I’ve been thinking about freezer-friendly meals this week. I’m working for London 2012 this summer, and with the Games fast approaching I’ll be beginning some very early starts and very late (post-midnight) finishes in the coming days.
When I’m tired, the last thing I want to be doing is spending extra time whipping up a healthy meal, so I set off to Tesco this morning to stock up on delicious things to pre-prepare, freeze and zap in the microwave when hunger strikes.
On my return from the shops I dragged the trusty crockpot slow cooker down from the top of the pantry and filled it with diced chicken, vegetables and some bits from the herb cupboard. After a good six hours of slow cooking, it became creamy chicken and vegetable casserole with parsley dumplings.
Creamy chicken and vegetable casserole
600g diced chicken breast
2 tablespoons of plain flour
600ml chicken stock
1 brown onion, chopped
1 cup diced celery
1 roughly chopped carrot
A handful of broccoli florets
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup button mushrooms, quartered
A handful of frozen peas
3 cloves of garlic, minced
A dozen small new potatoes, chopped into chunks
Coat the diced chicken breast in flour, panfry until browned.
Pour in chicken stock and bring to the boil.
Pop into the slow cooker with the thyme, potatoes, carrot, broccoli, mushrooms, peas.
Throw the garlic, onion and celery into the frypan and soften before adding to the slow cooker.
Put the lid on and leave to simmer for six hours.
Strain the casserole stock into a pan, reduce, add a small can of condensed milk.
Reduce until creamy and add to the chicken and vegetables
Serve as is, or with the addition of some yummy parsley dumplings…
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons of dried or fresh parsley
Mix everything up.
Drop the dough balls into the casserole.
Simmer gently for a few minutes, then cover again and cook undisturbed until the dumplings are puffy. Poke with a skewer to ensure they’re cooked.
I’m planning to also do a batch of spinach, feta and tomato savoury muffins for the freezer – makes for very easy snacking.
I’d love to hear suggestions for other (healthy!) meals I can prepare in advance and stash in the freezer – thoughts?