Food

January Freezer Meals

I swear, one of the best parts of cooking a ton of food in one day, is the satisfaction of laying it all out and surveying all of your hard work.

This Once A Month Cooking round, I did it at my friend Lauren’s house. She has an awesome kitchen and tons of toys and her husband works from home, so he was able to step in and pitch hit, when needed. Although, in true husband form, he wasn’t that helpful, but it was a nice idea. She also has a learning tower. I had been wanting one for awhile, but after spending all day in the kitchen and using hers it sealed the deal for me and we got one shortly after.

We made 6 recipes and doubled them, so we each got two containers of each recipe. Two of the recipes, the Beef Stew and Apple Pie Porkchops, were big ah-ha moments for me. They were the only two recipes that were slow cooker meals. So all you do is compile the ingredients, freeze it and then later dump it in the slow cooker. How awesome is that?

Here are the links to the recipes we used:

Chicken Nuggets

Meatloaf (the recipe is in Nourishing Traditions, and its amazing). Lauren had a great idea of smooshing the mixture into finger size portions instead of a big loaf, so that you can defrost them individually and serve to little ones for lunch.

Buffalo Shrimp

Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Beef Stew

Apple Pie Pork chopsΒ 

Has anyone else adopted freezer cooking as their main style of cooking family meals?

-Stephanie πŸ˜‰

If you love freezer cooking, buy my cookbook here!

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  • Sheri
    March 22, 2011 at 5:25 AM

    I have not tried freezing foods yet. Either I just make enough for the both of us, or if we have left-overs its gone right away! Right now, with a 1 year old, I can't even imagine having time to cook that many meals in one day!

    It sounds like it's worth it though! How do you balance doing it?

  • Stephanie
    March 22, 2011 at 7:12 PM

    Maybe start out with just doubling one recipe, so you have one to serve and one to freeze and start experimenting with which of your recipes freeze the best.

    Next Monday I am going to post more about only doing slow-cooker, freezer meals. This is the most manageable way to prepare and freezer large quantities of food, I have found.

    And really, it just takes doing it. Putting your mind to it, blocking out some time and doing it. It was TERRIFYING the first time I did it. But then it changed my life. We never eat out or get take out anymore. There is always a quality, home made meal ready to go. And evenings are so much calmer, because all I am doing is turning on the oven or stirring a crock pot.

    And it leaves me more time to do things juice, and make smoothies, and make cream cheese and sprout and all the other time consuming things I do in the kitchen.

    Phew, that was probably more than you were looking for in answer, but seriously I can't say enough good things about freezer cooking!

    • shelley pabon
      February 5, 2012 at 6:27 PM

      do you have to add water to your crockpot meals?

      • Stephanie
        February 6, 2012 at 3:18 AM

        If my recipe calls for it, I do. If not, no.

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    July 22, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Great post! Keep it up the good work.

  • Shannon
    August 8, 2011 at 8:53 PM

    I've been doing freezer meal cooking for 5 years now and love it! I'm always looking for new recipes. I will say that I had not done the crock pot recipes before, but I think they'll be on my list for next month!

  • Lis
    September 3, 2011 at 11:18 PM

    I found your blog through Pinterest and read how you freeze all your ingredients first and then clicked to this post.

    So referencing that other post, recently my "a-ha" moment was, "Why don't I just cook all our meals in the slow cooker?" Because seriously, my life has changed since finally purchasing one and since I loathe cooking, I actually don't mind slow cooker night because the mess and work is minimal.

    Of course I should have known the internet would show me I am, in fact, NOT a genius and OF COURSE others have thought of this.

    I am very excited about this plan and just really need to commit to it. I'm a little anxious. I had been worrying that maybe I was just being lazy and we would miss out on other great meals. I have found though there is pretty much nothing you can't make in a slow cooker, lol.

    Love your blog!

  • Stampin Momma
    September 4, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Found you via pinterest. Freezer cooking is the way I prepare the bulk of my meals now. I have a Freezer Swap with 5 other ladies every month. We LOVE it! We have all of our recipes on a blog (www.freezerfriendz.blogspot.com). Thanks for sharing your recipes. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous
    September 8, 2011 at 4:52 AM

    I made the freezer beef stew today and it was great! I added a can of gold and white corn though to give it a little sweetness…so ggod. Thanks for all of the great ideas for freezer dinners. I get home late and it's a stuggle to get a good meal on the table beofre the kids have to go to bed. You just made my life a little easier:) Thanks again!

