Freezer Friendly Recipes
By Sarah Axtell, ND • June 27, 2015
Too busy to cook? Dedicate a Sunday to prepare these freezer-friendly, healthy meals in advance. Simply pull them out in the morning of a busy day and allow to thaw on the counter-top. When you get home, you have a fast and easy meal that will reheat in 30 minutes or less on even the busiest of weeknights.
All recipes are gluten-free and dairy-free.
Cajun Skillet Beans
This recipe is fast (cooks in 20 minutes), easy, and quite delectable! It has mustard and honey in it, giving it a unique sweet and savory taste. Perfect for the whole family.
-1 medium onion, chopped
-3 garlic gloves, minced or presed
-2 tbsps. vegetable oil (I prefer to use grapeseed oil or coconut oil)
-5 celery stalks, chopped
-1 cup frozen corn
-1 cup frozen spinach (or 3 cups fresh)
-1 tsp thyme
-1 tbsp basil
-1 tbsp oregano
-1/4 tsp black pepper
-pinch of cayenne and salt
-1 can stewed diced tomatoes
-1 tbsp honey or molasses (more or less)
-1 tbsp dijon mustard (more or less)
-4 cups cooked black-eyed peas (two 10-ounce frozen packages or two 16-ounce cans, drained)
In a heavy saucepan or skillet, saute the onions and garlic in the oil on medium heat. Chop the celery and bell peppers, and add them to the pan. Continue to saute for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme, basil, oregano, black pepper, cayenne, and salt. Cove and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are golden, stirring once or twice. Add the tomatoes, honey or molasses, and mustard, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the beans, cover, and stir occasionally until thoroughly heated. Canned beans will be hot in less than 10 minutes, but frozen beans need to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
Top with cilantro or grated goat cheese if you like! Also, try sprinkling on some nutritional yeast. Serve with Bob’s Redmill gluten-free cornbread muffin
Sweet Potato and Coconut Dahl
-1 lb. sweet potatoes, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (I leave the skins on for added fiber)
-1 cup dry lentils
-1 14 oz. can coconut milk
-2 cups water
-1 tsp grated fresh ginger root
-1 tsp. ground cinnamon
-1-2 tsp. turmeric
-salt and pepper
Put the sweet potatoes into a saucepan with the lentils, coconut milk, and water. Bring to a boil, then leave to cook gently, uncovered, for 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potato is tender and the mixture looks thick.
Stir in the ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, and salt and pepper. Then cook gently for a few more minutes to blend in the flavors. Can serve by itself or over rice.
*Note that the spices are added after the lentils are tender- if you add them at the beginning, they can prevent the lentils from becoming tender!
Sweet n’ Savory Forbidden Rice
Forbidden rice is a nutritional power house. It is full of minerals, specifically Iron, and also a good source of fiber so it will keep you feeling full longer. When cooked, it turns a deep purple color, revealing its anthocyanin content. Anthocyanins are a type of flavonoids, plant pigments that have been found to have prominent health benefits. Some of the health benefits include protection against cancer, allergies, inflammation, heart disease and diabetes. Other excellent sources of anthocyanins are deeply pigmented berries, like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries.
Just a note about forbidden rice- it will not get really soft, but rather it will have a chewy texture.
- 1 cup forbidden (aka black) rice
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 1 tsp coriander
- 2 tsps fresh grated ginger
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- salt, pepper
cilantro (optional) as garnish
In a medium saucepan, bring coconut milk and broth to a boil. Add rice and seasonings and turn heat to low. Cover. Cook for 20 minutes and then add raisins. Cook for another 20 minutes (until rice is soft). Add cashews and garnish with cilantro.
These vegetable pancakes are like hash browns, but are filled with so much goodness. Unlike potatoes, these patties will not spike your glucose (ie. lower on the glycemic index). They are colorful, meaning they are rich in antioxidants. Always aim to eat lots of colorful foods-like sweet potatoes, blueberries, collard greens, rainbow chard, and raspberries. The whole family is sure to love these!
-1/2 cup grated carrots*
-1 cup grated zucchini*
-1 cup cooked spinach*
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-2 cloves garlic
-1/4 cup brown rice flour (or any other gluten free flour, almond flour works too)
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cracked brown pepper
-1/2 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp dried thyme
-2-3 tbsps olive oil
*You can use any vegetable. Other ideas include chopped mushrooms, shredded cabbage, or cooked kale.
Heat the oven to 275 F. Chop the onion and sauté with a little bit of olive oil and garlic. Grate the vegetables by hand or in food processor. Mix together the vegetables, cooked onion, egg, and 1/4 cup of the flour. Add salt and pepper and spices. Add a little more flour if the mixture isn’t holding together.
