1.16.2019

Late-Night Freezer Cooking | 12 Meals | Jennifer L. Scott



After the holidays, I started running low on freezer meals and noticed we were resorting to less-than-healthy dinners out of haste. When this happens, I know it's time to stock up on freezer meals again. In today's late-night cooking session, I make 3 shepherd's pies, 3 chicken and gravy meals, 3 taco soups, and 3 beef tips with mushrooms, making a total of 12 meals.



Today's video is a collaboration with the Queen of freezer meals, Amy Maryon. Amy has a lovey YouTube channel where she shares tips on how she cares for her large family. Her freezer meal videos are so motivational! You can check out Amy's video here. Be sure to check out her video and subscribe if you want cleaning and meal prep motivation. If you visit her, please tell Amy I said, "hello"!

I have posted the recipes for the shepherd's pies and the beef tips before. Please note that I added a lot of extra veggies to today's shepherd's pie, including celery, mushroom, and greens, along with the usual mixed frozen vegetables. I want to empower you to create exactly the type of freezer meal your family needs. If you want to add lots of veggies, definitely do so. Don't worry about making an authentic dish. Customize it to your family's taste.

Without further ado, here are the printable recipes:


Yield: makes 3 large for the freezer

Shepherd's Pie (Cottage Pie)

Make these cottage pies in bulk and freeze them for a later date. You will be so pleased you did! Please customize this to your taste. In the video, I add a lot more vegetables than are listed here. Use what you have.

ingredients:

  • 3 to 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 to 6 lbs ground beef
  • 4  6oz cans tomato paste
  • 3 Tbs bouillon 
  • 3 Tbs flour
  • 3 cups broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 - 6 cups vegetables (frozen or fresh)
  • 6 cups mashed potatoes

instructions:

  1. Cook the chopped onion with a few tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat in a large pot until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Place the ground beef into pot and cook until brown. Drain the fat from the cooked meat and return the meat to the pan. Add the tomato paste and stir. Add the bouillon and flour and stir until incorporated. (You may omit the flour if you prefer... it just thickens up the mixture more.) Add 3 cups of broth and 1 cup of water. Season with salt and pepper, if desired. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes more, but do not allow the mixture to get too dry.
  2. Divide the meat mixture in the bottom of three aluminum foil baking pans (or 6 small pans for smaller portions). On top of that, place a layer of mixed frozen vegetables (or you could use frozen corn, or any combination of chopped fresh vegetable). Finally spread a layer of mashed potato on top. Make the mashed potato the day before so there is not too much work to do the day of assembly. 

  3. To freeze: Cover your pans with aluminum foil and label them with the date and cooking instructions. 

    To bake: Thaw in the refrigerator the night before. Then bake at 350°F for one hour, or until the pie is fully heated through. 

    To bake from frozen: Place frozen pie in the oven at 350°F for 1 hour 30 minutes. Add additional time, if needed, to cook thoroughly. 

    You may sprinkle parmesan cheese on top if you wish. It's nice to place the pie under the broiler for one minute before serving, to make it golden brown.
Created using The Recipes Generator



Yield: makes 3 freezer meals

Chicken with Gravy

ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 to 5 lbs of chicken breasts
  • 3 12 oz jars of chicken gravy
  • 3 cans cream of chicken soup (undiluted)
  • salt and pepper

instructions:

  1. Distribute the chicken into 3 gallon freezer bags (about 1 1/2 lbs per bag)
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken to taste
  3. Add one jar of chicken gravy and one can of cream of chicken soup to each bag. 
  4. Seal the bag and label it. Freeze. Cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours or place in the instant pot for 31 minutes on high pressure. If the gravy is thin, you can thicken it with flour before you finish cooking. Serve with mashed potatoes, noodles, or rice. 
Created using The Recipes Generator







Yield: Makes 3 large meals for the freezer

Taco Soup (Freezer Meal)

ingredients:

