* I’m the beginner so if anyone reading this has any good freezer meal ideas they would be much appreciated!! 🙂
I have been very unmotivated lately to make food for dinner when I come home. This is not a problem for my husband who loves my cooking (Nick’s addition to this post) but is completely content to eat cereal or order pizza out but is definitely a problem for me because I don’t really enjoyed either of those things. When I come home I want a nice meal but am usually lacking energy, motivation and time to plan, shop and cook in the few precious hours I have after work when I otherwise could be spending them with my husband, or tackling the bottomless laundry pile that has been sitting in our bedroom floor since we got married
This weekend was a pretty low key weekend for us (most of our weekends are) and I was praying Saturday morning about how I could use my time well that day when the idea to plan and execute some freezer meals popped in my head.
I did some research on freezing food and decided to make 2 batches of 3 different recipes coming to a total of 22+ meals (11 dinners for the 2 of us) to be used this week and next month. I realize that when most people plan and prepare freezer meals they do a whole lot more than this but I figured that this, being my first time, I would start small (lest I get intimidated and trash the effort all together).
I tried one new recipe (barbecue pulled chicken) and two tried and true recipes (Southwestern stuffed bell peppers and Teriyaki chicken). The homemade barbecue sauce for the chicken wasn’t the best in my opinion, a little to tomato-ey so next time I will just dump Nick’s favorite barbecue sauce into the slow cooker with 3 lbs. of chicken to cook on low for 6 hours instead.
With the barbecue chicken you can make a freezer kit consisting of 3 lbs. of chicken and barbecue sauce in a freezer bag that you can just thaw and dump in the crock pot later or you could make up a batch and freeze some of the shredded chicken to thaw and use for sandwiches later.
For the Teriyaki chicken I just assembled a freezer kit filled with thinly sliced boneless skinless chicken about .75- 1 lb in each bag along with our favorite Teriyaki marinade. I will just thaw the chicken pack overnight in the fridge and then dump it into the skillet to cook.
.75- 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken sliced thin
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 Tbs. water
2 cloves garlic minced
2 Tbs. rice vinegar
1/2 Tbs. sesame oil
2 Tbs. brown sugar
1 Tbs. flour
Dash of ginger powder
Whisk together everything but the chicken. Place sliced raw chicken breast and sauce into one freezer bag. Thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking.
To cook, dump contents of the bag into a skillet and cook on medium-low heat until chicken is done. To thicken up the sauce, remove the chicken from the skillet once cooked , add 1 Tbs. flour and whisk on med-high heat until it forms a thick glaze. Then add chicken back in and stir to coat. Serve over rice and vegetables or fried rice.
For the stuffed bell peppers I combined everything that will go in the bell peppers to freeze, except for the rice.
Southwestern Stuffed Bell Peppers:
Makes 5 stuffed peppers
1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained.
1 c. (4 oz.) shredded pepper-jack cheese
¾ c. medium salsa
½ c. frozen corn, thawed
½ c. chopped green onions with tops
1 tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. ground cumin
1/3 c. uncooked long-grain white rice
5 green bell peppers
Thaw overnight in the fridge before cooking. Cut tops of peppers and remove seeds and ‘insides’. Combine rice with mixture. Stuff peppers. Place peppers in crock-pot and cook on Low for 4-6 hours.
I am so excited to have meals for this week planned and a few for next month in the freezer!