Jul 282012

A Week in the Kitchen with Carol

It’s been an awesome month here in my kitchen! Our family is trying to eat more whole grains so I have been testing recipes using brown rice instead of white, whole wheat flour instead of white, and using whole grain high fiber breads and low carb tortillas. We are also trying to add more fruits and vegetables into our diet. It’s been great so far! They say whole grains fill you up quickly and you stay fuller longer. So far that has been our experience and we are enjoying the change in our diet.

0712CookingDayI had my first of two big cooking days this month. This cooking day I focused mainly on breakfast and lunch recipes – frittatas, soups, snacks, and meat for sandwiches or salads. Packing lunch is a great way to save time and money. It’s great to have food already prepared so you can just “grab and go” in the morning.

We also enjoy the convenience of having a variety of breakfast foods on hand. The Vegetable Frittata recipe from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking is one of our favorite recipes. This is a good base recipe to try. If you are baking dinner, it’s easy to just thaw and bake a frittata at the same time. The individual servings heat up nicely in the microwave in the morning. I also tried several variations. One is a Southwest version that has a 1/2 C. of salsa and 1 C. of chopped cooked chicken added. This was very good! But our favorite was a Supreme Vegetable version with 4 oz. of sliced portobello mushrooms and a diced tomato added to the vegetable mix.

Here are some of recipes I made on my breakfast and lunch cooking day:


Muesli (one of my new favorite breakfast recipes!)


Vegetable Frittata varieties (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)


Qdoba’s Tortilla Soup (for Mexican Gumbo)

Shrimp Jamblaya

Slow Cooker Jambalaya


Italian Wedding Soup


Ham and Lentil Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup

Tuscan White Bean Soup


Mushroom, Beef, and Brown Rice Soup


Whatever Scones


Mom’s Oatmeal Apple Raisin Cookies (from the Members area)


Savory Turkey Burgers


Chicken Cacciatore


Chicken Marinade for Grilled Chicken Salad

Elegant Chicken in Marinade

Elegant Chicken Marinade (from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking)


Steak Marinade for Steak Salad

I am so excited that we have so many great options for breakfast and lunch in the freezer. It makes my mornings so much easier!

My husband and I were also inspired by your votes in the poll on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page. We went on the first two weeks of the South Beach Diet and had the opportunity to test several Phase I recipes. It was nice that I could fit a lot of our favorite 30 Day Gourmet recipes into the mix just by adjusting the recipes ingredients. Some of our favorites were Slow Cooker Chicken Chili (without the corn),  Savory Turkey Burgers served on portobello mushroom caps instead of buns, Chicken Cacciatore served on spaghetti squash, Grilled Tilapia with regular salsa (used the marinade from the Tilapia with Mango Salsa recipe from the Big Book of Freezer Cooking, Fajita salads using any of the Fajita marinades on the web site, and stir fry using a recipe for Ginger Lentils instead of rice. It was a good experience for both of us!

Here are top four results from the ebook idea poll:

Freezer Direct to Crock Pot – 133
Low Carb Freezer Cooking – 103
Freezer Breakfasts to Go – 92
Freezer Cooking for Singles and Couples – 80

Nanci and I are still discussing the results. We’ll share our ideas with you when we come to a conclusion on how we are going to proceed. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us!

Bonus Recipes

We’ve been eating a lot of salads and wraps this summer. One of my favorite things to do on cooking day is to grill big batches of meat for sandwiches. You can cook a lot of meat all at once and you don’t heat up the kitchen doing it. Once it’s cooked, slice and freeze the meat in meal sized containers. For example, if I want to freeze the meat in individual portions for lunches, I just package the cooked meat in snack size bags and then place all the individual snack size bags in a larger one gallon freezer bag. It makes it so easy to grab and go!


Chicken Marinade for Grilled Chicken Salad

This recipe is good right off the grill but I think it tastes better after it is cold! The flavor is interesting and different and the ginger is not too overwhelming. I like to serve it on top of a chopped romaine salad with sliced green onions,  halved grape tomatoes, and either Italian dressing or a light ranch dressing. It’s great in a sandwich too.



Steak Marinade for Steak Salad

This is another great marinade recipe. I like it hot or cold. It does a great job tenderizing tougher cuts of meat. We like to use a Texas broil for this marinade. It’s a thick cut which makes great slices for sandwiches and salads.


Closing Comments from Carol

Enjoy the recipes! Next month I’ll share my dinner cooking day recipes with you.

Do you have any recipes that you would like to share? I’d love to try and share them with everyone. You can post your recipes on the 30 Day Gourmet Facebook® fan page or click here to send me an email. Or do you have any other topics that you would like me to cover? Click here to send me an email. I enjoy hearing from you!

Have fun in your kitchen!



Carol Santee

Carol is the co-author of the Big Book of Freezer Cooking and the author of 30 Day Gourmet’s Slow Cooker Freezer Favorites, Freezer Lunches To Go and Healthy Freezer Cooking eBooks. She is a computer information specialist and works for a computer software company.

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