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Monday, September 23, 2013

Meal Plan Monday: Easy Tips for Filling the Freezer & GF Meals for Sept. 23-30

Filling the Freezer WITHOUT a Freezer Cooking Day

You can stock your freezer full of healthy, homemade meals with minimal extra work. Look at your weekly menu and decide if there is anything that could easily be doubled or even tripled and would freeze nicely. I try to plan at least one main dish a week that is "freezable".
For example, soups and casseroles are perfect for freezing and reheating. Crockpot meals can be doubled and the extra ingredients thrown into a freezer bag for a future meal. If you are making pancakes or muffins, plan to bake extras and freeze for busy mornings.
How do you decide what will "freeze well"? Think about it this way...if you can buy it premade and frozen at the grocery (Lean Cuisine meals, waffles, grilled sliced chicken breasts, etc. etc.) you can make it yourself and freeze it! I even buy inexpensive glass casserole dishes for $1 at yard sales and Goodwill to use for my freezer meals. {Be sure to thaw in the fridge overnight before putting into hot oven and cracking your dish!}
This week, I am making Skillet Chili Mac which I will double--freezing the leftover as a casserole for later. When freezing soup, like my Chicken Corn Chowder, I use a muffin tin and transfer "soup pucks" to a freezer bag. I am also baking up some Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Muffins and Pumpkin Scones, both of which will be excellent to freeze and reheat. {Recipes coming soon!!}
I don't plan a special freezer cooking day as some people do. For me, it's just as simple to make extra of something I am already cooking anyway and sock away the surplus in the deep freeze. Not to mention that it means a no-mess, low-stress, easy meal for another day. And the best part? You get twice as many meals with half as many dirty dishes!

Here is what is on our family's menu this week. Recipe links are shown in BLUE. 

GF Skillet Chili Mac  ~ Recipe Coming Soon!
Honey Lime Fruit Salad

GF Chicken Corn Chowder 
Mixed Green Salad
GF Thin Mint Cookies

Dinner at church

Thursday ~ (Kids' night--Dad works late)
GF Pumpkin Scones  ~  Recipe Coming Soon!
Nitrate-free Bacon
Blueberry Banana Smoothies (with spinach...shhh!!)

GF Spaghetti Squash Lasagna
Sauteed Green Beans with Garlic & Butter
Homemade Applesauce

Dinner out

Sunday  ~  (Company for dinner)
Grilled BBQ Chicken
Baked Sweet Potatoes
Oven Roasted Broccoli
GF Apple Crisp w/Homemade Vanilla Ice Cream 

Do you have a favorite meal to use for planned leftovers? Something that freezes and reheats beautifully? Leave a comment or link to your recipe in the section below. Have a great week!

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