I made a big batch of freezer meals* last week. I just went to the grocery store and found chicken for a great price, so I'm stocking up some more.
My game plan is to have my freezer stocked with enough meals to make life a little easier once we become a family of six. I'm also trying to just prepare for the next two months of being pregnant--assuming I will want to rest more in the months to come.
*This asterisk is here because what I call "freezer meals" may not be what you'd call freezer meals or what you would find if you went searching for them online. I do a lot of 'partial' freezer cooking. It's really just a form of meal prep. It has helped me tremendously over the last year and a half! My sweet friend, Kristin, got me jump-started with it.
So, here are a few of the recipes I made and have loaded in my freezer right now:
--Baked Sweet & Sour Chicken (I already had 2 small packages of 2 chicken breasts frozen, so I just made the sauce and then poured it --once it cooled-- into a Ziploc with the pineapple, peppers, and celery. Then, I bundled the chicken ziplocs with the sauce ziploc.)
--Balsamic Pork Chops (I just freeze the chops and label the bag with the name. This isn't really "freezer cooking" since I still have to prep once they are thawed, but at least I have a plan for this particular bag of chops.)
--Shepherd's Pie (I make the beef mixture and freeze it in ziploc bags. When ready to use, thaw the meat, make some mashed potatoes--I use instant, assemble the dish, and bake.)
--Sloppy Joe's (I actually only cooked the beef with onions. I'll make the sauce when I'm ready to cook these, though you could do the whole thing in advance and make it a true freezer dish.)
--Sweet Soy Chicken
--Sausage & Cheddar Biscuits (Something for a quick breakfast on the run!)
I'm linking each one to a separate post on my food blog. It hasn't been updated in a very long time, so I thought this was a fitting opportunity. I also list the source for each recipe there.
I love to look for recipes online. I keep them in bookmarks, separated by type of dish (main-chicken, main-pork, main-Italian, side dish, dessert, etc). Once I have tried a dish, I delete the bookmark. If we like the dish, I print it and put it in our family's favorites binder. (I'll post about that later.) And, if you look at our food blog, I have a label for "freezer meal". I'm going to try and keep updating it. *try* is the key word there
What plan works to feed your family with as little fuss as possible?