11/29/11

How I learned to Fill My Freezer

Fill freezer bags with easy meals in about 60 seconds each.
It really only takes minutes to fill your freezer with meals!
      
     About five years ago, I used to be frustrated with not knowing what to make for dinner.  Feeling tired with dark circles under my eyes and staring at a slab of frozen ground beef.  Not enough money in the family budget to eat out again (and again). I was busy working in youth ministry and had little time to cook.  Fast forward to now.  With a new baby in the house and 2 elementary school age kiddos to keep up with (AND I am a middle school youth leader working FT),  I know a thing or two about getting meals on the table with the least amount of time and effort. A few years ago, my friend Nicole (over at Yellow House Photography) introduced me to Homemade Gourmet where I learned more about freezer meals and the idea of 4 Meals in 4 Minutes. I was using Menu Mailer at the time for my meal plans. I enjoyed the menu mailer dinners, but they took way too long to prep and cook. Too much chopping, sauteing, mincing. Things I don't have time for. So I fell in love with Homemade Gourmet right away. Over the years I have applied the concepts I learned from Homemade Gourmet to more common household pantry items. Not everyone has Homemade Gourmet overflowing from their cupboards like I do! I am always looking at Vons, Target, and Fresh and Easy for things I can use to make meals for my freezer in about a minute.
      Let me share with you my $55 (meat, canned goods, sauces and seasonings) grocery cart challenge. Here is what was purchased at Target and the SUPER easy and delicious meals that came from it. Each recipe is simple enough for a child (with some supervision and can-opening help) to assemble. Each meal takes about a minute to prep for the Freezer. When you are all done assembling these meals, all you have to do is take them from the Freezer to the Slow Cooker.

Go from this to...
To This!

      Here is the dish on the four meals I made. I purchased 2lbs of stew meat, two 2.5lb bags of skinless, boneless, frozen chicken breasts and a 2 pound bag of boneless, skinless, chicken tenders. I added some simple sauces, seasonings and canned goods to make the following:
1) Hawaiian bbq chicken (will shred and serve on hamburger buns).
2) Italian Stewed Beef (serve over noodles or rice).
3) General Tso Chicken tenders w/stir fry veggies.
4) Salsa Chicken (to Shred for Tacos)...leftovers turn into Taco soup.

     I will be posting the recipes with pictures soon. Stay tuned! If you have a favorite one minute meal prep idea, leave a comment so I can try it out.

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