Freezer meals – the only way to survive a busy lifestyle, the low carb way
By now you should know that I enjoy meal prep. To me, a few extra hours in the kitchen saves me time and money when things are a but hectic at home. We haven’t done a proper meal prep (freezer meals) for about 2 months so I had to stock up over the weekend.
With all Little M’s allergies, freezer meals became even more important to us. Having to prepare all her meals for school became just too much and we had to find a new way to ensure she gets healthy, nutritious meals daily. At first we just made meals for her that we can just quickly pop into the oven to defrost, but realized this could also work great for us ….Meal Prep, the way to start.
We have a very busy schedule (probably like 90 % of the rest of the population). We work full time (leave home around 6:30 am and only return home around 17:00 pm), I play club netball twice a week and also recently joined a women fitness class twice a week. Needless to say, cooking every night can be a bit challenging.
Before we changed our lifestyle, we would just buy take-aways and be happy (well, we would also suffer from heartburn, indigestion and bad stomach cramps). For me to stay committed I needed something more organized and controlled. So I decided to make some freezer meals for us – family size. Since then, I haven’t looked back.
We always try to make a variety of freezer meals – so that you can just pick something you feel like. In some cases we would only freeze our vegetables, other times we would freezer a complete meal, it all depends on what is available and the time I have.
We also do not make freezer meals weekly. When I cook in bulk (like when we make potjie/ stew or soup) we will freezer what is left over for later. Every 6 – 8 weeks (or when Little M needs more freezer meals) I will take about 4 hours out of my weekend and do a proper meal prep / freezer meals.
After another great trip to our favourite Farmers Market (….Farmers market), it was time for a big meal prep. We bough plenty of vegetables and some fruit (for little M including – cabbage, baby marrow, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, butternut, gem squash, carrots, cucumber, peppers, mushrooms, strawberries, apples and bananas. In total I made over 50 freezer meals – majority of the meals were for Little M (which is the main reason for doing it), but I also made some family meals.
In summary I made tomato stew, cottage pie, bobotie, chicken with veggies (some with pumpkin, other with zoodles and cauli mash), meatballs, lamb burgers with sweet potato fries, venison with zoodles and cauli mash. I also pre-made some butternut, cauliflower and broccoli and zucchini (baby marrow).
We are now set for the next few weeks when it comes to supper. This is really the only way we can survive and I would rather take the time and ensure our family gets balances and healthy (low carb and allergy free) meals then feeling guilty (and sick) from eating unhealthy high carb meals.
If you never made freezer meals, here is my top 5 tips:
- Start slow – make basic meals or single ingredient items first
- Cook in bulk and freeze the left overs
- No dairy -Say clear of food with cream, it does not defrost well
- Plan ahead – make sure you have enough containers, ingredients, and sufficient time
- Label – this might seems silly, but you will not remember what is in the container if you do not label it accurately.
So please share your favourite freezer meal with us, and lets see how many different meals we can collect.