Here are a couple of warm and toasty fall dishes that are ideal for making ahead and freezing. Just reheat them, then finish them off with fresh garnishes (make sure not to freeze the garnishes ahead of time).
Quick Chicken Cassoulet
WebMD Weight Loss Clinic members: Journal as 1 cup hearty stew + 1/2 cup vegetable without added fat
You can serve this either as is as a stew, over rice, or as the filling for a quesadilla (that's what I did for lunch the next day with the leftovers). To make the chicken part easy, buy a roasted chicken from the supermarket and shred all the meat off, discarding the skin. You'll have exactly the amount of chicken needed in this recipe!
1 tablespoon olive oil (or substitute canola oil)
1 package Hillshire Farm Turkey Polska Kielbasa (2/3 less fat), about 10 ounces; cut into 1/4-inch slices
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cups baby carrots, chopped
4 grilled or roasted (boneless and skinless) chicken breasts, torn into chunks
2 cups less-sodium chicken broth
1 teaspoon minced or chopped garlic
2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried thyme)
1 dried bay leaf
2 15-ounce cans white beans (cannellini or other), rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley (or 1 1/2 teaspoons parsley flakes)
2 cups croutons of choice (optional)
- Heat a large nonstick skillet or saucepan over high heat, and add onion, carrots, and kielbasa slices. Cook, turning often, until onion is golden and sausage is lightly brown on both sides.
- Add chicken, broth, garlic, thyme, bay leaf, and beans and stir to blend. Cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and let simmer about 8 minutes to blend flavors and heat chicken and beans throughout.
- Spoon into shallow bowls (or freezer portions). Just before serving, sprinkle a little parsley over each serving along with 1/4 cup of croutons if desired.
Yield: 8 servings
Per serving: 298 calories, 27.5 g protein, 31.9 g carbohydrate, 7 g fat (2.2 g saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat are not available), 58 mg cholesterol, 7 g fiber, 415 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 21%.