Monday, March 10, 2014

Frozen Meal Prep Part Two

     Before I went back to work, I decided to make another set of frozen meals. After such a success with my first set of frozen meals (check it out HERE ) I wanted to mix things up a bit and make some slow cooker meals and some oven baked meals. I made a total of 12 bagged, slow cooker meals and 7 oven baked meals, all of which are stashed in the freezer and ready to cook! I'm so thankful I have an extra refrigerator/freezer in the garage because my kitchen and garage freezers are packed now! Before cooking each meal, allow ample time to defrost/thaw.
    Each meal lasts my household two nights, so we are able to make these 19 meals actually stretch for 38 meals, thanks to leftovers! It cost me a total of $161.03 to make 19 meals. Each of the 19 meals consists of 4 servings, which calculates out to 76 servings at $2.11 each! Sweet deal!
    Without further ado, here's all of the details of how I made this magic happen!

Step 1: Recipes
Below are the recipes I used. Some from my old post ( HERE )I loved so much that I made again, but most of the recipes are new. Some are slow cooker recipes while others you store in a baking dish and simply bake in the oven when you're ready to eat!

BBQ Chicken and Veggies
-2 green peppers, chopped
-1 red pepper, chopped
-1 zucchini, chopped
-3 onions, chopped
- 6 red potatoes, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 15 oz. can of tomato sauce
- 1 tbsp. brown sugar
- 1 bottle BBQ sauce

Split ingredients into two bags (yay for two meals!) Cook in slow cooker on high for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. Recipe from mama and baby love

Southwestern 2 Bean Chicken 
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1 15 oz. pinto beans
- 1 15 oz. can black beans
- 1 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 lb. frozen corn
- 1 12 oz. jar salsa

Cook on low for 5-7 hours. Recipe from The Gracious Pantry

Teriyaki Chicken
- 1 lb. bag of baby carrots
-1 red onion, chunked
-2 cans of pineapple chunks, undrained
-4 cloves garlic, minced
-6 chicken breasts
-1 cup teriyaki sauce
- 2 cups rice, uncooked

Split ingredients into two bags (yay for two meals!) except for rice! Day of, cook chicken on low for 6-8 hours. Prepare rice. Recipe from Around My Family Table

Applesauce BBQ Chicken
- 4 chicken breasts
- 1/2 t. ground pepper
- 2/3 cup chunky applesauce
- 2/3 cup BBQ sauce
- 2 t. brown sugar
- 1 t. chili powder

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Recipe from Who Needs a Cape

Island Chicken
- 6 chicken breasts
- 3 t. of lemon juice
- 2 cloves of garlic, diced
- 2 t. dried oregano
- 2 1/2 t. of soy sauce
- 1/2 cup of vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup of chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste

Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Recipe from Annies Eats

Crock-pot Fajitas
 - 1 large onion
-1 green bell pepper
-1 red bell pepper
-2 lbs. boneless sirloin steaks
- 3/4 cup water
- 2 tbsp. vingear
- 1 tbsp. lime juice
- 1 tbsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp/ pepper
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Place on warmed tortilla, top with lettuce, cheese, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo, cilantro, or any other fun food of your choice. Serve with Spanish rice and enjoy! 

Baked Ziti
- 1 lb. dry ziti pasta
- 1 onion, chopped
-1 lb. lean ground beef
2 (26 ounce) jars of spaghetti sauce
- 8 slices of provolone cheese
-6 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

This is a two meal recipe! Whoo hoo! Boil pasta noodles, brown onion and ground beef over medium heat. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer. Spray two 8x8 inch pans with non-stick cooking spray. Layer each pan as follows: 1/4 ziti, 1/4 of the sauce, 4 slices of Provolone cheese, 1/2 of sour cream, 1/4 ziti, 1/4 of sauce mixture. Top with graded Parmesan cheese and remaining mozzarella cheese. Cover and freeze. When ready to cook, thaw in refrigerator for 24 hours. Cook at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Recipe from Six Sisters Stuff 

Savory Pepper Steak
- 3 lbs. round steak, cut into strips
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1 tsp. of salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 1 large onion
- 8 garlic cloves
- 1 green pepper
- 1 red pepper
- 2 16 oz. cans of tomatoes
- 2 tbsp. beef boullion
- 4 tsp. of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tbsp. of steak seasoning
- 2 tbsp. of steak sauce

Divide ingredients evenly into two bags (whoop whoop! Two meals!) Toss steak strips into a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. Mix together beef boullion, Worcestershire sauce, and steak sauce and divide into bags. Add remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 8 hours and serve with rice and a side salad. Recipe from Six-Cents 

Chicken Enchiladas
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 t. butter
- 1/2 onion
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 16 oz. can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
- 1 4 oz. can diced green chiles, drained
- 1 t. sugar
- 1 t. cumin
- 1/2 t. salt
- 1/2 t. dried oregano
- 1/2 t. dried basil
- 12 corn tortilas
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 4 cups grated Monterey jack cheese

