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As a working mom, preparing Freezer Meals has been a serious game changer for me, so I push the idea on anyone who will listen. I hope you will read my Freezer Meal Recipes and give it a try.
After returning to work, following my first maternity leave, cooking became nearly impossible. I began to feel like I was unraveling. After picking up a very cranky Little Lady from daycare, I had about ten minutes to prepare a meal before total chaos. I began preparing A LOT the night before. Each night, I stayed up late making lasagna (Along with lesson planning, making lunches and showering…) to be baked the next day, or slicing and dicing veggies so that meals could come together quickly. This method couldn’t last long. I was completely exhausted.
I came across the idea of freezers meals and the idea of putting several meals of mostly raw ingredients together into separate bags and then into the freezer. It absolutely changed my life. Yes, that sounds dramatic, but if you have young kids, then you know about 4:30pm, the most horrific time of the day. Not for me. On most nights, I literally come home and put my thawed meal in the oven, and maybe add some veggies if needed. Then go play.
Or drink a cup of tea.
Usually I go for the tea.
Here’s how having meals in the freezer has kept me sane:
- Much less preparation the evening I cook dinner. I often just have to boil noodles or prepare a veggie. When I am in a SERIOUS hurry, preparing veggies means warming up frozen peas. Yes, it does.
- Less clean up each day. The messy tasks like cutting meat, or mixing sauces is already done! I do not have to clean the food processor, deal with scraps from cutting vegetables or take out five cans to the recycling on chili night!
- Dinner typically takes less than ten minutes to prepare on the night we will be eating it.
- Meal planning is already done! I look in my freezer and pull out what meal I will cook the next day. No more thinking “What will I do with this frost-bitten pork chop?”
- So much less food waste! I throw out MUCH LESS old meat and rotten veggies. Every meat bought with a freezer meal plan in mind.
- It saves money! We order out much less frequently because I am not in a pinch to come up with something on the way home from work.
- It has improved our health. I was getting in a nasty habit of picking up a frozen pizza on the way home from work because I had no idea what I was going to make that night. Yikes.
- It’s great having emergency meals on hand. With kids, I never know when I will not be able to cook or grocery shop. There is always something in the freezer my husband can pull out!
- They are delicious. This technique is MUCH different from reheating a precooked, mushy meal from the freezer. This is freezing a meal with mostly raw ingredients (I precook ground meat) and cooking it for the first time the night of dinner. Much, much tastier!
- It’s easy to fill the freezer. Preparing many meals at once, with the ‘technique’ of freezing all meat RAW is so much faster than traditional freezer cooking. In the past I completely cooked meals, then froze them. I never kept up with it because it was simply too time consuming to fill the freezer.
Take a look at my Freezer Meals Recipes, give it a try, and let me know how you like it!
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