First off, I’d like to say I’m so sorry for missing last weeks post! I had a busy week and weekend, and I could’t find the time to sneak in some writing = )
Now, on to this weeks post! This weekend I found myself in the kitchen. I’ve been wanting to do freezer meals for quite some time, but I’ve never gotten further than pinning a few ideas on Pinterest. Well, that maybe a bit of a lie, last summer right before I had Baby M, my wonderful mother came and stayed at our house with us to help out with the adjustment of a third child, and she put some meals in the freezer which helped out soooooo much!! But this is the first time that I’ve done it just for the week, with no baby or guests on the way.
So if you’re not familiar with freezer meals, let me break it down for you:
*Plan out some meals that are freezable, and have similar ingredients. You can plan up to however many meals you want, but to make it easier on the first try, pick out maybe 4 or 5 different meals. The most fantastic place to get ideas for this is of course on Pinterest! A really really great list that I used this week, (and printed out for future use, it’s that good!) is from New Leaf Wellness giving you 10 different ideas of chicken. Like I said, I’ve printed it out and I’d like to try it with beef or lamb next time,
*Once you’ve established which meals you are going to make and freeze, make a shopping list of all the ingredients you’ll need. I mean EVERYTHING! Nothing worse than forgetting something on the list, and not being able to make the dish that you planned. Don’t forget, these are freezer meals. Make sure that whatever is in the recipe would be good once thawed and cooked.
*Prep is super easy! In each gallon size freezer bag, add your meat, veggies, and spices, and into the freezer it goes! Move a bag from the freezer to the fridge the night before you plan to eat it, and in the morning – stick it in the crockpot!!! I can’t believe I’ve been married for almost 10 years without doing this! I think I heard angels singing as I put my beautiful ready to thaw and cook meals into the freezer =) and the kitchen smelled soo good! I also made some quick meatballs for the freezer and a quick soup as well. Here is the proof:
I made three flavors off the list. From left to right: Garlic Ginger (with green beans), Spricy Orange (with bell peppers) and Tomato Basil (with zucchini)
The Garlic Ginger chicken. This made my kitchen smell so good, I loved it! I put 2 chicken breasts (each cut in half) per bag. The list calls for 2 pounds per bag, but for me and the kids, 4 pieces is the perfect amount.
Spicy orange chicken. I’m so excited to try this because I love orange chicken, and I can’t wait to see how home made tastes!
Tomato Basil chicken. Instead of using fresh green basil, I used dried purple basil that I had, which is the purple ingredient seen in the picture.
Onto the fantastic meat balls:
The ingradients for my incredible meatballs!
I used 2 packs of ground beef (each pack 1.34 pounds, from Costco) and 1 pack ground Bison (1.25 pounds, also Costco)
Crack 4 eggs into a bowl
Beat the eggs before adding to meat
Then pour them in!
Add 1 cup Italian breadcumbs
1/2 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
1 white onion, blended
Added the onion and 2 tablespoons parmasan cheese, and 2 garlic cloves, chopped, and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise. 2 tsp salt, and 1 tsp black pepper
All mixed up. Smelled wonderful!!!
I used about a tablespoon of meat per meatball. I baked them on a cookie sheet on a 400* for 15 minutes.
All baked. Turned out better than I even thought they would.
Up close and personal. Sorry about the steam =)
Now, onto the soup. These are the ingredients that I used. Except the peas. I forgot to add them at the end. Sorry, peas =)
In a 6 quart pot, I aded about 4 quarts of water, brought to a boil and added a huge heaping tablespoon of the chicken bouillon, and let it dissolve into the water. I turned it down on low and moved on to the veggies.
I opened the can of tomato paste, and put it in a bowl….
Added a bit of the hot broth…..
and wisked that right up until it was smooth. (Thank you Papa for the awesome wisk!!) Then, I added it to the broth.
1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 2 zucchini, 4 celery, 1/2 white onion…….
…into a saucepan with 4 tbsp of butter. Saute on medium high heat for about 5 minutes. Then, add to the broth!
I forgot to take a picture of the pot of soup cooking, but it looked beautiful! After I added the veggies, I added 4 diced carrots (roughly 1 cup) and 2 cups of green string beans cut into about 1 to 1 1/2″ pieces. Then I added 1 (15 oz, rinsed) can of black beans and 1 (15 oz, rinsed) kidney beans, and 1/2 cup of Orzo noodles.. I let it cook until the veggies where tender (I forgot to time it, but I’d say 20 minutes?) To serves, I put a few of the meatballs into a bowl (already cooked), pour soup over it, garnish with italian parsley and cheese.
Just look at it! Isn’t it beautiful =)
Well, that’s it folks! I’m so glad to be able to share all of this with you =) If you have any questions, or want any more details, please let me know! Until next time, have a great week!