Easy Summer Freezer Meals Part 2

Living in the upper Midwest it seems like we have two cooking seasons…..crockpot and grilling. So while grilling season is open I plan on taking full advantage of it. But the beauty of crockpot cooking is you throw everything together in the morning, turn it on and return at night with a hot meal. I like the ease and simplicity of that. So how can we capture the same ease and simplicity and transfer that to the summer grilling season? Of course it is with freezer meals. Freezer meals are the ones where you spend an afternoon chopping and mixing and dumping and you end up with meals for a week or more! No more “what’s for dinner” from my 14 year old. He can now look in the fridge and see what is thawing for dinner. Earlier I wrote a post on freezer meals for the grill that focused on the marinades being made from scratch. You can find those recipes here.

But I always like a challenge and I thought how can I make this easier yet? I came upon the idea of just shopping for marinades already prepared and in my grocery aisle just ready to purchase. So here are some more time saving tips to get that dinner on the table a bit sooner so that you can get outside and enjoy the weather and not be stuck in the kitchen.

1. Stop at your warehouse food place to purchase meat in bulk. The cost tends to be lower and because you are preparing in bulk it simply makes sense. I focus on thick cut pork chops, a good cut of red meat {I used tri-tip this time} and chicken breasts.

2.  Find a willing person to cut all the meat into uniform size cubes. My hubby is great at this as he has a special skill with the attention to detail. I take full advantage of it and put him to work cutting and trimming the meat for me. He even places them in the freezer Ziploc bags as he cuts them. The amount of meat you put in each bag depends on how many people you need to feed. I figure about 6-8 oz. per person. Who am I kidding….I don’t measure….I just look and say, “looks about right.”

3.  Stop at the aisle in your grocery store that has the meat marinades. Who knew there was a whole section there? You can also find good marinades at the meat counter and in the Asian section as well. Most of the bottles you can get two meals from as I just marinade the meat and not the vegetables. Stay away from BBQ sauces or anything that has a high sugar content in it as you will just get charred meat on the outside and raw in the inside. {I think I bought 6 marinades for under $20.}

4. Go home to your fresh bags of neatly cubed meat and dump the marinades in. {I am sorry, my husband and I have been married for 23 years and he is not for sale!} My hardest part was deciding what marinade would taste good with what meat. This process of dump and decide took about 10 minutes. I even rinsed out the containers and recycled them during this time. I also decided to put a little extra marinade in little sandwich bags to have to baste while on the grill or dip the meat in. I have a family of dippers and I figured they would love this part. I simply taped the small bags of marinade onto the larger bags.

5. Label and store horizontally in the freezer. Use a sharpie to label as anything else will wipe right off. I have my meals stored in their own section of the freezer. Now each day I simply grab the one on top and put in the fridge to thaw for the day. Brainless work really!

6.  Night of dinner, turn on grill and prepare vegetables. I like mushrooms, multi-colored peppers and zucchini. Onions and cherry tomatoes are also good to grill but I am not a fan of them on my kabobs. Thread your skewers with the meat and vegetables. This is another job for the hubby as it can get really messy. I stopped using bamboo skewers about three years ago and have turned toward the fire wire brand of stainless steel flexible skewers. {note I make no money if you buy these….I like them that much}They are dishwasher safe and I don’t need to soak them.

So if you are limited on time this summer and still want to put a meal on the table that is healthy and everyone will eat {I have two fussy eaters in my family so I know what I am talking about}, seriously create some kabob meals.

{Please note that my family has hit the limit of how many kabobs we can eat in one month. Next up….what to do with kabob leftovers!}


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/


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