Monday, March 18, 2013

Freezer Meals

With any luck I will get to meet my wee little baby in just eight short days!  Well I don't start maternity leave till Friday, so the days won't feel short, but I have plenty to do in the mean time.

Since last week was spring break the nesting instinct had chance to gain a foothold, as I had little else to do. The nursery is almost finished, and I started making meals to freeze.

Never one to reinvent the wheel I headed over to pinterest to find some freezer recipe. I wish I could say that I hit a slam dunk, but with the combo of M's finicky eating habits, Crohn's, and my corn allergy there was not much out there.  I did manage to cobble together a list of things that will work for us, and am attempting to adapt a few of my own favorites into things that I can freeze and cook later.  I'll put my list of meals with links here, as much for me as anyone. I'll be sure to post any of my own recipes that I freeze. and link them back to this page. Not every recipe was touted as a freezer meal, but if I list it here then I froze it!

Recipes from around the web:

Homemade Applesauce This was not planed, but we had a ton of apples last night! It freezes just fine.
(UPDATE: This worked out really well!)

The Best Pot-Roast I have ever eaten (sorry Dad) I'm going to sear the meat, add all the veggies and whatnot and then freeze to put in the crock-pot later. I haven't ever frozen this before, but I have made it in the crock-pot and it works fine. (UPDATE: this turned out really tough, which is something that I have never experienced making this. I guess it didn't work out as a freezer meal.)

Gourmet Magazine's Meatloaf  I'm going to make this up until the: and then cook for an hour step. I leave out the celery, use all beef (no pork for M), and substitute the cherries for raisins and it tastes amazing. (UPDATE: cook this in fist sized balls and cook for 30, they freeze, defrost and microwave perfectly)

 Crock-pot Cilantro Lime Chicken
(UPDATE: This was fine, but its so easy you really don't have to freezer meal it, especially if you can keep fresh celantro around.)

Chicken and Wild Rice
(Update: We really didn't like this, which was surprising since we like all the parts alone. My advice, up the oven time or cut the chicken into bits, it needs more time to cook.)

Breakfast Tacos
(Update: AMAZING)

Mom's Keftethes (Meatballs)

Beef Stir-fry
(you can do this however)

Need more about freezer meals? This blog has lots of good info about prepping freezer meals (and lots of recipes M will never eat)

Now I know there are lots of things that I could have made and frozen, but honestly there are some things that are not worth making myself sometimes. If there is a commercial version available that M and I can actually both eat, you better believe I would rather just buy it then make it. Example: hamburger patties. Yes I am capable of flattening out some beef and freezing it, only to thaw and grill later, but unless I am having people over chances are hamburgers are being made because we are out of food and I'm too lazy to make anything. Guys, if that is the only reason why I am eating a hamburger then newsflash: THEY SELL THOSE PRECOOKED! And there is usually a coupon giving me buns or ketchup or soda for free if I buy it. You must be thinking "But you can buy precooked meatballs!" You are right there, but for some unknown reason they put cheese in those and M will not eat it.

Let me leave you with a genius freezer meal I made yesterday. At HEB they sell this premeditated Fajita meat. I usually don't buy this unless I have people coming over, but I thought, humm..... dinner tonight, dinner after baby comes.

There were 7 chicken thighs in there. I made three last night for dinner, and cut up an onion and pepper to throw in with the remaining four.  I figured there might be extra people around visiting the baby when it comes time to eat this.

All I have to do when the time comes is put it in the fridge in the morning, and have M grill it in the evening! Done and done. Could I have marinated my own chicken? Sure, but not for the price I paid. It also took me about 2 min to prep since I was cooking this for dinner anyway. Just had to label the bag. Bonus: this leftover meat makes awesome Arroz con Pollo in about as long as it takes to cook some rice. Yep, that was dinner tonight.

Hope my freezer rambeling hasn't driven you too nuts!
The Artsy Girl.

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