I really like to cook, and have kind of defaulted into being the point person for dinner, since I am also very picky. I am also very lazy. Cooking is hard! When I lived at home, my job was to prepare dinner three nights a week. I appreciate that my mom taught me how to cook, even though it was kind of rough at first. My brother’s tactic was just to suck so hard he got out of that job altogether. I guess after me she lost steam. Anyway, sometimes I’d be in the kitchen cooking, feeling resentful about being ‘forced’ to do such terrible labor, as only a teen can, and then I’d think about how when I was older, I’d have to cook all the meals, and I wouldn’t have anyone to help me, and it would just be day after day of this terrible, terrible drudgery, stretching out over my entire life.
Don’t you feel so bad for me?
When the burden of cooking every day feels a little heavy, and I feel myself reverting back to my teen feelings, I turn to freezer meals. I’ve decided that for me, preparing meat/chopping veggies is the most time intensive part of the job, so if I get that all ready to go, the hardest part about making dinner every night is remembering to defrost stuff. It also helps consolidate cleanup! Although be careful – the other night I made a batch of meals, and David threw some leftover lemon into an old fashioned – no problem except I’d used an onion knife to cut up that lemon and it may have ruined old fashioneds for me forever?
I’ve found some recipes that aren’t specifically meant to be freezer meals, but lend themselves well to the freezer format. Check it:
1. Goat Cheese Stuffed Meatballs These little guys are delish – although I’ve subbed in ground meat because ground chicken freaks me out, for whatever reason. I just make the meatballs and freeze them raw. They’re especially good over zucchini pasta.
2. Balsamic Pork Tenderloin Probably the easiest meal to prep – I get it to the marinating phase, and then stick it in the freezer. I was worried about this one, because sometimes if you let meat soak in vinegar for too long it can get mushy, but I had these guys frozen in balsamic vinegar for a couple weeks, and the texture was great! Very tender, but not mealy. The taste was great, too.
3. Bacon Wrapped Chicken and Paprika The blog post I linked to doesn’t go into specifics, but it’s pretty hard to mess up – take some chicken thighs, sprinkle them with salt and smoky paprika, and then wrap each thigh in a piece of bacon. That’s where I freeze it. Then, you bake at 350 for 45-60 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
4. Chicken Rollatini I believe I’ve linked to this before, but it’s really, really good, and great as a freezer meal. Put the chicken together, and then freeze. Also use full fat everything because come on.
5. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps These are great, because they taste super fresh, even out of the freezer. I ended up using a lot more spice (and adding sriracha), to give it some more flavor.
6. Pork Chop Casserole Look, I just really like casseroles, okay? I did make a few substitutions to this one – I used spaghetti squash instead of potatoes, I sliced up some mushrooms and onions, and I used fancy mushroom soup, because Amy’s is the best. I’m also putting crispy onions on top because… crispy onions are a cliche for a reason.
7. Slow Cooker Coconut Ginger Chicken Slow cookers can be kind of tricky, since they can make your veggies reallly mushy. I haven’t actually eaten this yet – but I went up to step 3, and then froze everything together. I am planning on adding vegetables right at the end, so they can be taken out as soon as they’re cooked, and hopefully retain their flavor. We will see.
8. Pesto Bacon Meatloaf Rounds Those Paleo people certainly like their bacon. This is crazy good. I honestly was not expecting it to be this tasty. Like.. it looks like it could be kind of greasy and rich, but it actually just has a really good flavor, and is very filling. I put these together and froze them raw – and they tasted great!
9. Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake This is a good meal for when you are craving something cheesy and filling – my only change would be to add more vegetables, so it felt more like a complete meal.
So there you have it – 9 recipes that freeze well and taste great!