This is the second in a series of posts about how I stocked my freezer with meals before the baby’s arrival. It was something I read a good bit about online before trying for myself, and I wanted to add my two cents to the info out there. Read the first post here. Enjoy!
Once you’ve done your planning, it’s time to start getting your meals and meal starters together! I averaged making 1 full meal and 1 meal starter a week. More on meal starters in the next post.
I find that hearty meats with some sort of gravy / stock / other liquidy something freeze the best. Plus, they’re usually what you can serve over rice or noodles, which are pretty easy to whip up, even on a busy weeknight.
Here are the full meals—and one side dish—I prepared and froze:
My method for roast is crazy simple. I put a roast into the crockpot with potatoes, carrots, onions, and garlic, then add beef stock, red wine, rosemary, and thyme. I prefer to cook it on low all day, but it’ll cook on high in just a few hours. When it’s fully cooked, I set the crockpot to “keep warm” and add flour to thicken up the gravy.
Then I just let everything cool and put it in freezer bags. As I mentioned in the last post, freezing it flat enables you to line everything up later.
I follow Misty’s recipe for this, sometimes changing up the vegetables depending on what I have on hand. It works beautifully in the crockpot, too, but it is tastier to brown the meat first (like in the recipe) before adding it to the crockpot. I add canned peas at the end.
My spaghetti sauce recipe is reminiscent of the children’s classic Stone Soup. I brown ground turkey with some chopped onions and garlic, then just start adding stuff. This time around, it’s got a bunch of sauteed squash, eggplant, bell pepper, and baby spinach. The sauce is extra delicious thanks to some CSA heirloom tomatoes.
Everyone’s favorite side dish! Find the recipe here. And I promise we balance out all those calories by pairing this with sensible chicken or fish! This stuff freezes like no other. In fact, my sister’s brother–in–law likes this dish so much that she once gave him an ice chest full of frozen individual servings for Christmas! Isn’t that a great, thoughtful, homemade gift?
Coming up next: Prepping Meal Starters.