Saturday, April 27, 2013

Freezer Inventory Menu List - Charcuterie, Fish, and "Ready Meals"

This is the second installment in my menu planning around what is already in my freezer.  The first installment, covering the main meat elements (beef, pig, and poultry) can be found here.

This is really just a fancy word for processed and smoked meats - sausage, bacon, and the like.  This is probably my favorite meat category of all!  Here's what we have, and some ideas about what I'll do with it:

  • Chicken Garlic and Herb Sausage (1):  Sausage and pasta with cream sauce
  • Chorizo (of the Mexican variety) (2): 
  • Chicken Cheese Sausage (1):  We like these just as they are, grilled up with some potatoes on the side.
  • Kielbasa-style sausage (I call it kielbasa, but usually it's turkey or chicken smoked sausage) (2):  Kielbasa and cabbage
  • Hot Dogs (2):
    • Hot dogs
    • Chili dogs
  • Apple Chicken Sausage (1):  "The Stuff"
  • Breakfast Sausage (1):  Irish Sundaes
  • Canadian Bacon (1):  Actually just used this last night in Pizza Noodles
  • Bacon (3):  I don't think I need to explain this one - everything's better with bacon!

My husband doesn't like fish other than canned tuna and the occasional grilled salmon steak, so I don't usually keep it on hand.  At the moment, I hav:

  • Cod (1):  Cheesy Fish Sticks 
  • Tilapia (1):  I just like to cook this in parchment with a little butter, garlic, and seasonings.


AKA processed food, in a box or bag, ready to prepare at a moment's notice when I just don't feel like cooking.  We don't eat too much of this, as I like to cook and try to eat pretty healthy, but I like to keep a few things on hand (and some things I try to always have on hand).  At the moment, we have the following:
  • Fish sticks - once upon a time, they made a baked variety of these, but I can't find them anymore so we only have these once in a while.
  • Potstickers - my daughter's #1 favorite meal.  I always, always, always have potstickers on hand!
  • Swedish meatballs - I make these myself but I always make a triple or quadruple batch because, let's face it, making meatballs is tedious work.
  • Frozen burritos - bean and cheese for me, red hot chili for hubby and my girl - they like theirs with canned chili dumped over the top.
  • Meatless meatballs - I've never had these.  I won them in a contest a while back and haven't worked up the courage to try them yet.  Someday I'll sneak them into spaghetti and see what kind of faces my family makes.  
  • Lentil soup - homemade - I like to make a big pot and then freeze it in lunch-size portions to take to work with me.
  • Skillet Meals - I just picked these up yesterday for next to nothing on sale with a coupon.  Small bags - they say they serve three but I'm dubious.  I can always stretch them with extra pasta and vegetables, I suppose.  
  • Chicken Strips - my daughter's second favorite meal (oddly enough, she loves chicken strips but is not a fan of chicken nuggets).  I try to always have these and tater tots on hand for a quick meal when I don't feel like cooking.  We like to dip them in a sauce made of blue cheese dressing and Frank's Red Hot Sauce. 

We also have a variety of breads, cheeses, produce, and starches (cooked beans, cooked rice, frozen hash browns, etc.) in the freezer, which I incorporate into our meals.  

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