Freezer Meals & Recipes

I will be adding some recipes and ideas for Freezer Cooking (or OAMC) here, but also just general recipes that are easy to make. I have had several people ask me about this. I do this on a much smaller scale than some, but it is what works for me! This page is a work in progress! 🙂

When I first started freezer cooking, I was envious of those who could do Once a Month Cooking. I knew I couldn’t do it on that grand of a scale, but I also knew I wanted to start somewhere! All those nights I would come home from work and be clueless about what to make, pressed for time because we had other activities or just plain tired and wanting to get supper cooked and sit on the couch! Yes, that is definitely why I wanted to start freezer cooking.

If you know what I mean, then you know how hard it is. Now, enter my wanting to eat better for our family and keeping a tighter food budget and you see why this is something I needed to do.

I did some meal plans–but I wasn’t strict about them. My family never wanted to eat what I “plan” or our schedules changed. So, here are a few tips and tricks I have learned along the way. I promise you, I am not Mrs. Organization, Suzy Homemaker, Betty Crocker, or any of those super moms out there…….I am a real, working wife and mother who would rather spend her time with her family instead of cooking for them.

Starting Point

Everyone must have a starting point. Although I wanted to work for an entire day to fill up my freezer and show how great I was, I knew it was unrealistic! My advice–1. Don’t skimp on the freezer bags. Buy name brand and use coupons! It’s worth it! 2. Have a clean kitchen when you start and wash dishes/load dishwasher as you go.

  • Buy a large portion of ground hamburger, turkey or chicken and fry it all at once. I personally DON’T season any of my meat because plans change. I drain it, allow it to cool, and put what I consider enough to make something particular with it (tacos, spaghetti, chili, etc.) in a Ziploc freezer bag.
  • Buy a whole chicken, chicken legs/thighs, breast cuts (or whatever may be on sale) and cook it up for shredded chicken. You can do this on the stove or use your crock pot. That’s my favorite way–just cover with water and cook on high for about 4 hours. (You can use this in soups, tacos, chili, etc) Again, I don’t season it until I bring it out to cook.  SAVE the broth, strain it and allow it to cool as well and freeze it in quart bags. This can be used for soups or anything that requires chicken broth.
  • When you make soups, always make twice as much and freeze half of it.
  • Any larger meal you make (like lasagna or casseroles) can also be made 2 at a time and one can be frozen. Depending on what it is, you may be able to freeze it before it is cooked or after. Do a little research if you aren’t sure.

Additional Tips:

Flash freeze anything that could stick together like the biscuits, potatoes cubes, vegetables or mini meatloafs. Flash freezing just means to spread them out on freezer safe flat pans (like a cookie sheet) and freeze until they start to harden. Then they are safe to put together in a freezer safe bag. You just don’t want them to stick together. 🙂

This is exactly HOW I started…..now some more specific details of how to do a little more and recipes that I have actually tried and know they work.

The easiest way for me to do some of this is to link to my Pins on Pinterest that I have actually tried and LOVED!

Homemade Pizza Dough  I usually have 2 of these in the freezer at all times. I like them because I know exactly what is in them!

Mini Meatloaf I actually freeze these in a gallon Ziploc bag and take out what I need. You can also defrost for about 2 min and microwave 45 sec at a time. This is what my kids do!

Twice Baked Potatoes Scroll down the page to see the potatoes. This is easy! Just bake potatoes, cut and pull out insides, mix, then re-stuff. Individually wrap in plastic wrap, then place in a gallon freezer bag. Says you can thaw and bake, but you can also microwave. Just unwrap and defrost for about a min, then cook in 30 sec intervals on high.20140131-131559.jpg

Freezer Biscuits Simple to do and you can cook 1 or more at a time. Just like buying from the freezer section–you pull out how many you need to cook and then zip the bag back up.

Chicken Roll Ups These are delicious and they freeze well in a shallow disposable pan with a cover or saran & aluminum foil cover.

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Crockpot Beef Stroganoff  This was delicious. Not necessarily a freezer recipe, but it is a great one to start before you head out the door in the morning!

One Pan Chicken  I don’t really know the name of this, but it is fast, easy and delicious! One pan in the oven and you have a full meal (minus the bread of course)! There really isn’t a link to a blog on this, so it will take you to Pinterest. Sign up if you don’t already have an account. Takes an hour to bake, but about 10 min to put together. You can sub pretty much any vegetable you want–You could sub cauliflower and broccoli to make it healthy and leave off some of the butter. Definitely a “Go-To” meal when I don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

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Crock Pot (or stove-top) Chicken & Dumplins  You can make on the stove faster if you just got home and have nothing else planned (use a rotisserie chicken from the deli or even canned chicken breast) or you can plan ahead and let it cook while you’re at work.

Bubble Pizza  This is another “not so good for you” meal, but it will do in a pinch. Like, your kids call and say they have ALL invited a friend over for supper! You can whip these up quickly and they will be happy! Serve them with a salad and at least you have a pretty well rounded meal. You can always sub out turkey products for beef products and use 2% cheese as well. It goes together quickly and is so good you may have to buy more Pyrex dishes!

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Now, to have time to write down some of my own tried and true recipes. I will get to that soon I hope! Don’t be afraid to make a recipe work for you! If you don’t like something it calls for, read the entire recipe to see if it can be left out. Most of the time spices and vegetables are pretty easy to leave out or substitute for something you do like.

I am NOT “Suzy Homemaker” or “Betty Crocker”–no professional here! I do hope you find something you like and if you have requests of something you want on this page I would be happy to make that happen!

Thanks for visiting!

 

 

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