Cook Like a Freezer Diva PLUS a Recipe for Spicy Sausage, Beans & Rice (Podcast #143)

Cook Like a Freezer Diva PLUS a Recipe for Spicy Sausage, Beans & Rice (Podcast #143)

If cooking dinner for your family night after night feels like a chore, be sure to tune into this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast for our interview with Heidi Lewerenz and Kay Pickar, The Freezer Divas. With seven kids between them, these busy moms from Wisconsin have devised a system where they get together every six to eight weeks to cook and freeze dozens of meals between them. Their freezer cooking frenzy saves time and money, and the result is freezers filled with hearty, family-friendly meals that are always at the ready.

Heidi and Kay are The Freezer Divas. You can find them on their website, Cook Like a Diva or “Like” them on Facebook.

We first “met” Heidi through our Meal Makeover Moms’ Facebook fan page. Heidi was one of our volunteer recipe testers for No Whine with Dinner, and our virtual friendship grew from there. When we heard about The Divas’ freezer cooking success and their strategies for planning, prepping, freezing, and cooking, we decided to share their kitchen wisdom with all of you.

During a recent freezer cooking day at Heidi’s house, her son shreds zucchini in a food processor before it’s mixed into five meatloaves … and then frozen.

Read on for highlights from Heidi and Kay’s 7 Ways to Kick-Start Your Freezer Cooking primer (you can get the complete handout by signing up for their email list), their recipe for Spicy Sausage, Beans & Rice, and for photos of The Divas in action.

Ingredients

  • If cooking dinner for your family night after night feels like a chore, be sure to tune into this week’s Cooking with the Moms podcast for our interview with Heidi Lewerenz and Kay Pickar, The Freezer Divas. With seven kids between them, these busy moms from Wisconsin have devised a system where they get together every six to eight weeks to cook and freeze dozens of meals between them. Their freezer cooking frenzy saves time and money, and the result is freezers filled with hearty, family-friendly meals that are always at the ready.
  • Spicy Sausage, Beans & RiceMakes 6 to 8 Servings (Recipe adapted from The Freezer Divas)
  • “Stick to your ribs,” is the best way to describe this dish. We added a few Meal Makeover Mom tweaks to the recipe based on what we found at the market and what Janice had in her fridge when she prepped the ingredients.
  • One 15-ounce can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • One 8-ounce can tomato sauce (we used no-salt added sauce)
  • 1/4 cup no-salt or low-sodium chicken bouillon (we used 3 pouches Trader Joe’s Reduced Sodium Liquid Concentrate Chicken Broth)
  • 3/4 cup diced onion
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt (we left the salt out!)
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 to 2 cups chopped chicken or beef sausage (we used a 12-ounce package of Hans Organic Chicken Bratwurst Sausage)
  • 2 cups dry brown rice
  • Assemble all of the ingredients in a 1-gallon freezer bag.
Read the whole recipe on Meal Makeover Moms' Kitchen