Freezer Meals, Part 2

You demanded it, and I aim to please, so without further ado: Freezer Meals Part 2.

You can check out Part 1 here.

And if you’d like to see more, join my facebook community!

freezer meals

This week, I wanted to add a few grab-n-go toddler things, too. These are cooked ahead of time in muffin tins instead of in your crockpot. They take a li’l more time to prepare, but trust me, they make meal time a breeze. I actually made these for Elizabeth before I left for Blissdom so Andrew wouldn’t have to worry too much about lunches.

THE PRINTABLE RECIPES ARE HERE

I’m reposting the steps from Part 1.

1) I made a list of my recipes. I used crock pot recipes I already had and love. 2) Then, I made an ingredient list and went shopping (don’t forget your freezer bags). 3) To start, I gathered all of the ingredients I needed. 4) Then, I chopped all of the veges first. Dice all of your onions, carrots, peppers, and mince your garlic. 5) Label your bags with the directions and 6) THEN add your meats. 7) Add your veges. 8) Add your other ingredients. 9) Let out air, seal bag, and lay flat! 10) Freeze and  Rejoice!

I kept the freezer bags in the directions, but one reader had a great idea of using a reusable container to save on freezer bag costs & help keep them out of landfills. You all know I’m a closet tree-hugger, so I found some inexpensive 9.5 cup BPA free containers to use this week. I need more though!

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Pull the bags/containers out the night before you want to use them so they’re thawed when they go in the crock pot! Each recipe gave me TWO meals to freeze. Each bag is enough to feed my family of 3 (two adults and a toddler) at least one dinner, and at least two lunches, but possibly more.

Mini Corn Dog Muffins

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Individual Mac n Cheese

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*I use Annie’s Gluten Free Mac n Cheese

Snack Time Smoothies

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My recipe for smoothies vary depending on what I have on hand, but this is usually what I add. You can add stevia if the yogurt is too tart. You can also use frozen bananas or other fruit. Elizabeth usually has this between lunch and dinner everyday. She loves them!

THE PRINTABLE RECIPES ARE HERE

Newlywed Beeftips

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*I use Pacific Natural, be leery of brands like Campbells that contain msg and BPA

Someone gave me this recipe at my bridal shower and it was soooo easy and delicious that it’s still a favorite.

Slow-Cooked {beef} Fajitas

fajitas

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These are a huge crowd pleaser! 

St. Patrick’s Day Pork and Kraut

kraut

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Beef Roast

sear

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* Tip – Sear both roasts in a hot skillet on all sides to lock in flavor and moisture, I rub mine down with sea salt & fresh cracked pepper before searing it.

THE PRINTABLE RECIPES ARE HERE

label

To label the containers, I used painters tape!

Have you tried this yet?!? I’d LOVE for you to link up with your successes (or failures) below! And of course as any questions!

while you’re here, also check out:

How I clean up the mess

My story

The most amazing breakfast treat

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Comments

  1. Hi! I just found your blog and I love your ideas! Going to try to find your page on Facebook, I just set my page up about a week ago :-) Looking forward to getting to know you better!

    Blessings,
    Jill

  2. Could you post the shopping list? That would be helpful.

  3. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks so much, Jill! XOXO

  4. woohoo! LOVE your freezer cooking!

  5. Catherine says:

    Just found you a week ago through Pinterest. I tried out freezer cooking part 1 and it was a life saver. I'm back to work after a year of maternity leave, and it's such a help to come home to dinner ready. I hope you have lots more ideas up your sleeves that you are going to share with us. Thank you so much. I'm looking forward to trying some of these out now too.

  6. Chatty Chics says:

    Love this! I have got to try doing this! You have such great ideas! Thanks for sharing!
    Melody

  7. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks for your comment! So glad you find them useful! I will definitely be doing more! XOXO, Jaima

  8. Anonymous says:

    where did you get those awesome smoothie cups?

    -Amber

    amby143@yahoo.com

  9. After snooping around pinterest I got real interested in finding as many different freezer to crockpot recipes as I could! I live alone and don't care much for cooking for just myself. Plus my work schedule is so random so cooking is not a priority. But these recipes will make it so much easier on me! I only need to devote one day to chopping and preparing!

