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Fill your freezer without a major cooking session! Healthy THM Freezer Meals

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Fill your freezer without OAMC

What if I told you that you could be like one of those once a month cooking super moms and have a freezer full of dinners without the major once a month cooking spree?

What if I told you that it’s easier than you think?

Here’s the deal: I love the concept of freezer cooking. How often are we super busy, or just don’t feel like cooking, and need a quick meal? I love the idea of pulling a frozen dinner out of my freezer and feeding my family something healthy with minimal effort.

The problem is, I don’t have a whole day to devote to freezer cooking. I don’t even think I could manage a half day with all of these kiddos, work, and homeschool. Not to mention the shopping, prep, and calculations.

So here’s my secret (feel free to “duh” me if you already do this): I make three dinners at once. I’ve mentioned this briefly before, but the simplest and easiest way for me to fill my freezer is to make three dinners at night instead of one.

For example, last week I noticed that my freezer was getting empty, and I knew that we had a slow week planned (well…slower). So every dinner I made last week was made in triple portions. We ate one, and froze the other two. By Saturday night I had fourteen meals in my freezer. At the end of this week, I’ll have 28 total…not to mention the extra sides I’ve made (quinoa and brown rice). Plus, I always batch cook chicken breasts and thighs at the beginning of the week to use for lunches, so it’s pretty easy to find something to eat when we are in a hurry!

Cooking this way saves so much time and energy. It may take an extra five minutes (if, for example, you’re grating cheese or use extra dishes), but on most nights it takes no time at all to throw the other two portions in a freezable bag or dish and put them in the freezer.

I'm alllllll about saving time in the kitchen (my new book, Perpetually Prepped Kitchen, explains my simple method of making meals in minutes!), which is why I rely on as many shortcuts as possible to get the job done!

Here’s what I made:

Sunday:   Mexican chicken thighs (S) I mixed up a triple batch of the marinade and froze two of the portions in gallon-sized freezer bags.

Monday: Chicken Enchilada Casserole (S)

Tuesday: Pizza Casserole from Trim Healthy Mama (plus made extra pizza sauce and froze) (S)

Wednesday: Tacos with homemade taco seasoning (I made four pounds of ground beef and portioned some for tacos, and some for spaghetti sauce) (S)

Thursday: Korean Beef – I sub  Just Like Brown Sugar for brown sugar (it seems expensive, but one bag lasts a loooooong time, plus you can use it to make my favorite low-carb chocolate chip cookie!)  and Liqiuid Aminos for soy sauce to taste, if you avoid soy), to serve with salad (not rice for THMs, but I served rice to the kids) (S)

Friday: Chipotle Meatballs (S) & sweetened oopsie rolls for dessert from THM (my favorite way to do this is to follow the directions for oopsie roll eclairs but don’t add the chocolate. I eat them with fresh whipped cream and berries).

Saturday: White Chicken Chili (E) (I add an extra can or two of beans to feed more of us)

It was SO EASY. And when I made rice for the kids, I made a ton extra and froze that, too. I know there are a lot of “S” meals, but I had several “E” lunches this week so I thought it worked. I even froze two batches of the oopsie roll eclairs from Friday, and they’ve tasted just as good frozen and thawed!

Here's a printable Freezer Inventory Printable that I made. It's pretty simple, but it helps me keep a visual of what's in my freezer.

Is there anything you make ahead and freeze? How do you save time in the kitchen?

Linked up at: Weird Unsocialized Homeschoolers, and LivingWellSpendingLess

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28 Comments

  1. How do you store things like the chicken enchilada casserole? Do you have lots of 9×13 dishes or do you use the disposable?

    1. I use disposable. I know some people have strong feelings against aluminum foil, but I use it anyway. I do line mine with parchment paper. I got a giant pack of disposable aluminum dishes at Costco so I use those.

  2. That is so smart! I just need to make sure I put the extra portions in the freezer before serving dinner, because I’m pretty sure my husband can put it all away even if I triple it!

