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Frozen to Fresh: 3 dinners to make with what’s in the freezer

Need some fresh dinners to make? Check in your freezer.

Have you ever just opened the freezer and stared at it? If you’ve drawn a blank on dinners to make more than once, we have three new recipes to try! All of them use common frozen items you will probably have on hand.

Lindsey Hargett shares some frozen-to-fresh dinners to make. Put them in your arsenal and next time you’re struggling, they’ll come to the rescue.

Find more recipes from Lindsey on Instagram, @lkcooking

 

3 Frozen-to-Fresh Dinners to Make

Apple Dijon Pork Chops

Ingredients

  • 2 thick cut pork chops, butterflied, or 4 thin cut pork chops
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onion
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup chicken broth or white wine
  • ½ cup apple juice or cider
  • 3 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or coconut milk

Instructions

1. Season the pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a stainless steel pan over medium high heat until hot.

2. Add the oil to the pan once it’s hot, and place the pork chops in the pan. Let them cook for 1-2 minutes, then turn and cook another 2 minutes on the other side. Remove from the pan, and set aside to finish cooking later.

3. Turn the heat to medium and add the onions to the pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring so that the onions pick up the pork chop drippings. Stir in the thyme leaves.

4. Turn the heat back to medium high, then pour in the chicken broth. Stir, and let it come to a boil and reduce for 2-3 minutes.

5. Pour in the apple juice, bring to a boil, and let the sauce reduce further for 5-8 minutes. Stir in the dijon mustard and cream/coconut milk.

6. Place the pork chops back in the pan, lower the heat to medium low, and let the sauce simmer and finish cooking the pork chops until they are tender and no longer pink inside. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

 

Salsa Verde Chicken Skillet

Ingredients

  • 4 small (or 2 large, butterflied in half) chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2 tablespoons olive or avocado oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more for seasoning chicken)
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper (plus more for seasoning chicken)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice, rinsed well and drained
  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 1 cup salsa verde
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • ½ cup cilantro

Directions

1. Season the chicken with salt and pepper on each side; set aside.

2. Heat a medium heavy bottomed high-sided pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add 1 tablespoon oil and onion and garlic. Cook until soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes.

3. Push onion and garlic to the side and add remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Place the chicken in the pan, and let it cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side. You’re just going to sear the chicken here; it will finish cooking during the final step.

4. Add cumin, paprika, salt, pepper, rice, and cauliflower. Stir to combine.

5. Add salsa verde and chicken broth, then scrape up any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.

6. Let mixture come up to a boil, then cover with a tight fitting lid, and lower the heat to medium-low.

7. Simmer for 20 minutes, until rice is tender and chicken is cooked through. Stir in cilantro.

 

Stuffed Pepper Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 lb ground beef or turkey
  • 1 small onion, diced small
  • 2 bell peppers (any color), diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 small bag frozen riced cauliflower
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 10 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 10 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella, for serving

Instructions

1. Add the ground beef to a deep skillet or pot on medium high heat and cook 8-10 minutes, or until browned and cooked through. Remove from pan using a slotted spoon, and set aside. Drain the grease so that only about a tablespoon remains.

2. To the hot pan, add the bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Saute until tender, about 5-6 minutes.

3. Add in the riced cauliflower along with the oregano, thyme, salt, and pepper.

4. Saute until the cauliflower begins to soften, then add the ground beef back into the pan.

5. Add in the tomatoes and soy sauce, stir to combine, and simmer for 10-15 minutes.

6. Top each serving with a hearty pinch of mozzarella.

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