This past weekend I spent a good amount of time freezer cooking. It started Saturday morning when I went grocery shopping for all the ingredients then continued Sunday at around 10:00am. 7 hours later I had a freezer full of healthy meals and was ready to melt into my bed.
Personally, I like to take one or two days a month and prepare foods that we will eat for the next couple weeks or longer. I don’t always get to do this and there are many different ways to freezer cook but this is my preferred method. As you know freezer cooking is the number one strategy I use to put healthy meals on the table. I should also mention that it serves as my sanity saver during the busy work week.
When I have a freezer full of meals my menu planning is completely simplified. All that needs to be done is plug the prepared meals (or meal starters) into the breakfast, lunch, and dinner slots. Since I know what I am eating ahead of time this helps in keeping me aware of my daily caloric intake.
Freezer cooking definitely is more work up front but it is completely worth it when you experience the benefits. You can read all my freezer cooking articles here.
Now let’s talk healthy living and weight loss goals.
I did pretty good last week and lost one pound. My goal was actually 2 pounds but I will take 1. I know that may not seem like a lot but as you know I like to take things slow. Especially with the holidays being here (meaning lots of cookies) I need to cut myself a little slack.
Here are my healthy living and weight loss goals for this week.
- Lose 1 pound
- Keep daily caloric intake between 1400 – 1500.
- Keep coffee limited to 2 cups a day.
- Exercise 3 times. (running on treadmill or dancing with my girls)
- Do 50 sit-ups before bed.
- Do not eat after 7pm
All of the recipes, nutritional information, and freezer instructions are available by clicking on the links below. If a meal does not have a link then that means I do not have it posted yet, but will shortly.
Breakfast sandwich (Here is the basic recipe. I changed it a little by substituting Canadian bacon)
Mushroom, cheddar, and bacon breakfast burritos (new recipe but you can find the sausage and egg breakfast burrito here)
Ham and cheese stromboli (new recipe) **a quick note on this recipe. IT IS AWESOME! This is a great new way to prepare lunches for the week. I can’t wait to share it with you.
Field greens salad with smoked turkey breast and balsamic dressing
PB & J’s
Sides or snacks
½ cup vanilla Greek Chobani Yogurt with ¼ cup homemade granola
100 calorie bags of chips or crackers (I make these myself)
1 ounce of cheese
Hamburgers with roasted potatoes and corn
Spicy beef and black bean chili (new recipe)
Shredded pork enchiladas (new recipe)
White spinach pizza (new recipe)
Grilled chicken with parmesan rice and broccoli
Meatball strombolli (new recipe)
Make Ahead Instructions
It is easy to look at my menu plan and think it is to ambitious and something you would never have time for. Let me just say that the only reason I can offer any of these meals to my family is because every meal is prepared ahead of time in some way, shape, or form.
Tips to Preparing This Weeks Menu Plan Ahead of Time
- Breakfast burritos and sandwiches were made yesterday and put in the freezer. Every morning I just need to take one out and warm it up in the microwave. Pancakes I made after work a couple weeks ago.
- Ham and cheese stromboli I made yesterday, cut into portions, then wrap and put into the fridge for lunches.
- Salads are portioned out into containers for lunches.
- Granola was made yesterday and put into a storage container.
- Chips and crackers were portioned out into bags on Saturday.
- Hamburgers and potatoes were easy to prepare after work so I did not make them ahead of time.
- I put together a chicken parmesan kit for the freezer. Kit includes breaded uncooked chicken breast along with portioned-out sauce and cheese. All three are in separate bags. When ready I just need to bake chicken breasts half way add sauce and cheese then bake till cooked through. While that is baking I will cook pasta.
- Shredded pork was cooked in the crock pot yesterday then portioned out. I put together a shredded pork enchilada freezer kit which includes 1 portion of pork, 1 cup of rice, 1 cup taco cheese, and 6 soft burrito shells. All three are in separate bags. Other ingredients are canned black beans and stewed tomatoes. Looking back I could have made the enchilada sauce ahead of time. Mental note for next time.
- I put together a white spinach pizza freezer kit which includes homemade pizza dough, 1 package chopped frozen spinach, and 1 cup mozzarella cheese. I still need to cook and drain the spinach but other than that it should be easy to throw this together.
- Chicken is frozen in marinade ahead of time. I have read that you can put chicken on the grill frozen but I prefer to thaw before putting on the grill. This means I need to remember to take it out of the freezer the day before.
- All the rice used in my recipes this week is made ahead of time and frozen. This is so easy to do using a rice cooker.
- Meatballs are made ahead of time and frozen in sauce. Bread has not been made yet but I will throw that in the bread machine mid week after work.
Hope my menu plan and make ahead instructions are informational and useful.
What is on your menu plan? How do you prepare ahead of time? Please feel free to share links.