15 Trim Healthy Mama Freezer Meals in 90 Minutes
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My freezer was empty, and my lovely readers have asked for more freezer cooking sessions (love you guys, but it took me awhile because this is not my favorite thing to do), so I made 15 freezer meals in 90 minutes. We are LOVING the recipes from the new THM cookbook, so this freezer cooking session is a little different, because I didn't include any recipes. Instead, I gave you the cookbook page numbers AND directions to make 15 meals to freeze in 90 minutes. I included a printable Freezer Inventory Sheet, a blank Freezer Inventory Sheet, my Cooking Directions, and a Printable Shopping List – all for FREE and downloadable below. The reason that I was able to do these so quickly is that it's just 5 recipes, tripled, and for several of them the most time-consuming part is measuring out the ingredients three times into three separate bags. I was moving quickly, but not rushing, so while I have to post the disclaimer that I can't guarantee you'll do these in 90 minutes, know that it's doable! I love that I got so much done in such a short amount of time! These 15 Trim Healthy Mama freezer meals took me 90 minutes, and during those 90 minutes I also:
- calmed a cranky baby
- stopped my son from gluing things to the dog
- unloaded half of the dishwasher (I only did half because I remembered that I was timing myself for this blog post, so I had to jump back into cooking action)
- listened to a dramatic, irrelevant story from my 3-year-old
If I could make these 15 frozen dinners in 90 minutes, you may be able to do it faster. If you have a smaller family, you could divide each meal into six bags, instead of three, and end up with 30 freezer meals that serve 3-4 instead of 15 freezer meals that serve 6-8.
If you've been visiting Working at Homeschool for awhile, you're probably aware that I find freezer cooking
loathsome distasteful. I am not a fan. I don't have time (or energy, really) to spend all day in the kitchen, while I'm homeschooling 5 kids and working two jobs from home. I greatly admire the women who make freezer cooking a routine part of their lives, and if you are one of those women, I wish I was you and will you please come to my house and cook for me.
Just kidding. Kind of.
Since I'm not a fan of all-day-long cooking sessions, I've had to come up with shorter, more doable freezer cooking options. So far, we've done 24 Freezer Meals, and How to Fill Your Freezer without Spending Hours in the Kitchen.
Now, I've used the new Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook (I'm sorry if you don't have it, but I strongly recommend buying it if you don't! Or you could get it from your library, but you'll probably want to buy it once you see it, anyway). This freezer cooking session is a special treat for my THM readers, but ANYONE can make and enjoy this recipes, as they are all gluten-free and delicious. One of my favorite things about these recipes is that the only “special” ingredient you need is THM Sweet Blend or pure stevia, but you could always use another stevia that you have on hand.
I made them, froze them, and cooked them again to make sure they tasted great and I was very, very pleased with the results. If you really, really want the book, you're in luck, because I'll be giving one away next week, so check back for that!
As I'm getting feedback from this menu, some mamas are doing it faster, and some are doing it slower. The shortest I've heard is 1 hour and 10 minutes, and the longest I've heard is 3 hours. I feel bad that it's taken longer for some people, so I just want to warn you that you may need additional time. You're not really chopping veggies, the time is mostly spent measuring ingredients.
**One way to save some time is to set up the three ziplock freezer bags and measure one spice at a time. For example, if a recipe calls for 1 tsp salt, you would measure 1 tsp of salt into each bag. Then if the recipe called for one can of tomatoes, you would open and dump 1 can of tomatoes into each bag. I pulled out all of my spices and seasonings ahead of time so that they were within easy reach to measure into each bag. **
Download your printables here, and let me know how your cooking session goes! Download
These are the recipes you'll be making:
Wipe Your Mouth BBQ x 3 (page 43)
Lemon Herb Drummies x 3 (page 51)
Slim Sloppy Joes x 3 (page 63)
Cowboy Grub x 3 (page 59)
Crispy Lickin’ Chicken x 3 (page 163)
These page numbers and recipe names are included on the Freezer Inventory printable and the Cooking Directions, too.
Included in your download is a Printable Shopping List, Cooking Notes (please note that these recipes belong to the Trim Healthy Mama Cookbook, so I'm not including anything from their cookbook here. You really do need to have the cookbook, or this won't make sense. But I included notes on how I made these meals, and in what order, to get it all done in 90 minutes or less), and two Freezer Inventory Sheets.
P.S. If you need more help with kitchen prep, my new resource Perpetually Prepped Kitchen: The Simple Method for Meals in Minutes can help you get dinner on the table FAST for those nights that you don't feel like cooking! This method has eliminated the drive thru costs from our budget!Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2015
On your download you make sure to say keep beef and turkey separate. However, item 6. says to stir beef in turkey. Did you mean beef AND turkey?
I am so ridiculous! I’m so sorry! Thank you SO MUCH for pointing that out, Beth! I put a note on the post and changed the download. I can’t thank you enough for catching that! Yes, it should say beef AND turkey.
I already loved your blog but I think I love you even more today! Thank you!!!!
Thanks for the encouragement! I’m so glad you’re finding useful info here!
