The first of many freezer meal prep days is complete!! I think this is going to be a monthly gig for us. It makes it especially brilliant since we get paid once a month. If I can spend a couple of days at the beginning of the month shopping and prepping all our meals for the month instead of weekly figuring out what’s on sale, figuring out what I can make with it and making grocery lists and then doing the shopping and then cooking every night… I’ll take the achy back for TWO days of shopping & cooking instead!! Thank You Very MUCH!!!
After Costco all I had to work with for meat was chicken breasts so I split the 10lbs of chicken into 9 meals. I used 2 chicken breasts per bag so some will have more left overs than others based on the size of the breasts.
- Fajta Chicken (2)
- Boiled Chicken (2)
- Chinese Chicken & Broccoli
- BBQ Chicken with Sweet Potatoes
- Italian Chicken with Mushrooms, Spinach & Artichoke Hearts
- Chicken Lo Mein
- Thai Cashew Chicken
While boiling up the chickens I added some onion and celery clippings and a bag of chicken bones we had left over from roasted chicken thighs, all of which was stashed in individual bags in the freezer. Add in a couple of bay leaves some pepper and Viola I now have some sensational chicken stock in the freezer too.
- Chicken Stock
While the chopping and sorting was going on I also had my bread machine working its magic!! By the time I was done so was it…hot, fresh, clean whole wheat bread – DONE!! I took the leftover bread and cut it up for croutons and stashed them in the freezer. Now I can add to the croutons every time I make a new loaf of bread and Mr Man can enjoy clean croutons with his salads instead of those crazy expensive, preservative and chemical laden ones in the store. Double Score!!
- Loaf of Whole Wheat Bread
- Homemade Croutons
While I had the chicken boiling in one pot I had another pot going with Marinara sauce simmering. I used 4 cups of tomato sauce, 2 cans of diced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, gr pepper and garlic (lots of garlic) and seasonings. I ended up with 2 quart size baggies full of homemade sauce. And I still have the majority of the Big Ass can of Tomato Sauce left!!
- Marinara Sauce (2)
While waiting for the Chickens to boil I had a little time to make up individual serving size Smoothie Bags. They were the easiest of the prep to do because absolutely NO cooking is involved…just divide up the goods and DONE!! I used a handful of spinach, half a frozen banana and about 1/2 cup of frozen fruit, mostly berries but some peaches too. I ended up with 12 Smoothie baggies and since I don’t have them every morning this is plenty for the month. Now I can dump the baggie straight into the blender with some coconut water and breakfast is served!!
- Smoothies (12)
I also blanched some broccoli stalks I had stashed in the freezer then pulsed them in the food processor. Now I have finely chopped cooked broccoli on hand to add to any dish a little at a time!!
That concludes day 1 of freezer meals. Not too shabby if I say so myself!! But of course I’m not done yet…that doesn’t come close to a months worth of dinners.
A couple of tips I’d read from other bloggers but didn’t pay attention to…I know I’m such a rebel…but they turned out to be kinda…ok, really important –
- Label your baggies FIRST – it’s super hard to label em with stuff in em
- Check your recipes – figure out how many onions you need to chop for everything and then chop them all at once
- Start with a clean kitchen – this one I actually did, it would have been a nightmare without it
- Try to get the baggies to lay as flat as possible – bunched up baggies take up a lot more freezer space!! Whoopsie!!
- Be realistic about how many recipes/baggies you can do at one time – my kitchen counter space is limited so it simply isn’t possible to do a months worth at one time. Also take inventory of your pots, bowls, crock pots etc. Make sure you aren’t planning on using your biggest pot for 2 recipes at once
- Put some music on – this can easily turn into a chore if you aren’t having fun while doin it!!
After a trip to the regular grocery for more meat, only what’s on sale, and some veggies and other staples like potatoes, wheat flour and dry beans I’m ready for round 2 today. It just happens to be a dreary rainy day down in the deep south so it’s absolutely perfect for cooking up a storm!! On the agenda for round 2 –
- Pork Fried Rice
- Chili Beans
- Refried Beans
- Taco Casserole
- Taco Soup
- Sloppy Joes
- Taco Meat
- Beef Fajtas
- BBQ Pork Ribs
- Apple Pork Chops
- Potato, Green Bean, Onion & Bacon (side dish)
- Hot Sausage with diced tomatoes, onion & garlic (served over pasta)
- Pumpkin Bread
- Banana Bread
- Cookie Dough
- Baked Potatoes
- Diced Potatoes
It sounds like a lot more but it should yield another 10 dinners with a few sides, a few more breakfast options and some desserts…let’s be honest…desserts are going to happen!! 😉
I’ve already got the beans soaking and my recipes printed and ready to go!! Happy prepping to ME!!
Any tips or tricks that y’all have??
With Much Love