The chart in the previous post listed all the ways I would categorize freezer cooking options. Today, I want to focus on two of the methods that I think work really well, and are pretty dang easy, in fact, they’ll take you around 3-4 hours or LESS start to finish, and you’ll end up with 10 frozen meals (or more!) Links may lead you to blog posts, or to affiliate sites: purchasing from my links may result in me receiving a commission – thank you for supporting me through your purchase!
Variations on a Theme, A:
Choose a protein, and then make a whole slew of varieties using that protein as the centerplace in various main dishes. Wait, that came out kind of weird – let me explain.
Before my fifth was born, I made 4 batches of meatballs, and 6 meals of beef burgers. Now, to the uninitiated, that may sound totally boring. But, first, when you have a new baby, and everything is new, and you’re maybe a little deprived of sleep, and you haven’t showered in a couple of days, just hot food. sounds. awesome. So, there’s that.
But, let me also say, I didn’t really feel like I at the same meal twice! I looked up different spice combinations for the meatballs – I chose Asian, Italian, Latin American, and Indian inspired flavors, which could be combined with grains – rice, quinoa, and noodles, to make an easy meal. I bought jarred sauces to have on hand, and voila! Simple. Easy.
For the burgers I did the same. I had black beans to throw in for a Mexican-inspired flavor, along with spices, and had Pizza burgers with cheese in the mixture, and then just plain-ol garlic, salt and pepper for a few. With my fifth child, it was warm enough to grill, so my husband had easy meals he could help with, which made both of us feel great. The only other thing I had to have on hand was frozen veggies to pair with it, and maybe some fruit. My family does best with being gluten free, so getting a bunch of gluten free buns was the most expensive part of the proposition.
Postpartum tip!: Heme iron is very available to be absorbed via red meat, which was important to me in the postpartum time. Our energy levels tend to be better when we have more iron available to us — AND, postpartum mood issues are also linked to LOW iron — I wanted my iron to stay good in the postpartum time. Hence, all the meaty goodness.
Variations on a Theme, B:
Get Sauce-y! This is a great option if you want protein flexibility to the max, like to use your slow-cooker, or have limited freezer space and want to purchase proteins/meats bit by bit, instead of a lot at once.
Buying or making sauces and freezing them is very easy, and very delicious. I have really loved using the slow-cooker recipes in the Trim Healthy Mama cookbook, but I’ve also looked up other recipes from time to time. Here is one post to get you started:
Second method up for discussion today?
Freezer Meal Workshop. I am a rep for an awesome company called Wildtree, which features freezer meal workshops, along with spice blends, sauces, and other products that are organic, preservative free, nut free, and many, many gluten free options available as well. I have helped (I would estimate) my clients create about 1,500+ freezer meals, through taking my workshops, since 2011! I think there are other companies out there that guide people through this, but I love the health and ease of Wildtree Foods!
When you purchase a Freezer Meal kit (one example shown above), you receive not only a detailed shopping list and preparation list, enabling you to make 10 freezer meals in about 90 minutes, but you receive preservative free, organic spice blends that you can use in a TON of other meals! You receive enough product to REPEAT the 10 meal creation process an additional time as well, so you’re really getting a lot of bang for your buck, and it’s EASY to put these meals together.
This solution gives you tools and ingredients without any ongoing cost, and also saves you time looking up recipes and lists.
I have hosted many freezer workshops over the past years, and as my doula and encapsulation services have taken more of my time, I’ve really been missing these fun meal-creation parties. So, to help get the word out, for March and April 2017, please contact me via my form (Click ‘Contact’ above) to indicate if you’d like to order a freezer meal kit, and if you’d be interested in making the meals on your own, or with me! I’m offering a 20% discount to my kits for these months; I’d love to help you make easy, delicious, healthy meals to celebrate your postpartum time, or to bless another family who has just had a baby! You can check out all the amazing options here:
So, with every freezer meal method, you have to balance: freezer space and your available resources (time:to look for recipes, to shop, to prepare the food, money: to shop, to purchase kits or meal plans/subscription plans, energy: how much do you and others in your life have to prepare these meals).
Next in the series, my FAVORITE method for creating freezer meals! Watch for it! And, the last part of my series: My Freezer Meal Consulting Option, new in April — I walk you through me assessing a client’s needs, and creating a custom plan just for them, based on their food preferences, budget, space, and resources. Contact me if you’d like me to do the same for you!