Thursday, August 16, 2012

Meal Prep for Back to School

I still have a little over 1 week left before we have to go back to school.  I have been wanting to get freezer meals organized so we aren't tempted to order out on those very long first days back. 

I hit up Pinterest and found a bunch of recipes and ideas to use.   Here is what I pulled together and created today.  It took 4 hours, but I now have 18 meals prepped and ready to go!  I figured I would share them with you all in case you are tempted to try some yourself. :)

Shopping List
(Some items I already had on hand, but I wanted to list everything that was needed.)

Fresh Produce:

(2) heads of garlic

(3) Green Peppers

(1) small can mushrooms (I used fresh cut up half and saved the other half for a future meal.)

(1) Red Onion

(2) Bags of Onions (you need about 12 onions)

(1) Large Bag Potatoes (I bought Red from Costco) (You will need about 14-16)

(2) Large Bags of Whole Carrots (Baby Carrots would work also if you don't feel like chopping- 2 bags of baby carrots would work)

(1) Bunch of Celery


(1) costco bag of Chicken Breast (I bought the tenderloins)

(3-4) lbs of Beef Stew Meat (I got my pkg from Costco)

(3) lb Chuck Roast (Costco again)

(6) lbs of Ground Beef (1 or 2 costco ground beef packs did the trick)

Other Groceries:

(1) 20oz cans of Chunked Pineapple

(3) 15 Oz Cans Tomato Sauce

(1) box wild rice w/seasoning packet

(1) bag shredded cheddar cheese

(1) 8 oz cream cheese (not fat free)

(3) can cream chicken soup

(1) can cream of mushroom soup

(1) 30 oz bag of frozen hash browns (I used 2 smaller bags)

(1) can tomato soup

(3) 6oz Cans Tomato Paste

(1) 28oz Can Diced Tomatoes

(1) large bottle of v8 juice

(1) small box Tapioca

(2) Boxes Beef Broth (I buy low sodium)

(1) 32 oz chicken broth

(1) bottle Teriyaki Sauce

(1) bottle Worcestershire Sauce

(1) Box Stove Top Stuffing

Red Wine

Balsamic Vinegar
Steak Rub (I had grill mates in my cabinet)

(1) Bag Frozen Cut Green Beans (you will need 2 cups)

(1) Cannister of Bay Leaves

(3) Boxes of Gallon Freezer Bags

Once I had everything organized, I started the chopping.  As I chopped up certain vegetables I added them to bags so I could begin to assemble recipes.  Here are the recipes I worked from.  Some were from Pinterest and some were old recipes of my own.


Teriyaki Chicken (2 Bags)

 About 6 carrots between the 2 bags

 Cut Red Onion into Large Chunks and split between the 2 bags

 (1) 20oz can pineapple in each bag (undrained)

 (3) Garlic Cloves chopped per bag

 (6-8) Chicken tenderloins in each bag

 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce in each bag

 *Add 1/4 cup teriyaki sauce to mixture. Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice.

Beef Soup (2 Bags)

 Chop (1) Onion and Chop (3) Cloves of Garlic and Brown with 2 lbs. Ground Beef- once cool divide mixture between bags

 (3) whole carrots chopped per bag

 (2) celery stalks chopped per bag

 (4) Red Potatoes chopped per bag

 (1) cup v8 split in each bag

 (1) 28oz can diced tomatoes SPLIT between bags

 (1) cup frozen green beans in each bag

 (1/2)TBSP Worcestershire per bag

 (1/2) cup Beef Broth per bag

 (1) TBSP Parsley per bag

 (1) tsp Basil per bag

 (1/2) tsp Thyme per bag

 (1/2) tsp salt per bag

 (1/2) tsp pepper per bag

 (1) TBSP Sugar per bag

*Place in Crockpot with 1.5 cups of water and 15 oz Beef Broth. Cook on LOW 8 Hours.

