Assemble and Freeze Meal Plan for August 1-7, 2016

freezer meals

Long time no post!  I have been busy, what can I say?  So busy that I have changed how I cook now.  There is only the two of us now.  Most recipes serve 4 or more, so I have been using the freezer more to freeze the extra servings.  I have finally cleaned out all the freezers and defrosted them.  It was a dreaded chore but I got it done.  Now I have more room to freeze the servings we can’t eat so we can eat it at a later time.

I am also gluten free now. I use all gluten free products in the recipes below. It is easy to find gluten free pasta now. I do use more rice in recipes than pasta however, just because it is easier and cheaper. For the garlic bread I use gluten free bread and spread butter and diced garlic or garlic powder on top and toast it in the oven on the broiler setting.

I have been doing the grocery shopping on Saturday or Sunday. (Or if I want to avoid crowds I will grocery shop early Friday morning.)  I try to have everything ready to go by Monday.  Monday is my meal prep day.  I basically assemble all the meals for the week on Monday.  If you work, this could be done on Sunday afternoon.  I assemble all the meals for the week and freeze them.  So nice to have ready to go.  I don’t like cooking in the kitchen very long this time of year because it is so hot.  This is one way I spend the least amount of time in the kitchen and can work on other projects. All of these recipes except for the breakfast, make more than one meal for us to be eaten at a later time. This is also a great way to stock the freezer before school starts.  It seems I am always needing a dish to bring somewhere or have ready quickly if my children decide to visit at the last minute.  This menu plan made 12 meals for 2 people with leftovers.  This will last us about 2 weeks.

Menu
Monday-Tater Tot Casserole, salad
Tater Tot Casserole
Tuesday-Garlic Tomato Butter Chicken, Rice, Broccoli
Tomato Garlic Butter Chicken
Wednesday-Breakfast for Dinner
Thursday-Cavatini, Salad, Garlic Bread
Cavatini
Friday-Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff, rice, salad
Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff
Saturday-Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice
Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice
Sunday-Creamy Cheesy Chicken with Noodles, Peas, Salad
Creamy Cheesy Chicken with Noodles

Grocery List: (side dishes and breakfast meal not included here)
Meat:
3 lbs (5-6 pieces) of chicken breasts plus 4 Boneless, Skinless, Chicken Breasts
½ cups dice Ham, Fully Cooked
1 pound cubed beef stew meat
2 lb. ground beef
1 pkg. pepperoni

Can goods:
2 cans of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cheesy soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can condensed golden mushroom soup
1 can crushed pineapple
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 can pizza sauce
1 small can of mushrooms
1 cup of tomato sauce

Frozen goods:
1 cup Mixed Vegetables
16 oz. mixed vegetables
28 oz. package frozen tater tots

Produce:
5 cloves garlic
2 onions

Dairy:
3 sticks of butter
2 eggs
4 oz. cream cheese
8 oz. mozzarella
1/4 cup milk

Pasta and rice:
1 bag of egg noodles
1 cup rice
16 oz. rotini

Seasonings/Oils:
4 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tbs dried minced onion
1 tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 tablespoon Teriyaki Sauce
1 teaspoon Sriracha Sauce
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Cooking spray

Equipment: Be sure to have plenty of gallon and quart freezer bags on hand, materials for labels, two 9×13 pans (I use 8×8 pans to freeze smaller portions so that would equal out to four 8×8 pans) and foil.

