Chicken Apple Sausage, Kale and Rice Soup – OAMC, Dairy Free

My husband was hungry for this recipe this weekend, so I dug through the archives and found it.  We all enjoyed it (well, except one child), so I thought I’d share it again!

Two things have been abundant in our Tuesday CSA delivery–kale and beets.  Kale is a powerhouse vegetable, but I wanted to find a way to incorporate it into our diet that our kids would like.  (They are great about eating spinach, but kale and Swiss chard have a heartier texture and taste, which they are slowly adapting to.)  I recently found this recipe on food.com, so I adapted it to make a bigger size and add more vegetables.

We loved it and have already made several freezer meals of this that we plan to enjoy in the winter months.

One note–the apple chicken sausage is essential.  The sweet flavor of the apple permeates the entire soup and creates a lovely complement to the vegetables.  I use Trader Joe’s apple chicken sausage.

Apple Chicken Sausage, Kale and Rice Soup

  • 1/2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 3 stalks of celery, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tsp. dry Italian seasoning
  • 5 chicken apple sausages, cut length-wise in 4 and then diced
  • 5 cups chicken broth (I use homemade)
  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • salt and pepper to taste

–Pull the kale off the stem and tear into bite size pieces.  Soak in a bowl of cold water to remove all of the dirt debris.

–Heat oil in a large stock pot.

–Add the onions, carrots, celery and garlic cloves.  Sautee until tender.

–Add the Italian seasoning and stir for one minute.

–Add the sausage and let cook for a few minutes, until the sausage is browned on each side and the juices have been released.  Stir occasionally.

–Add the chicken broth and let the mixture come to a boil.

–Drain the kale, rinse, and add to the boiling pot of soup.

–Add the rice and return the mixture to a boil.

–Turn down the heat to a gently simmer, cover and let cook for 15 minutes.

Enjoy!

I shared this post at Tempt My Tummy Tuesday, Scratch Cookin’ Tuesday, Tasty Traditions, Gluten Free Fridays, and Try a New Recipe Tuesday.

Ways to Save When Buying a Chest Freezer – A Guest Post

The following is a guest post.

When reading frugal tips, inevitably one will see tips revolving around freezer storage.  The problem is that most freezers above the refrigerator are suitable for weekly groceries, but not bulk freezing.

If you plan to save money by bulk freezing items, the freezer will pay for itself in a year or less.  Most storage freezers that would adequately serve a family of four, cost from $200 to $300.  However, there are ways to trim the cost.

  1. See if your grocery store runs a freezer deal.  In the area I live, one store regularly runs a special on freezers.  For a couple of weeks in the winter, they offer freezers such as the Hotpoint Freezer on sale for $160.  You buy it right at the grocery store.  In return, they give you $160 in coupons for frozen products.  If you play the game carefully, you can end up making money by saving the coupons until the items are on sale buy one get one free.  You use the coupon for the one you have to buy and get the other one for free.  By the end of the year, you have saved more than $160 with the coupons, not including the savings you are reaping from buying fresh fruits, etc. in bulk and preserving for later use in your freezer.
  2. Look on Craigslist or Freecycle to see if someone is selling a freezer cheaply.  Some good brand American Fridge Freezers include Panasonic and Hotpoint.  You do have to be careful with this tip though.  Often newer freezers are more energy efficient.  I wouldn’t buy a used freezer unless it was less than 5 years old.
  3. Put out the word to friends and family.  Chances are good that someone you know has a freezer they no longer use and would like to get rid of.  Put out the word and see if you can strike up a deal with a family member or friend.

Yes, you could go out and just buy a freezer, but if you use some of these tips, you should be able to save money when buying a freezer and save long term when you are able to stock up on fruit, breads, and meats such as chicken and beef when they are at rock bottom prices.  Don’t forget, you can also freezer cook and save yourself time every night too!

Sesame Chicken Nuggets – OAMC

We have been trying out recipes for the last couple of weeks, and quite a few of them have made it into our regular rotation of meals. 

This past weekend, I had a freezer cooking day, and one of the dishes was a hit–Sesame Chicken Nuggets.  I got this recipe from my series of 30 Meals in One Day cookbooks, which is a great freezer cooking resource.

Sesame Chicken Nuggets

1/2 cup dry bread crumbs (I simply toasted three pieces of bread and then ground them down in a food processor to make the crumbs)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. minced dry onion
2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed

In a bowl, combine dry bread crumbs and sesame seeds

In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, mustard and onion.

Coat chicken with mayonnaise mixture and then roll in bread crumb mixture.  Place on a greased, foil lined baking sheet.

Bake at 425 degrees for 10 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through. 

Allow to cool completely.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze.  Transfer to a freezer bag.

To reheat, microwave, or, for crispier chicken, reheat in a toaster oven.

Enjoy!

Thai Style Turkey OAMC Dairy Free

I’ll be the first to admit that this dish looks bland.  Don’t let the picture fool you, though.  It is delicious!

I got this recipe from The Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, but ironically it is not a slow cooker recipe.  I was doubtful of how it would taste when I pulled the meal from the freezer after my freezer cooking bout three weeks ago, but it was delicious!  This recipe is definitely a keeper.

Thai-Style Turkey

2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. sesame oil
1 tsp. cornstarch
non-stick cooking spray
1 small onion, diced
1 red sweet pepper, cut into thin strips
12 oz. cooked turkey, cut into bite size strips
1 clove garlic
2 cups hot cooked rice

-For sauce, in a small bowl combine 2/3 cup water, the soy sauce, honey, sesame oil, and cornstarch; set aside.

-Coat a large skillet or wok with nonstick cooking spray.  Cook and stir onion and sweet pepper over medium heat until tender.  Stir in the turkey and garlic.  Stir in sauce.  Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Cook and stir for two minutes more.  Serve over rice.

To make this a OAMC dish, I just briefly stirred everything together with the sauce; I did not let it thicken and get bubbly.  (I did that when I took it from the freezer and reheated it to serve.)  Then I put it in a freezer bag, sealed and froze.  We made the rice on the day we served it.

**Most of us do not like spicy dishes, so I altered the recipe some.  If you like spice, feel free to add curry powder and crushed red pepper.  Enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie – OAMC

This is another dish from one of my favorite once a month cooking cookbooks, Don’t Panic Dinner’s in the Freezer.

1-10 oz. pkg. frozen mixed veggies
½ cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
¼ c. butter
1/3 cup flour
½ t. salt
¼ t. sage
1/8 t. pepper
2 cups water
¾ cup milk
1 tbsp. chicken bouillon
3 cups cooked chicken

Cook veggies according to package directions; drain. Cook mushrooms in butter until tender, but not brown. Stir in flour, salt, sage and pepper. Add water, milk and bouillon granules all at once. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1-2 minutes more. Stir in drained cooked vegetables, chicken or turkey; heat until bubbly. Freeze. (I use this method to maximize freezer space.)

On cooking day, thaw completely. I use two store bought pie crusts. Put the mix in the bottom one and put the other crust on top and pinch the sides closed. Bake in pie shell in 400 degree oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. This recipe makes two standard 9 inch pies or 1 deep dish pie.

I shared this post at $5 Dinners, Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays & The Grocery Cart Challenge.