Nesting: What's In My Freezer

>> Tuesday, September 18, 2018

My in-laws were up visitng over the weekend. While I hadn't planned on it at all, I woke up Saturday morning with this INTENSE NEED to make all the freezer meals I could -- as quickly as possible. I don't really like freezer meals, truth be told. But I have had good success in the past with the dump -- raw ingredients -- freezer meals method. So you basically chop everything, put it in a bag, but you don't pre-cook. Then you freeze and thaw it out the night before you dump it into the crock pot.

I learned this method years ago from New Leaf Wellness. They have a great post with 31 vegetarian meals you can make this way. I didn't use any of those recipes -- I mostly stuck to those tried-and-true meals that we know we like. It's too risky for me to branch out and make unfamiliar fare. Anyway, the dump method is legit. I feel like it makes everything taste fresher. It's also wicked fast.

Rather than getting long-winded, I thought I would just share with you everything I was able to cram into my freezer this weekend. As far as cost, it's tricky because I had some of these ingredients on hand. I can tell you that I spent $65 at the grocery store getting produce, more beans, and some random ingredients. But I made 12 meals (some will have lunch leftovers), several batches of cookies, and a bunch of other items, like freezer waffles.


Tikka Masala with Chickpeas, sweet potatoes, peas, etc. x 2

Note: For this recipe, I just chopped an onion and two sweet potatoes, then I added a can of drained chickpeas and a heaping cup of frozen peas. I plan to just use Aldi Tikka Masala sauce when it comes time to cook.

Irish Italian Spaghetti Sauce x 2

Note: This is a family recipe. It's a can of tomato soup, can of cream of mushroom soup, onion, some Italian spices, and traditionally some ground beef. I used Aldi "meat"balls instead. You just simmer and reduce and then use it to top spaghetti.

Note: I added a heaping helping of ginger to this mix.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies x 2

Note: this is a variation of the Pecan Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe above. If you're interested, I could post it. I mostly just replaced all sugar with brown sugar and did half Earth Balance, half Peanut Butter for the "butter". The rest is the same, minus pecans.

Bag of mixed veggies (kale, cauliflower, celery) to add to smoothies

Gigantic bag of frozen bananas 

36 Padsicles for the lady bits


// My favorite storage device for an activity like this is the humble gallon freezer bag. I know they're not low waste, but they stack flat and I don't have to worry about glass breaking (I've never had an issue with it -- but it's always a possibility. I also think it's easier to thaw things that have frozen flat).

// I like to turn the top of the bag (the zipper) inside out so it stands up straight while I toss everything in the bag.

// I made two of each meal because it was easier to buy ingredients in bulk and then chop them all in an assembly line. Likewise, I found it most easy to make meals with similar ingredients (lots of carrots, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, onions, beans, etc.).

// I left out wet ingredients like vegetable stock or Aldi sauces (here's more #notsponsored posts about my Aldi love). I did put in some wetter ingredients, like tomatoes, in. There wasn't too much method to the madness, but it made sense that way. OH! And while we're on stock/broth. I actually bought a stock concentrate and put in the correct amount of that versus planning to use packaged stock/broth. When I go to make the meal, I'll just add water in the amount of stock needed.

// When you're freezing stuff like waffles, naan, cookie dough, cookies, etc., it's best to freeze them first laying flat on a baking sheet lined with parchment or some other  non-stick layer. Then once they're fully frozen you can transfer to bags.

// Try to get as much air out of the bags as possible to help prevent freezer burn. I do the fancy method of actually sucking the air out myself!

// Some of those recipes above are not crock pot recipes. But they work in the crock pot! Trust me. And several of the soups will require blending afterward. Which is annoying. I'm considering getting an immersion blender.


I don't have a clear plan. Obviously I did a lot of soups and stews already. I'm not a big casserole person. I also really don't love pasta. I know I want to make 100 pieces of homemade naan for sides or pizzas. I'd also like to whip up some Sweet potato + beet veggie burgers (x 4).

Otherwise, I'm also planning to get a few very large bags of assorted frozen fruits for smoothies, several bags of Aldi's "meat"balls, and a few convenience things. If you have suggestions or a recipe that you particularly loved, PLEASE SHARE! Space is getting short, but I'm happy to have done so much on this project in just one weekend.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them either on here (I know my comments app can be weird) or on Instagram.

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