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I mentioned last week that my sister came to visit me for a couple weeks last month. It had been nearly two years since I had seen her so as the days got closer all I could think was the things I wanted to do with her when she came.
My sister is skilled in many areas but the kitchen is one of her definite strong points. And not just cooking but cooking healthy meals- clean eating. I asked her to think ahead and help me prepare for a handful of freezer meals. That way, when she was gone and baby was here I would not have to be making supper every night.
So after she had been here for about a week we decided we better get to making these meals before baby decides to come. We were pushing it as it was waiting until after my due date to get started!
So one morning we sat down with the flyer from my local grocery store and my Checkout 51 app. I use the flyer from the store to see the foods that are on sale and also which foods are extra points that month. Our store gives points. For every 1,000 points we get $1. This adds up fast when you pay attention to what items are extra points that month.
I use the Checkout 51 app to see which items are available for cashback through that app. When I upload my receipt to the app whatever items from their list I bought I get a certain amount of money back from them. So far I have $23 saved up on that app. Every dollar counts! I highly suggest using Checkout 51!
Anyway, we first made our list of meals to make: Honey Garlic Chicken, Breaded Chicken, Spaghetti, Baked Penne, and Faijitas.
Then we made a list of what ingredients I needed for each meal. Remember side dishes and veggies. I suggest going with frozen veggies. They keep for so long and are so easy to quickly heat up.
Making this list with such detail made shopping a BREEZE. Seriously, why don’t I do this all the time? We were in and out of the grocery store so fast! We didn’t get anything we didn’t need. We didn’t come home and realize what we had forgotten. Everything that was on the list went into the basket and it was so easy!
So as soon as we got home we got started. The meat was all fresh and we didn’t want to freeze it. If you do this you really should pick a day where you can do it all in one day. And if you have kids don’t be afraid to get a friend to help you out. We knocked these meals out in 2 hours because there were the two of us.
- Honey Garlic Chicken. I posted the recipe to this a year or two ago in my Meal Plan Monday series so I won’t post it again here. Just run on over to that post and find it. To make this a freezer meal we just put the chicken into the bag then dumped all the sauce into the ziploc bag with it. Bam. Done. It really doesn’t get easier than that. I had 5 pieces of chicken in each bag because that’s what feeds my family for one meal. Then I made 2 of these. 2 meals down.
- Breaded Chicken. Another SUPER EASY meal. This is one of our favourite suppers. It’s really so easy and the clean up is just as easy. First make your breading mix: bread crumbs (I used gluten free), garlic powder, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes. Add all of these to taste (or smell really). Line a baking dish with foil and spray with oil. Dip the chicken in some milk then the bread crumbs. Line them up in the pan then bake until crispy. I cover mine for the first 45 minutes or so then uncover for the last 10-15 minutes. The baking time really depends on what type of chicken you are using. To make this a freezer meal- after dipping in the milk and bread crumbs I put them directly in the ziploc bag and froze them like that (uncooked). When it was time to cook I just thawed them completely and baked them according to the above directions. Turned out great! Again, I made 2 of these.
- Fajitas. We just cut up the chicken into strips and peppers into strips and bagged them up like that in portion sizes according to what my family would eat. When it was time to cook them I thawed them completely then cooked it on the stove top. I added some fajita seasoning and bam it’s supper time. I bought and froze cheese for this meal to make sure I’d have enough for all the times we were going to have this. I made only 2 of these suppers but wish I would have made more. It was by far the easiest supper. Remember to grab tortillas to complete the meal!
- Baked Penne. This one we had a lot of fun making. I made my spaghetti sauce while my sister made the baked penne sauce. We made it a competition to see who could make the best sauce. Turns out at the end we both made sauces to completely different we couldn’t even really compare them. So for this sauce that my sister made she started with some lean ground beef (use whatever ground meat you prefer) and lots of red and yellow peppers. We really like peppers. Once that was cooked she added tomato sauce, Italian seasoning and adobo seasoning. Have you ever heard of adobo seasoning? She introduced me to it and now I love it. It goes great on everything! Anyway, that’s all that sauce was made up of. We boiled some penne noodles and combined the noodles with the sauce in a large ziploc bag. We made enough to make 2 meals. We froze it like that and when I cooked it I lined a glass pan with foil, sprayed the foil then dumped the (thawed) supper in. I put some shredded cheese on top and baked it at 350 for about 15 minutes. So easy!
- Spaghetti. This is a freezer meal I actually make every month. I make one big batch of spaghetti sauce and freeze it into portions that my family will eat in one meal. I use one pound of ground beef, a large can of tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes, and lots of bell peppers. Then I just add a little sugar, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Italian seasoning. Of course you can add whatever you like in spaghetti sauce. This amount makes 4 suppers for us. I freeze it and when it’s time for supper I thaw the sauce and boil some noodles. Again, super easy!
Having these meals in the freezer has made all the difference for me with the new baby here! It’s so nice to just pull something out of the freezer and it’s ready to go! And these few meals gave us enough variety that we didn’t get tired of the menu. And it all only took us 2 hours to make!
What are some of your favourite freezer meals? Which ones from my list have you had before? What are some tips on freezer meals you can share with us? Leave me a comment below!
And my sister has a Facebook group RbennerFitness if you’d like to keep up with her healthy meal ideas. She also runs fitness challenges from time to time through that group! She also is a Beach Body coach and if you’re interested in checking out what that’s all about just go to her website!
Every week I link up to these great blogs.