There is no shortage of freezer-friendly meals out there. A quick search on Google or Pinterest will lead you to thousands of different recipes to try. For a busy person such as myself, the freezer might just become your next best friend too.
I never understood the value of a freezer meal. Sure, for busy moms it made all the sense in the world to sit down one day and crank out a week, or even a month’s worth of meals. Over time, I had become just as busy. Before I knew it, I was exhausted and constantly reaching for the takeout menus.
Since I started making the commitment to get up at 6am to make time for exercise, dinner has been kicking my butt! In the mornings, I was full of energy and life. I could catch up on housework, clip coupons, even take the time to watch one of my shows or read a book all before work. It was amazing! However, this new change in my routine came with its own set of problems. By the time I got home, I was so tired and drained from my day, that I was lucky if I even put together something for dinner. We were wasting so much food, and we were eating out too much. I thought back to all of those blog posts and pins I’d seen about freezer and batch cooking, and I caved.
I searched the internet for freezer-friendly meals for us, and I found an overwhelming amount of results. While I was pleased to find so many options, most of them just didn’t work for us. The only meat I eat is seafood, and my fiance won’t eat black beans, mushrooms, or many other core ingredients in vegetarian freezer meals. It took me probably twice as long, but I found 5 make ahead meals I could make for us.
Here is what was on the schedule for last week:
Usually, I come up with recipe ideas based on what’s in the fridge, pantry, and freezer on Sundays. There is almost no preparation beforehand. To accommodate our new schedule, I would have to make our meal plans ahead of time, and we’d need to buy our groceries earlier in the week. It was time to put our plans into action. On Sunday, I put together five meals, in three hours. My feet ached and the sink was full of dishes, but I had survived my first make ahead cooking session.
Overall, our make-ahead cooking was a success. The pizza and ziti were both delicious. I made WAY too much pasta for our Tortellini Caesar Salad and we ended up not even eating it. While the ziti did take almost an entire hour to cook, there was no prep work involved. We ended up eating out twice this week, once to avoid some poorly made tortellini.
If this had been a regular cooking week, we could have thrown away three uncooked meals. Since we were able to make them ahead of time and freeze them, they will still be good next week!
What I learned
I fell in love with freezer cooking this week, which came as a pleasant surprise to me. Making all of those meals ahead of time was A LOT of work, but the payoff was well worth it. While the caesar salad ended up being a dud, I think I would still make it again (but use way less pasta next time).
Here is what is on the schedule for this week
- Roasted Vegetable Burritos
- Vegetable baked ziti
- BBQ Pineapple Quesadillas (from last week)
- Tacos (from last week)