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Freezer meal cooking/Labor Day weekend

I am a pretty organized person. I am also a teacher. When the beginning of the school year comes, things tend to get a bit hectic. Usually the first priority to be repositioned is our healthy eating, in favor for something fast and easy. There is no place, that I have found, that you can get something fast and easy, that tastes good, and is good for you. Until now. I have spent the last couple of weeks researching, organizing and planning a marathon cooking session, in which I will make enough freezer meals, and snacks ahead of time, that I will be prepared for the month, and that I will be prepared for those inevitable, “I don’t feel like making anything tonight” days. So here was my plan: Find 5-10 easily frozen recipes. Plan the menu and from their the shopping list. Do all the shopping at Costco and Kroger, trying to get the best deals. Prep everything – chop onions, garlic, peppers, get ready pans, pots, etc. Cook!

Here are the recipes I found that I liked.

Southwestern Quinoa Bake (my own recipe)

Lasagna Roll-Ups – I used her concept, but my own recipe

Tater Tot Casserole – I added some seasoning, more on that later

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Chicken Enchiladas (my own recipe)

Cajun Bell Pepper Bake (my own recipe)

Chicken Empanadas – I used Alton Brown’s Pocket Pie Recipe for the crust and method

Spinach and Cheese Empanadas – again, I used AB’s recipe for the crust.

Then I made my menu for the month. Here is a PDF of it, if you are curious: September Meal Plan. I allowed for some nights to go out to eat (FFYS) since my husband really likes to do that. I will still cook some things during the week, but not every night.

I also wanted to have some sort of a weekend this labor day, so I spread the work out over a couple of days. Saturday, I wrote the menu, and created a grocery list of everything I would need. Sunday, my mom and I went shopping, first to Costco, then to Kroger (our local grocery store). I prepped everything after that. Chopped onions until my husband and I were both crying, chopped 7 bell peppers, cooked chicken, cooked a pot of our family’s marinara sauce, made the lasagna roll-ups, and the Southwestern Quinoa Bake. I quadrupled the SWQB, because my family and I did a meal exchange, and that was my contribution. Today I finished the rest of the recipes, and got them in the freezer. I took a few pictures of the recipes that I finished.

SW Quinoa Bake

Lasagna Roll-Ups

Tater Tot Casserole

Quinoa Pizza Bites

Spinach Empanadas

Then there was a surprise – I had extra chicken empanada filling, so I made some taquitos! Fun times 🙂

Surprise! I had some leftover chicken filling and made some Taquitos!All together, I spent about $200 to make all these meals. I now have enough meals to get me through September, and my menu planning, grocery shopping, and cooking are no longer stressful! I am very excited about this month!