Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Freezer Meals

The other day I took 2.5 hours out of my day and I made some of my Freezer Meals! It was super easy and I have 6 extra meals to make when I am in a tight spot. 

Here's the thing about freezer meals. A lot of them you have to thaw overnight so there is a little bit of thought that goes into them. As a stay-at-home-mom, if I know the night before that I need something for dinner the next night, I'm going to just go to the grocery and get the things that I need.

When I make my freezer meals, I want stuff that I can take out a few hours before, thaw in the microwave, or just cook from frozen.

I always pick a few recipes and make multiple of each. I like to use these Chinet bakeware containers. They freeze really well and they can go directly into the oven. 

Also, I always make sure to properly label all of my meals. I can see what it is from the side of the container when I open my freezer, and I can see the cooking instructions on the top of the container for easy access!

First, I went with my trusty Steak Stir-Fry! I posted the recipe on my very first blog post entitled "Welcome Friends!". I made 2 of these in gallon sized bags so they lay nice and flat in my freezer. 

Second, I made a wonderful Chicken Enchilada recipe that I found on the Thriving Home Blog. It's so hearty with the black beans and full of wonderful flavors! This recipe takes only a few minutes and it's one of my family's favorites! On the site, it calls for a 9x9 baking dish. Since I use the above 8x8 dishes, I usually put about 4-5 enchiladas in one dish, therefore I can make 3 dinners out of this. Keep in mind, these enchiladas are BIG. One is plenty for one person for dinner. 

Third, I went with a basic Ravioli casserole. Here is my recipe:

Ravioli Casserole

1 package pre-made Cheese Ravioli
1 lb. ground beef
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, separated
1/3 cup shredded parmesan cheese
1 can italian-style diced tomatoes

1. Grease an 8x8 pain lightly. Heat oven to 350.
2. In a medium pot, brown the ground beef. Drain and return to pan
3. Add the spaghetti sauce, 3/4 cup of the mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese and diced tomatoes to the beef. Heat thoroughly.
4. Pour a thin layer of sauce into the bottom of the pan. Place a layer of uncooked ravioli on top of the sauce. Continue to layer the sauce and ravioli until gone. Make sure the top layer is sauce. 
5. If you are going to freeze this meal, now is the time to freeze it. If you are going to make it now, cover with foil and place in the over for 35 minutes. 
6. Remove from oven, take foil off, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese, return to oven and cook for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.  
7. Let cool 10 minutes and enjoy!

Do you have any recipes you like to freeze? Or some "go-to" recipe you like to use when you're in a pinch for dinner? Share them here! I'd love to know what kind of trick you have up your sleeve! 

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