So many of you were following my daily posts yesterday as I was completing my 3 month ritual of freezing 20 meals to then enjoy over the next 3 months. Taking 5 hours on a Monday to do this has really helped my family both personally, nutritionally, emotionally and financially. I’m able to shop sales and buy in bulk which saves money. I get to spend time with my children when I get home from work instead of standing over a stove cooking dinner. I never have to stop at a fast food place for dinner. There is something satisfying when I look at what I’ve accomplished after those 5 hours and know that I’m providing healthy meals to my family.
I’m not going to sugar coat it. Freezer cooking sessions are EXHAUSTING!! Your wrist will hurt from chopping. You back and legs will hurt from standing. You will get tired and want to quite but DON’T!!! You can do it!!
When you start to freezer cook, you want to invest in gallon freezer bags and I good sharpie marker. You will be writing directions down on the freezer bag so you want one that you know will work. I don’t use the foil containers because my second freezer is very small but you can use them also. I find placing all of my ingredients in the freezer bag and freezing them flat down, I can store more meals that I could with the foil containers.
I’m going to write another post about how I convert my recipes to be freezer cooked but for now I’ll talk about what I cooked on Monday. I found my recipes, created my shopping list, shopped on Friday and got started around 11:00am on Monday. The first thing you want to do is cook anything that needs to be cooled later. I was making stuffed peppers so I cooked that filling first. This gave it plenty of time to cool while I was bagging everything else.
Just follow the directions on the recipe and you’ll be able to do this :) I doubled most of these recipes so that I ended up with 20 freezer meals.
Just some tips:
1.) I started with browning the turkey and onions and boiling the rice for the stuffed bell pepper. While this cooked and cooled, I started stuffing the rest of the bags. When the stuffed bell pepper ingredients were cool, I finished the recipe and wrapped each individual pepper in plastic wrap and then foil. After cleaning both pans, I cooked the turkey for the Turkey Sloppy Joe’s in one pan and the turkey for the Turkey Quinoa Bake in the other. While they cooked and cooled, I finished stuffing the final bags. Once cooled, I bagged the Turkey Sloppy Joe’s and Turkey Quinoa Bake.
2.) If your freezer bag has liquid in it, double bag it. This goes especially for the orange chicken. With pressure, the bag may break so it’s better to be safe than sorry. It happened to my chili this past winter so I quickly learned my lesson.
Best of luck with this! If you have any questions about how to do this, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be happy to help you.