With baby boy due to arrive any day now I thought it would be a good idea to prepare some meals to have at the ready in the freezer. Let's face it, who has time to be slaving away in the kitchen when you've just given birth? I remember after giving birth to Amelia I barely even had time to eat let alone cook so it was very much appreciated when friends and family came by with a batch of pre-cooked meals which I could quickly heat up and eat when I had time.
I've decided to start weekly freezer cooking which I will prepare at least 5 different meals, some of which will be pre-cooked and others will all be chopped up raw and ready to throw into the slow cooker. Freezer cooking is basically like meal prepping for the week, you can shop, prepare and freeze all of your dinners for the week in about an hour and then you've got meals ready for the whole week! The great thing about weekly freezer cooking is that you're not stuck with 5-6 of the same dishes. You can change up the menu each week just as you would if you were meal planning and if you like one dish more than the others you can easily double the recipe and make more of that meal.
Weekly freezer cooking isn't just great for when you have a baby on the way but it can be done all year round! It's great if you have a busy working week and don't always have time to be preparing meals every evening and it means that you can set aside 1-2 hours one day a week to do all of the prepping. I will definitely continue to make these freezer meals especially whilst the new baby is still young.Here are some tips to help you get started:
1. Decide on each meal you would like to cook for that week, write down or print off all of the recipes and write up your shopping list. Make sure you check your cupboards and fridge to see if you have food items that you can use up first which could save you some money. I do my weekly shop online to make things easier as it means I can sit down one evening, write out all the meals for the week and place my food order as I decide on each meal.
2. Once all of my shopping has arrived, I lay out all of the ingredients needed to make each meal to make it easier get started.
3. I then start by chopping up all of the meat and vegetables so I can assemble these into bags for the meals I'm preparing. For the meals where I'm making extras I tend to just cook these on the day for example yesterday I cooked chicken casserole in the slow cooker for dinner and make enough to freeze two extra portions for meals the following week.
4. Have all of your freezer bags labelled and dated before you start as it's easier to do so before you fill them.
5. I prepare one meal at a time and it only takes a few minutes to get each bag ready. The most time consuming part of the whole process is cleaning up the kitchen afterwards!
6. Once you have all of the bags in your freezer all you need to do each night is take out a bag ready for the next day. I will then pop these into the slow cooker each day and let my slow cooker do all of the work. Easy peasy!
Meals I prepared this week:
Slow Cooker Beef & Broccoli Prepared on Monday
Slow Cooker Chicken Gravy Prepared on Monday
Monday - Chicken Casserole freeze left overs x 2
Tuesday - Chicken Tagine freeze left overs x 2
Wednesday - Takeaway
Thursday - Takeaway
Friday - Roast Pork Remaining pork for tomorrows meal
Saturday - Pork Fried Rice - freeze left overs x 2
Leek & Potato Soup - freeze left overs x 4
Let me know if you'd like to see more weekly meal plans!
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