  10. I just came across your blog and have been reading all of your recipes this morning! You have some great ideas!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Anonymous says:

    how many potatoes and carrots for the roast?

  12. I've been looking for big BPA free containers. What are you using? Thanks so much for posting these – I'm inspired!

  13. Anonymous says:

    I would love to see even more recipes!! Do you have any freezer to crock pot resources for us such as other websites to visit?? I too try to use only organic and chemical free foods, but my partner is a picky eater, so coming up with new things for dinner is a challenge. We both work late, so having dinner ready when we get home is critical.

  14. Danielle says:

    Do you have any tips for using the crock pot when your away from the house all day? I'm gone almost 11 hours with my commute and I don't want to overcook my meals, any ideas?

  15. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    When I worked full time, I used a timer. You can find them in the electrical aisle of hardware stores, walmart, etc. A lot of people use them to set lamps to cut on at a certain time.

  16. With an 18 month old and a 2 month old (not to mention a hungry hubby!) your meals have been SUCH a blessing. I had seen so many before, but they were generally too much for a busy family. Your meals are perfect, and we have loved them so far.

    One big question, however. You use a lot of potatoes in your recipes. How do you freeze and reheat these without problem? Mine always turn black! (Unless I blanch them first.) We even learned about it in nutrition back on the day. Freezing, or even refrigerating, potatoes will cause them to form black. Just wondering if you have some amazing secret I don't know about.

  17. Love your site! The crockpot/freezer ideas are great! Since I came across this site two weeks ago on pinterest I have done several of the meals from part one and they are very good, and just did some from part 2 and 3 today and stuck them in the freezer. I am employed full time with a commute leaving me gone for 12 hours a day My husband and I work opposite shifts so we can cut down on daycare costs for our 1 and 4 year old, and this idea is exactly what we were looking for!! I look forward to any other recipies and ideas that you post :)

  18. Also, many of the new crockpots have a timer that switched the dish to "warm" after a set cooking time. I got mine at Target for about $30.

  19. Can't wait to try these! LOVE a Crockpot meal, love a freezer meal- why have I never thought of putting them together???

  20. I love the Mac and cheese muffins idea….but do you reheat in the microwave with the foil muffin cups??

  21. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    No, I remove them! They keep their shape for the most part!

  22. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Thanks for sharing! Sounds like you are one busy Mommy!

  23. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    I've never had a problem with mine being black. I just dice them up and throw them in the bag to freeze. I don't let them sit very long before freezing.

  24. I absolutely love your series on freezer cooking. I am trying to branch out with what I use my crock pot for (I grew up with it being used for only pot roast and soup) and love the recipes you have posted. I especially like the fajita recipe you have and have written it down. Is it alright if I post it on my own blog for my readers as well?

  25. Great, thanks!

  26. Virginia says:

    When i was growing up, we always washed and reused our freezer bags. Just make a masking tape label and fix it over the expired date, or cross it out. It is no less sanitary than rewashing tupperware to reuse, and will probably fit in a freezer better!

  27. On the beef fajitas can I cook those in the crock-pot without freezing, or will the vegetables get mushy?

  28. Anonymous says:

    When you take the bags out the previous night, do u set them on the counter or in the fridge?

  29. LeighCJohnson says:

    I am sure this question is posted somewhere, but I can’t find it…..how long can these keep in the freezer? I live by myself and this is just wonderful!!!! Such a money and time saver!! I am going to start making a month of meals and store in individual servings.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I was wondering when you were going to post more freezer menus.

  31. Mlydunt says:

    How long can this be in the freezer for? I would love to be able to make a big batch.

  32. rubydubydoo1 says:

    What are the reheat instructions in the corn dog muffins?

  33. Cortney says:

    Hi – Where did you get the great smoothie cups? I really love that idea and want to get them ASAP! :) Thanks for sharing the toddler meal ideas, I'm about to have another baby in a couple months and I have a 2 year old at home now so these ideas will be a real life saver for me when I come home with the new baby!

  34. Jaima of Ring Around the Rosies says:

    Congrats on the babies! You can find the cups here http://www.amazon.com/The-First-Years-Ziploc-Straw/dp/B004J4VXWM/ref=sr_1_1?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1337821001&sr=1-1 I found mine at Target though.

