I have always wanted to create a Pinterest worthy epic 30 day freezer meal masterpiece, but it always felt: a). overwhelming, b). will take way too much effort, c). crazy, and d). frankly, I am just not a casserole and slower cooker type of girl. However, I am in desperate need of a break from the daily dinner battle, and with an insane month ahead of me, I thought there was no better time to overcome my fears and take the plunge.
Although I am not the biggest fan of slow cooker or casserole meals, they do freeze beautifully, which is why they are a freezer meal staple. However, I am still not sold on eating seasoned saucy meat for a month straight. So I tried to find the perfect variety of recipes that don’t feel like freezer food. I wanted them to feel like dinner we would have on a normal night, while of course freezing well, are kid approved, and require minimal effort to take from freezer to table. Prep time was important to me as well, so I wanted to ensure the recipes were easy to make, shared many core ingredients (hello food processor chopping 10 onions for me), and could easily be knocked out in a few hours.
Without further ado, let me introduce you to my #freezer30 for May. No, I am not making 30 different dinners, as most of these dishes will generate leftovers, and of course life is life, and we will probably find ourselves out to eat with friends on a Saturday night at some point, however the weekday meals will be DONE. Also, I have incorporated a fresh ingredient to add to each dish, as I think this is crucial to keep dinner healthy, and take that freezer feel out of it. I plan on prepping the fresh ingredients the Sunday of the upcoming week, as well as a few side dishes, like rice or quinoa, so I can easily add to my freezer meals for the week.
My ultimate goal is for my prep time on Sundays to be 20 minutes or less, and my total time in the kitchen on weekdays to be 10 minutes or less (some cook times will be longer, but the actual time I am spending getting things ready should be less than 10 minutes).
30 Days of Dinner
- Green Chicken Enchiladas
- Fresh Ingredient: avocado & green salad with lime and olive oil
- Chicken Caesar Wraps
- Fresh Ingredient: tortilla, dressing, lettuce, & pre-cooked quinoa
- Cilantro Lime Chicken
- Fresh Ingredient: pre-cooked rice and roasted squash
- Chicken Broccoli Rice Casserole
- Fresh Ingredient: green salad with tomatoes and avocado
- Honey Mustard Chicken
- Fresh Ingredient: pre-cooked quinoa and grilled asparagus
- Tuscan Pasta
- Fresh Ingredient: green salad with tomatoes, onions, and avocado
- Meatball Open Face Sandwiches
- Fresh Ingredient: baguette, cheese, basil, and green salad
- Note: I am planning on freezing the meatballs covered in jarred tomato sauce so it can heat right up in the sauce
- Teriyaki Meatballs and Vegetables
- Fresh Ingredient: pre-cooked rice and pineapple chunks
- Note: Recipe is just for meatballs, I plan on freezing with chopped veggies (just grabbing a few handfuls from the various ones I am chopping for the other meals), and freeze covered in my favorite teriyaki sauce
- Turkey Chili
- Fresh Ingredient: green salad with avocado, cheese, and lime
- Taco Salad
- Fresh Ingredient: green lettuce, avocado, tomatoes, cheese, sour cream, and pinto beans
- Note: My kids won’t eat the “salad,” however they can still eat all the other yummy ingredients
- Fresh Ingredient: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and grilled asparagus
- Baked Ziti
- Fresh Ingredient: green salad with onions, cucumber, and tomatoes
- Fresh Ingredient: toast and berry fruit salad
- Tofu Sesame Salad
- Fresh Ingredient: pre-cooked rice and lettuce, tomato, onion, and mandarins
- Note: My kids won’t eat the “salad,” however they can have sesame tofu with rice and mandarins
- Tomato Soup
- Fresh Ingredient: green salad with cucumbers and onions and a baguette
So there you have it, the first #freezer30! My approach for the prep will not be to make one meal at a time, but instead make one ingredient at a time. For example, 6 of these recipes call for chopped garlic, so I will throw the 12 cloves I need into a food processor, let it work its magic, then set aside in a bowl so I can throw into each dish that calls for it. As for storage, I am going to use both large Ziplock bags, and disposable aluminum trays to help eliminate the weekday dinner clean up.
Thank you so much for joining me! I hope this is a success for us all to forever change the dreaded dinner battle!
P.S. In case anyone noticed, yes, there is a casserole dish on my meal plan. I have nothing against casseroles, they are usually delicious, but the idea of living off of them for a month was a no. However, I needed to throw one in there for good measure 😉
My youngest has tried to take dinner in her own hands, but won’t need to with #freezer30!