A few weeks ago, I discovered freezer cooking. I spend a couple of hours on a Sunday chopping up the ingredients for three meals (which I double to make six), throw it all into plastic freezer bags and pop them into the freezer. Each morning, my boyfriend or I throw one of these bags into the crockpot, set the timer and head off to work.
During the day, the meal cooks to perfection in the crockpot, while we slave away at our 9-5 jobs. When we get home in the evening, the smell of dinner greets me like a warm hug. Instead of spending the evening chopping, cooking and cleaning up a giant mess, I throw some rice in the cooker or boil up some noodles, snuggle with my daughter on the couch while surfing Pinterest and by 6:00 an effortless dinner is set upon the table. By 6:30, we have eaten and cleaned up the couple of dishes we dirtied and I have plenty of time to bathe my daughter and snuggle before bed. And I feel amazingly relaxed and satisfied.
Freezer cooking has literally changed my life and I highly encourage you to try it, too. By spending just a couple of hours on the weekend, you can save yourself hours upon hours during the week! My inspiration for freezer cooking came from Kirstin at Kojo Designs.
Here’s how it works: Chop up all of the vegetables for your meals. Place the appropriate amounts of each into a freezer bag. Then add the appropriate amount of spices and sauces to each bag. Then add your meat. Shake it up, seal it with as little air in the bag as possible and write the name, date and directions on the bag with a permanent marker. Pop the bags into your freezer. I pull mine out the morning I want to make it, throw the bag in the microwave for a minute and then toss the contents into the crock pot and add any additional ingredients per the directions written on the bag. Some sites recommend defrosting overnight but this has worked just fine for me. If you want to cook your freezer meal faster, then I would definitely defrost ahead of time.
Because my crock pot does not have a timer built in, I borrowed a cheapo timer from my Christmas stash (like this one) and it works perfectly. I arrive home to the smell of a delicious meal just waiting to be eaten. What could be easier?!
Here is one recipe I adapted for freezer cooking. It’s my mama’s world famous chili:
Put these ingredients in the bag:
- One can kidney beans
- One can great northern beans
- One can baked beans
- One can stewed tomatoes
- One pound cooked ground beef or turkey
- Half of one packet of original chili seasoning
- Half of one packet of hot chili seasoning
Directions to write on the bag: Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
I usually whip up a quick pan of corn bread or muffins (thank you Jiffy mixes) with some sweet butter (a stick of butter with confectioners sugar to taste). I like to top my chili with a dallop of sour cream, sprinkle of cheese and some fritos.
And dinner is served. What could be better — or easier?
Stay tuned for more freezer cooking meal recipes to come!