Hubby and I just bought a bunch of divided freezer containers to make our own frozen dinners. He's doing a mediteranean style diet, and I use a low-carb exchange plan.
We usually do cook fresh most days, but we have health problems and sometimes just don't have the energy to cook during pain flares.
I've always frozen leftovers, but I'd usually put them in too large of a container, so even if I defrosted the leftovers, there'd be leftovers of the leftovers. And while I don't mind eating the same dish a few days in a row (heck when I was living alone I'd make a HUGE pot of soup on a Saturday and eat from it all week), but hubby seem so have a leftover-phobia (unless it's pizza, he pretty much refuses to eat leftovers).
So I'd defrost a big bowl of casserole or stew, and I'd be the only one eating it.
We were keeping some Lean Cuisine and similar frozen dinners on hand, but even on sale they're pretty expensive for the serving size AND the usually the food is just super-tiny portions of high-calorie food.
I decided that I could do SO MUCH BETTER myself, so I'm making my own version of one of my favorite Lean Cuisine meals
I LOVE the braised ranchero braised beef from Lean Cuisine's culinary collection (described on the website as: braised beef in a spicy red chile sauce served with a side of chipotle mashed sweet potatoes).
Super, duper yummy. Here's the website info (great dinner by the way)
Instead of beef, I'm going to braised pork in the crockpot instead of beef, because there was a very good lean pork roast sale at our grocery store). I'll put the pork and some very thinly sliced onions in the crockpot with a couple cans of petite diced tomatoes with green chillies, some chili powder, and probably some fresh cilantro.
If I didn't want to do it from scratch, I'd buy a can or jar of chili starter like Bush's Chili Magic. I've tried a few different brands of these, and they're all really good (for this dish though I wouldn't want the chili starters that include beans, because the beans will turn to mush being cooked that long. If I DID want beans in the dish, I'd add those seperately at the end).
Instead of mashed chipolte sweet potatoes, I'll make a cauliflower sweet potato mash.
I've never combined cauliflower and sweet potato before, so this will be a new experiment.
When I make mashed cauliflower I steam a large head of cauliflower (or simmer it in chicken broth) and I'll either simmer a small potato with the cauliflower or I'll add one serving of instant mashed potato flakes.
I figure it should work as well with sweet potatoes (though I may have to use more sweet potato to bring across a more authentic sweet potato flavor).
If it works well, I may buy a box of instant sweet potatoes to use in future batches, but I bought a frozen steamer bag of sweet potato instead (making sure there weren't any added ingredients such as sugar). I plan on using half the bag.
I can't wait to see how it turns out, and how it freezes. If it does turn out well, I'll post the actual recipe.