  • Guest
    October 10, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    found you via pinterest and love this idea!

  • Anonymous
    November 12, 2011 at 3:48 AM

    I found your site on pinterest, and it rocked my world. No kids for me, but just don't end up with much time for in the kitchen. I just got done filling my own freezer with slow cooker recipes and can't wait to try them. I did Moroccan stew with beef, curry chicken, beef fajitas, and peanut stew from your site and a few other recipes from other blogs. Now I have 11 meals in the freezer, ready to toss into my crock pot. I can't thank you enough!!

  • Stephanie
    November 12, 2011 at 4:12 AM

    Welcome! So glad to hear you guys like the idea and the recipes!! Thanks so much for letting me know. πŸ™‚

  • Anonymous
    December 24, 2011 at 5:08 PM

    Just in case anyone was interested in getting a learning tower there is one on onestepahead.com that is cheaper. Oh, and I love your blog.

  • Anonymous
    December 29, 2011 at 12:43 AM

    Ok — So I love these ideas but I need a little more information. When you prepare for a freezer meal so you cook the meal first? For instance – Beef fajitas — Do you prepare it completely and then freeze it? For Stew — do you add all the ingredients raw or do you make the stew and then freeze it?

  • happymomof3
    January 6, 2012 at 3:27 AM

    This sounds like a great idea, I have a special love for my slow cooker. The link to the meatloaf did not work. I look forward to trying some of your recipes soon!

  • Anonymous
    January 6, 2012 at 7:04 PM

    I put my meatloaf in a muffin pan for individual servings.

  • Kristin
    January 9, 2012 at 12:08 AM

    Fun blog! Thanks for sharing so much, I'm excited to try your recipes. We do meatloaf muffins too and my kids love them, sometimes with BBQ sauce int he middle for mini meatloaf volcanos. πŸ™‚

  • Penni
    January 9, 2012 at 2:01 AM

    I am so very excited to try this! But I have a question…if you are making meals for the whole month, how much are you spending on all the food? We have a tight food budget, and right now I do once a week shopping. My husband gets paid every 2 weeks, so I could do our shopping for 2 weeks, but just do 1 at a time. Any suggestions on doing 2 weeks at a time?

  • Anonymous
    January 13, 2012 at 2:36 PM

    And you know they make crock pot liners now too, so you pull out the plastic bag and throw away-almost no clean-up.

  • Mama F
    January 14, 2012 at 3:31 PM

    This is just such a fabulous and time saving idea. I will have to try it out!

    I have a Slow Cooker Sunday Linky Party on my blog and I would love, love, love if you would come link up your posts sometime!

    http://www.doggieatthedinnertable.blogspot.com

  • Sherra Gist
    February 5, 2012 at 6:14 AM

    Um, thank you, thank you, thank you! I am so excited to try these freezer meals! I’ve never done anything like this. So, I’m pumped!!!! I hope it changes our life too…I really can’t stand spending $20 for lousy fast food b/c I can’t cook something quickly.

    • Stephanie
      February 5, 2012 at 2:05 PM

      I am excited for you!!

  • Kara
    February 7, 2012 at 3:05 AM

    Love these ideas! My BF and I are looking to cook more at home and eat healthier… question though, the link for the meatloaf isn’t working!! πŸ™ Can anybody get me the recipe?? THANKS!

    • Stephanie
      February 7, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      She must have taken it down, I will have to do a post on meatloaf soon!

  • Keri
    February 8, 2012 at 8:01 PM

    I LOVE freezer cooking! I haven’t tried any crock pot meals, but I do fill my freezer with chicken pillows (hubby’s favourite) that I wrap individually, burritos (again wrapped individually), Shepard’s pie, Mexican lasagna, spaghetti sauce, and baked ziti. Always looking for more ideas, as I love stocking my freezer!

  • Leanna
    April 23, 2012 at 5:21 PM

    I have been doing my homework on freezer meals and I will be moving in with another family and together there will be 9 of us. So this has to work for us. Will be keeping this site bookmarked.