}

Spicy Lentil Soup Recipe

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We went cross country skiing with a group at a wilderness center and it was actually a lot of fun. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy cross country skiing but I did. What I didn’t love was the cold so when we went to my sister-in-law’s afterwards and she had hot soup ready, I was very thankful. My sister-in-law made this spicy lentil soup. I immediately asked for the recipe. I noticed that I wasn’t the only one that day who asked for the recipe. It’s that good!

This spicy lentil soup is so delicious and especially hits the spot on a cold winter day.This spicy lentil soup is so delicious and especially hits the spot on a cold winter day.

Spicy Lentil Soup Recipe:

Saute 2 chopped onions in 2 tsp. olive oil

Add 3 garlic cloves,
2 tsp. ground cumin,
1/2 tsp. paprika,
1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper.

Cook for 1 minute.

Add 7 cups chicken broth,
1 1/2 cups dry red lentils (rinse first),
2 Tbsp. tomato paste,
1 bay leaf.

Cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Reduce heat and simmer 25-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.

Discard bay leaf.

Blend half the soup in the blender until smooth or use a hand blender in the pot for all the soup.

Return to saucepan and stir in 1 can evaporated milk.

Simmer 5 minutes longer until hot.

Add salt and pepper.

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

If you are looking for a lentil soup that is less spicy and has more vegetables, my healthy lentil soup recipe is delicious as well.

Sloppy Joes Freezer Meal Recipe

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There is something very cozy about Sloppy Joes, especially when served in the winter. It’s a meal that brings me back to my childhood and I assume will someday be one that brings my kids back to theirs! This sloppy joes freezer meal recipe has that classic taste.

Old School Sloppy Joes freezer meal recipe that can also be made gluten free

There’s no reason that Sloppy Joes can’t be enjoyed by people who eat gluten free if served on gluten free buns. Of course, if you are not on a gluten free diet, you can make this the same way and use your favourite buns.

You can double, triple or quadruple this recipe and separate into freezer bags to have this recipe on hand for busy days.

Sloppy Joes Freezer Meal Recipe:

1 1/2  pounds lean ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup green pepper, chopped finely
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. dry mustard powder
1/2 cup chili sauce
14 oz. can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce*
2 tsp. lemon juice

*If you are making this sloppy joes recipe gluten free, be sure to use a gluten free Worcestershire sauce.

Sloppy Joes square

Brown ground beef. Mix ground beef and all other ingredients in a bowl and put into a large resealable freezer bag. Remove the excess air and seal. Lay flat and freeze.

On cooking day, thaw the bag and cook in a crock pot for 2-3 hours on low or cook on the stovetop until heated through. Serve on regular or gluten free buns, sliced in half. Our family’s preference for gluten free buns is Udi’s whole grain gluten free hamburger buns. They are a great size and consistency for Sloppy Joes.

Sloppy Joes

Other Easy Family Recipes:

This recipe is included in our Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan. The other recipes are also kid-pleasers and the plan includes printable shopping lists, prep lists and printable labels making it easy to fill your freezer with meals your family will actually eat.

Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan

 

Crock Pot Freezer Meal Pizza Casserole

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It’s always hard to get an appetizing picture of a crock pot supper and this was no exception but this casserole is really a kid pleaser! I often make a gluten free version of it, so will be including that in my instructions below. This is another freezer meal to crock pot so it saves time all around.

Crock Pot Freezer Meal Pizza Casserole...it's ugly but kids love it!This is one of the regular meals in my freezer meal rotation. When I make it, I make two or four of these recipes at a time. The recipe below is for one meal, but if you want to make several to freeze, then multiply the ingredients accordingly.

2 cups of cubed ham
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
10 oz. can chopped mushrooms
28 oz. tomato sauce
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes

2 cups small pasta

To make this into a freezer meal, mix all the ingredients except for the pasta in a large resealable freezer bag. Put 2 cups of pasta in a medium sized resealable freezer bag. Seal both and staple them together. Lay flat in the the freezer.

On the day you want to serve it, thaw, put the ingredients from the large bag into the crock pot and cook for 4 hours on low. Cook the pasta on the stovetop and stir into the casserole just before serving.

crock-pot-pizza-casserole-square

To make this gluten free…

To make this gluten free, ensure that you use gluten free ham. Much of the ham sold in stores contains fillers that include gluten so read the labels. Use gluten free pasta. This recipe is very adaptable for those on gluten free diets and we enjoy it just as much with the gluten free pasta.

slow-cooker-pizza-casserole

Other Kid Friendly Recipes…

This recipe is included in our Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan. The other recipes are also kid-pleasers and the plan includes printable shopping lists, prep lists and printable labels making it easy to fill your freezer with meals your family will actually eat.

Kid Friendly Freezer Meal Menu Plan

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn

(This post may contain affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure policy.)

One of our daughters has a tree nut allergy and for many years, has wanted to try a certain chocolate and nut spread, but of course due to her allergy, we can’t even have it in the house. To say that she (and my other kids) are excited that there is now a chocolate and peanut butter spread that is safe for her to eat is an understatement. The fact that it happens to be Reese Spreads, a taste they love made it even better. There were some squeals of glee and many suggestions of how we might be able to use it. The kids of course think that it is delicious on toast and used instead of the chocolate in s’mores, but they also seem to think that it’s pretty perfect eaten right out of the jar on a spoon. I have to admit that I quite agree with them!

Inspired by the chocolate peanut buttery goodness, I created this simple 3 ingredient recipe for salted chocolate peanut butter popcorn that was devoured as quickly as it was made. This salted chocolate and peanut butter popcorn is A-Mazing and only has 3 ingredients! (plus it's gluten free)I only managed to snag a few kernels for myself before my kids polished off the entire recipe! It’s a good thing it’s so easy to make.

Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter Popcorn Recipe:

1/3 cup popcorn kernels
1 tsp. sea salt
1/2 cup Reese Spreads

  1. Pop the popcorn in whatever way you choose. I have an air popper but you can choose a stovetop method or the microwave if that’s what you prefer.
  2.  Stir 1/4 tsp. of the sea salt into the Reese Spreads and place in the microwave. Microwave for 30-40 seconds, until easy to pour.*
  3. Pour the salted Reese Spreads over the popped popcorn and lay out flat on a baking sheet.
  4. Sprinkle with the remaining sea salt.
  5. Put the baking sheet into the freezer to harden.

*Please note that microwave oven temperatures vary so you may need to adjust the cooking time slightly. Salted Chocolate Peanut Butter PopcornYou can also make this ahead of time and freeze it in resealable bags, being sure to take out excess air. This will ensure that you always have a delicious snack to serve if company pops by unexpectedly or just to enjoy  during family movie night. salted chocolate and peanut butter popcorn