Vegetarian freezer meals marathon!

2013-02-12 14.46.20

Smokey BBQ Veggie Burger

Since I had 5 days off this week I decided some freezer filling was in order. I wanted to make sure I had some healthy meals available for those nights when I do not feel like cooking anything after work. First on the agenda for my freezer meal prep was banana pancakes. I don’t really like them but my boyfriend is pancake crazy and I thought it would be a nice treat so he would have something quick to grab in the mornings instead of cereal every day. I whipped up a double batch and made them kind of small. Just the right size so that they fit in the toaster and so 3 would be a good sized breakfast. So far they’ve gotten good reviews except that the bananas tend to stay frozen after reheating. For the next batch I’ll either mash the bananas up better or just leave them out.

Banana Pancakes

Banana Pancakes

Freezer Banana Pancakes

  • 1-2 ripe mashed bananas
  • ¾ C milk, or almond or soy
  • 2 Tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking power
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbs oil
  • 1 Tbs cold water
  1. Pour milk into medium sized bowl add vinegar and set aside for 5 mins for the milk to sour. Whisk in egg, oil and banana and mix well.
  2. In a small bowl, or on top of the milk mixture (I like to use as few dishes as possible) mix together dry ingredients.
  3. Add dry ingredients to wet and mix well. Depending on the consistency I usually add the 1 Tbs water to the batter so the pancakes aren’t too thick but If you want thick pancakes just leave it how it is.
  4. Heat oil in frying pan/skillet and pour in aprroximately 1/3 cup batter. Cook for a few mins over med heat or until small bubbles form in the middle of pancake. Turn and cook for a few more mins, until browned.
  5. To freeze I placed all the pancakes on a cookie sheet to cool then in groups of 3 placed them in freezer bags.

Next up was a batch of smoky bison burgers and veggie burgers. I wanted mine smoky flavor too so I picked up some fake bacon (tempeh) and added lots of barbecue sauce to the chickpea/bean mixture. I threw some of the fake bacon into the bison burgers as well, just for kicks lol. After burgers for supper, Shadoe had seconds of his so they must have been good, we prepped the rest to freeze for later.

2013-02-12 14.45.24

Smokey Barbecue Veggie Burgers

Adapted from Myrecipes.com

  • 1 398mL can of black beans
  • 1 398mL can of chick peas/garbanzo beans
  • 1 egg
  • ½ an onion diced
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ½ C red pepper diced
  • ½ C chopped mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs smokey flavored BBQ sauce
  • 1 Tbs chili flakes
  • fresh ground pepper
  • ½ packet of salted soda crackers or 1 ½ C bread crumbled

Toppings:

  • Handful spinach
  • 1 tsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp BBQ sauce
  • Pickles
  • 1 Sliced tomato
  1. Drain/rinse beans and add all ingredients into medium sized mixing bowl. Mix thoroughly with electric beaters making sure most of the beans are mashed but not all.
  2. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Form veggie mixture into palm sized patties and cook for a few mins on each side, until browned.
  3. Grab a whole wheat bun or bread of your choice add your toppings and burger and enjoy!

I eat a lot of hummus.. I love it as a protein on sandwiches, as a dip for veggies or pita chips, by the spoonful.. Lets just say I go through a lot of hummus and it’s kind of expensive to buy from the store all the time. I recently acquired a massive amount of dried chickpeas and I wanted to try making hummus completely from scratch. In a previous post I made it from canned and it was okay, not the best hummus ever tho. A couple of the girls at work said they would also like some homemade hummus and we decided on roasted garlic hummus and an extra spicy one. I set out a large bowl of dried chickpeas in water overnight but I had no idea they were going to double in size and ended up with a ridiculous amount of chickpeas the next day.. I hope hummus freezes well because even with giving away 2/3’s of the hummus I still had way too much leftover! They both turned out delicious! I’m not exaggerating when I say it may possibly be the best hummus I’ve tasted to date, spicy, savory, creamy, just perfect. I may have went overboard with the garlic in the one batch.. It definitely has some bite to it, but in the same addictive property that spicy food has. It burns yet you want more. Oh I forgot to mention I finally purchased a Kitchenaid Food Processor! I was trying to make all my hummus on Friday night when I ended up breaking my blender (it was a cheap one) and the magic bullet was just not going to cut it with so much hummus to blend. I gave up and resolved to buy a food processor before the weekend was over. Luckily kijiji had the exact one I was looking for, two years old, barely used and 1/3 the price of a brand new one! I picked it up the next day and happily resumed my hummus production.

Here’s the basic hummus recipe I used and then the add ins for the different flavors:

Hummus

  • Adapted from mideastfood.com
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 3-5 tablespoons lemon juice (depending on taste)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Throw all the ingredients into the food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Super easy!

For the Roasted Garlic version I added:

  • 1 entire bulb of garlic plus 2 extra cloves
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • freshly ground pepper
  1. Slice off the top of the bulb of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven at 350 for at least 30 mins or until you can smell a nice garlic aroma from the oven.
  2. Mince the 2 extra cloves and add to prepared hummus along with the pepper.

For the Extra Spicy version I added:

  • 1-2 Tbs chili garlic sauce –depending on your heat tolerance
  • ground pepper
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp chili flakes
  • Another spoonful of chili sauce for on top
  1. Add extra ingredients to prepared hummus in food processor. Mix, then top with approximately 1 Tbs extra chili sauce.

Finally my boyfriend and I both love lasagna and I recently saw a recipe for vegetarian lasagna roll ups which are a lot healthier than your average beefy, cheesy, noodley recipe. I decided to pack mine with veggies I diced red pepper, sliced mushrooms, and stuffed them with spinach, then I smothered them in canned tomatoes and tomato sauce hopefully there’s enough veggies in there to counteract all the cheese.. I looked in the freezer afterwards and saw that this was good. Over the 5 days off I also made a cauliflower crust pizza, chocolate beet cake balls, and tika masala pasta with shredded veggies (recipes to come), did I mention I love to cook? It’s honestly so much fun for me to spend hours in the kitchen, some good tunes blasting on the speakers, creating delicious foods for us to enjoy. Between all my cooking at home and hot yoga classes lately I’ve been loving life and I wouldn’t want to spend my days off any other way!

Vegetarian Lasagna Roll Ups

Adapted from skinnytaste.com

  • 9 lasagna noodles, cooked
  • 2 cups chopped spinach
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1 454g package ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • salt and fresh pepper
  • 2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 9 Tbsp mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • handful chopped basil leaves
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.
  2. Place a piece of aluminum foil on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Top with chopped veggies and a spoonful of diced tomatoes.
  3. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles. Ladle tomato sauce and leftover diced tomato over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle chopped basil on top of cheese.  Put same piece of foil used for making the rolls over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts.

I accidently froze/ate all the roll ups before taking any pictures but they look very similar to these with extra veggies snuck in and if I were a professional food photographer 😉

Vegetarian Lasagna Roll Ups

I like to browse recipes on skinnytaste.com to get ideas for healthy meals but I don’t agree with the promotion of fat-free, sugar-free, light, or otherwise modified ingredients. Usually when they take out the fat/sugar or reduce calories they replace it with artificial flavors, sugars etc. I believe that to be less healthy for you than the real, whole food version, but that’s just my opinion!

Hope you enjoy all the recipes! Let me know some of your favorite freezer friendly foods!

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