turning meat into meals: 15 simple make-ahead freezer meals

I don’t get to see my mom near enough. She only lives 4 hours away, but with both of our busy schedules, we only see each other ever few months. Every few months is a damn shame when your parents are awesome. And given our upcoming relocation, every few months is going to turn into once or twice a year, and well, I’m just not available to process that quite yet.

Luckily for me, she’s been in town the past few days (actually she left this morning because she’s got a Florida Georgia Line concert to get to tomorrow night because she’s hip like that) and the primary reason for her visit was to help me get some purging done around the house and to stock the freezer with pre-made meals ready to grab.

Well, that and playing with her grand kids.

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I’ve mentioned it before, but I’ll say it again. It’s not the wisest idea to buy a freezer full of meat right before you decided to move. But it’s what we did only a few weeks before we knew we would be relocating, and gosh darn it we’re going to eat it. We have less than 5 months to eat a lot of meat, and I’ve taken in on like a personal challenge or something.

The plan is to eat casseroles, soups, ect while it’s still cold out, and the it’s going to be grill season like you never seen before until we board that plane.

Porterhouse on the grill because it’s Wednesday? Sure!

So my mom and I hit the kitchen pretty hard these past four days, and what we (mostly her) managed to accomplish in such a short period of time is pretty amazing.

What we made to freeze in just 48 hours time:

Crock-pot Beef Stew. This recipe is new to me, but I’m pretty sure it’s gonna rock my crock off. (made 3)

Beef Lasagna. Lasagna is so amazingly tasty and comforting, but dang if it’s not a whole lot of work to make. Anytime I make a pan of lasagna, I make a triple batch for the freezer. (made 3)

Baked mac n cheese. If I was to cheat on Michael with anyone (which, no), it would be Alton Brown. Because between his guacamole and this baked mac n cheese, I could live happy for the rest of my life. Note: I added cubed smoked ham cubes from our pork supply to the mac n cheese, I think Alton would approve. (made 2)

Pizza Casserole. I grew up on this one, it’s like eating a hug. (made 3)

Chicken Creole. Another one I grew up eating as a kid. We used a store bought rotisserie chicken, but utilized cans of tomato sauce from my pantry and green peppers I had chopped and froze from my garden this past summer. (made 3)

Wild rice chicken soup. Ok, another one of my mom’s famous recipes I grew up on. Honestly, I have no idea how to make it – and she says she just “throws everything together in a pot” and it’s delicious.

Chicken Stock  and Beef stock (two batches of each). I had the bones and the veggie scrapes from all the stuff we were already prepping, so we batched it up and set the crock-pot on a 24 hour simmer. It’s easy, tasty, super frugal, and waaaaay good for you.

Unseasoned cooked beans – both pinto and red. (one 2lb. batch of each)

Mashed Potatoes – the stew mentioned above called for potatoes, so we took the other half of the 10 pound bag and batched it up. (5 lbs, divided into 1.5 cup portions)

Taco Meat. Four words: Penzey Spice Taco Seasoning. I added sauteed onions and green peppers to the mix, ole! (3 pounds)

Cheesy Meat Loaf Mini’s. All four of my kids love these, so we made a ton. And yes of course we a strip of bacon to the tops of each one. (3 pounds, 15 loafs)

Hoosier Daddy Chili. Is eating chili after the Superbowl kinda like wearing white after Labor Day? If so, I don’t wanna be right.

Banana Bread. I buy bananas in bulk when they’re on sale and sometimes when they’re not. I kid you not, my family can and will pound 5-6 bananas a day. And what doesn’t get eaten asap gets turned into bread.  This recipe isn’t the healthiest by far, but the sour cream in it yields a super moist loaf. (3 loafs)

Bran Muffins. Just another delicious way to get my kids a little extra fiber in their diets, which they desperately need (if you know what I mean). (2 dozen mini-muffins)

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And after all that slaving away in the kitchen super grandma managed to make dinner. Chipotle Chicken Quesadillas, my new favorite. Although it was a wee bit too spicy for all my kids except Baby Paul.

Ok, I’m whipped. Also, who wants to come over for dinner? Lord knows I have enough. I can also offer homemade cheese and homebrew as a snack while you wait for me to plate it up for ya.

Comments

comments

Comments

  1. I am worn out just reading this. Also I am hungry. We’re still eating chili so I’ll be unfashionable with you. This must feel like a huge relief. You are going to save so much money, time, & energy! I am wildly proud. Also, I’m still secretly hoping you will bring your treadmill to my house one day. ;)
    Cherie Lowe recently posted..5 Great Ideas for a Frugal Family Night

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  2. How is the purging going? Also, what did you decide about the pets? Move them with you or move them to friends? (I was supporting that you take them with you).

    Mommies are the bestest.

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  3. Yum. I’ll borrow your mom when you are in Belgium if she has the itch to make a ton of food haha.

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  4. I also wanted to add that Renee’s stock recipe is the BEST I have ever had and I love it!!

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