Menu Planning // Frozen Basics

My freezer is literally always filled to the brim with "just in case" items. I thoroughly believe in hoarding what you can, and then buying fresh to fill in the gaps. As you follow these recipes and menus every week, hopefully you can build up your pantry to be stocked and ready for all kinds of dinners! The frozen basics we'll use this week are: peas and carrot mix, broccoli, and peas by themselves. I love all of these because they're 1) super useful 2) not gross when thawed 3) suuuuuuper affordable (like, $1 per bag). I will also add, I'll mention potstickers a few times this week... which is one of my Trader Joes frozen favorites, so feel free to add those to your grocery list if you like! 

FROZEN BASICS MENU

SHRIMP FRIED RICE

MONGOLIAN BEEF AND BROCCOLI

COCONUT SHRIMP OVER RICE

ALFREDO PASTA WITH PEAS 

CAULIFLOWER CHIPOTLE SOUP

"LEFTOVER" CASSEROLE

SHORTCUT CHICKEN POT PIE

 



As per usual, feel free to make these recipes in any order you like, keeping in mind that I've given you tips for which days or what order they may be better in :) Before anything else, make a TON of rice, because you'll need it all week. I made mine in the crockpot (which was awesome!) since we don't have a rice cooker. I'm attempting to be healthier so I made a ton of brown rice... and for someone who normally thinks it tastes like mushy dog food... it really wasn't bad. Find the awesome recipe here to make sure your brown rice turns out perfect. 

Shrimp Fried Rice 

I'm sorry if you're sick of my "side dishes can be main courses" obsession, but I just love appetizers and sides. The healthy (scary) brown rice was TOTALLY delicious (hidden) in this recipe! Hmmm maybe that's because I doused it with soy sauce....  Oh, and feel free to add some pot stickers (frozen aisle baby!) to this dish if you need more variety. 

Mongolian Beef and Broccoli

Okay, I'm not gonna lie to you guys... I wasn't feeling well the night we made this, so I left Chase in charge of the Mongolian sauce (and everything) and the sauce sort of.... overcooked...and uh.. turned to tar. Like, it ruined my whisk and he had to go to Anthropologie to buy me a new one. I mean, not to rat him out or anything, but I genuinely don't know if it was user error or recipe error - so watch your sauce! I ended up running to Target to get store bought sauce... oh well, it was still delicious. Follow the recipe, green onions are optional, and add the frozen broccoli! 

Coconut Shrimp over Rice

This recipe was a new one for me, and it was super easy to make, especially since I just used leftover rice! Feel free to make this on a night where time is of the essence! 

Homemade {cauliflower} Alfredo Pasta with Peas

Use this recipe on a night you want to wow a crowd! I got the Alfredo recipe from the Smitten Kitchen, but any homemade recipe will do fine. I also steamed my extra cauliflower (since I halved the soup recipe below), blended it, and added it to my sauce to thicken it up. Also, I'm lazy and I used dried parsley instead of fresh - totally acceptable. 

Cauliflower Chipotle Soup

Follow the recipe, but add a little less chipotle if your family hates spicy - it was pretty strong! Also, I threw mine in the crockpot on a busy day and it turned out great! 

"Leftover" Casserole

Again, no lies here... this casserole grosses me out just a littttttle bit to make (who likes looking or smelling mayo?!) but it's really yummy once it's all cooked! Use your leftover rice and cheddar from the soup. I use panko bread crumbs instead of corn flakes, because again, I find an ick factor there. Cereal belongs with milk. 

Shortcut Chicken Pot Pie

3-4 chicken breasts

3 T. butter

1 yellow onion, diced

salt and pepper to taste 

small box of mushrooms, chopped

1/3 c. flour

2 c. chicken (or veggie) broth

1 c. heavy cream

1 c. frozen peas and carrots

Heat oven to 450. Poach chicken, and cool and cut up into chunks. Melt butter in large pan, add in onions and mushrooms. Once soft, add flour, stirring until bubbly. Gradually add broth and cream. Bring to a boil, stirring and cooking for 1 minute. Add peas and carrots, then cut up chicken. Place mixture in 9x13 casserole dish. Top with scoops of biscuit dough, and cook for 20 minutes (recipe for biscuits below). 

BISCUIT DOUGH: Combine 1.5 cups flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 3/4 tsp. salt, and 2 tbsp dried parsley flakes. Cut in 1/3 c. butter or shortening, and then add 3/4 cup milk. Stir until combined.