My #80lbJourney – Prep and Freezer Meals

My #80lbJourney- Prep and Freezer Meals

This week was all about getting back on track and getting organized. Between my birthday early last week (2 cakes and cupcakes as well) and getting back on track after being away for a few days, it was a slow start. I did stick to some of my goals, as you will read below, but I used this week to plan ahead and prep.

Freeze Ahead Breakfast Options

Make Ahead / Freeze Ahead Breakfast Options

 

Freeze Ahead Breakfast Options to make your morning run smoother

If you do not do any meal prep or freezer meals yet, then start with breakfast. Morning can be hectic and stressful in a household with kids or even on your own. When we have breakfast options ready to pop in the microwave or blender, it makes for a less stressful day. Anything that saves time in the mornings is welcome!

These are my top Make Ahead/  Freeze Ahead Breakfast Options :

Pancakes 

(Recipe for Pancake Mix)

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Mix up a batch of pancakes and make them small enough to fit in your toaster. Let cool and place on parchment covered cookie sheets in freezer. Once frozen (about 1 hour) place in zippered freezer bag. OR you can cool, place in zippered freezer bag with wax paper between the pancakes.

To serve: Take out of freezer and toast in toaster.

French Toast

I usually watch the bakery discount racks at the grocery store and pick up a couple extra loaves to make French Toast. Make them up, and then let cool & place on parchment covered cookie sheets in freezer. Once frozen (about 1 hour) place in zippered freezer bag. OR you can cool, place in zippered freezer bag with wax paper between the pancakes.

To serve: Take out of freezer and toast in toaster.

Breakfast Burritos

(Recipe & Instructions)

burritos

My favourite grab and go breakfast!
I usually make these up in batches of 20 at a time now. You can make these using many variations of ingredients,  here is my recipe.

To Serve: Microwave for 40 to 60 seconds. (Time may vary due to varieties of microwave )

Smoothies

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Smoothies are a fast and healthy option and, Yes, they can be prepped ahead.

I purchase yogurt that has been marked down, 50% off, then freeze it in ice cube trays. Then put 2 or 3 frozen blocks in the freezer bags with the other items for the Smoothie.

Measure out 1 cup of berries or other frozen fruit and place in freezer bag with yogurt. Add spinach,  kale, wheat germ, or any other items you want to add.

When ready for a Smoothie,  simply place contents of the bag in the blender and add some coconut water, juice or milk.

Also check out: 5 Awesome Smoothie Recipes

Muffins

Muffins can be one of the best breakfast options out there. Having so many recipes to choose from, and most can be frozen and thawed for 15 seconds in the microwave. Or if you prefer, that however many you need by taking them out of the freezer the night before.

These are a few of my favourite recipes:

Omelets and Omelet Muffins

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Omelet Muffins are one of my favourite make ahead breakfasts. You can put anything in them that you like. One egg per muffin tin and then bacon, chopped veggies, cheese, you name it. Be creative and use up what you have in the fridge. Here is how I make mine.

We like basic omelets as well, so my make ahead packets are simply the veggies all in a freezer bag ready to thaw and add eggs. I cook up a large batch of onions, peppers and any other veggies and seasonings I want, then divide into snack baggies. Then place the baggies into a larger freeze bag and label. These are great to ass to soups and sauces as well.

Looking for some inspiration for more make ahead meals?
Check out some of the other recipes on our page.

Judy’s Freezer Meal Workshop: the Details!

Smiling woman in the kitchen preparing dinner

Judy's Freezer Meal Workshop with Sunset Gourmet Products
Contributed by Judy Brander

The question is –  What is it and will it be a time & money saver?

What is it: "What's for dinner?" Is that a question that is asked at your home each day at 4:00pm?  Eating at home saves you money and calories. But FREEZER MEALS meals save you TIME!! During the average workshop we prepare a minimum of 10 meals!!! Depending on the size of your family, you can easily double this number of meals!!

You get the Sunset Gourmet seasonings and sauces from me. They are high quality products, tasty and can be used in a variety of ways to make all your meals taste so good!!

Then I give you a grocery list, a lot of the items will be ones you will already have at home. (or will be once you start getting in the habit of freezer cooking, you will start getting chicken, hamburger, crushed tomatoes, etc when it's ON SALE!).

What makes these workshops great is you get to choose the type of meat you like, the leanness of the meat you want, your favorite veggies for a dish, etc. The grocery list lets you know what meal the item is for so you can make substitutions if desired; it may say "Ricotta cheese - slow cooker lasagna", and you can choose cottage cheese if you want to make it healthier!

