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Old 02-08-2013, 08:01 AM   #61
Way too much time on my hands!
 
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Oh, They are GREAT! I had to make myself stop snacking on them. Crispy Sweet Yummy! I might just skip broccoli altogether. I even found some yellow french beans at Trader Joes and blanched them too. I need to find an entree that complements their nice color.

My Mom Teased me about the Chuck Roast. She said, " you know, you can cut it up before you cook it." Doh! That would make portioning it much easier down the line!
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:22 PM   #62
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I have been off work for 2 months due to surgery, but have always taken my own frozen meals in the divded containers, just simply by making a little extra at dinner, and I have to say, there have been some really good ones. I tried the new Atkins and they did not impress me, and are quite costly. I think, for the cost, they could add more veggies. Also, I make merlot sauce and freeze in small bags, but it is to put on filet mignon, and not roast beef. It does take a lot of wine and takes a long time to reduce, but it is well worth it!
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:58 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSS726 View Post
Also, I make merlot sauce and freeze in small bags, but it is to put on filet mignon, and not roast beef. It does take a lot of wine and takes a long time to reduce, but it is well worth it!
Could you share your recipe for the merlot sauce? TIA
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Old 02-08-2013, 06:38 PM   #64
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Oh, you asked a hard one since I usually don't follow a specific recipe, but I will try best I can, since I use a combination of a few recipes.

Merlot Sauce

2 tbs. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions or shallots
small carrot, finely chopped
stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups merlot, or can sub pino noir
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 tbs. cocoa powder

Directions:
Heat the oil over medium high heat. Add the onion (or shallots), carrot, and celery. Saute a few minutes, then add the garlic and saute for a minute or 2 more. Add wine and broth, and stir in tomato paste. Add bay leaf and thyme, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the liquid is reduced and thickened. (The original recipe says about 40 minutes, but I am pretty sure I simmer it longer). Strain through a fine mesh strainer into a small saucepan. (As I am straining, I run a spoon through the remaining veggies and smash through the strainer in the sauce, which makes it thicker, but you want to keep it smooth). Stir in the cocoa. You basically have to judge how thick you want the sauce. I can figure out by looking at it how thick I want it. Also, use a high top pan to simmer because it tends to splatter when cooking.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:32 PM   #65
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Metqa You are doing such a great job!!!!!! They look so YUMMY.

You might be swaying me here. Yours look better than any frozen meal I've seen.

MSS726 ......Your Merlot recipe looks wonderful.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:33 PM   #66
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thanks for the recipe. the cocoa powder was a surprise, but I know it is used in Mexican cooking; in fact I use it in my chili. I'll have to try this - it really sounds good.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:27 AM   #67
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Thank you for the recioe I like the idea to put into small bags to freeze, going to try it when I can get the wine.
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Old 02-09-2013, 07:42 AM   #68
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSS726 View Post
I think, for the cost, they could add more veggies.
I was thinking that for the price they ought to add a lot more meat. There seem to be mostly veggies in the ones I've tried.
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Old 02-09-2013, 09:49 AM   #69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LindaSue View Post
I was thinking that for the price they ought to add a lot more meat. There seem to be mostly veggies in the ones I've tried.
This.
I doubt if there is 3.5 ounces of meat in any of them, that's considered one serving isn't , about 100g of meat? That's about what I'm putting in my home ones and they are very satisfying with that plus 50-100g of veggies, but mine have a lot more fat in the form of drippings as sauce, so that might make it more fulfilling as well.
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Old 02-09-2013, 10:03 AM   #70
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Great ideas and recipes. Thanks so much.
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Old 02-09-2013, 11:02 AM   #71
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When I had the one with Italian sausage in it the other day, I took all of the sausage pieces out and weighed them. I got 2 ounces. That's barely a snack, if you ask me. I did think that the meatloaf dinner had a pretty reasonable size chunk of meat. I didn't get any mushrooms in mine though.
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:46 PM   #72
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I was thinking that for the price they ought to add a lot more meat. There seem to be mostly veggies in the ones I've tried.
LindaSue, you are definitely right. I don't know why I said veggies, other than that's the least they could do, since they would be a more likely addition on their part. There isn't enough of anything in them, and they really weren't that tasty, IMO. I was only excited to see them in the store because hopefully, the low carb WOE will once again gain popularity. However, pre packaged foods are not the healthiest, but still better than unhealthy junk food.
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Old 03-03-2013, 11:37 AM   #73
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Old 03-21-2013, 02:12 PM   #74
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Hi,
Can you all put your ideas on to the recipes site?
It would help everyone rather than having to trawl through many posts!
If the site continues you can imagine it will be difficult for new comers to find all your brilliant ideas and suggestions.
Keep up the good work. In UK we don't have the same foods so being able to concoct your sauces will be fun.
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Old 03-23-2013, 06:45 PM   #75
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Personally, I find it difficult to navigate the recipes sections. I often find my favorite recipes in context of discussions. honestly, I've found the best "recipes" from peoples tweeks of recipes and editing. You don't get that kind of confirmation of a recipes goodness just from a one time posting in a list of recipes with little context.

