Tag Archives: make ahead

Spring and Summer Freezer Meals

I have never been able to decide which season is my favourite. As each new season approaches I think to myself, “Ah, now THIS is my favourite season!” Spring is definitely in my top four. Flowers are pushing through, the air is clean and crisp and the birds are out looking for snacks. What better time for a new freezer meal post that has meals that fit this spectacular season.

Spring Heart of a Farm Girl

If you are new to freezer meals check out my previous freezer meal posts:

10 Freezer meal tips
and recipes One hour, Six meals!

I chose these meals for many reasons. First, I’m done with casseroles for a few months, they were so last season, and second the meals go together well. A few need broth, onions, tomato sauce… so you can chop onions for multiple recipes at once as well as open a can of tomato sauce and have it all used up. Not half used and found mouldy in the fridge next month. Or maybe that’s just me…
7 Spring and Summer Freezer Meals Heart of a Farm Girl  Blog spring freezer meals

As a side note, we were low on time this weekend and realized this after the meat was bought. My husband said, “Just put the meat in the freezer!” I puked in my mouth a little.

For this batch of freezer meals, we will be making

  • 2 sloppy Joe meals
  • 2 meatloaves
  • 2 chicken kabob meals
  • 1 chicken fajita meal

Let’s get started! You will need a big pack of chicken breasts and ground beef, about 5 lbs of each, and 7 freezer Ziploc bags.  I had everything else on hand, but we are a little over the top with stocking our cupboards.

**First chop four onions to split between the next two recipes**

Sloppy Joes

I don’t like sweet sloppy joes, feel free to add 1 tbs of brown sugar if preferred.

  • 2.5 pounds of ground beef
  • Two chopped onions
  • 2-4 garlic cloves
  • 2 diced celery stocks
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 can diced tomato
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (or whatever is left after adding ½ cup to meatloaf)
  • 1/2cup ketchup
  • 1/2cup chicken/ beef broth
  • 1 tbs worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp vinegar
  • ½ tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Sloppy Joe Frezzer Meal

  1. Chop onions and sauté 3 minutes. These will be divided between the sloppy joes and the meatloaf. After 3 minutes add diced garlic and continue sautéing until just tender.
  2. Add chopped celery and carrots to the pan, with half the onions and garlic. Saute them until softened.
  3. Add ground beef and sauté until browned. Drain grease.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bubble for about 45 minutes until liquid is reduced.
  5. Let cool and divide between two labeled freezer bags.

Serving day: Thaw a bag of slop (so much more delicious than it sounds…) in the fridge one day before. Heat in frying pan. Serve on buns with pickles and melted cheese.

Meatloaf

While the sloppy joe mixture is bubbling away, start on the meatloaf. Add all ingredients to large mixing bowl. Mix with hands.

  • Two chopped onions
  • 2-4 diced garlic cloves
  • 3 lbs of ground beef
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 tsp dried rosemary (or 2 tbs fresh)
  • ½ cup milk
  • ½ cup tomato sauce (add the rest of the can to the sloppy joe mixture that is simmering)
  • ½ cup bread crumbs (I have these on hand in the freezer. I food process the heels of my bread once in a while)

Line two loaf pans with tin foil (enough so that you can wrap it around the whole loaf) then cling wrap. Divide mixture between two tins and wrap cling wrap, then foil around the loaf. These will go in the freezer in the pan so that the loaf shape is kept. If the pan is needed, the loaf can be removed after it is frozen.

Meatloaf freezer meal

Meatloaf freezer meal

Serving day:  Remove meatloaf from freezer and thaw in fridge, on plate for 1-2 days. Flip loaf onto greased cookie sheet. Reform it into loaf if needed. Cooking it on a sheet allows the grease to flow away from loaf. Cook for 1hour and 15 minutes at 350 degrees or until internal temperature is 70 degrees.

Chicken Fajitas

Label one freezer bag. Add all ingredients to bag and squeeze to mix.

  • 1.5 lbs of chicken breasts cut into strips (about 2.5 large breasts)
  • Juice of two-three limes (about ¼- 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup chicken broth
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 diced garlic cloves
  • 1tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1tsp smoked paprika

To another freezer bag I added an onion, red pepper and green pepper chopped into strips. I will freeze these veggies to use on serving day, but no promises this will turn out, I have never done this before! May be a better idea to just slice them the day they are needed? I’ll let you know how it turns out!

Serving day: Sauté thawed chicken marinated strips in pan of heated oil, with liquid from the bag (It will cook off) for five minutes. Add thawed onion, red pepper and green peppers that have been cut into strips. Sauté until chicken is cooked through and veggies are tender. Add mixture to warmed tortilla shells with favourite fajita ingredients. I like it simple and only add sour cream and hot sauce. Serve with rice of salad. Enjoy!

Soy Honey Chicken Kabobs

Label two freezer bags. Add all ingredients to EACH bag, seal and squeeze to mix.

  • 3-4 chicken breast,
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs honey
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Salt and pepper

(From http://shewearsmanyhats.com/2010/04/on-the-dark-side/)

Serving day: Soak wooden skewers for 10 minutes. Skewer the marinated chicken alone or with onions, mushrooms, peppers or tomato. Brush veggies with marinate from the bag. Grill kabobs 9-10 minutes a side of until chicken is 165 degrees. Or if your husband loves his Weber and it takes 45 minutes to prepare, you will likely be broiling your skewers! Broil for 2-3 minutes each side, watching very closely, to an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Serve with salad.

Chicken Kabob freezer meals

Hope these freezer meals give you a little extra time this season to go outside and play before dinner! Have you tried any other freezer meals!?

~ Kristin

(To see what else I am exploring to keep my family fed and mind balanced, see my pins
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Easy Make Ahead Frittata

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I find cooking a decent breakfast during the week challenging. I’m sure it is a matter of time until we eat cereal each and every day, but right now the idea of that just bores me. I love making this frittata, or egg casserole. This is the only breakfast casserole I have actually enjoyed (No, that is a lie. I make a mean french toast casserole that I will post in the near future!) I mix this up and bake it on a Sunday night so that we have a good start to the week and Monday goes as smoothly as possible.

Make ahead egg casserole www.heartofafarmgirl.wordpress.com

I am not a morning person. I wait until the last possible second to pull myself out of bed, with JUST enough time to get out the door to work. At that point, I don’t even have the time to eat cereal so I heat this in a frying pan (We don’t have a microwave) while I am getting ready, wrap it in a tortilla shell and run out the door.

This is also great because clean up is easy. I used to always make a similar thing in muffin tins, until I clued in that scraping the muffin tin every time was a giant waste of my time.

Ingredients:

8 eggs
¾ cup milk
2 tbs flour
1 cup of veggies and meat (I used diced ‘Naturals’ ham, broccoli, tomato and finely diced onion)
½ cup of melting cheese (anything you have, I’ve added 1/4c feta or parmesan which were good!)

2 tsp of your favourite spice blend. Garlic, parsley, italian, smoked paprika…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together eggs, milk and flour and pour into a well greased pan.  Top with remaining ingredients, and give it a little stir. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

Easy Make Ahead Frittata casserole

It should still be slightly loose in the middle and will set while it cools for five minutes. Serve after it has cooled or cover and put it in the fridge over night until breakfast. Try not to overcook it. Don’t get too fussy about the ingredients and just throw what you have in the pan.

And how great would this be to give a new mom!? A friend of mine is going to ‘pop’ any day. Perhaps I will whip one up for her!

Enjoy,

Kristin