Most of the time when I get together with my friends we go out for dinner, but last week we got together and made dinner. And not just one meal, we cooked three different dishes and made enough for us to each have several portions to take home and freeze. We had a great time catching up and sharing our stories from the holidays while we all worked together cooking. We will definitely be doing this more often!
It is a great feeling knowing you have a freezer full of food so you do not have to worry about throwing together a last minute meal, or go through the drive-thru somewhere. Keeping your freezer stocked will save you money, and help you make healthier choices for you and your family. This would be a great way to help a friend who is about to have a baby, someone who has been sick or has a sick family member, or for a birthday gift. Who would complain about meals that keep in their freezer and defrost when they are ready to use? Your options are endless; you can make muffins, pancakes, pasta, stir-fry, soup, and even desserts. That is just to name a few! You don’t have to plan a day to do this, next time you make a meal that can be frozen go ahead and batch a double batch and freeze the leftovers. It’ll save you lots of time down the road!
The first meal I will post from our stock the freezer afternoon is Amy’s Chicken Noodle Soup. Soup is the perfect thing to stock up on in the cold winter months and a great way to get more vegetables into your child’s diet. Making soup is also a great way to use up vegetables that are about to go bad in the refrigerator. There is nothing better on a cold day than a large bowl of hot soup and a grilled cheese to dip in it!
It’s cool, rainy and I have a little one under the weather. Thankfully I had this in the freezer waiting for a day like today! The girls enjoyed warm soup and a grilled cheese on homemade bread. I have the soup in the cappuccino cup from Pottery Barn. It really is the perfect bowl for soup!
|Amy’s Chicken Noodle Soup||
- 4 large chicken breast, boneless and skinless
- 5 quarts chicken broth, low sodium
- 2 medium onion, diced
- 3 cups carrot, diced
- 3 cups celery, diced
- 3 large, garlic clove minced
- 4 large bay leaf
- 1 T. chicken base
- 1 cup elbow macaroni, whole wheat or small pasta
- 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 1/2 cup quinoa, uncooked
- 2 T. olive oil
- Heat a large pot over high heat with olive oil. Add onion, carrot, celery, garlic and saute until softened. Add chicken broth and bring to a boil.
- Add whole chicken breasts and reduce to a simmer. Cook until chicken is no longer pink in the middle about 20 min. Remove chicken from pot and set aside to cool.
- Remove and discard bay leaves. Add pasta and quinoa and bring up to a medium boil until pasta and quinoa are tender – about 15 min.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. If you want to add a deeper chicken flavor you can add the chicken base right into the soup and stir to dissolve. Sprinkle chopped parsley in soup and stir.
- Enjoy along with a nice hot crusty loaf of French bread.
This soup is easily adaptable to meet other dietary needs. Leave out the chicken and add more quinoa for a vegetarian version. Or one step further, use vegetable stock for vegan version. If you need gluten-free, use gluten-free noodles and stock.