Enter a basically empty deep freezer, a vacuum seal machine, a huge pile of Tupperware, no less than three boxes of gallon freezer bags, masking tape, and a Sharpie. I like to label everything. Sometimes I even write directions on the bag themselves. I know it's sickening.
I sat down today feeling like I needed to make a list of everything that I wanted to make to store in the freezer. Or even prep and store in the freezer. If you have any questions about any of these I will be happy to answer them for you.
Sauce (3x at least)
Spinach Roll ups
Spinach Stuffed Shells
1/2 Lasagna pan
Chicken Lentil Soup
Chicken Tortilla Soup (minus the tortilla strips)
Boeuf Bourguignon (I modify it)
Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Nanny's Stuffed Peppers
Portioned Chicken Breasts
Seasoned Chicken Fajita
boneless Pork and pork shoulder
Ground Beef, Turkey, and sausage stored separately
Various different fruit stored separately
Various Fruit smoothie mix
Aloha Pork Chops (I modify this a bit)
Banana Nut Muffins
I am debating doing breakfast burritos but I am not sure how I feel about microwaving eggs as they can get rubbery.
This is what I have for now. I like variety in meals so I am sure that more will be added to this. When I stumble onto a good recipe.
Ok a few quick notes on freezer meal:
- Always Always Always when freezing crock pot meals keep the meat separate from everything else. It needs to be fully thawed before you can put it in the crock pot. It will not hit the proper temperature needed to kill the bacteria quick enough regardless of the cooking time. you can add the veggies frozen without a problem.
- The easiest way to make "Bertolli" style meals is to cook the meat just shy of being done let it cool then fully freeze all the items on a cookie sheet (leave space around pieces) then add them all to a bag. For the sauce put them in an ice cube tray but only fill them half way. Once fully frozen add those to the bag as well. If you just throw everything in the bag and freeze them that way you end up with one giant lump of food that will take forever to thaw. That will also cause some of the items to be over cooked.
- Leave out rice and pasta from soups. They turn to mush when you reheat them.
- I portion everything out. Over time I have found that one quart Tupperware works well for just the two of us.
- Label everything! I use masking tape and a sharpie. I hate playing guess the meal when staring into the freezer trying figure out what to make for dinner.
- I have never regreted making the portions for the freezer smaller than I thought I should, especially when I am making these for one.