Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Lending a Helping Hand

As many of you know, my mom fell at work early this week and broke her arm, right where it connects into the shoulder. OUCH! She has as swag (the kind of sling that goes around your shoulder AND your waist, so you can’t move it AT ALL) on for 6-8 weeks! Which means she really can’t do anything, like put her hair in a ponytail, zip up a jacket, drive, work, or cook.

My mom was supermom as I was growing up (she still is!). She was a stay-at-home mom who was always there for us… and I broke my arm 4 times! Yes, 4 times. I broke my leg once, slammed my fingers in the car door, had vocal nogels (like calluses on your vocal cords), multiple surgeries,  basically above and beyond all the normal tasks of being a full time mommy, my mom also had to spend a HUGE amount of time babying me after injuries.

And now it’s my turn! I am so glad to be able to return the favor and help my parent’s out when they are in need (it’s not very often that I get to do that!) Not that my dad’s not a GREAT cook (Dad, if you are reading this, you make the world’s best grilled cheese, don’t let anybody take that away from you!), but I am pretty sure after a week of my dad’s rotation of Mac N’ Cheese, Grilled Cheese, Hamburger, back to Ma N’ Cheese, my mom would go crazy.

So I took this opportunity to bless my wonderful parents by making them some nutritious, healthy Freezer Meals. It only took me about 2 hours to do the shopping and make these meals. A very small sacrifice to help out someone in need.

Do you know someone who just had a baby? Just had surgery? Is dealing with a loss? Struggling to make end meet? It could be someone in your family, your church family, a co-worker, a neighbor, just about anyone! What better way to show the love of Christ, than to reach out to them with a ready made meal and a card letting them know you are thinking about them and praying for them? After all, the bible says:

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.  - Philippians 2:1-4

I decided to make my mom the three following Freezer meals.

Chicken Divan
Spinach Pasta w/ Meat Sauce
Butternut Squash Soup

Here are the recipes! I hope you can find someone to bless with these recipes, or make them for your family, stick them in the freezer and pull them out on a “I don’t want to cook” day! In the madness of trying to cook all this, I forgot to take pictures, but I did get this one of the after math:

Chicken Divan (Freezer Meal) adapted from  Passionate Homemaking (NOT GF or DF)
2 or more cups cooked brown rice
2 bunches fresh broccoli, chopped
3 cups cooked chicken, cubed
2 cans cream of mushroom soup (here is a homemade, healthy version)
½ cup mayonnaise
1-2 tsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp curry
½ cup grated cheese
½-3/4 cup bread crumbs

Combine soup (whether canned or homemade) with mayo, lemon and curry. Keep the mixture relatively thin by adding further milk or water. Additional salt may be necessary.
Grease a 13×9 pan. Layer rice, followed by broccoli and then the chicken. Pour creamed soup mixture over the broccoli. Sprinkle cheese on top. Combine crumbs and butter, sprinkle over all. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. For freezer cooking, leave unbaked and cover to freeze. If frozen, you may have to cook 1 hr or longer.
Spinach Pasta w/ Meat Sauce (Freezer Meal)

1 onion (diced)
1 Red Pepper (diced)
1 15 oz Can Tomato Sauce (organic or homemade)
1 15 oz Can Diced Tomatoes (organic or homemade)
2  Cup Spinach
1lb ground beef (grass-fed)
16 oz Grated Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
1 16 oz package of gluten free pasta (swirl pasta or the like)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 Tsp Oregano
2 Tsp Basil

Fry onion and red pepper together in a lightly oiled (coconut oil) skillet, until tender (about 5 minutes) Set onion and pepper to the side.
Cook and drain meat. Add Tomato sauce, tomatoes, peppers and onions, spinach, and spices to meat. Simmer for 15 minutes.

While that is simmering, Cook Pasta until it is almost done, about 2 minutes less than the package recommends. Drain Pasta and combine with meat sauce.

Divide into two casserole dishes, top with mozzarella cheese (optional). Bake one dish at 350 degrees or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Freeze the other dish, up to three months. To cook frozen dish, thaw in refrigerator over night. Set out of Frig 30 minutes before baking.

Butternut Squash Soup (adapted from this recipe on The Nourishing Gourmet) 
This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled for a larger batch!

About a 1 to 1 1/2lb butternut squash, peeled, deseeded, and cubed
1 onion, chopped
1/4 cup of coconut oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoon basil
2 teaspoon rosemary
1 Teaspoon salf
 pepper to taste
3 cup of chicken broth
A few dashes of white wine

In a large saucepan, heat the oil until hot and add onions. Cook over med-high heat, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two, ff you are using the white wine, add at this point and cook for another minute

Add the butternut squash, the basil and rosemary, 1 cup of the chicken broth, salt and pepper. Cover, bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for about ten minutes, until the squash is fork tender.

Lightly squish the butternut squash pieces with your fork, then transfer to a blender or food processor. Add the additional 2 cups of chicken broth and blend until smooth and creamy.  

Let the soup cool to room temperature, then poor into a zip lock bag and freeze!

I hope that this inspires you to bless someone you know. To use the gifts that God has lavished upon us all to encourage and support the people in your life!

No comments:

Post a Comment