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A Preggo Necessity: Freezer Meal Party!

A few weeks before my due date, I asked some of my girlfriends to come over and help me prep freezer meals.

Whenever I read things online that discussed “things to do before baby arrives,” prepping freezer meals was almost always on there.  These are meals that you put together and freeze in a bag; then when the baby arrives, you can defrost the bag and put all of the contents into a crockpot for a fresh meal.  It sounded like an ideal situation since I had already assumed we’d have little-to-no time to cook fresh meals with a newborn in the house (thankfully, we had a lot of friends come to visit and bring food too!).

My friends and I put together 2 bags of 4 different meals each for a total of 8 meals.  How’d they come out?  Let’s say I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m not a crockpot meal kind of person — at least with all of the recipes that I’ve tried so far.  The chicken comes out too dry, the beef doesn’t come out the texture I want it to, blah blah blah.  They were honestly hard to eat for my husband and me.  Not sure if that makes us spoiled or what.

We tried a few of the meals with the crockpot, and after that we let it go.  Instead, we just defrosted the meals, made any adjustments we felt like to the recipe, and cooked them in a pot/pan.  It was so much more satisfying, AND it still saved us time because all of the nitty gritty parts were already done!  In the end, it was still useful to prep the freezer meals; we just took out the crockpot portion of it.

Here are the ones we tried out.  It’s definitely nice to keep freezer meals handy any time since you never know when you’ll be the most at loss for time!

Balsamic Beef
What we prepped: http://thechicsite.com/2013/07/16/slow-cooker-balsamic-pot-roast/
What we added and did after defrosting:

  • Extra splash of soy sauce
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 4-5 tbsp orange juice
  • Black pepper
  • Sliced onions
  • Sprinkle of salt to taste

After defrosting, I added the soy sauce, lemon juice, orange juice and black pepper then put it back in the refrigerator to marinate for 2 hours.  During that time, I sliced onions and cooked them on a pan with olive oil until they were brown.  Set them aside.  Using the same pan, I took out the beef and cooked them (leaving the marinade in the container the meal defrosted in).  I didn’t add the beef broth at all from the recipe.  Once the beef was cooked, I added the onions and poured a little bit of the marinade in for extra flavor.  Let it simmer for a bit, then eat with some jasmine rice!

Chicken Teriyaki
What we prepped: http://www.thetaylor-house.com/slow-cooker-chicken-teriyaki/2/
What we did after defrosting:

This recipe was pretty much delicious as is.  I took the meat out and cooked them on a pan.  It ended up a little watery, so after they were cooked, I took the meat out of the pan and tossed them in a wok to brown it up a bit.  It was delicious with rice and some steamed veggies (buy a freezer pack of veggies that you can pop in the microwave for a quick fix).
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Red Pepper Chicken
What we prepped: http://newleafwellness.biz/2014/09/22/6-chicken-freezer-crockpot-meals-30-minutes/
What we added and did after defrosting:

  • 1 packet of Ranch seasoning
  • Basil (amount is your preference!)
  • Salt/Pepper to taste

After it defrosted, I added the packet of season, and let it marinate for about 3 hours.  I picked some basil from my patio and added that once I started cooking.  I just tossed this around in a pan.  Add salt and pepper to satisfy your taste preference!  I made pasta and mixed it with some pesto then topped it with the red pepper chicken.  The second time around, I didn’t add extra ingredients.  I just cooked then ate it with spinach salad and dressing of choice 🙂

Orange Ginger Chicken
What we prepped: http://newleafwellness.biz/2014/09/22/6-chicken-freezer-crockpot-meals-30-minutes/
What we added and did after defrosting:

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp soy sauce

I heated the oil and added the garlic.  I then picked out the chicken and cooked it on the pan mixing it with the soy sauce.  If you want more sauce, just stir in more of the marinade while cooking.  That’s it!  Serve with jasmine rice.

If you know you’ll be pressed for time in the future, gather some friends and have a freezer meal prep party!  We got 8 meals done in less than an hour together, and I couldn’t be more thankful.  It was a great way to catch up too!  At this point of my pregnancy, it wasn’t very fun for me to do a lot of work fast so it meant everything to me to have friends help out.  Note the slight pregnancy swelling. Haha!
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