When you hear the term “freezer meal,” just what do you think of? Pretty quickly I see images of lasagna, enchiladas, and chicken-broccoli-casserole popping into my head. But really, I have been discovering that “freezer meals” can be just about anything! Over the last year, I have made it a point to keep some frozen things on hand that I can just defrost and heat through, especially on days when medical treatments have laid me low, when I am in the midst of burying another baby, when I am too emotionally overwhelmed to even think straight about cooking, or perhaps when time has simply gotten away from me and I know I won’t have time to spend cooking a good dinner for my family. Another aspect of freezer meals that I love, is that I always have something handy to give away, should a friend of mine suddenly be in need of a home-cooked meal. And thanks to the gift of a stand-up freezer my parents gave me for my 26th birthday, I have even more space for such things.
So anyway… yesterday was a day that I dedicated to stocking my freezer up again with freezer meals. I realize that I still did have some meals in there (turkey chili; coconut chicken and rice; ravioli; cranberry-catalina chicken; etc), but now I have over a dozen meals ready and waiting for my need of them. I am about to give a couple away already to help stock some friends’ freezers too. I’m thankful to be able to help serve others in this way.
Yesterday I made multiple batches of four main dishes: Tonno e Limono Pasta; Pulled Pork Enchiladas; Chicken Curry with Rice; Beef Burgundy (except I actually used our favorite cab-sav instead of burgundy).
All four dishes really turned out well (I taste-tested them all, of course), and I expect them all to freeze & heat well too. I used the crock pot to cook the pulled pork while I made the pasta dish and the curry dish, and prepped the beef dish. Then while I assembled the enchiladas (and put other finished dishes into ziplocs and other containers; and washed up all the dishes; and, well you know, other things…), the beef did its three hours of simmering in the crock pot. This particular combination of meals that I chose worked really well with overlapping use of dishes and appliances. It made it relatively easy to make a dozen meals in just a few hours, even with a two-year-old helping me out. 🙂
What are some dishes that you have frozen? Have you found things that do not freeze well? Do you ever spend a day making a dozen meals simply to stock your freezer? Or someone else’s freezer?