Freezer meals

So I find that with 3 kids under 2 it's almost impossible to consistently cook dinner every night. It just doesn't happen. We normally make CJ one of the 4 things he likes and we are scrambling to find something to eat ourselves. And to be honest - by the time the end of the day rolls around and we do baths, and feed the kiddos, have some time as a family, and start the bedtime routine for everyone - often times I'm not even hungry. So the only way I find that we actually eat halfway decent meals is if we cook a bunch of meals and have them in the freezer ready to grab when we need them.

Back when we were fit and had lots of time to meal prep and work out and were about 30-40 pounds lighter we were on pretty strict diets. We ate chicken breast and vegetables every. single. night. No joke. But as simple as it sounds - I just don't have time for that now. Often times, during the witching hour everyone is sleepy and we end up taking a walk from 4-5 to keep everyone happy so there's no time for cooking to have dinner ready. I know - it sounds silly but it's the truth.

I know that stores like costco and sam's club also have ready made meals that you can buy and throw in the freezer but I never know what they have in them or how healthy or unhealthy they are for you so I tend to err on the side of making my own.

So about once every few months I will go to the grocery and buy a bunch of stuff ad make as many freezer meals as possible. I thought I would share some of my favorites here with you. I can usually get a dozen or more meals prepped and ready and in the freezer in an afternoon. Sometimes halfwar through I'm like what in the heck did I do but I always am glad that I did it.

So anyways - here we go!

My favorite carne asada steak marinade

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/carne_asada/

This is my all time favorite meal. I do make just a few modifications to this recipe. I leave out the sugar. I use liquid aminos in place of soy sauce. And instead of fresh garlic I use 2 teaspoons of garlic salt and 2 teaspoons of garlic powder. I also don't bother with the jalapeno or the cilantro. So I guess I make a lot of modifications but holy smokes is it good. I get the steak at Aldi - their prepackaged skirt steak and we trim it up a bit - so delicious. This isn't so much a freezer meal - but more something that is relatively quick to whip up. We usually save this for nights where everyone is in bed early and eat after we put everyone down.

Italian Sausage and Peppers with Pasta

No recipe here - I just cook up some pasta and throw in 1 pound of turkey italian sausage, a few colored peppers and 2 onions and a jar of sauce (I use the Organic Marinara from Aldi and it's so deelish) and voila - you got yourself a quick dinner. You can throw in a salad and bada bing bada boom relatively healthy dinner.

Stuffed Mexican Shells

No recipe for this one either - I grew up with this one and just kind of piece it together. So I usually saute a pound of turkey and 1 onion chopped up. Once that's cooked I will throw in a large jar of picante sauce, some french fried onions, and some shredded monterey jack cheese. While preparing all of that I will cook some jumbo pasta shells. I always save some of the picante sauce to put on the bottom of the pan, spoon the mixture into the shells and then freeze. When I am ready to cook it - after thawing - I will cover it with more french friend onions and monterrey jack cheese and back at 350 until it's warmed through and the cheese is melted.

Low Fat Game Day Chilli

This is our favorite, tried and true chilli recipe. We love it and basically have it memorized. I will make a double or triple batch and we will eat it that day as well as throw some in the freezer for later. It's so delicious. I love to eat it with greek yogurt, raw onions and some cheese. And frito's if I'm feeling bad.

http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/beefrecipes/r/lfgmaedaychili.htm

Italian Sausage & Tortellini Soup

We haven't eaten this one yet but I did taste it when I made it and it tasted delicious. The only modification I made was to use turkey italian sausage.

http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2011/10/italian-sausage-tortellini-soup/

No Peek Stew

There's something about beef stew that's so comforting. Especially as the leaves and weather start to change and this one was super easy. Again - we haven't eaten it but the few bites I took before I threw it in the freezer tasted delicious!

http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2014/02/peek-stew-recipe/

Creamy black bean chicken

This recipe came from my sister in law and it's so delicious and easy. I can get this started and in the crock pot in about 5 minutes. It's perfect and so delicious and very versatile. You can pair it with hard shells, soft shells, corn shells, chips, rice or you can eat it on it's own. It's perfect and so delicious. I have also included her homemade taco seasoning recipe which is so so delicious!

Creamy Black Bean Chicken
1 lb chicken breast
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup salsa
1 can black beans, drained
12 oz frozen corn
1 taco seasoning packet (or use the recipe below -- it's easy and delicious!)
1 cup shredded cheese
1/2 cup sour cream

Put chicken breast, broth, salsa, beans, corn and taco seasoning in crock pot. 

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 3-4 hours.

Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Stir back in to crock pot.

Add sour cream and cheese. Stir until melted/mixed. Chopped cilantro is also delicious on top.

Taco Seasoning
Just mix the following ingredients together:
1 tbsp chili powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper

And that'll do it! That's a list of my go tos when I want to stock up for a while!

XOXO
K

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