7 answers

Premade Frozen Meals

I am looking for some recipes, preferably that I don't have to buy, to premake and freeze before my second child is born. It seems like it was a long time before I made room in my schedule to cook dinner when we had the first one as a newborn. We don't want to go back to eating out every meal, or eat a bunch of pre-manufactured stuff either. So I want to make and freeze a bunch of meals that we can make easily, cheaply, and somewhat healthy once # 2 gets here. Other that the store fronts that offer the services to come in and pre-make meals, any other ideas on where to get recipes, online? to accomplish the same concept? We just bought a 10 cu. ft. chest freezer just for this reason, but I have to get it filled soon, or its not going to happen! I am due the end of September.

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More Answers

Just a tip, to save you pans...line your pans with heavy duty foil and then when they are frozen solid you can pop it out and still get to use your pan. I make a lot of 13x9 casseroles, any time I make a lasagna it is just as easy to double it and freeze one so on an emergancy night I know I have something good that is ready to go in the oven = ) Congrats on your upcoming addition!

1 mom found this helpful

Recommended reading: Once-A-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson and Mary Beth Lagerborg! (It is on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001FOR5PS/ref=asc...) It has PROVEN freezer-friendly and healthy meals you can make for an entire month at a time, and step-by-step directions on how to do it all in ONE DAY! It also covers what to do in the days preceeding "cooking day," shopping lists, what to do and IN WHICH ORDER, etc. There are even two-week plans for people with less ambition or time. Follow the plan and all you have to do is heat the meal when you are ready for it, add an "accompaniment" (salad, vegetable, fruit, etc.), and Voila! The book even has cookie recipes to freeze!

1 mom found this helpful

Congratulations on your upcoming addition! You would actually be pretty surprised that almost anything can be frozen. There are a few exceptions - but for the most part things that people eat everyday for dinner are adaptable. Here is a good clip to watch with a few tips http://www.shoppingblog.com/blog/5130917
Things with sufficient fat in them will freeze and recover best. Something that helped me when I was learning to package food for the freezer was to think about frozen TV dinners and how they are packaged. Anything you pull out of the grocery freezer that's rice/pasta and stew/sauce, the starch will be on one side of the carton and the meat-veg-sauce on the other side. You can replicate this in gladware, versatainer, or pyrex containers or freezer ziplocks (which work really well because you can squeeze out the most air). If your cooking rice it helps to (barely) undercook your rice-this way it is free to absorb any extra moisture released during the freezing process. With pastas, I normally cook 1/2 the recommended time, then cold rinse to stop cooking. If you have access to a vacuum sealer it will become your best friend for this type of cooking! As far as recipe sites the one mentioned below for once a month cooking is good, allrecipes.com and sparkrecipes.com are great because you can do a search for freezer or make ahead and several good recipes pop up. Good luck!

Things I found that freeze well:

Turkey chili instead of using hamburger, and black beans to it.

Stuffed Cabbage rolls

Veggie Lasagna

Hi R.,
I did and do this regularly! It is great! I have so many ideas though, there are to many to put down. I will send you my personal info in a private message- feel free to call me! I also prepare and freeze individual portions for my hubbys work lunches also and boy does it save money and is so much more health as you mentioned!

Paula Deen (Foodnetwork.com) has some killer casseroles (chicken florintine, sp?) that freeze great. Also, I did lots of Chili, lots of marinaded chick in ziplock bags with another ziplock with a veggie blend I could throw in a steamer bag for the microwave.
I found that using a food saver to portion out meals (didn't use a plate it the bag, just sealed and froze...made things easier--since my husband and I could eat what we wanted when we wanted. Plus, the bags can be boiled.
Check out the "one pot" section of foodnetwork, "easy" portion. Their stuff is interesting, tasty and wholesome. I would substitute things here and there (whole grain pasta, or brown rice)...but, over all...made things a lot easier.

I just found www.onceamonthmom.com I must say that I haven't gotten a chance to use her stuff yet, but it looks like a good website. I bought the stuff to make some "dump chicken" recipes. I found them at the soopermom's website (not sure what it was, google is my friend). Anyway- I have off and on done this type of cooking and for the most part, I have found it very effective. Good luck!

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