Cranberry Pork Roast

Cranberry Pork Roast

Batch cooking and freezer meals are my favourite meal prep strategies. 

Over the years I have tried many meals that you prepare ahead and freeze, some you prep partially and mix together when cooking and others you simply combine ingredients in a freezer bag and dump into a slow cooker for an easy flavorful meal.

I have shared a few Chicken Freezer Meal recipes before, but this one is a simple dump Pork meal.

Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 pound bone-in pork shoulder (or pork tenderloin)
  • 15oz can whole berry cranberry sauce (or 1 1/2 to 2 cups homemade cranberry sauce)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp orange zest (optional)
  • 1/2 cup onion, diced

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on “low” setting for 6-8 hours.
  2. Remove any bones and shred meat.
  3. Serve on buns, with tortillas, or with a salad or other side.

**Freezer Meal: Combine all ingredients in freezer bag and freeze. When ready to cook, dump into slow cooker and cook 8 hours on low.

 

Meal Plan – April 16th thru 21

As I have mentioned before, I don't assign a day to the meal usually, allowing us to pick the meal each day. I buy and prep for 5-6 meals a week, leaving 1 or 2 supper meals open for leftovers or maybe a dinner with our extended family.

Once again, this week's meals are almost all from my freezer and pantry. We have used up most of the meat and prepped meals in our freezer, so I will be doing a big restock over the next few months as I see sales, and when I get the opportunity to prep freezer meals.

Basics Of Meal Planning:
  • Go through flyers for best prices. Also check online for specials at local butchers, farmer's markets, bakeries and shops.
  • Check freezer, fridge, pantry and make as many meals as possible with these items and items on sale this week.
  • Make menu and shopping list.
Here's what I purchased yesterday:
  • 2x brick Cheese  $3.99 each ($7.98)
  • Tuna $0.99
  • Broccoli $2.49
  • 2x Dozen Eggs  $1.77 each ($3.54)
From my kitchen, freezer or pantry:
  • Chicken (in freezer)
  • Salmon (in freezer)
  • Ground Beef (in freezer)
  • Salsa
  • Carrots
  • Parsnip
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Canned Beans
  • BBQ  Sauce
Menu:

I usually use this format to plan. Not assigning a day to the meal, but rather having everything prepped to make whichever I feel like doing that day. Here is my plan for this week. Recipes will be added as well, as I get them photographed and posted.

SUPPER TIME MEALS THIS WEEK

  • Roasted Veggies, Black Beans, Quinoa & Salsa Chicken 
  • Lasagna Rolls (recipe to come on blog this week)
  • Broccoli & Cheese Casserole
  • Roasted Carrots and Parsnip (fries) & BBQ Chicken
  • Beef and Barley Soup (already prepped in freezer to cook in slow cooker)
Breakfast Time:

We have options ready and available.

Lunch Time:

Most of our lunches are left overs or salad with some form of protein. I use chicken from the roasted chicken I cook each week, or fish to have with salads. 

Check out some of our previous meal plans HERE.

Pantry Basics 101 – What should you have in your pantry?

Pantry Basics 101

What should you have in your pantry?

Of course, every pantry is different, but there are some staples that most pantries do include. Below you will find a list of suggestions for stocking your pantry. 

This list is organized into categories. You may find there is too much on the list for your taste, or perhaps you have much more in your pantry. This is to be used as a guideline to help you organize and have the majority of basic ingredients for daily / weekly cooking.

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Sunday Meal Prep – Seemed too easy this week

SUNDAY MEAL PREP - Seemed too easy this week

This week I chose to cheat a little by, once again, picking up 2 rotisserie chicken for $15. I almost purchased 3 chicken for $21, but then when I thought about it, I can get 2 cooked for $15, so that is easy and affordable.

My meal prep is done for all of our meals, so there are some breakfast, lunch, supper and snack preparations happening in this post each week. 

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Our Weekly Meal Plan – March 6th- Easy this week, I cheated a little 

Our Weekly Meal Plan - March 6th- Easy this week, I cheated a little 

This past week was a little hectic and I was just plain feeling lazy yesterday, so I cheated. Picking up 2 rotisserie chicken made meal prep and planning a little easier this week. Honestly, it didn't even cost me more than I would normally spend on meals, so, why not??

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Homemade Frozen French Fries

Homemade Frozen French Fries

My kids love french fries, let's face it, so do I! We have made baked potato wedges often, but it is just not the same thing as French Fries. The kids just don't like the wedges the same. So here is my solution. NO Frying!

I actually had someone in a class try to insist the store bought french fries were healthy, telling me they were not deep fried. She insisted that because she put them in the oven, they were baked only. PLEASE understand that they are deep fried in the factory before they are packaged. Then you bake them to finish cooking and crisp them up. 