    1. Yes to this! My kids will go back for seconds, thirds, and fourths! I always put the extra dinners away before we eat. 🙂

  3. Great ideas…so simple, but nice to be reminded of how to plan ahead. I CAN do this! 🙂

  4. I keep wanting to do this but never get around to doing it. I figured one of these days I would do it and then I wouldn’t have to think too much about what we’re having for supper each night. One of these days it’ll happen (and I’ll probably do it just like you do as I never have a full day available where I want to cook all day long)

  5. Can someone please tell me what OAMC stands for? All these abbreviations thrown around ‘out there’ are sometimes difficult to figure out what they stand for. Thanks 😉

  6. The chicken enchilada recipe looks great, but it’s a bit vague… just wondering what quantities you use? And what ingredients you put in the enchilada sauce? I’m Australian, and we don’t eat so much Mexican food here 🙂

  7. I always make a triple batch of meatballs but only double other things. Sounds like I need to start tripling more recipes. I don’t use disposable but rather line my casserole dishes with the parchment/aluminum baking foil. It’s pricey but gives a little extra piece of mind. After 12 hrs in the freezer I retrieve my dish and start again.

    1. I’m totally with you on the parchment paper! I just heard that Costco carries parchment paper so I’m thinking of buying a giant roll to line the foil pans with. Great suggestions, thanks!

  8. Do you cook the dishes first and then freeze? Or do you just put together and then freeze?

    1. All of these have worked both ways for me, but I prefer to put together, freeze, then thaw and reheat. There should be more specific instructions at each recipe link though.

  9. Hi what a great idea thank you I’ve been wanting to start THM but didn’t think I could cook every day. Quick question di u buy your THM sugars from the THM site or do you substitute?

    1. I buy the THM Sweeteners – they last a long time – but sometimes shipping is cheaper to buy directly from Amazon instead of THM.

  10. I’m new too trim healthy mama so glad you posted this and still trying understand the s plan the e plan and fp plan ? and search for so many things as I start trying find low carb and healthy foods and sticking it too after found it I was type 2 diabetes and hVe try so many diets and exercise and Wright not coming off I’m hoping get the hang of these plans and thank you for taking time out too share also a mom of a special needs son and trying find meals that work with our busy Shedule of medical care 24 hrs and a homeschool momma ?….such a lifesaver thank you ! Do you have too eat a s plan one week then other next or saying choose each day but don’t crossover I think ? If could help appreciate it it not confusing in cookbook I got try do plan right ? but excited too start!

    1. Hi Michelle! You sound like a very busy lady! I’ve watched Trim Healthy Mama work wonders with blood sugar issues, so I hope it helps you do the same! The best thing about THM is mixing up the fuel types, so you’ll eat E, S, and FP meals in any order you want throughout the day. It keeps your metabolism guessing, and adds lots of variety to your diet!

  11. I have a question about the Enchilada recipe. Do you make your sauce from scratch or use pre-packaged? Also, do you use white or dark meat? The recipe said that white meat might make it too dry so I was wondering if you’d ever tried it that way or which you preferred. Thanks!

  12. We sound like kindred spirits in the kitchen. LOL It saves so much time to make multiples of everything. Getting the ingredients out and measuring, chopping, etc is the most time consuming part of cooking. So I keep rice, chicken taco meat, beef taco meat, individual meatloaves, individual lasagnas, cupcakes, etc in the freezer at all times. I also do the same thing with baking and smoothies. I measure all the dry ingredients for muffins, brownies, etc so all I have to do is pull the mix out of the cupboard and add wet ingredients for a quick treat. Smoothies get measured out in jars in the fridge so I just add the ice and protein powder to blend. Loved seeing your ideas and inspiration!

  13. Jen, I do this too! This is such a life saver, especially on those busy days when I don’t get off work until late. My family is down to 3 of us at home, so I can split one recipe between 2 – 8×8 foil pans. The recipes I use are the Pizza Casserole, Cheeseburger pie, lazy lasagna, Spaghetti Squash casserole, and a super favorite Creamy Garlic Spinach Spaghetti Squash bake. I usually double the recipe so I get 4 dinners each, 1 for now and 3 for later. It fills up the freezer fast.

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