As we are adjusting to this newfound reality, many of us are buying groceries and foods we aren’t familiar with in bulk. While this is a method of grocery shopping is helpful when we are leaving our homes less, there is no doubt an abundance of leftover groceries that may end up being wasted in my refrigerator. I try to be sustainable and produce very little waste, so I created the recipe roundup below to help you maximize the ingredients you have on hand to reduce waste.
Throughout this recipe roundup, I hope to introduce you to a few unique step-by-step recipes that you can make during your free time. Each recipe is outlined with the intention that you place it in your freezer and save it for later. Having well-prepared meals using your bulk-sized ingredients is a great way to stay sustainable. After trying this on your own, tell us what you think by using the hashtag #sharphome on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter and tagging @SharpHomeUSA.
Now it’s time to clean out your freezers and make room and begin!
Chicken and Broccoli Alfredo
One thing that you should know about me is that my great-grandparents are from Italy, which means that pasta runs through my DNA. My whole life I have been an avid fan of different pasta dishes. I felt like I had no other option but to start this recipe round off with a chicken and broccoli alfredo bake. Straight from “Freezer Meals 101”, this creamy and well-balanced creation is perfect for any weeknight, and will for sure satisfy your taste buds.
Grab the following ingredients and let’s get cooking.
- Chicken Breasts, boneless, skinless, cooked, and cubed (2-3)
- Penne pasta (1 lb.)
- Broccoli, steamed and coarsely chopped (1 cup)
- Shredded parmesan cheese (1 cup and ½ cup, please separate from one another)
- Heavy whipping cream (16 oz.)
- Butter (8 tbsp.)
- Egg yolks (2)
If you are as excited as I am, I know you are eager to start assembling this tasty creation. Let’s keep going together!
- Over medium heat in a saucepan, melt the butter and use a whisk to mix in the heavy cream.
- Next, add in the egg yolk add in the 1 cup of cheese, saving the rest for a little bit.
- Let the mixture simmer for about 5 minutes and set it aside. You are going to want to preheat the oven to 350°.
- Grab a large pot and cook the penne pasta. It freezes a bit better you may want to cook it slightly underdone.
- Once you have drained the pasta and placed it back into the pot, pour about half of the sauce you made into the pot and toss the pasta, toasting it.
- Mix in the broccoli and chicken. Don’t worry, we are almost done!
- Place the creation and transfer it from the pot to a 9×13 pan. Then spread the remaining parmesan cheeses around it.
- It is recommended that you cover up the creation with two layers of tin foil, then putting it in the freezer.
After a busy day, leaving little time for food preparation, you have now prepared and are ready to finally enjoy your new obsession. When ready, take your newfound creation out of the freezer and let it defrost for a bit. Lastly, bake for about 30 minutes, set the table, and most importantly enjoy!
This quarantine could serve as an excuse for me to binge eat and not exercise as much. However, I believe that using this newfound downtime at home is the perfect time to emphasize and practice the importance of living a holistic and healthy lifestyle. I have been working out at home, going outside for some fresh air, and most importantly making the right choices of what I put into your body. This veggie soup recipe from “Love and Lemons” serves as a more mindful dinner option.
This recipe does require quite a few ingredients but will pay off in the end. Perfect for any time, especially a busy night or rainy day, I think there is nothing better to do than to grab what we need and get started.
- Vegetable broth (4 cups)
- Chopped kale (1 ½ cups)
- Halved cherry tomatoes (1 cup)
- Chopped green beans (1 cup)
- Dry white wine (1/4 cup)
- Extra-virgin olive oil (2 tbsp.)
- Balsamic or white wine vinegar (2 tbsp.)
- Dried oregano (2 tsp.)
- Red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp.)
- Chopped garlic cloves (4)
- Bay leaves (2)
- Diced medium yellow onion (1)
- Diced medium diced carrot (1)
- Diced small sweet potato (1)
- Diced zucchini (1)
- Sea salt and fresh black pepper
- 14.5-ounce can dice fire-roasted tomatoes
- 15-ounce can drain chickpeas
Now that we have gathered and prepped all our essentials, let the 30-minute countdown begin!
- First, you are going to want to heat up the oil in a pot over medium heat. In that, you are going to add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, several grinds of pepper. Stir for about 8 minutes.
- Next, add in the carrots and sweet potatoes. Stir for an additional two minutes.
- Then, add the wine. Cook it for 30 seconds and then add the canned tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes. You are also going to stir in the broth and bay leaves. Bring it to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cook it covered for approximately 20 minutes.
- Stir the cherry tomatoes, green beans, zucchini, chickpeas, and then cover it up while cooking for about 10-15 minutes. Make sure that the green beans are tender.
- Finally, stir in the vinegar, kale, and another 1/4 teaspoon of salt and more pepper.
Well ah! All your hard work has paid off. Now wrap it up, put it in a freezer, and save it for a rainy day!
Sweet and Sour Meatloaf
This protein-filled and juicy creation from “Taste from Home” calls for the classic dish, a sweet and sour meatloaf. As I mentioned before, precooking these meals are a perfect way to stick and discipline yourself to stick to meals that are good for you. Throughout thorough research for recipes in this roundup, it was nothing but appropriate to put this staple creation into the mix, as it is loved and adored by many. You know the drill, grab the ingredients, and get excited!