It’s not quite clear from the directions, but I think the chicken leg quarters are to be divided into 6 4-lb. packages, 3 each for the crispy lickin’ chicken and the lemon dummies?
Thanks. This looks very helpful!
The drummies recipe calls for wings or legs, but the chicken leg quarters are for the Crispy Lickin’ Chicken recipe. The cooking directions explain what to use where and the page numbers referenced five further instructions. I hope that helps!
Okay, I see it now. 24# just sounded like a lot of meat for 3 dinners!
Greetings! This compilation of recipes was my first foray into THM meals. Thank you! I’m trying to help my daughter get started on this plan and it seemed like a good place to start. I didn’t do the Crispy Lickin’ Chicken because we both work and don’t have that kind of time to concentrate on such a long time to cook. Maybe we will try it on a vacation day! One glitch I think I see (I re-read the recipes to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, but I AM a bit ADD, so who knows). The Herb Drummies recipe calls for the juice of 2-3 lemons, but that wasn’t on the ingredient list. I hope lime juice will work, too, because that’s what I had to end with. 🙂
Thank you so much, Jan! I actually made this with lime juice, too, because I forgot the lemons when I went shopping…but then I forgot to add them to the list! I’m so sorry! Thank you for letting me know. It’s all corrected now, and I’m really sorry for the inconvenience!
Hey, no worries! I actually threw this in the crock pot this morning and devoured it after a long day at school and this evening teaching a grad class. So nice to come home to and it was delish!
can you give me a ball park estimate on how much this would cost? I won’t hold it against you if my bill
Comes out more…I don’t have 6 of the items on the staple list. Just curious as I’m working on our budget today. Thanks!
I did not track it this time, like I did with my $7 dinners. I’m really sorry that I didn’t, but I will definitely keep my receipts for the next freezer session which will go up next month.
Thank you SOOOO much!! I rely so heavily on freezer cooking and OAMC. I just started THM and was frantically searching for a freezer cooking plan. I’m doing this tomorrow with my husband so it should go quickly. Can’t wait to see your next list!
Thanks! I put a note in the post that mentioned that some other people’s cooking sessions are going faster than mine, and some are going slower. I really have no idea what’s making the difference, but I hope it goes well for you! These meals have tasted great even after being frozen. The next freezer cooking session I’m working on went a little faster than this one. I hope to have it up soon!
Thank you! I’ve never “freezer cooked”, but I’ve got to do something to keep us out of the drive thru! I’ve got the cookbook, and can’t wait to try this! Thanks for a simple, direct looking plan. 🙂
Please do more of these!!! This was a fantastic help for me as a working mom of 4 to have a freezer cooking session all planned out…thank you!!!!
That’s so awesome to hear, thanks! I’m actually doing another cooking session in a few days, so hopefully it will work (lol) and then I’ll have it posted this month for sure!
I do alot of batch and freezer cooking — so I am looking forward to putting this together today.
Thank you for compiling all of the info in one spot. I know it is a big investment of time and effort!
One tip I would share for those who might be interested — when I batch cook ground beef or ground turkey, I cook it in the crock for a couple of hours. It is one big clump when it cooks, but it is easy to break up with a potato masher (metal will scratch your crock, so use plastic or put the meat into a bowl to break it up). I easily cook 5-6 lbs of ground meat in each crock this way every month. I find it easier since I don’t have to constantly watch it or cook it in batches.
Thanks for sharing! That is a great idea! 🙂
I love your meal planning and freezer cooking help! So helpful for another busy mama. I am sorry if I’ve missed this somewhere, but am a little confused about what to do on cooking day. Do we have to defrost or can we cook straight from the freezer in the crockpot?
I realize my question might have been confusing…I meant on the day we are going to eat the frozen dinner. Do we defrost and then cook in crockpot or cook straight from frozen?
I didn’t want to copy the THM Cookbook, but when you turn to those pages as instructed in the freezer cooking session the cookbook can tell you if you need to thaw or not. I tried it both ways with each recipe, and they were all great either way. The only exception is the crispy chicken – that has to be cooked from frozen, I believe. (Or maybe it doesn’t, but I just did it the way the book suggests and didn’t experiment!)
Duh!!! Thank you and I am sorry for not looking in the book first! You are so kind to all us mamas with your hard work on your website!
Oh no, thanks for pointing it out! I didn’t make it obvious enough. 🙂
I must be really slow because this took me over 3 hours! I appreciate the grocery list, but I am wondering how you got so many drumsticks and chicken leg pieces to fit into one ziplock bag. I have double the amount that I needed, apparently, unless I use more than one bag for the chicken only.
I’m sorry, Jenae, I’m not sure if I used smaller chicken leg pieces. Did you read the notes? I did explain that some people reported that they did it in just over an hour, and others took up to three. I’m sorry it took so long for you!
No worries! I appreciate all of the work you went to to create the shopping list and instructions! 🙂 I am just slow!
