Tag Archives: easy

Freezer Meals: Week 3

Happy Wednesday!

As promised, here’s this week’s picks for easy, quick freezer meals. This week’s theme: soup! Soup is one of my favorite freezer meals, because one pot of great soup can last SO long, and can be such a hearty, filling meal.

Here are some of my favorite freezer-friendly soup recipes from Pinterest.

  1. Loaded Baked Potato Soup

loaded_baked_potato_soup

Loaded Baked Potato Soup [http://www.momables.com/loaded-baked-potato-soup-crockpot-freezer-meal/]

This is crazy easy!

Momables does it right with this recipe! Do some prep work when you have time to make this recipe ultra-simple. Chop potatoes, ham, and onions, and place in a bag in a freezer. Take them our when you’re ready to make this soup! Thaw and place in a slow cooker with chicken broth + half and half. Cook on low for 6-8 hours + garnish when served with cheese, green onions, bacon, sour cream – anything you’d want on your potato! Not only can you pre-freeze to make this easy, but if there’s leftovers, pop in the freezer! Once you’re ready to eat, thaw in the fridge for awhile and reheat. Couldn’t be more simple

2) Olive Garden Copy Cat Zuppa Toscana

zuppa_toscana

Olive Garden Copy Cat Zuppa Toscana [http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/zuppa-toscana-soup-freezer-meal/#_a5y_p=1171706]

Fabulessly Frugal does a spot on rendition of this very freezer-friendly Olive Garden staple! Much like the loaded baked potato soup above, you can both freezer prep AND freeze afterwards. They recommend that you brown and crumble sausage prior to making + fry up onions and bacon as well to save some time. You essentially make the soup quickly (you can add or not add the greens) and can then place in gallon ziploc bags or any form of spill-proof container. To thaw, simply place in fridge for a few hours and reheat – so simple!

3) Black Bean Taco Soup

black_bean_taco_soup

Black Bean Taco Soup [http://oursimplehappylife.com/2012/09/5-healthy-freezer-meal-recipes-4-hours-21-meals/]

Once again – too easy! Our Simple Happy Life knows how to make a freezer/crockpot meal sound easy. Prep: brown meat and onion, stir remaining ingredients in, pour into freezer-safe containers. Ready to eat? Throw it in the crockpot and cook. Umm…crazy simple!

So there you have it. Give yourself a break this week and try one of these soups!

#NationalSmoresDay

Happy Monday, Everyone!

Another week, another opportunity to share some fun, inexpensive recipes, deals, giveaways, and more.

It just so happens to be #NationalSmoresDay today. S’mores scream summer to me – brings me back to my own summer camp days as a child! There’s nothing more fun than finding the perfect stick and toasting (or burning) a marshmallow to gooey perfection. Result = a messy, delicious, delicious treat that will have you asking for ‘s’more!’

Unfortunately, we don’t always have a crackling fire in front of us – lucky for you, we have so many mainstay s’more substitutes that are JUST AS GOOD as the real deal, and just as fun to cook indoors!

S’mores Bites

smores_bites

S’mores Bites [http://thefirstyearblog.com/smores-bites/]

The First Year Blog has an awesome recipe for these mini bites – they’re perfect for a quick dessert or even to bring to a party! Here’s the lowdown: all you need to do is crush up graham crackers, and incorporate powdered sugar + butter as a base. Divide them up into a 24 cup mini muffin pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Then pop in a rectangle of chocolate, and place a marshmallow half inside as well. Pop in the oven and bake until softened. Personally, I like a little brown on my marshmallows – solution: throw on the broiler for about a minute! Cool and serve. They’re so cute + so easy. Enjoy!

S’mores-Dipped Strawberries

smores_dipped_strawberries

S’mores-Dipped Strawberries [http://www.bombshellbling.com/smores-saturdays-smores-dipped-strawberries/]

Bombshell Bling has such a crowd pleaser with this one! I don’t know about you, but my entire family looooves chocolate covered strawberries. This recipe takes things even a step further, and couldn’t be easier. Melt some marshmallow fluff and get dipping! Lay on wax paper to try. Then, same story with chocolate. While still hot and melty, dip into some graham cracker crumbs and lay to dry. Voila!

S’more Stuffed French Toast

smore_stuffed_french_toast

S’more Stuffed French Toast [http://www.heathersfrenchpress.com/2014/07/smore-stuffed-french-toast.html#_a5y_p=2342038]

Oh boy, here we go! S’mores for breakfast! Heather’s French Press has a killer recipe that we won’t even pretend is remotely healthy. It’s pretty easy – grab some honey wheat bread, and spread one slice with chocolate spread (whether this is Nutella or melted Hershey’s is totally your call!) and the other slice with melted marshmallows. Sandwich them together and dip the sandwich into egg, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla (just like normal french toast!) and griddle until golden brown on each side.

