loads of freezer meals + recipes!
Yesterday in my list of accomplishments for the week I shared which freezer meals I’ve got all ready for us. I feel so good about the progress I’ve made!
Here what I made this week:
I followed my all time favorite waffle recipe and just made a quadruple batch. Normally I don’t fill my waffle iron all the way, but I wanted to get the 4 even squares which will then fit in the freezer nicely.
Why I love these waffles: they are packed with protein from the cottage cheese, eggs and milk + they reheat great
While this wasn’t really on my original list, when I saw chuck steak on sale from my favorite local farm I picked up 3 pounds worth. Grilling is definitely going to happen this summer and with these all marinated it will make dinner time even easier –>; Jacob take steaks to grill.
What’s in the bag?
- One big 12 ounce steak (which will likely be sliced up to go on salads)
- Soy-ketchup marinade: 2 tbsp soy sauce + 2 tbsp ketchup + pinch of red pepper flakes (an awesome steak marinade we learned from my aunt and uncle)
- Garlic-rosemary marinade: 2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tbsp dried rosemary + 2 cloves minced garlic
2 steak bags were filled with the soy-ketchup and 2 with the garlic-rosemary
Why I love this: even though making a marinade takes no time, I am all about saving whatever time I can. I don’t know how full my hands will be once our little one arrives. Plus the longer it marinates the tastier it gets. More flavor is always a good thing!
Again, not on my original plan but apples were a steal at the store, so I stocked up. Apple sauce isn’t something I typically make, but I do love having it on hand for a snack (Jacob likes it too), and also for baked goods (like carrot cake donuts).
This applesauce couldn’t be simpler.
- In a large pot combine over medium heat combine: 1.5 cups orange juice, 7-8 apples, peeled, cored and chopped (I used 5 golden delicious and 3 fuji) and tons of cinnamon (at least 2-3 tbsp)
- Cook and stir a few times for 15-20 minutes, or until your apples have softened. Remove from heat, allow to slightly cool then purée in a food processor. Pour into your glass jar of choice and freeze.
This made almost 2 full 32 ounce mason jars worth of apple sauce.
Why I love this: it’s delicious and saves money!
Shrimp enchiladas verde
If you’ve never had shrimp in your enchiladas before now is the time. This recipe is so easy and I can’t even count the number of times we’ve had it. Definitely a family favorite.
Here’s a link to the recipe.
These are the modifications I made:
- Use homemade crockpot refried beans
- Instead of large shrimp, I used shrimp meat (cheaper + I don’t have to chop it)
- Use sharp cheddar cheese
- Whole wheat tortillas instead of corn
- Skipped the cilantro
- Instead of layering the tortillas I filled and rolled them
- I doubled the recipe and made 3 smaller casseroles instead of the large size
Not too spicy and super flavorful!
Why I love this: they are super easy and both Jacob and I love-love-love the flavor of them. Plus we don’t eat much shrimp and it’s an easy way to get it in added into our diets
So yes, I made my own refried beans in the crockpot and it could not have been easier. Tastes like I opened up a can too!
Crockpot Refried Beans
In a crockpot combine the following:
- 1 large onion, diced
- 4 cups dried pinto beans
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp cumin
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- 11 cups of water
Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Drain out excess water, then mash the beans/onions with a potato or avocado masher like I did!
Why I love this: not only does it taste like the real deal from a can, it is crazy inexpensive compared to the price per can — plus you skip all the extra sodium!
Now that you have all those refried beans, you can make enchiladas and these bean + cheese burritos too. Or save some for taco pizza like I did last night.
Bean and cheese burritos
For every large whole wheat tortilla mix together 1/2 cup refried beans along with 2 tbsp shredded sharp cheddar. Roll in and freeze in a single layer then place in a bag.
When ready to eat microwave covered with a paper towel for 2-2.5 minutes.
I only had 5 tortillas left over so that’s why only 5 were made for the freezer.
Why I love these: it’s a quick and easy vegetarian meal — top with sliced avocado, chopped tomato and crunchy lettuce to pump up the nutrition some more
I absolutely love this recipe for whole wheat pizza dough. I follow it exactly, and just doubled the recipe to make extra for the freezer. It freezes really well, just take it out the day before you want pizza, defrost in the fridge and cook as the directions tell you.
Why I love this: saves me time when I want pizza dough, plus it’s a yummy thin crust pizza Jacob likes too.
Some freezing tips I’ve learned
- Freeze your food before covering it or placing it in a bag – with the enchiladas and quiche I froze it, then covered it with foil. Once it was frozen I could stack them for better storage.
- Date all your foods.
- Label all your freezer foods.
- With foods you want to put in a plastic bag (burritos, waffles), freeze first in a single layer, then once frozen put in the bag. This will prevent them from sticking together.
- Don’t fill your glass jars all the way full – it will expand. Also, wait until the food is fully frozen to place lids on top.
Already in the freezer:
I’m totally on a freezer meal making kick. Cooking up 1-2 extra meals when I make dinner is a total time saver too.
Tomorrow I’m making some chicken dishes for the freezer and then trying up get my freezer a bit more organized too. It’s so full!
Have a wonderful Friday. The weekend is so close
Any fun plans?