  35. Thank you for cooking gluten free! My daughter has celieac and I am grateful for cooking help!!! thank you
    thank you thank you!
    nancy johnson

  36. Love your freezer cooking! How do you reheat the corn dog muffins?

  37. Hey all,
    I am a food science and nutrition student and wanted to share some things. If you are thinking short time storage you do NOT need to blanch the vegetables. However, they may turn out a little soggy when cooked. When I say short time, I’m thinking a month. Any longer than that I would recommend blanching the vegetables. The reason I say this is that enzymes still work at freezer temperature so your veggies could go bad before you get to them.

    Next about the black potatoes. They should not influence the taste of the product. It is a product of a reaction between an enzyme and oxygen (its called oxidative enzymatic browning) that produce a brown pigment. This is the same reaction that makes apples go brown. If you don’t like the colour there is not much you can do about it except reduce the exposure time. You could also add a “barrier” around the product to prevent oxygen from getting to the food. I know in class we used sugar to cover pineapple that was going in a dessert recipe later in the semester. For veg you can use salt if there is some in the recipe. I also find coating at risk products in an oil based sauce helps as well.

    Hope this cleared things up !

    (*at risk products are light in colour and that aren’t extremely acidic i.e. apples, pineapple, potatoes, bananas etc)

  38. Hi! I didn’t see this question posted, hope it’s not a repeat. Do you get any frostbite on your food that you put in the containers?
    Thanks!

  39. Jessica Rooks says:

    Hi I found you via Pinterest and I love your website. I actually already follow Stephanie and have purchased her ebook. I started looking around for more similar style recipes and that is when I found you. Last night I made 3 of your meals and two of my own for the freezer. This is such a life changing way to cook for me.

    I also love your toddler food ideas. Today during nap time, I am making the mac n’ cheese with grated carrot, tomatoes, and spinach, paleo meatballs, smoothies, and paleo banana bread to freeze for my daughter’s lunches and snacks.

    Thanks for the wonderful ideas and inspiration! I can’t wait to try more of your recipes!

  40. Love your blog, I’ve started doing freezer meals and love to do it. :) Anyway, I wondered for the newlywed beef tips, can you use fresh broccoli? I have a bunch and I’m trying to use it before it goes bad. I wondered if I needed to adjust the cooking time, I’m not very good at adjusting crockpot times going fresh to frozen (and vice versa). Thanks! :)

  41. I saw this asked, but not answered…NEVER thaw on the kitchen counter. ALWAYS thaw in the fridge or under running water @ 70 degrees.

    Also, have you considered making the muffins in silicone, then freezing, then turning them out into a container and storing them in the freezer? I previously managed an ice cream store and the silicone we used to make ise cream sandwiches stayed pliable even at -20 degrees! That way there are no liners to deal with. I have yet to try it, but since I hate liners and my boys are old enough to microwave for themselves (but may forget to peel the liners off), I’m going to try that method.

  42. Clarissa says:

    Hello,
    For the St Pats Pork and Kraut, do I add one beer or two? The directions conflict…
    Thank you for this post, super excited to try them all!

  43. Doubled and made the Newlywed Beef Tips…way to much liquid. I will use less water next time and serve over egg noodles with sour cream…tatsed like beef stroganoff.

  44. I just love your freezer meals! I started working this year, and even though it’s only part time, it’s made my schedule tough. I never thought of making freezer meals for the crock pot, and that’s been a great, great tip. Keep up the good work!

  45. I’m so glad that I found your site. We’re having a baby in a few weeks and I was running out of ideas for freezer meals. I look forward to making and eating these! Thanks!

  46. We have recently discovered that we are allergic to tomatoes here. What can I use in the recipes instead of tomato paste, diced tomatoes, ect. Any ideas?? I was thinking just using water for the liquid or some kind of broth and upping the seasoning for flavor. Do you think that would that still taste ok?

    • For liquid that has extra flavor, I save liquid that I cook veggies in. Such as when I cook corn on the cobb (that I then cut off the cobb and freeze) I boil the cobbs for broth base.

  47. I did it! Made a full grocery list, crossed out what I already had, which was a lot, and went shopping Saturday a.m. Started prepping while my mom held sleeping baby (1week old) and it took me 1 hour, 57 minutes to do 12 complete meals (6 recipes) and that includes total clean up, from start to sitting down… Less than 2 hours my first go! My husband and mom are totally impressed! Can’t wait to do my second round!

