Simply cooked with onions, garlic and herbs, these beans are flavorful and delicious enough to be served on their own as a vegetarian main course, or with other ingredients added in, and of course they are a great addition themselves to frittatas, stews, and even pasta!

 
 
You're planning to use up those dried beans tonight that have been lurking in your pantry for over a year, you did your shopping and have your chili recipe all planned out. You start tossing ingredients on the counter and suddenly realize the beans are still snug in the pantry. You forgot to soak them overnight! What to do? (This is usually me!)

As long as you have at least four hours or so before dinner, there's still time. 

 
 
Crisps, and other cooked fruit recipes, are a great way to use up fruit that is still good, but past its prime for other uses. I had a pound of strawberries that made their way to the back of my fridge that had frozen and re-thawed into mush. So I pulled a bag of plain, frozen rhubarb out of my freezer, chopped up the mushy strawberries, and mixed up this filling. It's bagged up in a freezer ziplock and ready to pull out another day to defrost when I want to make dessert but don't have the time or energy to pull it together.

 
 
Another variation of my favorite!

 
 
One of my favorite crockpot desserts. :-)

 
 
Avoid the hassle of making individual batches of topping: increase the recipe in whatever multiples you would like (x2, x4, etc), divide into labeled ziplock bags and store in the fridge (1 month) or freezer (3+ months). Whenever you make any kind of fruit crisp, grab a defrosted bag out of the fridge and crumble over your filling. 

 
 
I'll be adding to this list and updating links as I use more recipes to remake leftovers.
  • Beefy Chilis Rellenos
  • Pasta Fazool
  • Tunisian-Style Chili
 
 
This is not quite the recipe I'd intended :-( but I was taking care of a sick kiddo this morning, so my husband helped get dinner into the crockpot and also took the liberty of adding his own flavors and leaving others out. :-) The traditional recipe calls for a small amount of cinnamon, but my hubby is of the firm opinion that cinnamon, nutmeg and the like belong only in desserts. Ah, well, another day I'll share the traditional recipe and you can see for yourself that main dishes are missing out if they don't include these spices. ;-)

 
 
I'm trying to get back into my routine of menu planning and crockpot cooking this week. Yesterday I was perusing several blogs for inspiration and motivation, and came across The Busy Cook's pyramid, a fantastic menu planning resource from Menus4Moms. It includes freezer cooking, multi-meal cooking, quick and simple recipes, and more. 

Based on that pyramid, here's the plan I've come up with for the next week:

  • 5 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner, tripled; extra 2 meals will add to Freezer Cooking inventory
  • 1 Large Weekend Dinner, for 2 additional meals of Remade Leftovers
  • 1 Large Batch of Sauce, Fermented Food or Prepared Ingredient (i.e. tomato sauce, shredded potatoes, dried fruit) to supplement Quick and Easy Meals
  • 1 Breakfast-for-Dinner
  • 1 Dessert, doubled; extra dessert will add to Freezer Cooking inventory
  • 1 Large Batch of Snack Food for sack lunches or traveling