So there you have it – these are all cheap, easy, and sure to please the family. Enjoy #NationalSmoresDay!

Freezer Meals of the Week!

Happy Wednesday! It seems like you all loved my first rendition of freezer meals so much last week, that it’s definitely a hot (no pun intended) topic! I’d love to share some of my other favorites as well. Freezer meals make dinner so seamless and easy and are sometimes an absolute godsend to have during a busy week.

  1. Shepherd’s Pie

WheelNDealMama has a really awesome shepherd’s pie recipe that freezes great! This meal is always a hit in our home – it’s pretty hard to deny ground meat, mashed potatoes, and shredded cheese.

shepherds_pie

Shepherd’s Pie [http://www.wheelndealmama.com/homemade-shepherds-pie-easy-freezer-meal/]

This is an all-in-one meal and these can be made individually – one for a person should definitely fill you up and hit all the food groups!

It’s super easy – toss your meat (ground beef, turkey, or chicken) into a skillet and brown with a can or bag of frozen veggies with some broth. In a freezer-safe dish (I suggest mini pie dishes so you can easily take out as many servings as you need – fun for each person to have their own pie!), toss in your mixture, top with mashed potatoes (free to make these however you please, homemade, with a mix – whatever you have time for and prefer), and cover in shredded cheese.

Cover with plastic wrap and aluminum foil and create a tight seal.

Once you’re ready to eat, place in an oven heated to 375 and cook for 45 minutes! Super simple and a crowd pleaser – always.

2) Chicken Parm Casserole

Who doesn’t love chicken parm? It’s comfort food at it’s finest and even the pickiest eaters love it. Thriving Home Blog has a great recipe for chicken parmesan casserole – which is a really fun spin on the dish. You can eat this on it’s own, or serve over pasta for a heartier meal.

chicken_parm_casserole

Chicken Parm Casserole [http://thrivinghomeblog.com/2013/07/chicken-parmesan-casserole-recipe-an-easy-freezer-meal/]

This is crazy easy – all  you do is layer a pan with 4 cups of cooked chicken (shredded or cubed), mix with your choice of marinara sauce, and top with Parmesean cheese, mozzarella, and seasoned breadcrumbs of your choice. Put the casserole together and pop in the freezer for an easy freezer meal – whenever you’re ready to enjoy it, thaw in the fridge overnight and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes. Yum!

3) Not-Meatloaf

InJohnnasKitchen gives an incredible veggie alternative to a comforting classic – meatloaf! If you’re anything like me, you love an easy meal, but not at the cost of something that makes you feel junky and gross. This is such an awesome option for an easy freezer meal.

not_meatloaf

Not-Meatloaf [http://injohnnaskitchen.com/2013/12/not-meatloaf-a-veggie-variation-twelve-months-of-healthy-eating/]

So fun – this recipe calls for all sorts of textures – celery, onions, chickpeas, oats, walnuts, and lentils – together, combined, this recipe is shockingly yummy. The recipe suggests using either one big meatloaf pan, or a pan that has the 8 mini loafs (like the above picture) – I think this is fun! Like the shepherd’s pie, this makes it even easier to defrost and heat up a single serving. Whenever you’re ready, simply bake at 375 for 55-65 minutes and allow to cool before serving.

That’s all, folks! Enjoy! I know I will 🙂

NatureBox

Maybe you have all heard of NatureBox, a subscription snack service boasting the highest quality ingredients in deliciously distinctive snacks you can find only through them.

nature_box

NatureBox [naturebox.com]

Their website promises the following:

  • No hydrogenated oils
  • No artificial colors, sweeteners & flavors
  • No added sulfites
  • Less than 200 calories per 30g serving
  • High quality, nutritious ingredients
  • Thoughtful sourcing
  • Innovative, unique flavors

Sounds awesome, but often, healthier, higher quality snacks come with a price point. Firstly, though, I want to show you all the absolutely HUGE list of snacks available – there is really something for everyone here! I’ll pull out some of our personal favorites for recommendations:

Sriracha Pop Pops

sriracha_pop_pops

Sriracha Pop Pops [naturebox.com]

If you’re anything like me, you love sriracha and spicy things! These are…nothing short of awesome. They are spicy + addictive, and clock in at about 170 calories/serving, which is more than enough quantity-wise. Not too shabby!

French Vanilla Almond Granola

french_vanilla_almond_granola

French Vanilla Almond Granola [naturebox.com]

This stuff is like crack, and the entire family adores it. It’s awesome on yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast, or just a handful on the go. The serving size here is fairly large, and it still only clocks in at 250 calories/serving. It’s soooooo great 🙂

Kung Pao Pretzels

kung_pao_pretzels

Kung Pao Pretzels [naturebox.com]

These are so good that it is truly hard to put into words. They are SO spicy and SO addictive – they’re like pretzels with an Asian spicy flare. You’ve got to try them to actually understand the party in your mouth that occurs when you eat them. Better yet, they are SO low-cal. A 16 pretzel serving only clocks in at 120 calories.

Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars

whole_wheat_raspberry_figgy_bars

Whole Wheat Raspberry Figgy Bars [naturebox.com]

Think Fig Newton meets Nutri-Grain bar, but healthier…and better. These are always a hit for a quick on-the-go snack. They come individually wrapped, so you can easily pack them in a lunch or throw in a bag for later! They come in other flavors (strawberry, blueberry), but this is my personal favorite. 1 bar = 130 calories

Did I interest you yet? If not, seriously, check out the rest of their snacks, I’ve hardly made a dent!

So here’s the rundown: you can get a FREE trial, where you get 5 tasty, pre-selected snacks. This DOES roll into a monthly plan ($19.95/month), but if you aren’t feeling this, you can cancel immediately, at anytime.

In conclusion, give this a shot, decide if $20/month is worth it to you to keep getting these snacks (once you are done with the free trial, you can select whichever ones you want) – if you grow tired of it, cancel! It’s easy, it’s delicious, and it’s SO fun to get a box full of tasty treats in the mail every month.

Enjoy!

Freezer Meals of the Week!

Happy Wednesday, All!

First and foremost, I wanted to make sure that you all know that I have a Pinterest page. Here is where I draw so much inspiration for my inexpensive lifestyle for my family! I have tons of boards and pins from tips to making money, to DIY, to Freebies & Coupons. My personal favorite board is my ‘Cheap Recipes’ board – go figure. So many of my pins lately have been freezer friendly meals that not only make life cheaper but so, so easy. I want to share some of my favorites with you today, and hopefully in future blog posts as well. The sky is the limit with these!

Without further ado….FREEZER MEALS OF THE WEEK!

1) Mom On Timeout’s Breakfast Burrito Bonanza

burrito_bonanza

Mom On Time Out’s Burrito Bonanza [http://www.momontimeout.com/2011/08/breakfast-burrito-bonanza/]

Not only is this recipe super easy and delicious, but it’s so, so versatile to all of your personal tastes. Their recipe calls for 3 types of meats, eggs, cheese, and potatoes. I know this is right up my husband’s alley, but personally, I’d love mine to be chock full of veggies. Just as easy! Fry up your meat or veggies, roast potatoes, scramble and season eggs, and wrap your ideal burrito up! Put them on a tray and flash freeze for an hour, and then plastic wrap each individually and place in a ziplock bag and pop in the freezer for the long term. To heat these up, wrap in a wet paper towel and heat for 3 minutes on 50% power. Great for an on-the-go quick breakfast!

Have some extra time? Serve with sour cream and salsa for a full meal. This is sure to please everyone.

2) Fabulessly Frual’s Cheesy Stuffed Shells

This is a staple meal. I ate this growing up, my kids will eat this growing up, and hopefully their kids too. Stuffed Shells is the ultimate comfort food for the Anders and Fabulessly Frugal has a great recipe for it that’s very freezer friendly.

cheesy_stuffed_shells

Cheesy Stuffed Shells [http://fabulesslyfrugal.com/freezer-meal-recipes-cheesy-stuffed-shells/]

 The recipe they prove makes 6 8×8 pans of stuffed shells. Each pan holds 12 shells and serves about 6 people. Meals for days!

The recipe is incredibly straightforward and is exactly how I like my shells, chock full of cheesy goodness + lots of spinach!

To prepare for the freezer, all you need to do is cover with a layer of plastic wrap, then a layer of foil. You can freeze up to one month!

To prepare for cooking from the freezer, you remove the plastic wrap and replace the foil cover. Preheat the oven to 350 and bake for about an hour and 15 minutes. Remove the foil + bake an additional 15-30 minutes and you should have a warm, bubbly dinner all good to go!

3) EatGood4Life’s Broccoli Quinoa Casserole

This is an awesome meatless freezer meal option. Though this recipe does not describe this as a freezer meal, generally any casserole can be stored and frozen, ready to be reheated at any time. This one in particular is incredibly easy, as you don’t even have to pre-cook the quinoa! In the comments, there are some seriously awesome ideas on serving and tweaks to the recipe. One user suggests adding additional veggies + chicken, some suggest adding additional garlic.

broccoli_quinoa_casserole

Broccoli Quinoa Casserole [http://www.eatgood4life.com/broccoli-quinoa-casserole/]

If you choose to freeze, baking time just needs to be increased by 10-15 minutes. Another protip would be to defrost in the fridge before freezing instead of placing in the oven frozen. Give this one a try, and leave any tweaks or tips you have in the comments!

I’ve got tons more, but I’ll leave you guys with 3 awesome recipes for this week. Stay tuned next week for more goodies!