Whipping up dinner from scratch every night can be a real challenge. Add in kids, after-school activities and a job, and it’s likely that at least some of the time you find yourself scrambling to get dinner on the table.
Today I want to share my “secret weapon” for bringing delicious, hassle-free and nutrient-dense meals to the table every night of the week…
If the idea conjures up images of dented frozen peas and bland “frozen dinners”, think again! Freezer meals can be among the most delicious and satisfying (and certainly the easiest) dinners to grace your table.
Before we get into the array of meals you can enjoy, consider the five key benefits of this way of cooking:
Save Time, Energy & Money
Making large batches of food is simply more efficient. Time and energy are saved when you do the majority of the preparation, cooking and cleaning – all in one session. In the time it takes to make one dinner from start to finish (clean up included), you can just as easily prepare ten servings or more of the same meal (simply package what you won’t eat tonight and store it in the freezer).
In fact, every few weeks, I carve out a weekend afternoon for batch cooking. With two Instant Pot Pressure Cookers on the countertop and a little help from the family, we can easily prepare 20 or 30 full dinners (up to 100 individual servings) in just two to three hours.
You can also take advantage of bulk prices when you cook in larger batches. And with delicious meals always at the ready, you’ll probably spend less money dining out.
Cook Once, Eat Three Times (or More!)
With batch cooking, you can easily transform one ingredient into a multitude of different and delicious meals. For example, grass-fed ground beef or pastured ground turkey can be made into a variety of meatballs (Italian, Asian Teriyaki, etc.), American-style Meatloaf, Chili and Classic Bolognese.
Pasture-raised chicken breast can be made into Indian Butter Chicken, Chinese Cashew Chicken or Chicken Marsala. With each recipe, you can make five or more servings to pull out and reheat at a moment’s notice.
Stress Free, Delicious & Nutritious Meals
When you make the main portion of your meals ahead of time, all you need to do is thaw and reheat the main dish and then make a fresh veggie side. Without all the scurrying around, you can enjoy less stress and more relaxation at mealtime.
Portion Control & Easy Lunches Too
Starchy sides like winter squash, basmati rice, mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes make for perfect freezer meal accompaniments. Soups, stews and chili are also perfect for make-ahead lunches. All of these can be frozen in in single serve portions for grab-and-go convenience and portion control.
Know What’s For Dinner!
After a long day, most of us don’t want to think about what to make for dinner (let alone actually prepare it!). With an assortment of delicious dinners in your freezer, your whole family will be happier and stressed less at meal time!
Stocking Your Freezer with Delicious Meals
Along with US Wellness Meats delicious assortment of Heat & Serve Foods – from BBQ Slow Roasted Shredded Beef… Beef Pot Roast and Gravy… to Thai Marinated Beef Ribeye – just about any slow cooker or pressure cooker meal can be successfully frozen.
For best results, minimize the air in your freezer vessels, Label and date everything that goes in the freezer. Keep a running tally so you know what’s in storage without having to dig around. And use the first-in, first-out approach whenever possible to minimize spoilage due to freezer burn.
In my quest to simplify my life and my cooking, I’ve developed 20+ fail-proof, freezer-friendly Paleo recipes made in the Instant Pot that we have on rotation in our home. There’s Chicken Marsala, Paleo Meatballs, Coq Au Vin, Thai Shrimp Curry, Cashew Chicken, Pepper Steak, Butter Chicken and more.
It’s a free ebook and you can grab your copy here.
Do you batch cook and make freezer meals for your family? If so, we’d love to hear about your favorite freezer-friendly recipes and tips!
Kelley’s academic background is in biology and chemistry and for the last 15+ years, she has focused on the study of nutritional biochemistry… and the proven powers of compounds in foods to heal the body.