Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Freezer Meals

As some may know, I recently had a new baby.  In the lead up time to the momentous occasion of meeting our son, I decided to prep some freezer meals, Paleo style.  Most were marinades + meat that we could just thaw during the day and quickly cook that evening.  A couple were completely pre-cooked meals that simply required reheating.  When I prepped these meals, I generally also prepped one for the current week as well.  Making 2 or 3 batches of each is just as easy as making one.

Hawaiian Grilled Chicken
  • This is a thaw and cook style.  Make the marinade as instructed and add the chicken, with the following substitutions: Use 1 cup of coconut aminos instead of 2 cups of soy sauce, and 1 cup of water instead of 2 cups.  Use 3/4 cup Grade B maple syrup instead of the brown sugar.  
  • This made a TON of marinade.  I only used 3 pounds of chicken and split it into 3 separate bags, but we could have easily used 4 pounds. Despite her warning, we used chicken breasts instead of thighs, and it was still delicious.
  • Serve with cauliflower rice and/or fresh pineapple.
Beef Short Ribs
  • This one is a reheat and eat freezer meal.  Cooking this the first time takes about 3 hours, but it's definitely tasty.  It's a treat to have well-made, tasty beef out of the freezer when you're exhausted from trying to remember how to take care of a newborn!
Sweet & Sticky Baked Chicken
  • This one is a thaw and cook meal.  Make the marinade and add the chicken as instructed, but replace the brown sugar with 2 T of maple syrup.
  • We made 4 batches of this one - it's a favorite!
Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Another thaw and cook one.  100% paleo - no subs necessary.
  • Serve with your choice of roasted veggies.
Beef with Broccoli
  • I pre-cooked the meat, then wrote instructions on the bag for the remainder of the recipe.  Since we generally have fresh broccoli on hand, it was fairly simple to complete.
  • Serve with spaghetti squash or cauliflower rice.
Honey Lime Chicken
  • This is a thaw and cook meal.  Make the marinade and add the chicken, substituting coconut aminos for the soy sauce.
Pineapple Caribean Jerk Steak
  • This is simple to adapt into a thaw and cook meal.  Make the sauce as instructed and add the meat.  We used tri-tip this time, but any hearty cut of beef will do.
  • After thawing, place just the beef in a pan to cook.  When the meat is ready, add the rest of the sauce plus the pineapple, onion and jalapeno, if desired.  (We only added the pineapple.) We skipped the bacon part, but that could easily be done here as well.
  • Again, you'll need to have some fresh ingredients on hand for the full affect, but the beef and sauce alone would make a wonderful meatl.
Cilantro Lime Chicken
  • Simply make the Cilantro Lime sauce, skipping the asiago cheese, and freeze.  When ready to use, cook some chicken with salt and pepper.  Toss with the dressing and put on a salad.
Using these recipes, plus maybe a little ordering out and donated meals from friends, we have easily gone 3 weeks without any intensive cooking required.  I may start cooking most of my meals on the weekends and putting them in the freezer...