Thursday, July 26, 2012

Freezer Meals 2.0

Believe it or not, this post has been a work in progress since April.  I decided to take a different approach to stocking the freezer(s) this time.  Rather than devoting an entire weekend (or two, or three) to cooking, I've been cooking larger dinner portions every night for months and freezing the leftovers.  It made a daunting task much more manageable, especially now that we're a two freezer family.  In addition to sparing my large, tired body from the aches and pains, I also saved money, storage space, and time.     

I tried to choose recipes that were crock pot friendly, budget friendly, and made with common household ingredients.  More importantly, though, I chose recipes that are absolutely delicious.  You can find the full menu listed below, with sources.  (Sorry for the lack of pictures!  I'm a much better cook than I am photographer.)  And don't forget to check out my post on Freezer Meals 1.0 for additional recipes not included in this batch.

{Crock Pot} Salsa Chicken
{Crock Pot} BBQ Chicken Legs
{Crock Pot} Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole
{Crock Pot} Buffalo Chicken Wraps
Chicken and Dumplings
Breaded Chicken Tenders

{Crock Pot} Stuffed Peppers
Roasted Turkey
Turkey Meatloaf
Turkey Burger Wraps
Jumbo Pigs in a Blanket

{Crock Pot} Herbed Pork Tenderloin recipe below
Spiral Sliced Ham

{Crock Pot} Marinara Meatballs

Teriyaki Salmon
Garlic Butter Salmon
Tuna Noodle Casserole

Eggplant Parm

Baked Ziti 
Emeril's Mac and Cheese

Sweet Corn Off the Cob
Parsley Carrots
Roasted Summer Squash
Roasted Zucchini
Buttered Radishes

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
Mom's Banana Bread recipe below
Meg's Zucchini Bread

Herbed Pork Tenderloin
2 lb. Boneless Pork Tenderloin
S & P
Onion Powder
Minced Garlic
Olive Oil
Chicken Stock
Chopped Onion (fresh or frozen)

Dry the tenderloin between paper towels and season.  (I don't follow exact measurements, just sort of eyeball it.)  Use a paring knife to make 6-12 pockets in the tenderloin, and stuff with minced garlic.  Then, rub that bad boy with some EVOO (extra virgin olive oil, for those not hip to Racheal Ray's acronyms).  Sear the tenderloin on the stovetop until all sides are browned.  Place inside crock pot, on a bed of chopped onion, cover with chicken stock, and forget about it for 4-8 hours (depending on whether you prefer to cook on high or low temperature settings).  The cooking liquid makes a very nice, light gravy when thickened with a flour slurry

Mom's Banana Bread
4 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Soda
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 C. Butter, softened
2 1/3 C. Sugar
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla
2 C. Sour Cream
4-5 Bananas, mashed
1 C. Chopped Walnuts (optional)

Combine the dry ingredients in a separate mixing bowl and set aside.  Cream the butter and sugar until smooth.  Add in eggs, vanilla, and sour cream.  Then add the bananas.  Mix in the dry ingredients in three batches, scraping down the sides of the bowl in between additions.  Once combined, add nuts.  Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.  Makes two large loaves of bread. 


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.  I don't always follow a recipe, but I'm happy to explain my steps.  And for those who are still leery of freezer meals, here are two helpful articles that I recently found:
What can be frozen?
Cost-Benefit Analysis of a Second Freezer 

Do you make ahead and freeze meals?  I'd love to hear some new recipe ideas!! 

1 comment:

  1. There are some great make ahead meal recipes at I love having a freezer meal ready whenever I need it. So freeing!