This week had a theme…. Frozen meals! I talked to so many people and friends about my favourite recipes. Six people to be exact! I never thought I was a frozen meal guru, but maybe I am!
Frozen meals have saved my sanity on numerous occasions. Since my first was born, I spend a few hours every week prepping some of my most delicious recipes. They have helped in nights when we got home late, or it was just my husband at home, or it was a long day and I had zero energy to cook from scratch. All you have to do is throw it in the oven or crock pot and away you go!
First I’m going to answer some common questions when I talk with people about these recipes.
What can I store them in? My favourite items are freezer bags and glass containers. I try to stay away from plastic as best as possible, and glass lasts longer. Also it doesn’t stain like some plastic containers will. Especially if you store pasta sauce in it. That red tone will never come out!
Can I cook the meals ahead of time? There are many recipes that I will cook, cool and then freeze. Some foods store better once already cooked.
Can I just store vegetables? If broccoli is on sale, and you want to stock up. Go for it! Just be sure to read up on how to freeze vegetables. Some produce need to be “blanched”. Boiled for a couple of minutes, tossed in ice water then freeze. The blanching process helps lock in the nutrients, which would otherwise be diminished because the produce couldn’t handle being frozen raw.
Remember, frozen meals don’t last forever. When placing something in the freezer, I always write the date down somewhere. My goal is to use the meal within three months to prevent freezer burn or tarnishing of the nutrients.
Now Jaclyn, I want to know your favourite meals!
- Soups – you can cut up all the ingredients for any soup, including the meat. Place in the freezer bag with the spices you want. Freeze until ready to throw in the crock pot with broth. You could do chicken noodle soup, beef stew, ragu, wild rice stew.
- Stir fry – similar to soups, place all the ingredients chopped into the freezer bag. Throw in the pan when ready, add spices and sauce and there you go! I have added the sauce before into the freezer bag, found my vegetables burned before the sauce thawed in the pan. You could do tofu, chicken, beef with any vegetables.
- Pizza Dough – I always have pizza dough hanging out in the freezer. And it’s easier to store than you think. After making the dough, BEFORE you set it aside to rise. Wrap it in plastic wrap, and freeze right away. You don’t want the yeast to activate yet. When you want to use the dough, place it in an oiled boiled. Leave in a warm place to thaw and rise. Roughly 4-5 hours. Roll, and make your pizza!
- Pasta Sauce
- Burritos – YES! Build your favourite burrito, minus the sauce. Wrap in aluminum foil and done! My Husband loves my chicken, roasted Red pepper rice and black bean burrito.
- Homemade Chicken Fingers – Great for the kids!
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Meatballs – I add these later to pasta sauce, or turn them into a stir fry with rice.
- Roasted Potatos – Must be cooked before freezing. Potatoes raw, do not handle freezing very well.
- Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
- Breakfast Burritos
Really you can take your favourite meal and freeze it! AVOID freezing dairy products, or eggs. Another few items that don’t handle freezing very well when raw. Cooked cheese is good.
Give yourself a few hours one day, make as many meals as you can. Store them in the freezer and you will see for yourself, just how life saving this easy meal prep is!
Thanks for reading,
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