    Teriyaki chicken is in the crockpot as we speak, and smelling sooooo yummy!!

    Thank you!!!

    Oh, gorilla bread is being made as soon as I get up from feeding my little man :)

  48. My husband is serving in Afghanistan for a year and he did most of the cooking. Seems like a lot of food for 1 adult and 2 small kids…can it be split into 3 containers instead of 2 or will that not cook nice in the crock pot? Also what if you are gone for 8+ hours does it get overcooked? Oh…but won’t he be impressed when he gets home and I can cook AND have time to keep the house clean?!?!?

  49. How long would you say the meals are good to store in the freezer for?

  50. One more question, in your directions for bags you often say add 1 can beer or add so much water….is that per bag since you prepare two bags or is that to add to both bags at the same time? I would probably be cooking only 1 bag at a time. Thanks so much! Jenn

  51. Okay, stupid question here: For the Newlywed Beeftips, is it french onion soup mix? Like the packet of onion soup mix you can mix into sour cream for onion dip? Or is it actually soup, if so, where do you find that?
    Thanks!!

  52. I love your recipes! Thank you for doing this. I was wondering something though. During the week, I’m gone from the house from about 6:30am and return around 5pm (over 10 hours). Is there any way I could adapt these recipes so that they would be okay to cook for 10+ hours – or would it be better to just cook them over the stove/in the oven when I get home? =( I just love the idea of dinner being ready when we get home though…

  53. Love your freezer meal ideas! Look forward to more recipes!

  54. hi i was just wonder and hope i havent missed this in the blogs but was wondering how many people your meals where based on feeding please many thanks

  55. Was wondering can I cook bags in in a saucepan on stove or casserole dish in oven? Crockpots are great but recipes could be used as a skillet sensation too.

  56. Carley Pelz says:

    Curious what brand cups (or where you found them) are those pictured with the toddler organic smoothies you made…?? I’ve been looking for something just like that to serve the smoothies in to my daughter. Do you freeze them in those cups? Thanks so much! LOVE your recipes :)

  57. Jessica Horton says:

    Do I just throw the bag in frozen? I noticed that your image of the fajitas was not frozen. If it’s not frozen, how does that generally affect the cook time. I grew up in a home where there wasn’t much cooking. I’m trying to learn to cook healthy food for my husband and me – I’m not sure how a lot of these processes work!! :)

  58. Hi! I just stumbled upon your page through Pinterest. I recently returned to work after 14 months maternity leave. I’m always looking for new ideas that are easy, fast, toddler-friendly, freezable and if I’m really lucky, can be done in the Crockpot. I can’t wait to try some of these ideas. Thanks for sharing!

  59. for the beef fajits, did you use top or bottom round steak or steak that is actual round steak? I’ve found round steak, but it’s super expensive so I was just wondering if I was misreading.

  60. I have a larger family than you do, with older teens…and if I were to use the whole recipe instead of splitting between two bags…would that effect the cooking times? Thanks! Loving the recipes.

  61. Quick question – I didn’t see it in the comments – what is the approximate cost for the 40 meals – I know that will vary by location and store, but just a general idea. I’d like to do this, but would need to save up inbetween buying for dinners now.

  62. Michelle says:

    I saw the questions asked but not answered about the newlywed beeftips…is it french onion soup mix? Like the packet of onion soup mix you can mix into sour cream for onion dip? Or is it actually soup?

  63. I can’t thank you enough for the toddler recipes! I have a 14 month old son that is a very picky eater & is nearing the “failure to thrive” percentage on the growth charts. He has loved the smoothies, omelets & corn dog muffins so far. Now I can pull something nutritional out of the freezer when I’m scrambling to get food on his plate rather than opening a toddler convenience meal that’s loaded with preservatives and sodium! Putting his meals in muffin cups is genius, they are a perfect portion size for him! Thanks again :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] – please see Part 2 and Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, and Part […]

  2. […] when there’s a toddler whining as she begs for you to pick her up. Whether I do it ahead of time like these smoothies, or while she’s playing quietly or napping, it saves me the whiny headache.   Something else I […]

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