As we approach our little one’s due date, I’ve been making lots of freezer meals. I found it so helpful to have these when my son was born. We had about thirty dinners in the freezer and they were a lifesaver when my husband was doing everything those first few weeks, and as I slowly started getting back to normal household duties.
I have lots of cooking and baking in the freezer but apparently I didn’t save all the recipes. I’ll link the ones I did save, and for the others, there are heaps of recipes on Pinterest that look amazing!
Freezer Meals: Baking
With sweet breads, I find it’s easy to bake them now and then freeze. When you’re ready to eat them, just pull the bread (or muffins) out of the freezer and let thaw at room temperature, then slice and eat.
Lemon Berry Loaf
I froze balls of dough for breakfast cookies, since I find they are way better freshly baked rather than baked then frozen. Just thaw and then bake as per the recipe.
I used this recipe, and just used berries instead of peaches. I haven’t tried baking them yet but I think they’ll turn out good!
Freezer Meals: Cooking
One easy way to meal prep is to buy chicken drumsticks when they’re on sale, whip up a few marinades, and freeze the chicken in a ziploc bag with the marinade. When you need an easy dinner, throw a bag of already seasoned/marinated chicken in the slow cooker, and cook some frozen veggies or make a salad.
2 TB peanut butter
3 TB soy sauce
⅓ cup water
½ teaspoon coriander
½ tsp cumin
¼ tsp chilli powder
2 cloves garlic
3 TB soy sauce
1 TB water
4 TB brown sugar
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp minced ginger
I made the Mexican Chicken recipe below, and used the leftovers to make enchiladas. Simply fill tortillas with the chicken mixture and grated cheese. Top with salsa, cover with foil, and freeze. Bake from frozen or thawed until hot.
I actually left out the cilantro, used a can of flavoured tomatoes instead of salsa, and taco seasoning instead of the spices called for. It turned out amazing but I’m sure the original recipe is as well!
Sweet and Sour Meatballs
This is one of my favourite recipes ever! The meatballs are delicious and the sauce is tangy but sweet. This is a huge recipe and made 6 meals that suit Jared, Abel, and I just fine.
2.7 kgs mince
3 cups bread crumbs
⅔ cup milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup minced onion
2 TB minced garlic
1 TB salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 cups packed brown sugar
½ cup cornflour
6 (425 gram) cans of pineapple (juice reserved)
½ cup soy sauce
2 ½ cups red wine vinegar
Preheat oven to 260 celsius. Using your hands, combine all the meatball ingredients. Shape into 1 – 1 ½ inch meatballs, placing close together on lightly greased baking sheets. Bake for 15 minutes or until temperature is 71 celsius. Cool meatballs.
While the meatballs bake and cool, mix the brown sugar and cornflour in a large pot. Add pineapple juice, soy sauce, and vinegar; stir. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, about 20 minutes.
Add meatballs and pineapple chunks to sauce. Divide into bags/containers and freeze. To reheat, thaw and bake at 175C for 30 minutes, or in slow cooker for 2-5 hours. (until heated through)
Meat and Vegetable Pasta Bake
I made three pans of pasta bake with the following recipe: Cook one bag of pasta as per instructions. Brown 1kg of beef mince. Dice 1 onion, 1 1/2 small zucchini, 1 bell pepper/capsicum, and 1 broccoli stem. Sautee in a few tablespoons of oil until softened. Mix all ingredients together with a large jar of pasta sauce and a few spoonfuls of pasta water. Pour into three square foil pans, cover with foil. When you’re ready to bake, top with cheese and bake from frozen or thawed at 375F or 190C until hot.
Cheesy Pasta Bake
I made four loaf-size pans of pasta bake with the following recipe: Cook one bag of pasta as per instructions. Make a cheese sauce with: 1/3 cup butter, 1/3 cup flour, salt, pepper, italian seasoning, and hot sauce to taste, 6 cups milk, 1-2 cups grated cheese. Mix with pasta, and if desired stir through any additions such as spinach or cooked meat. Pour into pans. Combine 1/3 cup butter with 2 cups bread crumbs, sprinkle on top of pasta. Cover and freeze. When you’re ready to bake, bake from frozen or thawed at 375F or 190C until hot.
I had more ideas that I wanted to try but just ended up running out of time. I’m 38 weeks now so I may be able to make a few more freezer meals, but if not I feel great about what we do have!
An update on baby girl, she was transverse last week but today she is head down. We went to the hospital for an ECV but when we arrived and they checked her position on ultrasound, she was already head down. Praise the Lord! We are just praying she stays head down so that we can go ahead with our original birth plan.