I’ve had this blog saved for awhile and just finally got myself in a place to get started. Am very excited to try this! I went shopping yesterday and started once the little ones were in bed. After 6 hours I had only completed half the meals because I had to keep re-reading the instructions and tending to a nursling who didn’t want to sleep. I wasn’t sure what recipe the ground turkey was for, as the recipe for Cowboy Grub didn’t have turkey listed and your instructions said to just dump everything in without sauteing. I assumed the cooked turkey was for that meal? Also, for the Crispy Lickin’ Chicken, the recipe calls for sprinkling the creole seasoning on the frozen chicken before baking. Are you combining the Creole with the other seasonings and putting them all on at once in the beginning, or are you combining everything EXCEPT the Creole and just shaking it on from the jar without including the Creole in the freezer pack? Thanks!!!
Thanks for your feedback! I’m sorry you were disappointed and that it took so long for you. Yes, the ground turkey is for the Cowboy Grub. I’m sorry, but I’m pretty limited in the information I can use from the THM cookbook without infringing on their copyright, but it is the only recipe that the ground turkey can fit in. The chicken will turn out either way with the Creole seasoning. I’ve tried adding it before, and after, and the results have been the same.
Thank you so much for this! It was exactly what I was looking for. I was needing someone to do this for me once so I could see how it went. It was so overwhelming to try to do it on my own. I learned a few things. One, pay closer attention to the quantity of meat called for in the recipes. I was laughing trying to add a million drumsticks to the lemon drummies. I finally made three more bags with my quantity of chicken and my family of 5 will be doing good to eat those 11 drumsticks in one meal. Another thing was that I needed a LOT of spices. I’m so glad I bought full bottles of most of them and I ran out of onion powder and had to improvise. But I tasted the BBQ sauce and it was amazing, so I trust that they were all needed. Although for my little ones, I omited most of the cayenne and some of the chili powder. I ended up wih extra rice too, which I will bag in 3/4 cup bags for lunches. And my daughter didn’t add the tomato paste to the cart like I asked her to, so I used more sauce instead. Bummer. Anyway, thanks again. I feel so good having that behind me. Hopefully the eating will be just as wonderful! Oh, and it took me a little less than 3 hours. I’m a very slow recipe reader/spice adder. 🙂
I keep trying to click on download and it won’t download. 🙁
I’m sorry Heather! I just tested it, and it’s working fine for me on a computer I’ve never downloaded it on before. Are you clicking hte blue download button?
I love this idea, but I live alone. Is there some way to cut everything down into sizable portions for two?
Hi Mary! I know of one other person who cut down the recipes and gave me feedback, and she said the smallest amounts she could do was to cut each recipe and ingredients in 1/2, then freeze in smaller portions. I haven’t tried it myself so I can’t guarantee the results, though. I hope that helps!
I’ve done freezer recipes that I’ve cut in half — well, made the whole recipe, then froze in two or three quart size bags. I also got a smaller crock pot to cook the meals in as it seemed they dried out in the large crock pot. I just cook for two and we aren’t good at eating leftovers, so it works better to freeze in smaller amounts — the bonus is that you end up with twice or three times as many meals!
Thank you so much for this!
Thanks for taking the time to comment, Becky!
I spent about 4 hours putting this together today. I could trim some time off by using lemon juice vs squeezing 9 lemons. I am new to THM and have never done any of these recipes. This could be why I was slow. I did do everything suggested (Thanks Jen) on the guide and the shopping/menu list were invaluable! Now I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. My husband is excited too!
Hi Dee! I’m glad it was useful for you! I’m sorry if it took a little longer; I tried to explain in the post that some people did it faster and it took a little longer for some. Thanks for trying it out! I hope you like them!
Thanks so much for this! My mom and I worked together and had a blast! Definitely helpful to have an extra pair of hands!
1) I couldn’t find chicken quarters at Kroger or walmart! We used bone in skin on thighs.
. Hoping for the best.
2) I cooked a two pound bag of rice (the shopping list called for 2.5 lbs.) And ended up with a ton left over. Did I miss something? I only used rice in the cowboy grub.
This was my first foray into freezer prep and you made it so ready and doable!!! Thank you
Sarah, that’s so great! Thank you so much for the feedback! I make a ton of rice and freeze the leftovers in single serve portions (3/4 of a cup) to eat for the next several months. It helps so much and thaws pretty quickly. I’m so sorry about the chicken quarters! I often see them at Kroger but you never know what will be available.
WOW! I can see all the work and time you put in to making this as painless as possible for us. I really appreciate that, Jen, you are a star!! Thanks for all that you do to help us!
I love this idea and would love to try it. Do you have one that is nightshade/tomato free? I am allergic to tomatoes/nightshades and so many recipes have them. If you don’t have one, would you be willing to come up with one? I know THM has recipes without tomatoes, and it would be great to be able to make and fill my freezer with meals I can safely eat. There must be other TRim Healthy Mamas in my shoes. Nightshades (tomato, potato, peppers, orca, eggplant) cause problems for most people with Celiac Disease.
Thanks you and I hope you will consider it. Blessings, Kathleen
Hey there! This is soooo nice of you to put together. Honestly SO appreciated! Am I correct that I should be buying a total of 44lbs of chicken legs / quarters? I see 20lb wings or drummies and then 24lb leg quarters in the shopping list. I am sorry if you answered that sort of up above, but I still can’t quite figure it out. THANKS!!!