BBQ Chicken (2 Bags)
 (2) Green Peppers Cut into Slices split between 2 bags

 (3) Onions Chopped and split between bags

 (8) Red Potatoes Chopped and split between bags (you can also use Sweet Potatoes)

 (5) Garlic Cloves Chopped, Split Between bags

 (6-8) Chicken Tenderloins Split between bags

 (1/2) TBSP Quick Cooking Tapioca per bag

 (1) 15 oz can of Tomato Sauce Split Between bags

 (1) TBSP of Brown Sugar per bag

 (1) TBSP Worcestershire per bag

 (1) TBSP Mustard per Bag

(Note:  In place of the above four ingredients,  you can also use about 1 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce.)

 (1/4) tsp Salt per bag

* Cook on HIGH for 4 hours or LOW for 8 hours. Serve over Rice or Egg Noodles.

Beef Stew (2 Bags)

 (1) Green Pepper Chopped split between bags

 (1) Chopped Onion per bag

 (3) Carrots Chopped per bag

 (3) Chopped Garlic Cloves per bag

 (3) Ibs Beef Stew Meat Split Between Bags

(1) 6oz can Tomato Paste per bag

(3) Bay Leaves per bag

(1) cup Red Wine per bag

 (2) tsp Paprika per bag

 (1/4) tsp Black Pepper per bag

*Cook for 4 hours on HIGH or 8 hours on LOW in a slow cooker. Add (1/2) Cup of Sour Cream about 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve over Egg Noodles.

Pot Roast (2 bags)
(2) boneless chuck roast

(1-2) TBS steak rub
(2) carrots per bag

(2) celery stalks per bag

(2) large onions, peeled and thickly sliced (per bag)

(1) cup beef stock

(1/2) cup balsamic vinegar

(1/2) cup V8 juice

salt/black pepper to taste
Rub meat well with steak seasoning and black pepper. Place on top of all of the vegetables in the bag. 

*Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Goulash (2 bags)

(2) lbs ground beef

(1) can tomato soup per bag

(6) oz can tomato paste per bag

(2) cups uncooked elbow macaroni per bag

(2) Tbsp Italian seasoning (more to taste)

(1) can (15oz) corn, drained split per bag

(1) tsp garlic powder each

(1) tsp onion powder each

(1-2) cups shredded cheese (depending on your “cheesiness” preference) (placed in a seperate bag to be added to the top of the casserole when it is cooking time.)

1. Brown Ground beef with onion powder and garlic powder. Drain.

2. Cook noodles according to package, drain.
3. Combine soup, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, noodles and ground beef and corn in bag.

* When it is time to cook, thaw and transfer to an ungreased 8X8 baking dish and top with cheese.
5. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes until heated through and melted cheese.

Potato Soup (2 bags)

(30) oz bag of frozen, shredded hash browns (I bought the smaller bags because there was a 2 for 1.)

(32) oz container of chicken broth, split

(1) can cream of chicken soup per bag

(1/2) cup onion, chopped per bag

(1/2) tsp pepper per bag

(1/4) tsp garlic powder per bag

(8) oz cream cheese (not fat free, it won't melt in)

In a large freezer bag, combine everything except cream cheese. Double up on your freezer bag and squeeze out any air to avoid freezer burn. Label it and put a date on it.

* Thaw soup and place mixture in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4-5 hours. About 1 hour before serving, add in the cream cheese and heat until thoroughly melted.

Chicken and Wild Rice (1 bag)

(1) box wild rice with seasoning packet (4.3 oz)

(1) can cream of mushroom soup

(1) can cream of chicken soup

(1) can water

(1) small can mushrooms, drained (I used fresh mushrooms)

(6-8) chicken tenderloins

Mix together rice with seasoning packet, both cans of soup, and water. Stir in mushrooms.

*Thaw and place in 8X8 dish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 1 hour until chicken juices run clear and rice is tender.

Stove Top Meatloaf (2 bags)

(2) lbs. ground beef

(1) box Stove Top Stuffing Mix

(4) TBS Ketchup

(I also snuck in some of the leftover V8 Juice.  Shhhh)


In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.  Split the meat in half and add to each bag.  Form them into a loaf shape while in the bag.

* Thaw and bag at 350 for about 30-40 minutes.

There you have it, my labor of love.  Good luck to everyone already starting school!


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