You will also get a "Prep List", it may include things like "brown 1 lb hamburger" or "cube 2 cups of cooked chicken" for example.. Very simple!

You then bring your groceries to the workshop and I walk you through assembly and give you lots of tips. You will get recipes and labels, all the meals will be made in Freezer Ziploc bags. I will, also, gladly share any other recipes I have to help you use the leftover seasonings and sauces you may have from Sunset Gourmet!

Today's Menu:

  • Cheese & Bacon Lasgna
  • Bacon Ranch Hot Dip Chicken
  • Beefy Vegetable Stew
  • 3 Cheese Baked Penne
  • Spicy Cheesy Chicken
  • Southwest Braised Pork Ribs
  • Balsalmic Roast Beef
  • Southwest Chicken Stirfry

Products being used:

  • Cheesy Bacon Cheddar Dip
  • OH! So Garlic
  • OH! So Onion
  • Bacon Ranch Hot Dip
  • Pasionfruit White Balsalmic Vinegar
  • Three Cheese Italian Dip
  • Southwest Gourmet Seasoning

 

There were a few things to cut & chop ahead of time. We had to dice & slice onions, chop sweet potatoes, slice peppers, chop & shred carrotts, wash & cut broccoli and chop celery.

Sometimes some of the meat needs to be cut or cooked. We had to cook bacon, ground beef, 2 chopped chicken breasts  & as I am using ground chicken that also needed to be cooked.  I also needed to cut some chicken breast into strips for the stir fry and cut up my ribs. That's it prepping done and now I am ready for the meal preparation.

Almost forgot I had to cook Penne.

Bacon ready -

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Chicken pieces cooked -

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Peppers ready for slicing & chopping

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Chopped & sliced -

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Veggies all ready -

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Time it took to prep above: 2.5 hours

 

Cost:

  • Onion 3lbs $1.50 – used 4 so .75
  • Carrotts 3lbs - $2.49 for 2 lbs – I used half  $1.25
  • 2 sweet potatoes  .79lb  = $1.22
  • 3 peppers  - $5.25  ($1.47 for yellow & orange at Walmart – no red so had to buy it at superstore $2.31)
  • Celery – 1 bunch  -$2.69 (only needed 2 stalks so shared it with the others) again none at Walmart for sale price of $1.67  My cost  .65
  • Broccoli $2.50 ( 2 heads so only need 1) = $1.25
  • Broth – 1 box chicken broth ($1.69 at COOP) &1 box beef $2=$3.66 ( no Beef at COOP)
  • Sour Cream 250 ml $1 (shared with another) =.50
  • 1 Bottle Sun Dried Tomatoes $3.49
  • Tomato Sauce .99
  • Shredded Cheese $3.99
  • 28 Oz can Diced Tomatoes x2  $1.09 =$2.18
  • Lasagna Noodles $2.50
  • Penne Pasta Noodles $2.19-$1 (coup) =$1.19
  • 2 cans Cream of Chicken soup .49 (shoppers email coup – can only get 1 so 2nd can $1.59 = $2.08
  • 1/2 cup parm cheese app $1
  • 3 cups Milk app $1.50

A few other things you would have at home already – ketchup, soya sauce, papikra, flour,

Cost: $33.45

Meats:

  • 1 pk bacon $3.99
  • 2lbs ground chicken $3.49 each =$5.98
  • 2 pks chicken breast - 5 in each $10 x2=$20 - ($8 coups) =$12
  • 1 pk ribs $8.57
  • 1 Roast $7.26
  • Stew Beef $4.63

Meat Cost: $52.43

Other items:

  • Freezer Bags  - Extra Large & Large $2.99 each = $5.98 (will only use half) = $3
  • Foil containers – I got 9 - 2lb ones at Dollarama for $1 for pk of 3 – Loves these for freezing smaller size meals. $3

Total Cost $91.86 Cost of Sunset Gourmet products $65 – Total Cost $156.86

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Number of meals: 21 meals

21 most will give leftovers & probably enough for the 2nd meal for us but we are only 2 people. The roast will probably serve  at least 3-4 meals. (2 dinner and 2 lunches – sandwiches etc)

Time to put the meals together at the workshop and clean up: 2.5 hours

Total prepping & making meals app 5 hours but now NO dinner time meal preparation for at least 3 weeks. No mesh in your kitcen only dinner dishes to clean up. All meals go in slow cooker or oven.

Meal time PREP-- Thaw, put in slow cooker and set on low for the day. When you come home from work. Dinner is ready. OR Thaw put in oven for 45-1 hour Dnner is ready.  All you need to do is add rice, potato or pasta if desired.

