Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Cleaning: Freezer (Part II)

As a continuation to last Sunday's post about cleaning out the freezer I have a few more recipes this week. You will see I have lots of goodies in my freezer/fridge that need attention. And especially since things are starting to come in already! Thanks Reggie! I hope you enjoy these tasty meals:

20 Minute Spicy Leftover Soup
2-3        hot Italian sausages
4 tsp     chicken stock powder
3 cups   water
1 cup    pumpkin purée
1           onion, chopped
1 tsp     minced garlic
2           celery stocks, chopped
3           medium carrots, peeled and chopped
¼ cup   red lentils
1½ cup cooked rice
1 tbsp   chopped fresh cilantro

Pan cook the sausages, remove from heat, slice thinly and set aside. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil, add chicken stock powder and pumpkin purée. Meanwhile, in the pan used for the sausages cook the onion until they are soft and becoming clear, add the garlic and stir until fragrant. Add the carrots and celery and cook until they begin to soften, 3-4 minutes. Add the sausages, veggies and lentils to the stock, and reduce heat to medium. When lentils are almost cooked (about 6 minutes) add the rice. Allow soup to simmer for 5-10 minutes (depending on how much time you have), and finally add the cilantro and simmer for another 2 minutes. Remove from heat, and serve immediately with bread and cheese (it helps reduce the heat from the sausages). Store leftovers in the fridge for up to one week.

When opening a can of something, like tomatoes or tomato paste I always put any extra in the freezer, and this recipe is a great way to use up these little bits of things.
6          tortillas
1-2 cup cooked rice
500g    ground bear (feel free to use beef or anything else)
½ tsp   minced garlic
½         onion, diced
1 cup   diced tomatoes
½ cup  tomato paste
¼ tsp   chipotle chilli powder
1 can    mixed beans
¾ cup  frozen corn, thawed
½ cup  grated Monterey Jack cheese
½ cup  grated old cheddar cheese
2 tbsp  chopped fresh cilantro

Cook the ground meat (in my case I used bear, because we have lots) with the garlic and onions. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and chipotle chilli powder. Reduce for about 5 minutes. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Lightly grease a cookie sheet and lay out tortilla shells. In each tortilla spoon equal amounts rice, meat mixture, beans and corn. Sprinkle cheese (reserving ¼ cup) and cilantro (reserving about 1 tsp), over the open tortillas. Close each tortilla with a toothpick, sprinkle remaining cheese and cilantro over all six tortillas and bake for 20-25 minutes, until tortilla edges are brown and cheese is melted. Store leftovers in an airtight containers in the fridge for up to three days.

And finally, my favourite, dessert:

Chocolate Pumpkin Spice Cake
1¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp    baking powder
¾ tsp   baking soda
½ tsp   salt
½ tsp   cinnamon
¼ tsp   ground cloves
⅓ cup  butter, margarine
1 cup   granulated sugar
1          large egg
¼ cup  milk
1½ cup pumpkin purée
½ cup  chopped pecans/walnuts/chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Sift all dry ingredients together in a small bowl, set aside. In a large mixing bowl cream together butter and sugar; add egg, beat well. Stir in milk pumpkin* and nuts (or chocolate chips). Finally, add dry ingredients and blend well, do not over mix. Pour batter into a greased bundt** pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes before turning out of pan. Serve warm, with vanilla ice cream! Store leftovers (if there are any) in an airtight container for up to five days.
* You can use any veggie you have stored away in your freezer, grated zucchini, squash purée, sweet potato purée, etc.
** If you do not have a bundt pan use a loaf pan, and cook for 60mins, or until toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs

 I hope your weekend is going well. I'm about to head outside, and get some sun! Write you soon!

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