Put a little oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. When the oil is hot, drop in spoonfuls of the batter, using a fork to spread the vegetables into an even layer, then press down a bit. Add more oil to the pan when needed and work in batches. Cook, turning once, until nicely browned on both sides, about 5 minutes. Serve hot over a bed of salad greens. Top with your favorite dressing or salsa. To complete the meal, serve with fish on the side.
Curried Coconut, Squash, and Lentil Soup
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup lentils
- 1 tbsp coconut oil (or olive or grapeseed oil)
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 2 tsp curry powder
- 1/2 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 2 tsps fresh grated ginger
- 3 tbsps lemon juice
- 1 14 oz can of chopped stewed tomatoes
- 1 can coconut milk
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- Plain yogurt to top (optional)
- Cilantro to top (optional)
1. Cook the squash and lentils in 5 cups of water in a large soup pot until they are tender, about 30 minutes.
2. Heat oil in skillet over med. heat and saute onion and garlic. About 5 minutes.
3. Add onion and garlic to soup pot. Stir in salt, curry powder, coriander, ginger, and lemon. Also add tomatoes.
4. Puree soup with immersion blender or food processor. (Not necessary to totally puree the soup or puree it at all.)
5. Add can of coconut milk and maple syrup to soup pot and mix thoroughly. Add more salt if needed.
6. Top with plain yogurt and cilantro.
Zucchini Eggplant “Lasagna.”
Here is a delicious recipe that is gluten free, vegetarian, and can be made vegan. Instead of noodles, zucchini and eggplant are cut lengthwise to take their place, making this dish low in carb and high in protein. And the quinoa is extra filling so you won’t go hungry after this meal. Quinoa is one of the few grains that is full of protein.
- 1 medium sized eggplant, cut lengthwise
- 4 medium sized zucchini squash, cut lengthwise
- Olive oil
- 1 jar of organic marinara sauce
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 cup quinoa
- Italian spices- oregano, thyme, salt and pepper
- 2 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 cup frozen chopped spinach or collard greens (can use fresh-I just always have frozen around)
- 3-4 tbsps cream cheese (to make vegan or dairy-free, you can use cream cheese substitute, such as “Tofutti.”)
- Grated mozarella cheese or cheese alternative to top (I used goat mozaraella. Daiya cheese alternative is acceptable too.)
1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Place sliced zucchini and eggplant on a cooking sheet and paint each side lightly with olive oil. Roast veggies for 5-6 minutes on each side until lightly brown and tender. Remove from oven and set aside.
2. In a pot, combine 1/2 cup marinara sauce, quinoa, onion, spices and broth. Bring to a boil and then reduce to simmer. Simmer on low-medium heat for approx. 25 minutes. Once the quinoa is fluffy (about 25 minutes cooking time), remove from heat and stir in 3 tbsps cream cheese.
3. In glass pyrex dish (lasagna pan), coat the bottom with about 1/3 cup of marinara sauce.
4. Place zucchini on bottom of pan. Then cover with quinoa mixture. Then sprinkle some fresh or frozen greens (spinach or collards) over top. Place a few tablespoons of marinara over top. Then stack with eggplant. Then cover with quinoa mixture, greens, and marinara sauce. Repeat until you have a nice layered dish and you have used up all of your ingredients. Top with marinara and grated mozarella of your choice. Bake for approx 30 minutes at 400 F.
Sweet Potato Peanut Stew
Most kids (and adults!) love peanut butter and sweet potato…so why not combine them for a healthy dinner? This recipe is reminiscent of an African peanut stew. It is rich in protein and best of all, flavor! So it is sure to leave you satisfied. Serve it with kale chips. If you are allergic to peanuts, you can substitute almond butter.
- 3 sweet potatoes, chopped into small cubes
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
- 6 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup red lentils
- 1 tbsp curry powder
- 4 tbsp peanut butter
- Crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper (optional for those who like it spicy)
- Cilantro (optional as a garnish)
- Crushed peanuts (optional as a garnish)
1. In a large soup pot, saute onions in oil for 5-10 minutes.
2. Add broth, garlic, and ginger and bring pot to a boil.
3. Add sweet potatoes, lentils and curry powder and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for approx. 25-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are tender.
4. Add peanut butter and mix well.
5. Blend stew with an immersion blender or transfer to a food processor. (For a chunkier stew, omit this step).
6. Garnish with chopped cilantro, peanuts, and paprika or cayenne if desired.
Editor’s Note: The information in this article is intended for your educational use only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health practitioners with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program.