on making life easier with a few quick frozen meal starters

SONY DSCIt feels like it’s been a while since we had a spare moment to just sit down. I know that isn’t actually the case, but I can be forgiven for feeling that way. Between storage customers dropping by with their boats, trailers and cars, gardens that need cleaning out, horse riding lessons and hockey games and practices, there seems to be someone coming or going at all times around here. Last week alone, the small kid spent three days involved in riding lessons or at shows and we were in three different hockey arenas a total of four times last weekend. Life is a revolving door right now.

One thing that I have done for the past several years, right at this time of year is to clean out the last bits of the garden and use everything that I can to make some meals ahead of time. This past weekend I gleaned some carrots, onions, green peppers, chili peppers and zucchini and set about making some similar meals. I thawed several pounds of ground beef and managed to make ten meals, or at least the start of ten meals that will help get quick dinners on the table for rushed nights (like last night – I was informed halfway through dinner preparation that there was another hockey practice – that makes four days in a row spent at hockey arenas).

Using shredded zucchini, diced onion and peppers, finely shredded carrots and the ground beef and adding a few extra ingredients and varying spices, I’ve made chili, meat sauce for pasta and taco filling. We also cut up the rest of the leftover thanksgiving turkey earlier in the week (we tend to cook a large turkey to keep the leftovers) and packaged them in several meal sized portions to use on pizza, or in pasta or curry.

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Hopefully this will help with keeping our future Olympic athletes fed. Now I just need to figure out how to get them to the Olympics.

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19 thoughts on “on making life easier with a few quick frozen meal starters

  1. I love reading your posts–it is like a visit with a good friend

  2. And to think, I’m proud of myself when I brown and freeze and extra pound of hamburger or sausage when I’m cooking! Great ideas.

  3. Does it slow down any during the winter for you?

    • I really hope so. But yes, it usually does, once the storage business is closed up for the winter and there is no more garden or lawn care to worry about. Things generally settle into a routine that works. It’s getting to the settled routine part that is the hardest.

  4. I remember those days of nonstop children’s activities! I wish I’d thought to do make-ahead meal starters like this . . . but it’s never to late to start, right? 🙂 Thank you, Heidi!

  5. Must have been the thing to do recently! I did a bunch of this on Saturday – prepped butternut squash for lasagna and casseroles, canned pasta sauce, did a quadruple batch of hot popper dip with the last of the jalapenos….and roasted some chicken breast for tacos and what not! Future meal prepping is AWESOME! You go girl.

    • I’m trying. I try to make double of other things too, like soups, so that there is always extra for the freezer. It’ll feel good once the stuff from the garden is finally all dealt with. I think we’re close. And if not, we’re supposed to get frost soon, so that will put an abrupt end to it all.

      • haha I hear you! It’s funny how you can’t wait until you get that first tomato or pepper, but come October you are so over picking things that you wish for a killing frost! I just harvested what will be the last of the peppers and eggplant yesterday since we will be getting a killing frost this week. It’s a bit of a bummer though since we have pepper plants full of little peppers not yet ready for harvesting.

  6. You are an amazing MOM! Geesh, if my freezer looked this awesomely organized with these many meal starters I would think I may just be in heaven. Plus it’s all so good for you guys with it being grown by YOU. I’m so impressed you have no idea. Perfect for your busy season. That’s a ton of practice. I think mine may begin to be picking up here soon with soccer and cheer.

  7. HI Heidi. I really need to do something like this for our freezer, while we have kids activities – at this point they aren’t too much, but it is more that energy levels can be really low by dinner time and if there isn’t something easy to prepare then we end up having the same default meal over and over. I need to get organised – but first I have to wait for the veggies to come as they are currently still sitting in little pots in the greenhouse! Cheers Sarah : o )

  8. It always feels good to get the freezer well stocked and even better when it’s with your own ready prepared meals. At least now you can relax into all the comings and goings without the worry of what you are going to have for tea!!

  9. The Borg says:

    oh always a good idea! Your garden is so bountiful! But obviously not for lack of hard work.

  10. So much work but it will pay off on those busy winter days going to and fro the arenas and such… How well I remember…. Diane

  11. Katie says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I try to make a big batch of freezer meals and meal starters every winter, and it’s getting to be that time again!

  12. […] on making life easier with a few quick frozen meal starters … https://lightlycrunchy.wordpress.com/on making life easier with a few quick frozen meal starters. SONY DSC It feels like it's been a while since we had a spare moment to just sit down. I know that isn't actually the case, but I can be forgiven for feeling that way. […]

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