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Easy Summer Freezer Meals

Posted by Melissa Schmalenberger on June 14, 2013 in Family, Food, life, Moms |

I have a confession to make: our family has been eating out way too much. Sometimes it is easier with all of us on different schedules to meet somewhere for dinner than it is for me to think about what to make for dinner. But I missed making dinner. I missed my kids fighting over who had to load and unload the dishwasher. I missed going grocery shopping. I missed knowing what ingredients were going into out meal. So I finally spent some time over a weekend and made 6 freezer meals. I have done freezer meals for over 10 years, but never on a consistent basis. I have tried lots and have found out things like….I dislike most food when cooked in a crockpot….I am not a fan of cream of any kind of soup. But now that grilling season is here I know that I can create freezer meals that everyone will eat. I did 6 meals, 2 pork chops, 1 beef and 3 chicken. What is interesting is that once I have the main dish covered I then have the time and energy to put together a side dish or a dessert. There is something magical about pulling a meal out of the freezer the night before and thawing in the fridge for the next 24 hours. The meat becomes more tender and flavorful by the time it goes on the grill. There must be some pixie dust that is sprinkled on it!

Here are the steps that I used to better maximize my time:

  1. I spent 30 minutes on a Saturday morning on Pinterest finding what I wanted to make. I looked at all options, not just typical freezer meals. I tried to stay away from anything that wouldn’t freeze well. I also looked at food that I could turn into a kabob.
  2. Next I put my grocery list together along with what I was going to buy at Costco. I like to buy my meat at Costco and knowing that I was going to go through several pounds of beef, pork and chicken it made the most sense as I could save some money on these items.
  3. Made sure I had freezer bags to freeze the meals in {I have forgotten to check and then had to stop everything and run to the store}
  4. Started when my husband was home so that he could cube the meat for me while I mixed the marinades up.
  5. Labeled the bags as well as put any further instructions like basting with a sauce on the outside.

I usually don’t stick to hard and fast recipes when making my meals up. I find a few that I think are interesting and then I tweak them for my taste or what I have in the house. I usually don’t measure….just dump and scoop and shake and pour. So those of you who like step by step instructions my recipes will drive you crazy. The fact that I was even able to write them down is a miracle in and of itself! I also put my bag in a large bowl with the edges hanging over so I can fill the bags without fear of the liquid pouring out.

 

Spicy Pork Chops

1/4 cup orange juice

Squeeze from a lime

2 Tablespoons of minced garlic

2 Tablespoons of Sriracha sauce {found in the Asian food aisle}

2 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons brown sugar

Pork chops {use boneless ones so that the bones don’t puncture your freezer bag}

 

Beer Chops

Can of beer

1/4 ketchup {or a good squeeze}

2 Tablespoons of Sriracha sauce

Pork chops {use boneless ones so that the bones don’t puncture your freezer bag}

 

Chipotle Steak

2 Chipotle peppers, chopped {found in the Mexican food aisle canned with Adobo sauce}

2 Tablespoons of a good steak seasoning

1 lime squeezed and zested

3 Tablespoons olive oil

Cubed steak {use whatever fits into your budget}

 

Cilantro Chicken

1/4 Cup olive oil

6 Cloves of minced garlic

1 cup of chopped cilantro {fresh}

Cubed chicken

*As the chicken nears the end of grilling, have a sauce to baste at the end {we used General Tso’s found in the Asian food aisle}

 

Thai Chicken

3 Tablespoons soy sauce

2 Tablespoons honey

Juice from 1 lime squeezed

3 Cloves of minced garlic

1 Tablespoon of Siracha

Shake of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Cubed chicken

*After the chicken was grilled I served it with a side of peanut dipping sauce {found in the Asian food aisle}

 

Coconut Chicken

1 Cup of canned coconut milk

1/4 Cup of orange juice

2 Tablespoons of olive oil

2 Tablespoons minced or grated fresh ginger {buy fresh as it adds so much flavor}

Shake of red pepper flakes

Cubed chicken

Kabob tips: For all of the kabob recipes I would put some vegetables on the kabobs before I put them on the grill. I do not marinate the meat on the sticks, I thread the meat with the vegetables before I put them on the grill. If you are using bamboo skewers, make sure that you soak them first. I have found some flexible wire skewers that we have been using for the past two summers and they work great and can be washed in the dishwasher. I do not marinate my vegetables. I have found that they get enough flavor being next to the meat as it is grilled. My favorite vegetables to grill are zucchini, different colored peppers and mushrooms. Put on your families favorites.

Freezer tips: I like to freeze the bags flat in the freezer in a horizontal. Once flat you can then put them in a vertical position so that it is easier to see what you have. When you put a meal in the freezer have a list on the side of your fridge/freezer telling you what meals are in there. Once a meal comes out, cross it off the list.

Remember I do not always measure and things turn out just fine. Our family likes spicy food so I usually add more heat to whatever recipe I am making. Marinades are very forgiving. I like to look for ones that have citrus in them {citrus helps to tenderize} and I also like to add some oil to help in the sticking of the meat to the grill. I am ready to repeat this lineup again this weekend and now I am going to double each of the recipes and make 12 instead of 6 meals. It would probably add about 30 minutes to the total project time. Time to get grilling!

 

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

 

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity. She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at http://www.mssimplicity.com/

 

· Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately; you can email her at melissa@mssimplicity.com.

· For daily organizing tips find the MS. Simplicity Facebook business page here.

· Order featured Clever Container organizing supplies here, consultant ID #18.

 

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