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Preparing Freezer Meals (with recipes!)

Preparing Freezer Meals (with recipes!)

It's baby time again. One of the top priorities on my preparations list is food. I want to have a good stockpile of things that are nutritious, delicious, and easy to prepare. Enter freezer meals. I first tried freezer cooking several years ago before a week of revival meetings, and I've done it several times since. Freezer meals are a life saver in the first weeks after a baby is born.

Because I want to make a large amount of meals in just a few hours, I try to pick recipes that only require chopping and dumping ingredients into gallon-sized freezer bag. I also try to find recipes that don’t require ingredients that are expensive or hard to find here in Belize, such as cream soups or Parmesan cheese.

Thefamilyfreezer.com has a wealth of freezer cooking recipes with shopping lists already prepared. A quick Pinterest search will reveal many more. When I do a large batch of meals (I've done 30 in a day several times), I double each one. This is a quick and efficient way to do a lot of meals. This time I did a smaller batch of meals—only 10—so I didn't double any of the recipes.

When you have the recipes selected, make a list of all the ingredients you'll need to buy. Separate your grocery list into categories by putting the produce, meat, canned goods, spices, etc together to make your shopping experience easier.

Label gallon-sized freezer bags with the contents and any cooking or serving instruction you want to remember.

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If you are making a large number of meals, you'll save a lot of time by chopping the vegetables the day before. One medium onion equals about 1 cup of chopped onion, so I like to chop all my onions in the food processor and then scoop out the called-for amount. Buying already-minced garlic can save a lot of time as well.

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On the freezer cooking day, set out all the ingredients you bought. Take the lids off all the seasonings. Set measuring spoons nearby for easy access. Lay out the pile of recipes and labeled bag. A large bowl works well to put the bags in while filling to catch spills.

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Dump the ingredients into each bag, squeeze as much air out as possible, and seal the bags. Lay the bags flat on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer.

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On the day you want to make the freezer meal, pull it out of the freezer several hours before dumping into the crockpot (or the night before if making it for lunch). However, if you forget to do this, add some extra cooking time, and be sure to break up any frozen chunks an hour or so after placing in the crockpot.

This is what the table looked like when we were finished!

This is what the table looked like when we were finished!

 

Some of our favorite crockpot meals:

 Pork Carnitas

Yields: One bag with six servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 pounds pork shoulder roast

  • 1 tablespoon chili powder

  • 1 teaspoon cumin

  • 1 teaspoon oregano

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • ¾ cup orange juice (2 oranges)

  • ¼ cup lime juice (2 limes)

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 onion, quartered

Instructions:

  1. Dump the ingredients into a freezer bag.

  2. On cooking day, dump the contents of the freezer bag into your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours or high 4-5 hours.

  3. Remove roast from slow cooker and shred. Return to slow cooker and heat for an additional 30 minutes.

  4. Remove the pork from the slow cooker and place on a baking sheet. Broil in the oven for 3-4 minutes to brown the edges of the pork (optional).

  5. Serve with tortillas and shredded cheese, sour cream, fresh salsa, avocado, lettuce, or hot sauce.

 

 

Crockpot Italian Beef/Chicken and Veggies

Yields: One bag with six servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds of meat, fat trimmed (I’ve made one bag with chicken thighs and one bag with a boneless beef chuck shoulder roast)

  • 16 ounce bag of California mix vegetables (I used chopped carrots and broccoli)

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon each: onion powder, thyme, basil, oregano

  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • ¼ teaspoon pepper

Instructions:

  1. Dump the ingredients into a freezer bag.

  2. On cooking day, dump contents of the freezer bag into your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours, or until meat is tender.

  3. If using beef, shred meat before serving.

  4. Serve with rice or rolls.

 

Chicken Fajitas

Yields: One bag with 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 pound chicken breast

  • 2 sweet peppers

  • 1 onion

  • 1/2 cup chicken broth

  • taco seasoning packet

  • 1 tsp. chili powder

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

  • 1 tsp. salt

Instructions:

  1. Dump the ingredients into a freezer bag.

  2. On cooking day, dump contents of the freezer bag into your slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 5-6 hours.

  3. When it’s cooked, shred the meat and add it back to the pepper mixture and serve on warm tortillas with your favorite toppings such as cheese, guacamole, sour cream and fresh salsa.

 

Salsa Chicken

Yields: One bag with 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 chicken breasts

  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans

  • 1 pound bag frozen corn 

  • 1 can diced tomatoes with chilis (like Rotel) 

  • 1 jar salsa 

  • 1 packet of taco seasoning

 Instructions:

  1. Dump the ingredients into a freezer bag.

  2. On cooking day, dump contents of the freezer bag into your slow cooker and cook on high for 4 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

  3. Serve with rice or on tortillas along with shredded cheddar and sour cream.

Have you tried freezer cooking? What’s your favorite freezer meal?

 

Prepare for baby time with a batch of healthy, delicious freezer meals ready to be dumped into the slow cooker! #momonamissionblog #freezermeals #freezercooking #healthy #frugal #slowcooker

Prepare for baby time with a batch of healthy, delicious freezer meals ready to be dumped into the slow cooker! #momonamissionblog #freezermeals #freezercooking #healthy #frugal #slowcooker

 

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