Wednesday, November 2, 2016

"Freezer Dump Meal" Cooking Session #2

More 'Dumping'...!

10 more plant-based/oil-free, ready-to-cook meals for my freezer

My adventures in the McDougallizing (plant-based/oil-free) of "Freezer Dump Meals" experiments continues.

Meal assembly, in progress -- all 10 bags at once

 10 more minimal-prep, plant-based/oil-free 'dump' meals for my freezer, for a total of 14 meals (Freezer Dump, AKA as "Freezer-to-Slow Cooker", are meals that require minimal prep beyond peeling, chopping and measuring, with (mostly) raw ingredients 'dumped' into multiple bags assembly-line style, to be stacked and frozen until cooking day). 

The theme this time around the theme was Black Beans.  Being as that I like to be as cheap and health conscious as possible, I cooked up a huge batch from dry (rather than using canned) in my Instant Pot electric pressure cooker to use in all these meals.

Minimal prep, ready-to-cook
 In the middle we have four bags of "Salsa Verde Chicken", by New Leaf Wellness

I did have to make some significant modifications.

The 'Crockpot Vegetarian Black Bean Soup" recipe was already plant-based, which was nice.  However I used soaked-but-uncooked black beans, rather than the canned.  I plan to prepare this on cooking day in my Instant Pot for approx 7 minutes, then pureeing a bit with my immersion blender.  For the green onions called for, I harvested and chopped the last of my garden chives and garlic chives and used those instead. For the broth called for, I simply added the bean cooking liquid that was drained from the batch of beans cooked in bulk for all the meals. I also added some chopped garden carrot to each bag that the recipe did not call for. I plan to serve this on cooking day with either bread or cornbread, dumplings or polenta, plus a blob of homemade soy yogurt as a topping, and salad.

For the 'Salsa Verde Chicken', I made a big batch of my own homemade Salsa Verde from my recently harvested green tomatoes (see this post), instead of the jarred salsa called for. I omitted the chicken, subbing instead a scant cup of baked diced tofu cubes per meal, and bumping up the quantity of beans. The corn used was harvested from the garden and frozen earlier in the season. For the cream cheese called for in the original recipe, I'm planning to either add some of my own homemade soy yogurt, or make a batch of blogger Cooking With Plants 'Sunflower Seed Cream Cheese' -- adding either at the very end after cooking (or depending on how it tastes I might even omit it all together).  Without the meat (and with the beans pre-cooked) I figure this likely wont take nearly as long to cook as the recipe suggests.   In any case, I plan on serving this differently each time, with either baked potatoes or baked sweet potatoes, rice or spanish rice. 

For the "Cilantro Lime Chicken with Corn and Black Beans", I obviously omitted the chicken, instead subbing a few homemade 'breast of tofu' baked tofu chunks per meal, and bumping up the quantity of beans. The corn used I was garden harvested and frozen earlier in the season. I also added some chopped garden red tomato the recipe did not call for, because I still have lots on hand that need using up.  Without the meat (and the beans pre-cooked) I figure this likely wont take as long to cook as the recipe suggests, but, we'll figure that out. Am also planning to serve this differently each time: with tortillas and/or rice, mashed potatoes, polenta, etc etc.

 So will this all actually work and taste good...?  Who knows!  I do know I just love the convenience factor of this concept, and the time and money savings.  I really should calculate the cost of all these meals, though it can't be much between the dry, bulk-purchased beans, bulk-purchased tofu and free garden produce.   And it will be so great pulling these out on especially busy days and leave the cooking to my Instant Pot.

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