Wednesday, February 11, 2015

One for Dinner--One (or two) for the Freezer

I have a lot of recipes I have collected over the years that work well for the freezer. Many of them are designed for the crock pot, but some of them are complete meals that can go in the oven. When I make one of these meals for dinner, I will make one or two for the freezer. 

I try to keep at least 8-10 meals in the freezer so I have a selection of things to choose from on days when I just can't, or don't want to cook. Having them ready to go also allows me to take a meal to someone. Yesterday, I made a batch of soup for a friend that got out of the hospital and I also gave her a meal from my freezer so that she would have an additional meal as she recuperates.

They key is making sure your meals get rotated enough that you don't lose them in the freezer! My method is very simple. I have a dry erase board on the freezer that lists the meal and the date that they were assembled. New meals get added to the bottom of the list and I scratch them off as we eat them. I also write the name of the meal, date assembled and cooking directions (if needed) on the outside of the zip top bag, a sharpie works great for that! For ease of marking, I label the bags before filling them, I learned that lesson the hard way!! These are labeled on the other side.

This is a taco soup that we really like.

Taco Soup

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, diced
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 can kidney beans, with liquid
1 can chili beans with sauce
2 cans diced tomatoes, we like the petite diced
1 can of corn, with liquid
1 can diced green chilie
2 cups of water
1 pkg of taco seasoning

Cook the ground beef until it is done and drain. Let cool and add to the freezer bag. 

Add everything else to the bag and freeze.

To use: I pull out the night before using and let it cook in the crock pot for 6-8 hours on low.

If I forget to pull it out the night before I will let the frozen bag sit in the sink with water until it starts to defrost.

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