As many of you know, I am expecting my fifth child ANY day now! Thank goodness for the blessing of the 'nesting period' of your pregnancy. Although I don't sleep at night due to discomfort, I for some reason, have had a surprising amount of energy the last few days (hopefully that means he will be born soon!!). Each day this baby doesn't come, I try to think of different projects I could do that would be easier to do pregnant than with five small children! I have come to the end of my list and decided to spend the day in the kitchen making freezer meals. Now that the day is over and I have my feet up (they are the size of elephant feet!) I am a little more prepared for this sweet boy to come!
So..my project for today..to fill my freezer with freezer meals. Why? Because dinner time is the hardest part of the day for us busy moms--homework, school activities, cooking, scouts/church activities, etc. Adding a new baby into the mix will make things even more interesting I am sure! I am hoping these freezer meals will be a life saver on those busy and crazy nights!
For those of you who have never made freezer meals, I promise you will learn to LOVE them, once you give them a try. It doesn't take much more effort to put together multiples of certain meals, but can save HOURS later on.
I want to share some of my favorite freezer meals with you in case you want to make this a project for you in the future (baby, or no baby!).
Lasagna is one of the easiest freezer meals to put together--especially if you buy the no-bake lasagna noodles. Just throw the sauce, cheese, and noodles in a pan and you have a meal ready to go! One tip to make lasagna less expensive is to puree cottage cheese for the cheese filling instead of using ricotta cheese. It is less than 1/2 the price and when it is pureed (in a food processor), it tastes just like ricotta.
Another favorite freezer meal recipe is Cheesy Black Bean Enchiladas. Not only are they easy to put together, but they can be made from all items in your food storage or freezer.
Here is this EASY recipe:
Cheesy Black Bean Enchiladas
1 can refried beans
1 can black beans, drained
1 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 c. sour cream
½ c. salsa
1 can green chilies
Cumin, chili powder, taco seasoning, etc. (to your own taste)
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese
1 10 oz. can red or green enchilada sauce
Mix bean mixture together in a bowl and microwave for a few minutes until you can stir it until it's smooth. Wrap a good amount of the bean mixture in tortillas and add shredded cheese in each one. Put a layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Roll the tortillas up and place in the pan. When all tortillas are rolled up, smother the top of the tortillas with enchilada sauce and sprinkle more cheese on top. Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes or until bubbly.
Another EASY freezer meal idea is to crock pot a couple of beef (or pork) roasts. Many people are afraid of cooking roasts--they think they turn out too dry, too tough, etc. All I do with my roasts is place about a cup of water in the bottom of a crock pot, place roasts in pan, cut up an onion and place around roast, and sprinkle with Montreal Steak Seasoning. I also add a couple of tablespoons of McCormick Beef Base for even more flavor. Cook roast on medium or high for 3-5 hours (depending on how hot your crock pot cooks). In just a few hours you will have an amazing tender, juicy, and flavorful roast.These roasts will be great frozen for later meals like; shredded beef enchiladas, beef stew, beef pot pie, french dip sandwiches, roast beef sandwiches, etc. Just place each roast with some juice in a Freezer Ziploc Bag and away you go!
Phew! Eleven freezer meals ready to go, all in about 3 hours. My husband was shocked that in just over 3 hours I was able to put together so many meals--so was I!
Have a few extra hours anytime soon? (We only wish, don't we?) Try putting together a couple of freezer meals to save time on those hectic nights--you won't regret it!