Plus, personally, my ideas are not actually recipes, just ideas, and don't always come out consistently. I think a recipe should be something that consistently offers results. so I won't be putting my ideas as "recipes" until I'm confident someone else could repeat it and get similar results. Any one else, feel free to post them anywhere you think they'll do good.

That said. I made a chuck roast again, but my mothers words of wisdom, " You know, you can cut it up before you cook it..." made me try it differently. So I cut it into slightly larger than bite size chunks, and seared the meat and put it into the pan.

This time though instead of adding soup or soupy water, I just sprinkled the meat with onion soup mix, but no water or soup, the only liquid was the liquid that was seeping from the meat itself. I also sprinkled cocoa powder, garlic seasoning, and Dale's seasoning, just a splash, and stirred it all up . I didn't add any sliced onion, mushroom or veggies.

I put it into the oven, with foil sealed over the edges tighly, and let it cook for about an hour and a half on 250 degrees. I just tasted a couple of pieces and it's very tender. It shrunk a bit so now they are large bite size chunks, and enough water seeped out that it ended up cooking in some juices to give the braised effect. Enough to start a gravy I'm sure.

I'm letting it cool before I mess with it. Since it's already sliced, I can quickly and easily measure out the portions for the containers. I figure I'll just go ahead and portion it out and freeze it and add the veggie to the container when I've decided what to add.

I haven't got a veggie in mind yet, but I did find a bunch of frozen veggie blends at Wally world. I thought maybe to come up with a corresponding sauce, and just pour the frozen veggie into the container, top it with the sauce and pop it right back into the freezer.
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Old 03-23-2014, 07:32 PM   #76
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I am hooked on these meals. (Unfortunately they are not gluten free and contain soy.) I've been able to save money on them with the coupons on some of the boxes.~~LindaSue, could you come up with a recipe for the Sausage Primavera?~~Metqa, more of your wonderful combos and recipes, please. I am not a "natural" cook, so I depend upon good recipes.lol. (Tho, there may not be a lot of meat in some dinners, the protein counts are consistent and adequate for my diet.)
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:18 AM   #77
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I am hooked on these meals. (Unfortunately they are not gluten free and contain soy.) I've been able to save money on them with the coupons on some of the boxes.~~LindaSue, could you come up with a recipe for the Sausage Primavera?~~Metqa, more of your wonderful combos and recipes, please. I am not a "natural" cook, so I depend upon good recipes.lol. (Tho, there may not be a lot of meat in some dinners, the protein counts are consistent and adequate for my diet.)
I don't think I've tried that one.
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Old 03-24-2014, 09:37 AM   #78
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It's not great.
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Old 03-24-2014, 07:07 PM   #79
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Haha, I just made another, but I used store bought ingredients.

70 grams of chicken breast( about 1/2 breast)
1/4 cup Ragu Creamy Mozzerella Sauce or Creamy Parmesan Sauce
42g ( 1/2 cup) Frozen 3 pepper and onion blend
42g ( 1/2 cup) Frozen Italian style green beans
Salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil flakes, and cooking oil of your choice

Slice breast into medallions, and season both sides with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and basil flakes or Italian seasoning. In a preheated unoiled non stick skillet, heat the chicken pieces until one side is white then flip to cook the other side. I cooked it till only the outsides were white but the inside was still a bit pink. Remove from heat and place in freezer safe container. Pour Sauce over chicken and spread to cover.
Measure out vegetables and drizzle with cooking oil. Toss to coat then sprinkle dry seasings onto vegetable. Put in empty half of freezer container. Cover or seal and freeze solid.