Cost /Package: $7.45 per package to serve 2 people (based on the 21 packages) or $3.73 per person. Cost will be less if leftovers and used for 2nd meal.

** Note: costs will vary depending on the meats and if you can buy them on sale.

We tried the handy Jokari Hands-Free Baggy Rack Storage Bag Holder during the workshop. It was easy to use – just clip the bags in place and add your ingredients. No mess. No spills.

First meal ready – 3 Cheese Bake Penne

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2 and 1/2 hours later ---21 Finished meals – ready for slow cooker or oven!

Great for busy family, seniors, new MOM (makes a great shower gift – lots of ready cooked meals) or someone sick or just home from hospital.

Love the variety of meals, ability to add or change things to suit your family & to try new things.  If you are interested in hosting a Freezer meal workshop click this link.

Judy is a Rep with Sunset Gourmet, you can reach her on FACEBOOK for more info & send PM. Tell her you read about it on the Moncton Coupon Lady Page.

You need a minimum of 4 people – maximum depends on your house.

One of the dishes prepared:
Southwest Chicken Stirfry

freezer

 

 

 

Freezer/ Slow Cooker Meals: Orange Chicken

 
Here is another of my favourite Chicken Freezer recipes. I have adapted it to freeze ahead and cook in the slow cooker.
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Prep the bags, freeze, then pop into the slow cooker to have an easy and yummy supper. I LOVE the convenience of stocking my freezer with these made ahead meals.
Before you start: 
  1. Place your ingredients on counter with a mixing bowl for each recipe.
  2. Label freezer bags with Recipe name, date and any additional instructions.
  3. Leave meat in the refrigerator until you are assembling the packs.
I have included measurements for 2 freezer packs to serve 2 adults. If you require enough for 2 adults and 1 child, you can use the same sauce measurements, and simply add another chicken breast or thigh. If you are looking for meals for 4 or more, simply adjust measurements to accommodate.
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Orange Chicken
Label Freezer Bag: Orange Chicken, Date, 6 hours in slow cooker on low.
Top with 1 tin Mandarin Oranges and 2 chopped green onions. Serve over Rice.
 
2 large Carrots, chopped
1/2  Red Onion, chopped
1 Pepper, chopped (I used 1/2 red & 1/2 orange, you can use green or any you like)
 
3 cloves Garlic, minced
2 tsp ground Ginger
1 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 can Frozen Orange juice
4 Chicken Breast or Thighs
To Add after cooked:
2 tins Mandarin Oranges
1 Green Onions
 
Chop veggies and divide into two freezer bags.
Mix sauce ingredients together in bowl.
Add chicken to the two freezer bags, and pour 1/2 sauce over each.
Remove air from bag, seal and freeze flat in freezer.
 
*** You can also cook rice ahead of time and freeze. Simply freeze serving portions in zippered freezer bags and freeze. To use, place in a bowl or sink of hot water. Pour in a bowl and fluff to serve with your meals. ***
 
For more Chicken Recipes Click Here



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Family, Food, Frugal Living & Fun!

Freezer/ Slow Cooker Meals: Honey Garlic Chicken

As many of you know, I hate cooking and want to make meals as simple, easy and healthy as possible. Here is one of my favourite Chicken recipes. I have adapted it to freeze ahead and cook in the slow cooker.Prep the bags, freeze, then pop into the slow cooker to have an easy and yummy supper. I LOVE the convenience of stocking my freezer with these made ahead meals.

Before you start:
  1. Place your ingredients on counter with a mixing bowl for each recipe.
  2. Label freezer bags with Recipe name, date and any additional instructions.
  3. Leave meat in the refrigerator until you are assembling the packs.
I have included measurements for 2 freezer packs to serve 2 adults. If you require enough for 2 adults and 1 child, you can use the same sauce measurements, and simply add another chicken breast or thigh. If you are looking for meals for 4 or more, simply adjust measurements to accommodate.
Honey Garlic Chicken
Label Freezer Bag: Honey Garlic Chicken, Date, 5-6 hours in slow cooker on low.
 Serve with rice and steamed veggies.
  • 1 cup Honey
  • 1/2 cup Soy Sauce
  • 1/4 cup Onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup Ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 4 Chicken Breast or Thighs
Mix sauce ingredients together in bowl.
Add chicken to the two freezer bags, and pour 1/2 sauce over each.
Remove air from bag, seal and freeze flat in freezer.
*** You can also cook rice ahead of time and freeze. Simply freeze serving portions in zippered freezer bags and freeze. To use, place in a bowl or sink of hot water. Pour in a bowl and fluff to serve with your meals. ***
 
 
© 2013 Everything Unscripted.
Putting Money In Your Pocket One Coupon At A Time!