There are not very many TV dinner choices in Ireland. Stores like Iceland have a decent selection, but Iceland stores are not everywhere and they are not where I am currently living. Even the cheapest TV dinners are not very inexpensive (in my opinion) compared to what you can pay in the U.S., but we have a lot of need for something quick and easy to throw in the oven or microwave, so I decided to make my own. And I thought I’d share what I did with my readers.
To start, I need to buy some foil baking containers. I had hoped to find some smaller, rectangular-shaped shallow containers, but only found deeper ones. I bought a five-pack of the deeper ones. I also cleaned out our freezer of any of the meat products we don’t seem to be eating. I’m either making recipes out of those products or baking them off in the oven to be re-frozen for later use.
Here are some of my thoughts on things I could make and freeze:
- Meatballs: Tony’s mother gave me this idea a few years ago. She made some amazing Swedish Meatballs and would cook a bunch of them off and then freeze them so when they wanted something easy, all she had to do was heat them up.
- Lasagna: Although, this takes a bit more preparation than some other ideas, homemade lasagna is much better than store-bought.
- Spaghetti: Very simple, because you can get away with store-bought sauce (jazz it up a bit) and pasta is cheap and easy. When you’re ready to make it, butter two sides of sliced bread and sprinkle with garlic powder, pepper, salt and a small amount of Italian seasoning and bake until golden. Add cheese for cheese bread.
- Meatloaf: Meatloaf is great, because it can be heated up with mashed potatoes and buttered corn or individual slices can be frozen and thawed for meatloaf sandwiches.
- Pot Pie: You can make beef, chicken or turkey. I used a mini springform pan to make my pot pies, because I didn’t have any mini pie pans. Once the pie has cooled for 15 minutes, you can separate the springform and carefully remove from the bottom.
- Various Chicken Dishes: There’s a lot you can do with chicken. You can season it various ways and bake it, stuff it with cheese, bread it—any number of things. Serve with frozen vegetables, mashed potatoes or more.
- Potato Wedges: I had a bag of potatoes already and picked up some garlic potato wedge spice. I’m going to bake them off in the oven and use them as sides with my meat dishes.
- Burritos: Burritos are excellent for the freezer. I’m making breakfast burritos, but you can also do enchiladas, baked chicken wraps and more.
- Pizza: Who doesn’t love pizza? I guarantee your frozen homemade pizza will knock store-bought frozen pizza out of the park!
Since I don’t have enough baking dishes for everything, I’m going to create five meals using the aluminum pans, a few pot pies, homemade pizza and some breakfast burritos. I’ll be taking pictures of the food I make and posting recipes, so check back for more.