Procedure (I do all of this on Monday morning or this could be done Sunday afternoon)
1. Grease four 8×8 pans (or two 9×13 pans for larger portions)
2. Chop one onion plus chop 1/2 cup.
3. Dice 5 cloves of garlic. (save 1 teaspoon for fried rice)
4. Brown 1 pound of beef with 1 chopped onion and drain. Set aside. Brown another pound (no onion) and drain. Set aside. (Side note on this: I use my frozen ground beef mix for this so this is already to go for me in the freezer. All I have to do is thaw it. I buy ground beef in bulk. If you don’t have cooked ground beef in the freezer then you will need to cook 2 pounds for the recipes.)
5. Cook 1 pound of rotini pasta and drain. (Can keep pasta in pan so can mix other ingredients in with it.)
6. Shred 8 ounces mozzarella.
7. Cook 1 cup uncooked rice.
8. (Tater Tot Casserole) Mix 1 pound beef/onion mixture with 1 can chicken soup, 1 can of mushroom soup, 1/4 cup milk, 16 ounces frozen mixed veggies. Pour into two greased 8×8 pans or one greased 9×13 pan. Top with 28 ounces package of tater tots. Label and freeze. Use within 3 months.
9. (Garlic Tomato Butter Chicken) Place 4 chicken breasts in two ziplock freezer bags or for a larger portion place all 4 breast in one large ziplock freezer bag. Melt 2 sticks of butter in a saucepan. Saute 4 cloves of garlic in butter. Add 1 cup of tomato sauce to the butter/garlic mixture. Heat to boiling and stir to combine. Pour over chicken in bags, dividing mixture if have two freezer bags. (May need to let liquid sauce cool some before adding sauce to freezer bags especially if using frozen chicken.) Label and freeze. Use within 3 months.
10. (Creamy Chicken with Noodles) Place 6 chicken breasts in a large ziplock freezer bag or put 2 chicken breasts in 3 ziplock freezer bags. In a large bowl add the following: 1 cut up stick of butter, 1 can of cream of chicken soup, 1 can of cheddar cheese condensed soup, 4 chicken bouillon cubes, 4 cups of hot water, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder and 1 tablespoon dried minced onion. Stir until butter and bouillon cubes are dissolved. Pour over chicken in ziplock bags, dividing mixture among the number of bags evenly, if necessary. Label and freeze. Use within 3 months.
11. (Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice) Cook 2 eggs in 2 teaspoons of sesame oil. Add the following to the eggs: 1 teaspoon diced garlic, 1/2 cup diced ham, 1 cup frozen mixed veggies, 1/2 cup drained crushed pineapple, 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce. Add the cooked rice. Stir. Label and freeze. Use within 3 months.
12. (Cavatini) Mix in a large bowl: 1 pound cooked ground beef, 16 ounces cooked rotini, 1 jar spaghetti sauce, 1 can pizza sauce, 1 package pepperoni, and 1 can sliced drained mushrooms. Pour into two greased 8×8 pans or one greased 13×9 pan. Top with 8 ounces of shredded mozzarella. Label and freeze.
13. (Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff) In a freezer bag combine 1 pound stew meat, 1 can golden mushroom soup, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire, 1/4 cup water. Squish bag to mix ingredients.  (I love this part!)  Label and freeze. Use within 3 months.

On serving day:
1. Tater Tot Casserole-Thaw in fridge. Bake at 375 for 1 hour or until potatoes are golden brown and filling is heated through. To crisp up tots, broil for 5 minutes.
2. Garlic Tomato Butter Chicken-Thaw overnight in refrigerator. Pour into crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or bake in oven at 400 for 45 minutes. Serve over rice.
3. Cavatini-Completely thaw in refrigerator. Cover loosely with tented foil (if using foil lid, bend lid so that melted cheese will not stick to lid). Bake at 375 for 1 hour, or until heated through. Remove cover and broil for 3-4 min. or until cheese is slightly browned.
4. Slow Cooker Beef Stroganoff-Thaw completely and cook in slow cooker on Low for 8 hours or on High for 5 hours . Stir in 4 oz. cream cheese just before serving. Serve over pasta or rice.
5. Ham and Pineapple Fried Rice-No need to thaw this ahead of time. I just pour this in a microwaveable dish and zap it until it is warmed up. I am not posting how long because each microwave varies. Just check on it as it is warming up and stir it once in a while. Can also warm this up in the oven.
6. Creamy Cheesy Chicken with Noodles-No need to thaw this ahead of time. Empty items into the crock pot set on low and come back 6.5-7 hours later. Stir in a bag of egg noodles (if cooking all 6 chicken breasts at once or one handful of egg noodles if cooking 2 chicken breasts) for the last 30 minutes.

You can find more menus and ideas at Menu Plan Monday.

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Menu Plan February 6-12

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Click here to see the February Monthly Menu.