Sauce: Melt butter in medium saucepan, then saute onion and garlic in butter until tender. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, sugar, cumin, salt, oregano, and basil. Simmer on stovetop for about 20 minutes. To assemble enchiladas, soften tortillas in a warm skillet, then dip each side of the tortilla in sauce. Fill enchiladas with 1/2 cup and sprinkle with cheese, then roll up and place seam side down in baking dish. Blend sour cream into remaining sauce and pour over enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, cover with foil, and freeze. When read to prepare, thaw completely in refrigerator. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes. Recipe from Don't Panic- Dinner's in the Freezer

Parmesan Garlic Chicken
- 6 chicken breasts
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
-1 envelope Italian salad dressing mix
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup olive oil

Mix together cheese, garlic, and dressing mix. Dip chicken breasts into olive oil, then coat with cheese mixture. Place in freezer bag and store. To serve, thaw completely. Bake at 400 degrees for 45-60 minutes.

Turkey Sausage Pasta
 - 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 8 oz. can tomato paste
- 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped celery
- 1 cup chopped zucchini
- 1 lb. turkey sausage
- 1 tbsp. Italian seasoning
- 1/2 cup cooking wine
- 1 lb. rigatoni pasta

Combine all ingredients except pasta. Cook in slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours. Add dry pasta noodles the last 30 minutes. Recipe from Prevention Slow Cooker Recipes

- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 80z. manicotti, uncooked
- 12 cups marinade sauce

Makes 4 dishes! Mix cheeses, eggs, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Stuff filling into manicotti shells. Spread 1/2 cup sauce into the bottom of each baking dish. Place 6-7 manicotti in ecah dish. Divide the remaining sauce evenly over the four dishes. Cover dish with foil and freeze. Bake at 350 for 60 minutes. Recipe from Fix, Freeze, Feast 

Breakfast Burritos
- 1 dozen eggs, lightly beaten
- 3 lbs. yellow potatoes boiled and cut into bite size pieces
- 1 cup sour cream
 - 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 20 10-inch flour tortillas
-1 lb. bacon
- 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

Scramble eggs. Combine potato, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Divide ingredients evenly among tortillas. Divide the back and cheese evenly over mixture. Wrap each tortilla burrito style and wrap individually in foil. Store in freezer bags. To bake in microwave, remove foil, defrost, and heat. To bake in oven, bake in foil at 375 for 30 minutes. Recipe from Fix, Freeze, Feast

Step 2: Label Bags and Dishes
I wrote down the instructions directly on the freezer bags for the slow cooker meals. For the meals that required a foil baking dish, I wrote the directions on a large label.

Step 3: Grocery List and Shopping

Here is a mass grocery list of everything you need to make these meals. Some recipes include basic ingredients (salt, pepper, other seasonings, etc.) that I didn't include in the grocery list, assuming most people have these items as a staple in your kitchen. Go through each recipe individually to ensure you have all of the items!!

-1 bag baby carrots
-1 red onion
-lemon juice
-15 garlic cloves
-8 white onions
-5 green bell peppers
-3 red bell peppers
-lime juice
-2 zucchini
-6 red potatoes
-1.5 lbs. yellow potatoes
-1 lb. bacon
-1 lb. turkey sausage
- 35 chicken breasts
-2 lbs. boneless sirloin steak
-1 lb. lean ground beef
- 3 lbs. round steak
- ziti pasta noodles
- rigatoni pasta noodles
- 2 8oz. manicotti pasta noodl boxes
-10 flour tortillas
-12 corn tortillas
-2 bags Mexican shredded cheese
-2 bags Monterey jack cheese
-3 bags shredded mozzarella cheese
-8 provolone cheese slices
-1 dozen eggs
- 4 oz. can diced green chiles
- salsa
- 8 oz. can tomato paste
- 3 28 oz. can diced tomatoes
-16 oz. can tomatoes
- 5 26 oz. jar spaghetti sauce
- 2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
-15 oz. can black beans
- 1lb. frozen corn
-2 cans pineapple chunks
-1 bottle teriyaki sauce
-1 bag brown rice
-1 jar chunky applesauce
-1 bottle BBQ sauce
- 1 bottle soy sauce
-chicken stock
-2 sour cream
-beef bouillon
-Worecestershite sauce
- steak sauce
-Italian salad dressing mix
- Gallon freezer bags
- 8 foil baking dishes

Step 4: Prepare the Meals
 I prepared the meals just as the directions indicated. I poured everything into the gallon freezer bags and then put them in the freezer. 24 hours before you cook a meal, put the bag in the refrigerator and let it thaw. You'll quickly realize that it's impossible to put a frozen, square meal into an oval crock pot so thawing it is really important! When I'm ready to cook, I simply throw them in the crockpot. Super easy! Other meals require a baking dish. I used the disposable foil dishes because they're cheap and require no clean up.