You may have also heard it referred to as Once A Month Cooking (OAMC). The big idea behind freezer cooking is that you make enough meals and freeze them so you don’t have to worry about cooking for up to a whole month! The general goal is to save money and time by cooking for up to 30 meals, in less than one day. I know that sounds extremely overwhelming, but I promise you it can be done. I also promise that you won’t be living off of casseroles!
There are some general tips to keep in mind before even beginning:
Some foods just don’t freeze well. Examples: fully cooked pasta (instead cook al dente and add to a baked dish) potatoes (although I hear mashed potatoes freeze great), lettuce, cucumbers and egg whites to name a few. If you aren’t sure if something will freeze well do a search online, or a super small tester batch. Use your stockpile to your advantage. Look for recipes based on ingredients you already have, and what is on sale the week of your freezer cooking day.
- Pick a freezer cooking day (get your friends involved too)!
- Check out your pantry and freezer for ingredients you have and look at that week’s sales flyers to find ingredients that are on sale. Find recipes that include those ingredients (you don’t have to use everything in your stockpile, but it is a great starting point for new ideas and delicious recipes!) You will want to pick at least 3 recipes. If you need recipes, do a search online for freezer cooking recipes (there are millions!).
- Make a list of ALL the ingredients you need and check your pantry and freezer for the correct TOTAL quantities. Often I use multiple recipes that call for chopped chicken, so I put Chopped Chicken on my list and then put a slash for each cup (/ / / / = 4 cups)
- Now that you know exactly what you need and what you have, you can make your shopping list (don’t forget to write the quantity you need to buy!)
- Make a prep list. Example: Shred 1 block of cheddar cheese, cook and chop 8 chicken breasts, brown hamburger, etc.
- Lastly I make a final list of what order things need to be done, some people keep it in their heads. (I’m a list maker kind of person I guess!) Keep in mind what pans and bowls you will need to use, so you don’t get stuck needing the same pan/bowl for 2 things at the same time.
Chicken Pot Pie
1 Can Cream of Chicken Soup
½ Cup milk
1 – 1 ½ Cups Chopped Chicken
1 Refrigerated Pie Crust (You need a top and bottom, but the box should have 2)
½ – 1 Cup Frozen Veggies (Any kind you like)
Let the Pie Crust warm up to room temp. Meanwhile, line your Pie Dish with foil (so it can be easily removed once frozen, and you’ll have use of your pie dish!) Make sure to leave excess on both sides so it will cover the top as well!
Unroll the pie crust and line the bottom of the foil lined pie dish. Use a fork and poke a few holes in the bottom crust, so it won’t be soggy!
In a medium bowl mix ½ Cup milk, and the can of Cream of Chicken soup until well blended.
Add Chicken and Frozen Veggies and mix well.
Pour mixture into the crust lined dish.
Unroll remaining crust, and place on top. Crimp edges and cut vents in the center of the crust.
Cover with the excess foil from the edges and place in freezer, and label!!! (In a few hours you should be able to remove the pie from the dish, so you can use it for other things until you want to bake your pot pie. Cover with additional foil if needed )
To Thaw: Place foil covered pie into pie dish and let thaw to room temp.
To Cook: Heat oven to 350*, bake for 35-45 minutes (until crust looks cooked through) Make sure prior to cooking you have taken the foil off the top of the pie, trim foil if needed.
2 Cans Refried Beans
4 Cups Cooked Chopped Chicken (I like to add more sometimes)
½ Cup Salsa
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
16-20 Soft Tortilla Wraps
In a large bowl mix the Refried Beans, Chicken and Salsa.
Fill each Tortilla with a few spoonfuls of the mixture and sprinkle in some Shredded Cheddar Cheese. Begin to roll the Tortilla making sure to tuck in both ends before completely rolling into a burrito shape.
Place rolled wraps into a freezer bag, stacking neatly. Freeze on a flat surface. (Don’t worry about splitting these into portion sizes, they don’t stick when they freeze)
To Cook: Place wraps on cookie sheet (seam down so it doesn‘t unroll) , bake at 350* for 35 min. (You don’t need to thaw)
These are super filling! They certainly don’t look it, but even my husband can’t finish 2! So beware when heating up, so there isn’t a waste!
written by: Ashley
Image courtesy of Stock Images / FreeDigitalPhotos.net