Super Bowl Sunday: Pico de Gallo and Guacamole, Chile con Queso, Wings, Mini Pigs in a Blanket (I buy Little Smokies and wrap them in pastry sheet dough and serve with mustard), Pig Cake

Monday: Bow Tie Lasagna, Salad

Tuesday: Beef and Bean Burritos

Wednesday: Sloppy Joes, Potato Chips

Thursday: Pasta Primavera, Garlic Bread

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Easy Mulligatawny Soup and Crusty Bread

Note:  I did not add a grocery list this time.  Leave me a comment if you would like for me to continue adding a grocery list.

Menu Plan Monday January 31-February 5

Click here to see the January Monthly Menu.

Click here to see the February Monthly Menu.

Sunday: Go out to eat.

Monday: Pizza Pasta Casserole,  Salad

Tuesday: Taco Rice

Wednesday: Crockpot Stew, Pepper Cheese Bread

Thursday: Eggs, Bacon, Biscuits

Friday: Skillet Shrimp with Couscous

Saturday: Chicken and Dumplings

Grocery List:

Meats:
3 pounds ground beef
8 oz. sliced pepperoni
2 pounds stew meat
1 pound bacon or sausage
1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp
1 whole cut up chicken

Dairy:
6 cups shredded mozzarella
Sour cream
Butter
2 cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
14 eggs
8 oz plain yogurt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups half and half

Spices:
Chili powder
Ground cumin
Salt
Ground black pepper
Bay Leaf
Paprika
Mustard Seeds
Thyme
Tumeric

Bread:
Croutons

Canned Food:
2 cans (28 oz) of spaghetti sauce
1 cup salsa
1 1/2 cups beef broth
Kitchen Bouquet
6 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup apple cider

Pasta:
16 oz. spiral pasta

Vegetables:
5 large onions
Romaine lettuce
9 cloves garlic
Lettuce
Tomatoes (2 cups worth)
7 carrots
3 potatoes
2 stalk celery
2 leeks
parsley

Pantry Items/Baking:
Caesar dressing
Vegetable Oil
Soy sauce
Rice
Flour
Worcestershire sauce
Baking powder
Baking soda
Olive oil
1 cup couscous
Yellow cornmeal

Frozen:
Biscuits
1 cup frozen peas

Menu Plan Monday: January 23-29

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Click here to see the January Monthly Menu.

Click here to see the February Monthly Menu.

Sunday: Crockpot Roast, Potatoes and Carrots

Monday: Spaghetti and Meatballs, Garlic Bread and Salad

Tuesday: Stuffed Green Peppers, Salad

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells with Red Sauce, Salad

Friday: Seafood Pasta Casserole, Broccoli

Saturday: Chili, Cornbread

Grocery List:

Meats:

3 to 4 pound chuck roast
2 pound of lean ground beef
Bacon (2 slices)
2 packages (8 oz. each) imitation crabmeat

Dairy:

Parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 pound sharp Cheddar cheese (block)
24 oz. cottage cheese
15 oz. ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella
8 slices of mozzarella
1 stick butter
1/2 cup sour cream
6 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

Spices:

Nutmeg (1/8 teaspoon)
Salt
Pepper
Chili Powder (2 teaspoons)
Oregano (2 teaspoons)
Basil ( 1 1/2 teaspoons)

Bread:

Garlic bread

Canned Food:

1 can of cream of mushroom soup
2 cans of tomato soup
2 jars of Prego marinara sauce
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 large can of ranch style beans

Pasta:

1 box of jumbo pasta shells
8 oz. spiral pasta
1 pound spaghetti

Vegetables:

1 pound carrots
Red potatoes (enough for your family)
Romaine lettuce
Parsley
5 garlic cloves
9 green bell peppers
3 onions
1/2 pound fresh sliced mushrooms
Broccoli (if can’t get fresh, then buy frozen)

Pantry Items/Baking:

1 package of dry onion soup mix
Caesar dressing
Croutons
Dried plain bread crumbs (1 tablespoon)
Rice
Wick Fowler’s Chili
2 packages cornbread mix

Frozen:

1-10 oz. package of frozen spinach (chopped)

 

Menu Plan Monday January 16-22

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Click here to see the January Monthly Menu.  (New! If you menu plan for a month at a time and would like to share your monthly menu, leave your link at the bottom of the page!!)