This recipe is an option to make up in a large batch, to have OVEN BAKED fries available in your freezer. You can season with various seasoning, a few suggestions will be at the bottom of the recipe. By making your own, you avoid preservatives, frying and additives.

HOW TO MAKE:

  1. Cut potatoes into fry shapes. (or cubes for hash browns, or grated for other recipes) 
  2. Bring large pot of water to a rolling boil.
  3. Place potatoes in pot and cook in water for five minutes.
  4. Strain. 
  5. If adding seasoning, place in bowl and stir in seasonings.
  6. Place fries in single layer on parchment covered cookie sheets.
  7. Freeze flat for about 1-2 hours. 
  8. Remove from cookie sheets and place in freezer bags, then return to freezer.
To Bake From Frozen:
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
  • Place fries on lined or greased baking sheet and bake for approximately 20-25 minutes. Turning half way through baking time.

Seasonings: 

Each seasoning recipe covers approximately 4 large Russet Potatoes cut into wedges or fries. You can just sprinkle with a little salt as well, or leave them plain and add seasoning or dipping sauce at time of eating.

GARLIC PARMESAN

  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp Italian seasoning
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp paprika

PAPRIKA GARLIC

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
Dip Options:
  • 2 Tbsp Ketchup
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Mayonnaise

____

  • 1 tsp minced Garlic 
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 3 Tbsp Mayonnaise

Our Weekly Meal Plan – Feb 12 thru 18

Planning:

  • Go through flyers for best prices. Also check online for specials at local butchers, farmer's markets, bakeries and shops.
  • Check freezer, fridge, pantry and make as many meals as possible with these items and items on sale this week.
  • Make menu and shopping list.

MENU:

I usually use this format to plan. Not assigning a day to the meal, but rather having everything prepped to make whichever I feel like doing that day. Here is my plan for this week. Recipes will be added as well, as I get them photographed and posted.

There are some alterations included for my meals, as I am starting a new meal plan for me in my weight loss journey. Minor adjustments to keep me on track.

Supper Time Planned Meals: February 12 to 18
  • Roast Chicken, Potatoes and Veggies (spinach salad for me)
  • Salmon and Rice (Salad for me)
  • Chicken Fajitas (mine wrapped in romaine lettuce)
  • Chicken Soup and Biscuits
  • Pasta with pesto and Tuna Salad (Tuna salad in lettuce for me)
  • Burgers with Baked Potato and Carrot Fries.
Lunch Time:

Our lunches are usually salad or wrap with some kind of protein (Chicken, Tuna, Egg, etc), or leftovers from supper. School lunches are usually NOT sandwiches, as my oldest does not like them.

So I get creative with what we have on hand. Meat chunks, grape tomatoes, cheese cubes, cut up veggies, etc...

Breakfast Time:

We have options ready and available.

  • Breakfast Burritos
  • Banana Muffins
  • Boiled Eggs
  • Omelets (onions, mushrooms and peppers cooked and frozen)
  • Toast
  • Overnight Oatmeal
  • waffles (Clayton eats these most days. I have to start making our own....goal for another week!)
  • yogurt, fruit, cereal always an option

SNACKS:

  • Apples (with peanut butter)
  • Sliced Peppers, Celery & Carrots
  • Almonds
  • Dates
  • Cereal Bars /  Granola Bars (kids)
  • Protein Balls
  • Crackers & cheese
  • Yogurt
  • Boiled Eggs

SHOPPING:

Once again this week, I didn't purchase much. Most of our meals were planned around what I had on hand in the freezer and pantry.

  • Eggs $1.77 x2 dozen
  • Peppers 2pk 50% off $1.50
  • Baby Spinach $4.99 (FREE with gas receipts @ Sobey's)
  • Waffles x2 $1.49 (FREE, gas receipts)
  • Avocados x2 $1 (FREE, gas receipts)
  • Carrots $1.49
  • Tortillas $3.50
  • Block Cheese $3.99 x4 (stock up)
  • Whole Chicken $8.26
  • TOTAL SPENT: $34.25

ITEMS ON HAND:

  • Salmon (frozen)
  • Yogurt
  • Frozen blueberries
  • Clementines
  • Apples
  • Crackers
  • Almonds
  • Dates
  • Onions
  • Potatoes
  • Bacon (for breakfast burritos)
  • Pesto
  • Pasta cooked in freezer

MEAL PREP

Here is the list of what I did for prep this week.

  • Boil 6 eggs, cool & store in fridge.
  • Bake muffins
  • Make 6-8 breakfast burritos
  • Cook up onions and peppers to freeze for omelets
  • Mix up and freeze protein balls
  • Cook Chicken
  • Make soup from chicken bones
  • Portion dates and almonds for snacks.
  • Make bread rolls for school lunches