  • 2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 5 lbs ground turkey
  •  3 packets of taco seasoning (or 3/4 cup) 
  • 1 16oz can chili beans with liquid
  • 2 15oz cans tomato sauce (or diced tomatoes)
  • 2 16oz cans kidney beans (drained)
  • 1 15oz can corn (drained)
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 4oz cans diced green chili peppers
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cups salsa verde (optional)
  • 4 cups greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc.)
  • 1 cup chopped bell pepper
  • shredded cheese, sour cream, avocado, and tortilla strips for garnish
  • salt and pepper to taste

instructions:

  1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil on medium heat. Cook the onion, and celery until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground turkey, cook until brown. Drain. Add the rest of the ingredients and let simmer for at least 30 to 40 minutes. Let the entire soup cool (this will take a long time). Divide the soup into gallon freezer bags. This could make 3 to 5 meals, depending on how many vegetables you use and how much water and tomato sauce you add. Freeze. When you are ready to reheat, place in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours, or in the Instant pot for 30 minutes on high pressure. Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream, sliced avocado, and tortilla strips. 
Created using The Recipes Generator





Yield: makes 3 freezer meals

Beef Tips (freezer meals)

prep time: cook time: total time:

ingredients:

  • 3 lbs beef stew meat
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 large chopped onion
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • 2 Tbs chopped garlic
  • 1/2  to 3/4 cup brown gravy mix (depending on how much meat and how many mushrooms you use)

instructions:

  1. Mix together all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Divide equally among freezer bags. Depending on how much beef and how many mushrooms you use, this could make 3 to 4 freezer meals. Label your bags and freeze. When it is time to reheat, place in a slow cooker on low for 8 hours or in the instant pot on high pressure for 30 minutes Serve with chopped parsley over rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles. 
Created using The Recipes Generator


I hope you enjoyed today's bonus video. I'll see you on Friday for a new Natural Home with Jennifer!



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7 comments:

DJ said...

Jennifer, you put so much work into this post!!! Thanks!!!

Deborah said...

Jennifer, you need to try chemistry goggles while cutting onions. You'll feel like a mad scientist at first, but no more crying! I love mine!
From Amazon, of course... (I got these to fit over my glasses, but it works better if I just take my glasses off. But you get the idea. Good luck!
Mine are called:
3M Maxim Safety Splash Goggle, Over-the-Glass, Clear Anti-Fog Lens

Unknown said...

Jennifer, I love all your food-related videos! They are so helpful for getting out of a food rut, as you say. I actually tried out HomeChef after your video, and it's been so fun to savor flavors outside of our go-to meals. In this "little kid" phase of life, we rarely go out to eat, so this kind of filled that gap of trying out new, fun foods. Thanks for the tip, and thank you so much for the peeks inside your hard-working kitchen!

The really big question though, is what is the story behind those beautiful earrings in the beginning of the video? They are so elegant, and kudos to you for wearing drop earrings while holding your baby! He must not be in the grabby phase yet ;) My daughter would make mincemeat out of my ears with those! Sigh...someday! Thank you for all your hard work, and have a beautiful weekend with your family.

Ladylike said...

Jennifer,

I made three shepherd's pies yesterday. My family loved it! Thank you for the inspiration!

Warm best,

Alexandra

The Daily Connoisseur said...

DJ- thank you! It was a lot of work. I appreciate your comment!

Deborah- Thank you for the tip. I need to try those!

Kathryn- Wonderful I love Home Chef, we are using them again too. The earrings are Ana Luisa... I reviewed them back in December. Thank you!

Alexandra- wonderful! The shepherd's pies are my favorite. Thank you for letting me know!

Unknown said...

In the video when you make the beef and mushroom recipe, did you add water after you added the gravy mix? Just meal planning and didn't see that detail in the recipe posted. Thanks!

Jiani Latrece said...

How long to the freezer meals last in the freezer before being considered spoiled?