Sunday: Chicken Tetrazzini, Salad, Broccoli, Rolls

Monday: Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage, Salad

Tuesday: Tamale Pies, Beans

Wednesday: Leftovers

Thursday: Eggplant Parmesan, Salad

Friday: Salmon Cakes, Salad, fresh green beans, potatoes

Saturday: Butternut Bisque, Sandwiches

Grocery List:

Meats:
1 rotisserie chicken
12 oz. smoked chicken sausage
2 pounds ground turkey
2 pounds salmon fillets

Dairy:
13 tablespoons butter
3 cups milk
3 3/4 cups grated Parmesan
1/2 cup heavy cream
6 oz. fontina cheese
4 oz. Monterey Jack cheese
5 eggs
1/2 pound whole fresh mozzarella

Spices:
Salt
Pepper
Thyme
Oregano
Cumin
Cinnamon
Cayenne Pepper

Bread:
Dinner Rolls

Canned Food:
2-14.5 oz can chicken broth
28 oz. whole tomatoes with juice
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
1 can beans
2-28 oz. whole peeled tomatoes
Mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Prepared horseradish
Tartar sauce

Pasta:
1 pound linguine
1 pound rigatoni

Vegetables:
1 pound white mushrooms
Lettuce
Tomatoes
Broccoli
1 red onion
Garlic
10 oz. baby spinach
2 onions
2 jalapenos
2 large globe eggplant (2 pounds total)
1 pound green beans
4 new potatoes
scallions
parsley
2 lemons
1 large butternut squash

Pantry Items/Baking:
1 1/2 cup flour
3/4 cup white wine
Olive Oil
Vodka (optional)
1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil

Frozen:
1-10 oz. package of frozen peas
4 cups frozen corn kernals

Menu Plan Monday: Jan. 9-15

Click here to see the January Monthly Menu.

Sunday: Swedish Meatballs, Italian Green Beans, Rolls

Monday:Baked Ravioli, Salad, Garlic Bread

Tuesday: Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas, Beans, Corn

Wednesday: BarBQ Spareribs, beans, corn  (This is an easy crockpot recipe.  Just dump the spareribs into a crockpot.  Salt and pepper them.  Pour your favorite BarBQ sauce on top and cook on Low for about 8 hours.  Yummm)

Thursday: Lasagna Primavera, Caesar Salad-If you have the time make PW’s Caesar Salad, if not make it the way I do with romaine lettuce, bottled caesar dressing and some store bought croutons.

Friday: Lemon Horseradish Fish Cakes, peas, mashed potatoes

Saturday: Vegetable Chowder, crusty bread

Grocery List:

Meats:
1 pound ground beef chuck
1 pound ground pork
3/4 pound lean ground beef
Spareribs
2 lbs. tilapia fillets
Dairy:
10 1/2 cups whole milk
5 eggs
3 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella (6 oz) + 1 lb. shredded part-skim mozzarella
1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (6 oz)
1 container (15 oz) part skim ricotta
Spices:
Salt
Pepper
Allspice
Thyme
Oregano
Chili powder
Bread:
3 cups panko
dinner rolls
garlic bread
8 corn tortillas
saltine crackers-enough for 1 1/2 cups crushed
Crusty Bread
Canned Foods:
3 cups beef broth
1 can Italian green beans
1 can (28 oz) whole tomatoes
1 can (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
Croutons
Caesar dressing
2 cans beans
2 cans corn
1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 small can of chipotle chile in adobo
Favorite BarBq sauce
Mayonnaise
Bottled white horseradish
Tartar sauce
1 can peas
Instant potatoes
Tabasco sauce
Pasta:
Egg Noodles
1 pkg. (9 oz) no boil lasagna noodles
Vegetables:
9 garlic cloves
3 onions
romaine lettuce
cilantro
1/2 lb. carrots
parsley
2 lemons
2 medium red bell peppers
4 medium baking potatoes
1 1/2 lbs. green beans (if can’t get fresh, get frozen)
Pantry Items/Baking
1/3 cup of flour + 3/4 cup
Olive oil
Frozen:
2 pounds of ravioli
2 pkgs. (10 oz each) frozen chopped spinach
1 pkg. (10 oz) frozen peas
4 cups of corn kernals