Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Freezer Meals

Hey Friends, here's the much anticipated freezer meals I made last week. I pulled recipes from multiple sites, so I will put the link to their page at the beginning of each set of recipes. I in total spent about $80, granted I did not buy every necessary ingredient, like all the spices. I kinda make shifted it... and I'm terrible at following the directions anyhow!

We have tried one of the meals, the hawaiian chicken and it was ok. I think you have to be careful what kind of sauces you buy. I forgot to pay attention to the sodium so it was definitely too salty for me! 

Here Goes:

1. Gather your recipes. I pasted them all into a word document. I then opened a second word document and put the two files side by side so I could add items to my grocery list while I read over the recipes. I tried to find recipes that had similar ingredients and were simple.

2. Label your gallon zip locks with morning of instructions and cook time. Most the websites I read recommend putting the bag in the fridge the night before you want to cook it. I may just lay it out on the counter or run hot water over it to loosen the contents and then put it in the crockpot. My days are longer than the time frame some of the recipes call for, so I am hoping putting them in frozen will lengthen cooking time. 

3. Go shopping. I went to 2 stores. Our local Sprouts (=cheaper New Seasons) and Costco for meat.

4. Start Chopping. Some websites suggest going meal by meal others cut up everything and then bagged it. You be the judge of this I kind of did a mix.

5. Add your veggies, seasonings, meat and then liquids. 

6. Push all the air out of the bag and lay flat to freeze.

Here are the recipes I used.

Two Bean Beef Crock Pot Chili Recipe-- http://j3nn.net/blog/2011/05/16/bean-there-ate-that/
1 lb ground beef --> I used ground turkey because I already had it
2 cans precooked beans of choice, drained
3 to 4 cans diced canned tomatoes with liquid (or plain tomato sauce, or mixture of both)
1 large white onion, diced
1 TBSP olive oil
Salt + pepper to taste
Cumin to taste, approx. 2 teaspoons or to taste
Chili powder to taste (approx. 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon sugar, optional
Garlic powder to taste
Garlic salt, optional
Cayenne pepper, approx. 1/2 teaspoon or to taste

   In nonstick skillet, cook onions in olive oil until softened; add to crock pot. *Important to cook down onions before adding in tomatoes which could hamper cooking.
   Add in all other ingredients, break beef up with spoon; cook on medium-high for 4-6 hours or until beef is cooked thoroughly. Stir every so often.
Makes approx. 8-12 servings
These recipes came from http://ashleynoelbarnes.blogspot.com/2013/05/10-freezer-to-crockpot-meals.html?m=1

creamy italian chicken
in the bag: 
4 chicken breasts
1 (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 can cream of chicken
1 dry packet of italian seasoning
to cook: 
cook on low for 4-6 hours

chicken fajitas
in the bag: 
2 green peppers 
1 onion
3 chicken breasts
1/2 cup chicken broth
taco seasoning packet
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
to cook: 
cook on low for 5-6 hours
shred meat and serve on tortillas

honey rosemary chicken
in the bag: 
4 chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup honey 
1/3 cup olive oil 
3 tbs rosemary, chopped
1 tsp salt
to cook: 
cook on low for 6-8 hours

I found these recipes on Ring Around The Rosie- http://www.ringaroundtherosies.net/2012/02/freezer-cooking.html

Beef Bean Stew- Makes 2 bags
*Remember think about the kind of tomato sauce or the kind of teriyaki sauce. I am a propionate of glass containers over cans due to BPA. 

Teriyaki Chicken-Makes 2 bags

Shopping list

19 chicken breasts--used 1 bag of frozen chicken breasts from costco
1 lb ground turkey
4lbs stewing beef
2 sweet potatoes --instead of the called for red potatoes in the stew
4 onion
red onion
2 green peppers
8oz cream cheese
1 can cream of chicken
1 dry packet Italian seasoning
2 can pineapple
1 15oz tomato sauce
teriyaki sauce
1 can tomato paste
4 cans diced tomatoes
2 cups beans my choice- I used dried, but it calls for canned--your choice
10 oz lima beans
Chicken broth
Taco seasoning

Items I already had on hand:
brown sugar
olive oil

 Like I mentioned I used what I had in the way of seasonings so they are not on the list. 

The provided links are WONDERFUL resources! Check them out!  

This made us 9 meals which came to about $9 a meal. For just the two of us we definitely had enough for leftovers. 


--Melissa Delight

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