A different kind of post for you today. Although, this post was still inspired baby baby number 2 coming.
I’ve done some freezer cooking a few times before. I’d say I’ve had some successes with it.
But I’ve always felt two ways afterwards.
1. That took a lot of time.
2. That took “a lot” of money.
A little under three months from my due date, I started thinking about freezer meals for after he comes. I know I’ll be getting meals from my church family, but it would be nice to have even more saved up, if possible. However, this time around I was not really in a place, with time and money, to do the typical “8 meals in 2 hours for $80” freezer cooking.
So I had to come up with another idea.
We’re still a tiny family when it comes to the amount of food we need for dinner, especially since Micah is in a super picky phase. Often, if I make a 9×13 dinner, we have at least half of it left over, if not more. And by the time we’re done eating all the leftovers, we don’t want to see lasagna for another year. So often times, I put the other half in the freezer.
And so my idea was born. What if I don’t cook the entire 9×13? What if I split the dish between two 8×8 pans, cook one for dinner that night and freeze the other?! I started thinking of meals I could do this with. I had ten weeks before my due date, so I came up with ten meals. Each week, until the baby comes, I would make one of my meals, giving me 10 freezer meals. Win! I tried to choose a wide variety, and nursing baby safe. I did a couple soup recipes too, where I would make the entire pot, and freeze the leftovers. Because soup is better the second time anyway. This way, I’m not spending any extra money to buy a whole bunch of ingredients for 3-4 months from now and I’m not needing to carve out “2 hours”, which somehow always ended up really meaning my entire afternoon. And Jerry’s not stuck eating lasagna for lunch every day for a week 😉
So far, it’s been working out great. I decided on Sunday to take this week off, and I’m glad I did. Between Micah getting sick, having a half a bushel of apples that need to be turned into applesauce, Micah’s birthday celebration on Sunday and trying to do a really good, deep cleaning of the house, I just felt like I needed a break. But that’s OK, The soups ended up being 2 freezer meals worth, so I’ve already 8 meals in the freezer! Now, I understand this probably won’t work for families that are larger than ours, but if you’re still small like us, this would work for you!
Here’s a list of the recipes I decided to make:
1. Chicken and Rice Soup (Better Homes and Garden Cookbook)
4. Black Bean Soup with Sausage (Better Homes and Garden Cookbook)
5. Mexican Chicken/Soup (this is a crock pot meal that starts out as filling for tacos and then you add chicken broth to the leftovers to make it Chicken Tortilla Soup)
6. CP Chicken Pot Pie (I’ll top with biscuits instead of tater tots)
7. CP Chicken Fajitas
8. White Chicken Enchilada Casserole
10. Mexicali Hashbrown Taco Casserole
11. Spinach Stuffed Shells with Meat Sauce