Freezer-Friendly Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Freezer-Friendly Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Disclosure: This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #PrepSealSave #CollectiveBias

A few weeks ago we were visiting some friends. I offered to help her in the kitchen and gave the disclaimer that I probably had about a minute and a half of uninterrupted time to help. Sure enough less than 2 minutes later my 1 year old was at my feet begging to be picked up.  Having a 3 year-old and a 1 year-old my ability to dedicate my sole attention to making dinner is unlikely. I know this sounds crazy but to prep dinner for eating around 5:30 or 6 I usually start about 4, and that is for those recipes that promise they are ready in 30 minutes or less. Those unending amounts of urgent “MOM” pleas prevent me from making a thirty minute recipe in anything short of two hours. During the holidays when we are trying to watch a budget a little closer and be prepared to serve a few extra mouths if the occasion calls for it,  I love to make a few go to dishes and freeze them, one of my fall favorites is Butternut Squash Enchiladas, but I don’t have a ton of space and to freeze a casserole can be a little tricky. Today I’m sharing my tips for freezing my butternut squash enchiladas or your favorite dishes so they will be ready for your busy holiday season:

How to Freeze Casseroles:

  1. Place wax paper in the bottom of your casserole dish, layer your food into the dish and cover with plastic wrap tightly and then with foil. Note: I like to use the dish I will cook it in, so usually I use my 9 x 13 glass casserole dish which is safe for the freezer.
  2. If you are cooking something before freezing it, make sure your food is cool before putting in the freezer, this is better for your appliances and for food safety.
  3. Freeze overnight, then pop your casserole out of the dish. This allows you to keep your dish for other uses and saves you some space too! I used to just put an extra layer of plastic wrap around my casserole, but I found my food came out with so much freezer burn. I started using FoodSaver® FM3941 Vacuum Sealing System and FoodSaver® Bags and Rolls Value Pack to prevent this.  After I freeze my casserole and pop it out, I put it in the FoodSaver® bags and seal it. This keeps my food freezer burn free and keeps it fresh 5x longer than my old go to of freezer bags or plastic wrap.

A few extra things to keep in mind when deciding what types of foods to freeze. Don’t pick any vegetables with a high water content like lettuce or cucumbers. If your dish includes meat you will want to cook that before freezing, but other ingredients can often remain raw, like lasagna noodles. Make sure to label your casserole well with directions for how to prepare so that it doesn’t get lost in the bottom of your freezer.

The FoodSaver® System includes vacuum seal bags, vacuum zipper bags and containers designed to work together with vacuum sealers for optimal performance.  You can also use it to marinate meat quicker and even cook meat through the sous vide method. By taking all of the air out, you can ensure your meat will be cooked evenly throughout.

Want to try it out for yourself?  I got mine at Costco, and they are having these specials in the month of November:

Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Print Recipe
Fall flavors inspire this timeless classic that is prepped and stored in the freezer for a quick meal option to feed last minute company.
Servings
8 people
Servings
8 people
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Print Recipe
Fall flavors inspire this timeless classic that is prepped and stored in the freezer for a quick meal option to feed last minute company.
Servings
8 people
Servings
8 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Put butternut squash in a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the squash. Bring water to boil, and cook until squash is soft, when pierced with a fork about 20 minutes. You may need to rotate the squash from time to time to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Saute until fragrant, another minute or two more.
  3. Remove the squash and cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into 1 inch or smaller cubes and add to a large bowl. Add onion mixture, ground beef (if using), black beans, cream cheese, cumin, and green onions. Stir well.
  4. Line a 9x13 baking dish with wax paper. Spread 1/3 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish and spread into a thin layer.
  5. Scoop about 1/4 cup of filling into each tortilla and loosely roll. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze. For best results, remove dish after freezing overnight, enchiladas will easily pop out and can be moved to a vacuum sealed bag with FoodSaver® FM3941 to keep it fresh even longer.
  6. To use FoodSaver® FM3941, turn the lever to open and pull out the roll to measure out how long the casserole is making sure to leave roughly 4 inches of space. Turn the lever to closed. Press the seal button and when the light turns off, cut the bag.
  7. Place the frozen enchiladas inside the bag, make sure the bumpy side on the sheets are on the top.
  8. Slide the open end into the opening and press vacuum seal.
  9. This will be noisy for a few seconds and you will see all the air get sucked out. Then it will seal it and you can pull it out and freeze it. Be sure to label it with what it is, what temperature to cook it at and for how long.
  10. Follow the same steps to vacuum seal remaining enchilada sauce separately and freeze.
  11. On the day before you want to cook, remove the frozen dish and set in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. On Cooking Day: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Remove enchiladas from FoodSaver® sealed bag and put into 9x13 dish. Spread thawed enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas, cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.
  13. Remove foil and top with cheese. Cook for 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted, enchiladas are warmed through and bubbly.
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Freezer-Friendly Butternut Squash Enchiladas

Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Print Recipe
Fall flavors inspire this timeless classic that is prepped and stored in the freezer for a quick meal option to feed last minute company.
Servings
8 people
Servings
8 people
Butternut Squash Enchiladas
Print Recipe
Fall flavors inspire this timeless classic that is prepped and stored in the freezer for a quick meal option to feed last minute company.
Servings
8 people
Servings
8 people
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Put butternut squash in a large stockpot and fill with enough water to cover the squash. Bring water to boil, and cook until squash is soft, when pierced with a fork about 20 minutes. You may need to rotate the squash from time to time to ensure even cooking.
  2. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Saute onions until soft. Add garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce. Saute until fragrant, another minute or two more.
  3. Remove the squash and cut in half lengthwise, and scoop out seeds. Cut squash into 1 inch or smaller cubes and add to a large bowl. Add onion mixture, ground beef (if using), black beans, cream cheese, cumin, and green onions. Stir well.
  4. Line a 9x13 baking dish with wax paper. Spread 1/3 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish and spread into a thin layer.
  5. Scoop about 1/4 cup of filling into each tortilla and loosely roll. Place seam side down in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and then foil. Freeze. For best results, remove dish after freezing overnight, enchiladas will easily pop out and can be moved to a vacuum sealed bag with FoodSaver® FM3941 to keep it fresh even longer.
  6. To use FoodSaver® FM3941, turn the lever to open and pull out the roll to measure out how long the casserole is making sure to leave roughly 4 inches of space. Turn the lever to closed. Press the seal button and when the light turns off, cut the bag.
  7. Place the frozen enchiladas inside the bag, make sure the bumpy side on the sheets are on the top.
  8. Slide the open end into the opening and press vacuum seal.
  9. This will be noisy for a few seconds and you will see all the air get sucked out. Then it will seal it and you can pull it out and freeze it. Be sure to label it with what it is, what temperature to cook it at and for how long.
  10. Follow the same steps to vacuum seal remaining enchilada sauce separately and freeze.
  11. On the day before you want to cook, remove the frozen dish and set in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. On Cooking Day: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  12. Remove enchiladas from FoodSaver® sealed bag and put into 9x13 dish. Spread thawed enchilada sauce evenly over enchiladas, cover with foil. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven.
  13. Remove foil and top with cheese. Cook for 15 more minutes or until cheese is melted, enchiladas are warmed through and bubbly.
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Low FODMAP Halloween

Low FODMAP Halloween

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links.

It’s no secret, Halloween is my favorite holiday, so it makes me cry whenever something (or someone) takes the fun out of it. One of those things that scares the fun right out of Halloween is digestive issues. If you are following a low FODMAP diet to ease your digestive woes then Halloween can be a nightmare. Most candy has high fructose corn syrup in it (or at least the good stuff does right?), chocolate can be problematic too, and of course that pesky wheat. Even many “healthier” treats have honey, another high FODMAP ingredient.

