Freezer meals

I an trying my best to not turn this into a pregnancy or mommy blog but I am sure that this will happen despite my efforts.  At any rate I am trying to break up my baby posts with whatever I feel like writing about.  Today this is Cooking.  Freezer meals that is.  Mainly for when I am feeling lazy and don't want to cook.  Lets face it there seem to be more and more of those days lately.  In addition to the little one on the way, the "D" word has been dropped.  Yup a deployment is in the foreseeable future.  If I intend to stay healthy during this time I am going to have to do a bit of leg work to make sure it happens.

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)
Chili
Boeuf Bourguignon  (I modify it)

Homemade Chicken Nuggets
Grandma's Meatballs
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)

Blueberry Muffins
Banana Nut Muffins
Pumpkin 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.



Comments

  1. I love making freezer meals, it's so easy. :)

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    1. It was the best thing we ever did!

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  2. Stopping by from the walkabout linkup and am your newest follower. I would love for you to stop by my blog and follow along.
    xo,
    Angela

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for following, I will stop by.

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  3. First: How was I NOT following you?
    Second; THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU! I am an absolute waste when it comes to freezer meals and LOVE this post! I can't wait to try out some stuff and stock it away for nights I just don't want any part of the kitchen!

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    1. Honestly the easiest was to start is by making a double batch of something you already know you love. We started with out chili recipe. I write the date (month & year) as well as any thing that's missing from it. Like the chili we put it over rice to beef it up or use tortilla chips to lighten it up. So I will write "over rice or with tortilla chips" on the label. That way I know to make sure I have rice before I reheat it. What helps me a ton and I should have written this above was to keep a list of all freezer meals. I put it on the dry erase board in the kitchen and make sure to keep it up to date at all times.

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    2. Silly iPhone sent it too soon. I will be doing another post in freezer meals when I do my next batch of food next week with pictures and everything.

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