I think many of us start out each new year with a renewed enthusiasm to get in better shape and eat healthy. I’m certainly no exception and while I am addicted to the feeling I get after I exercise (I have trouble getting started most days though, ha), I often slip up in my eating habits. It is tough!
In mid-December, I invited a few girlfriends over under the guise of having a freezer meal prep party. The actual reason was to visit and drink wine. While we succeeded with the wine, we also assembled a few Crock Pot meals that we can easily throw in the crock before we go to work and come home to a warm, healthy protein we can pair with fresh veggies. Since we got together on a week night, we didn’t really have time to cook anything, so we froze everything and vacuum sealed it so it could be used at a future time. Here are the recipes we made if you are interested:
- Buffalo Chicken – great on a baked sweet potato, on a flatbread pizza, on a wrap or on a salad. The recipe makes 3 pounds so we had 3 meals out of this one recipe.
- Chipotle Honey Chicken – same as above or serve alone with healthy sides or in a taco. The link has a recipe for avocado cream sauce that sounds divine.
- Balsamic Pork Loin – serve with mashed potatoes and a salad.
- Turkey meatloaf – this isn’t a Crock Pot meal, but can easily be thawed out a day in advance and made into one loaf, two or into mini loaves.
I bought a bunch of meat (I think each girl had about 7 lbs. of meat when it was all done) and the sides needed to make the meals. Assemble while drinking wine and you are done! For a meal to eat while we were at the house, I made Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup. I doubled the recipe and had plenty for leftovers to freeze.
On New Year’s Day, I was off of work. I MAY have had a slight hangover, but I was prepared to make a bunch of freezer meals to start out our month healthy. I make myself breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. I try to make my husband lunch and supper every day as well. Our work week days seem to be packed with running here or there so I like to take a full day every few months to stock up the freezer. I do my best to keep it healthy and use few processed foods.
WARNING: This WILL take you all day and it does take a lot of work to prep. It is 100% worth it to me. Here is what I made – I’ll link to the recipe where possible. This took 7 lbs. of lean burger, a chicken carcass for the soup and about 3-4 pheasant breasts. I double up the recipes to get even more. The full day including a quick trip to the store and clean up took me 7 hours!!
- 2 lbs. of Greek Sloppy Joes – served on a salad or wrap
- 2 lbs. of Philly Sloppy Joes – same as above or on a bun
- 2 lbs. of Mediterranean meatballs – I like these on a pita with hummus
- Chicken Noodle Soup – I just wing it and put in a ton of veggies
- Pheasant with wild rice, quinoa and broccoli
- Chorizo, beans and pasta – based off of this recipe but altered to what I had on hand
- Cheeseburger casserole
Along with the chicken soup on the bottom.
This was a new recipe for us so I hope the Mr. approves.
I like to use a few shortcuts like repeatedly using the same few pans (no need to wash in between uses for the most part) and quick cooking rice.
Your kitchen will be a disaster! I packed the single serve meals in Tupperware or glass bowls and used our vacuum sealer for the sloppy joe mixes. They freeze flat and take up less space.
I encourage you to take a day and make some freezer meals. You and your waistline will be happy. If you can’t find time for a full day, try a half day or next time you make taco meat just double or triple the recipe so you have leftovers to freeze. Enjoy!