- Ground beef (1 ½ lb.)
- Dry breadcrumbs (1 cup)
- Sugar (1/2 cup)
- Brown sugar (2 tbsps.)
- Cider vinegar (2 tbsps.)
- Prepared mustard (2 tsp.)
- Salt (1 tsp.)
- Dried minced onion (1 tsp.)
- Pepper (1/4 tsp.)
- Lightly beaten large eggs (2)
- Tomatoes sauce (15 oz./1 can)
Here we go!
- Grab a large bowl and combine the breadcrumbs, salt, pepper, and eggs. Chop the beef up and sprinkle it over top, mixing it.
- Add in the onion and about half of the tomato sauce. Press it into a 9×5 in. loaf pan.
- Bake it at 350° for approximately 50 minutes. In a separate saucepan, mix the sugars, mustard, vinegar, and the rest of the tomato sauce, bringing it to a boil.
- Pour it over the meatloaf until there is no pink left and the thermometer shows 165°.
- To freeze it properly, wrap the pan in plastic wrap and foil. The night before you plan to indulge, allow it to thaw in the refrigerator. Next, you can unwrap it and reheat on a baking pan, preheat the oven at 350°. Once the thermostat in the center 165°, take it out and let it cool.
Homemade Ice Cream
One of my favorite things about dinner is what comes after. You guessed it, I am talking about dessert. Ever since I was little, my parents always had to keep a tub of vanilla ice cream in the freezer just in case I came home with an A on my spelling test (it is amazing what you remember after all these years). While trips to the grocery stores may become not so frequent and ice cream may not be considered an essential, even though I disagree, it still doesn’t mean you can’t whip together your appetizing creation and cure your sweet tooth.
This amazing homemade vanilla ice cream recipe from “Bare Feet in the Kitchen”, I challenge you to head to the kitchen and create this creamy dessert. You will need a few things first!
- Heavy cream (1 ¾ cups)
- Whole milk (1 ¼ cups)
- Sugar (3/8 cup)
- Vanilla extract (1 tbsp.) or vanilla bean (1)
- Fine sea salt (1/8 tsp.)
Just through writing this, I am craving ice cream. Let’s continue!
- Take a cup of cream and pour it into a saucepan, saving the rest for later, and add in the salt and sugar.
- Split the vanilla bean in half along the length. Scrape the seeds from the bean and place it into the pot. Warm up the mixture using medium heat to let the sugar dissolve.
- After removing the heat, add the rest of the cream into the mix along with the milk and vanilla extract. Stir them together and place them in the fridge.
- After a bit and when it is ready to turn, take it out of the fridge and remove the vanilla pod. Whisk the mixture and put it into an ice cream maker. Once finished, place your creation into a container and freeze it.
I think after I finish this recipe roundup, I am going to make myself some dinner as all these recipes and creations look satisfying and appetizing. To wrap up, this lasagna roll-up recipe from “Southern Living” not only looks like it will melt in my mouth but brings back a bit of nostalgia. It brings me back to when I would visit my great aunt in Brooklyn for Easter Sunday.
This cheesy dish topped with parmesan cheese is an ideal dish for any holiday, occasion, or simple Tuesday night. As noted before, pasta runs in my DNA therefore this freezable dish shows nothing but potential. Let’s do this one last time!
- Uncooked lasagna noodles (10)
- Finely chopped sweet onion (1 cup)
- Low-fat ricotta cheese (1 cup)
- Torn fresh basil (1/4 cup)
- Shredded parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)
- Olive oil (2 tbsps.)
- Sugar (1 ½ tsp.)
- Dried crush red pepper (1/4 tsp.)
- 1/3-less-fat softened cream cheese (2 oz.)
- Minced and divided garlic cloves (3)
- 24 oz. jar of tomato and basil sauce (1)
- 14 oz. can baby artichoke, drained and quartered (1)
- Lightly beaten egg white (1)
Get your freezer ready!
- First, preheat your oven to 350°. Separately cook and boil the lasagna noodles according to the instructions on the box. It is best for freezing if you cook it al dente. Drain the pasta without rinsing it and arrange a single layer on a piece of aluminum or waxed paper.
- Next, sauté the onion in hot oil in a saucepan over medium heat for approximately 7-8 minutes.
- Add 2/3 of minced garlic (saving the rest for later), cooking and mixing it at a 1-minute constant. Stir in the tomato sauce, sugar, and crushed red pepper. Once it is brought to a boil, reduce the heat. Stir it for about 5 minutes and remove once done.
- Then, stir the ricotta and cream cheese. Once it is smooth, drop in the artichoke hearts, the lightly battened egg, fresh, parmesan cheese, and the rest of the minced garlic.
- Spread ¼ cup of cheese mixtures onto each noodle, followed by rolling them up, placing them into a greased baking dish seam side down. Spread tomato sauce over each noodle.
- Finally, cover it and bake it at 350° for approximately 45- minutes (until it is bubbly and heated). After letting it cool for 5 minutes, enjoy it and save it for later (even though it may be tempting to have a piece.)
Now before you start, I highly recommend clearing out your freezer and making room for these awesome recipes and dishes. Hopefully, throughout this recipe roundup, you were able to find great use for your natural ingredients eliminating trips to the grocery store.
If you try one of these recipes, we would love to hear about it. Tell us using #sharphome. Let the cooking begin!