Let’s talk about navigating those Halloween treats to make the best choices. One thing that may go without saying but I’m going to mention anyway, is that even “low FODMAP” foods can cause a problem if you eat too much of them. No matter how low FODMAP they are, they can cause you digestive distress.  A chronic diet of too many simple sugars feeds a bad population of gut bacteria which can trickle down to digestive issues long-term, and short-term a high simple sugar diet tends to pull water into the gut and cause a whole slew of tummy troubles. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy some delicious Halloween treats with a little moderation. Here are a few things to look for in your favorite candies:

Candy sweetened with low FODMAP safe sweetners such as sugar (Sucrose), cane syrup, corn syrup (different than high fructose corn syrup), dextrose, glucose syrup, and tapioca syrup should all be in the clear

Steer clear of foods that have lactose, high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sorbitol, apple juice concentrate, glycerin and honey.

 

If you want something else to hand out at your door this Halloween try one of these low FODMAP candy alternatives: 

 

Junkless Bars – We all know the houses that give out the FULL-sized candy bars are the best houses right? Imagine being the favorite of both kids and parents by giving out full-sized bars that have simple healthy ingredients too. If you want that, pop these Junkless bars into your candy bin and watch the kids race to you. They have 8 or fewer whole food ingredients: like oats and peanut butter. Plus, they mostly use brown rice syrup to sweeten the bars which is low FODMAP friendly.

Fody Bars – This is another bar that you will love. It is certified Low FODMAP and pretty delicious if I do say so myself. It is low in sugar too (only 6 grams) and has about 7 grams of protein to blunt that sugar high that you will inevitably get from the rest of the candy.

Gluten free pretzels – For those crazy people that don’t want sweets for Halloween, individual snack bags of gluten-free pretzels can be a great treat.  While pretzels as a whole aren’t particularly nutritious they shouldn’t cause any GI upset and can help to stave off a little hunger too.

 

NOTE: The ingredients in products are constantly changing so be sure to check the ingredient list every time your purchase it.  In addition, individuals tolerance varies, you should test your tolerance to these different treats.

Check out this list of candy that you can safely enjoy:

Bethany Frazier/Jim Frazier is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.

Turmeric No Bake Monster Cookies

Turmeric No Bake Monster Cookies

Halloween is one of my favorite holidays. I don’t really get into the creepy, spooky, side, but I do love things that are a little silly like my {Healthy} Brownie Recluse Spiders, from last year. This year I decided to spookify another favorite recipe to share with your family.

A good monster cookie, always hits the spot for me. What’s not to love? Good monster cookies are soft and chewy, but have crunchy ingredients like M&M’s and oats. We make protein bites/energy balls about once a month. I love them because I feel good about serving my family a protein-packed and fiber-rich treat, and my family loves the taste.  I decided to make this fun Halloween alternative. To give it an extra spooky color I added Turmeric. Turmeric is a spice that adds the extra benefit of scaring away the inflammation in your body!  That means these would make a great recovery food for athletes too!

To get the most benefits you need a little black pepper to absorb the turmeric, so eat it after dinner that you added black pepper to, or if you are really hardcore you can add a little black pepper to these spooky little bites. If you need more reasons to add Turmeric in your life check out my post on Turmeric benefits.

turmeric no bake monster cookies
Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies
Print Recipe
Just a few minutes and 6 spooky ingredients and you will have a snack that will bewitch any ghosts or ghouls that come your way this fall season.
turmeric no bake monster cookies
Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies
Print Recipe
Just a few minutes and 6 spooky ingredients and you will have a snack that will bewitch any ghosts or ghouls that come your way this fall season.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Form into balls, and place them on a cookie sheet or plate. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Note: if you are putting eye balls or other decorative sprinkles on them, put them on before placing them in the fridge.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Share this Recipe

Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies

Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies


turmeric no bake monster cookies
Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies
Print Recipe
Just a few minutes and 6 spooky ingredients and you will have a snack that will bewitch any ghosts or ghouls that come your way this fall season.
turmeric no bake monster cookies
Turmeric No-Bake Monster Cookies
Print Recipe
Just a few minutes and 6 spooky ingredients and you will have a snack that will bewitch any ghosts or ghouls that come your way this fall season.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Form into balls, and place them on a cookie sheet or plate. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. Note: if you are putting eye balls or other decorative sprinkles on them, put them on before placing them in the fridge.
  3. Store in an airtight container for up to one week.
Share this Recipe