a half hours of cooking and a ton of dirty dishes... But it was a success. :) we've tried all 5 and they are all yummy. 

The 5 recipes were:
-white enchilada bake
-baked ziti
-slow cooker chili
-chicken cacciatore 
-minestrone soup 

I started by getting the meats cooking on the stove. I put ground turkey and chicken on first. Then I started slicing the and chopping all the veggies. I focused on following the recipe for the soup and getting that going because my brain was only capable of handling that without getting overloaded.  Then I would focus on the other meals.

Once the soups was good to go, I started making homemade marinara sauce. 3 of the recipes called for jars of spaghetti sauce... But I'm a spaghetti sauce snob so I made my own following this recipe. It was really easy and smelled delicious!  At the Nutcracker Market, I got this really cool gadget that minces garlic in an amazing way.  It has really changed the way I cook with garlic... way easy!

When I had the marinara sauce ready, the meat and pasta I needed cooked and the veggies chopped, it was a matter of assembling the rest of the recipes. 

Here is the minestrone recipe, thanks again Kaitlyn!  I'll post the other recipes soon. 

-2 lbs ground turkey
-2 carrots
-1 large bell pepper (I used green)
-1 medium onion
-3 sticks of celery
-2 large zucchinie
-1 squash
-2 cups mushroom
-1 cup ditalini pasta
-1 can light kidney beans 
-1 can diced tomatoes 
-1 can tomatoe sauce
-1 quart beef broth
-6-8 cups water
-2 T dried oregano
-2 bay leaves 
-2 T minced garlic

Peel and chop all veggies. Brown turkey. Throw everything but mushrooms and pasta. Simmer for 20 minutes, add mushrooms and pasta (I goofed and put the whole box instead of 1 cup... Big difference but still yummy. Use what you want, either way is good) and cook for 10-15 minutes more. Serve with parmesian cheese and bread.

Note: use a LARGE pot, it makes a ton! 
I'll post the other recipes soon.  BTW, this is more for my documentation so the next time I freezer cook, I can remember what I did.  I hope you enjoy too.

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