Thursday, July 9, 2015

Prep and freeze for easy dinners later: Freezer Meals!

Within the next two weeks, my sister will be Mom to a two year old and a newborn! We are very excited to meet another sweet nephew. I have been scouring recipes for some meal ideas that I may bring her after the extended family leaves. Here are some of my top choices from two of the absolute best food bloggers - The Pioneer Woman and Six Sisters' Stuff.

The first two are fast and easy to prepare, which is important to me as an at-home working mom with two kids of my own. So many of the freezer meal recipes are really complicated to prepare, requiring an hour or more of my time. Unfortunately, I'm just not that kind of cook. I need quick and easy - but with some flavor.

click link below for full recipe

Six Sisters' Stuff: Black Bean and Corn Salsa Chicken
click link for original location & full recipe
This recipe is slow-cooker ready. Beans, corn, salsa, and chicken breasts with taco seasoning. You freeze it up (sealed in large freezer bags) and it's simply ready to add to a slow cooker one morning. Just remember to thaw it overnight in the fridge the day prior. I like how this recipe can be versatile once cooked; you can shred it and add to tortillas, dump into greens and a taco shell bowl for a southwestern salad, or eat the chicken breasts whole smothered with the beans and sauce over rice.

Six Sisters' Stuff: Beef Stew
click link for original location & full recipe
This recipe is also slow-cooker ready. Beef stew is a feel-good and hearty fall meal for family. This recipe uses both onion soup mix and cream of mushroom soup, so you know it will be flavorful.

The Pioneer Woman's freezer cooking post is full of really great tips and ideas and links to delicious sauce, casserole, and meals recipes that work very well in the freezer. Like these:

click link below for full recipe

Pioneer Woman: Sour Cream Noodle Bake
click link for original location & full recipe
She describes this as ooey gooey and delicious... yum! Ground beef (she recommends ground chuck), plain tomato sauce, sour cream, cottage cheese, and green onions add the flavor and creaminess to this meal that you will mix with noodles, then top with sharp cheddar cheese. Freeze it in a disposable foil pan covered/wrapped in foil to be as air-tight as possible.

Pioneer Woman: Spicy Dr. Pepper Shredded Pork
click link for original location & full recipe
If you don't like a lot of heat, you could use just a touch of the chipotle pepper adobo sauce, or substitute for something a little more mild (perhaps mild Ro-Tel?), but the chipotle will add that smoky flavor that probably works best with the Dr. Pepper and brown sugar. Yep... sounds good, doesn't it? You can freeze portions of the shredded pork for fast and easy use in tacos, nachos, or sandwiches.

These are four meals I really hope to try very soon! While I'm freezing a couple for my sister, I think I'll do the same for myself. Easy dinners are what I need on those crazy days where I don't have more than a few moments to stick something in a Crock-Pot or oven.

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