To cook; Remove plastic and microwave for 4 minutes. Stir vegetables, and meat, then cook for 1 min longer. Let sit a minute before eating.

I made this yesterday and froze it. The chicken finished cooking in the microwave while the veggies thawed and heated and the chicken was very tender and juicy and not overcooked. I plan to try another meal pack with precooked chicken shreds from the freezer section for convenience to compare the texture.

243 Kcal, 12.5g fat, 7.7g carb 1.4g fiber (6.3g net carb) 22.7g protein.

I could have increased the fat by cooking the chicken in ghee or coconut oil or by drizzling more butter on the veggies but I tend to add extra fat before I eat them anyway. but even without extra fat this was about as satisfying as a bought meal. I haven't calculated the cost yet, but the bags of frozen veggies were around a dollar to a dollar half and I used only 1/8 of two bags and half a chicken breast and one serving out of a jar of sauce. so I could make 8 meals with one jar of sauce, 4 breasts and 2 bags of veggies.
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Old 03-25-2014, 09:08 AM   #80
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Today's Breakfast was interesting. I did the same as above but with a twist. When I realized that I had thawed Lemon Pepper chicken instead of unseasoned, I decided to use Annies Goddess Salad Dressing as the sauce and broccoli and Cauliflower as the veggies. Frozen overnight and heated this morning. The Goddess dressing has a LOT more fat than the Ragu sauce so it hissed a popped a lot even though the meat was still partially frozen, so I had to heat it up on half power for the rest of the time. It tastes AWESOME. The veggies are crisp, and the meat is just tender enough and the dressing as a sauce is very sharp and complements the lemon marinated chicken.

I have another in the freezer for a different day. I'm going to make this one again.

oh,yeah , I took the press'n'seal plastic wrap completely off before heating it.
This meal was 70g of chicken breast, 2T of Goddess Dressing, 42g of chopped frozen broccoli and 42 grams of small cauliflower florets with a drizzle of oil and S&P and spices.

It comes to 278 Kcal, 17.6g fat, 3.8g net carb ( 6car-2.2fbr) and 23.7f protein
I hand picked the broccoli and cauliflower florets to be small and consistent in size to be sure it cooked all the way through in the nuker by the time the chicken was done.
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Old 03-26-2014, 09:27 AM   #81
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Nice Metqa. I'm in the home stretch of self remodeling my house so hopefully I'll get to hop in on the fun soon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 06-02-2014, 05:34 AM   #82
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My daughter was at Dollar Tree and they had those containers, she wasn't sure if this was what I had been talking about, so only got me four. I was thrilled, until I took my first frozen meal out. I microwaved it and after washing and fixing another meal to put in the freezer in it, the lid wouldn't fit no matter how hard I tried. The rest also won't let me put the lids back on. Anyone have this problem?................... Ann
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Old 06-02-2014, 07:06 AM   #83
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You have to be so careful with the lids and containers at dollar tree. That happened to me about a month ago. I bought the 3 compartment round containers from dollar tree and all the lids were right there with them. I picked up 1 and it fit so I grabbed 5 more, and when I got home only the lid I tried fit. -_-
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Old 06-02-2014, 09:30 AM   #84
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They all fit fine, when I put them on to put in the freezer, it was after I heated them to eat they no longer fit. Glad I only have 4 and won't buy anymore. I have the 2 section ones and if the lids still fit, I would have gone and got a bunch more. Thanks.......... Ann
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Old 06-02-2014, 11:46 AM   #85
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I don't microwave the lids. Mine all still fit just fine. If I do nuke the lid it's just until its thaw, and the lid is propped open , but then I don't put them in for a full cook to full temperature cycle. They serve me well. for a dollar , I've used them for over a year with no problems.
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Old 06-02-2014, 03:22 PM   #86
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I didn't put the lids in the microwave either, maybe I should, for a couple of seconds. You think they'll shrink a little and fit ; o )...................... Ann
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Old 06-02-2014, 06:00 PM   #87
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So you are saying the BOTTOMS warped? Wow, Maybe my nuker is weak, my container bottoms haven't changed any shape at all.
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:14 AM   #88
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I have a small microwave don't know the wattage. Evidently that's what has happened, they don't look any different, but there is enough of a change that the lids no longer fit.............. Ann
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