Thursday, February 12, 2015

make ahead freezer meals part one

First of all, I would like to apologize for the month long hiatus. Kathryn let me read the life changing magic of tidying up... so I may have spent a few days on clothing and painting my room... and there is still so much to do. Also, we spent last week soaking up some vitamin D in Cuba. Back to the topic of this post...

I took the plunge and tried make ahead freezer meals awhile back. I had bought a bunch of ground beef and made a ton of hamburger patties, meatballs and Sheppards pies. It was so wonderful to be able to bypass the 'what's for dinner' question.

This time, I decided to make a plan on paper. What I came up with was 6 categories with 5 recipes in each. Since we were in Cuba for the first week of the month, we still had all of our budgeted grocery money from last week, as well as 65$ worth of Sobeys's points to use up, so we decided to do the most expensive category first: Chicken.

My chicken meal list:

1. Chicken pot pies: Although not done yet, I have all the ingredients and plan on making them today. Basically I'm using my apple pie crust and making an easy chicken stew with homemade broth and frozen veggies. I'm hoping to make four meals.

2. Chicken stir fry: Apparently peppers are 2$ a piece right now, so I went a bit easy on them. My stir fry bags contain peppers, mushrooms, onions, broccoli, garlic and carrots, plus a smaller bag with chicken strips. Use whatever veggies your family prefers. We also bought rice noodles and pre made stir fry sauce (I know, shocking, seeing as I make my own salad dressing) to make this a nice and easy meal. I made four of these.

3. Chicken taquitos: I used this recipe for tortillas and this one for the insides, and they are AMAZING! A single batch made me about 16. Next time I would make a double batch, which would give me roughly 4 meals.

4. Chicken Parm: I cut the chicken breast in half because they were huge, coated them in flour, then egg then a mixture of breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese and baked them. I froze them four to a bag, giving me four bags. These reheat easily and are great either on a bun, with pasta or just by themselves.

5. Chicken Alfredo: four large bags of chopped broccoli, onion, garlic and mushrooms with a smaller bag of chicken strips in each. We bought four jars of Alfredo sauce to go with them, but forgot to buy the pasta. I guess this just gives me an excuse to try making pasta with my juicer :)

It ended up being a much heftier grocery bill than normal, and my fridge looked pretty empty once I was done, but it did make me 18 freezer meals ( 20 if I were to have doubled the taquito recipe) so I am quite thrilled.

BONUS freezer 'meal'

In Cuba, I had an omelette for breakfast every morning, because I didn't have to make it. I thought that was pretty silly, and since I had recently made all of these freezer meals, I was inspired to pre make my omelettes. Simply pre cut all of the ingredients you would like in your omelette, I used onion, mushrooms, cheese and ham, and divide them into small freezer bags or containers. Take one out the night before, and voilĂ , you have an omelette ready to eat in five minutes.

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