Freezer cooking is a great way to bring efficiency to the kitchen. Stocking your freezer with pre-prepared meals and prepped meats and vegetables is wonderful. Recently I have been introduced to a couple of programs that offer bulk purchases of a single ingredient (i.e. tomatoes, peaches, ground beef, chicken, etc.) at an amazing price. I have really enjoyed the opportunity to stock my freezer and pantry with some great, healthy ingredients.
The key with freezer cooking is prep, prep, prep! I may spend a few hours prepping 20 lbs of ground beef (like I did here), but it has saved me valuable time at meal-time. This prep gave me the following:
- 3 meals of Italian meatballs
- 30 hamburger patties
- 5 packages of pre-cooked ground beef base (for chili, tacos, pizza, spaghetti, etc.)
- 8 one pound portions of ground beef
This week I was able to get 40 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breast for just $1.49 a pound. These were not your typical chicken breasts either - they were beautiful, large butterflied breasts. With these, I simply spent a couple of hours prepping them for the freezer. I know 2 hours sounds like a lot of time, however it was 40 lbs - I ended up with 36 individually portioned breasts! YIKES, that is over 1 pound EACH!!!
I trimmed a little fat, cut them apart into individual breasts, wrapped them in plastic and laid them out on baking sheets. I then placed them in the freezer overnight. After they were frozen solid, I placed them in Ziploc bags and put them back in the freezer. I can now pull out just what I need for a meal and not worry about having too much. Once they are thawed, they are ready to use!
What have you stocked your freezer with to make meal time prep easier?