It is hard to believe the school year is right around the corner. Back to school (even preschool!) means busy schedules and less time for grocery shopping and cooking. Take time in August to prepare a freezer stash of ready to go, healthy meals for those busy weeknights. Not sure where to begin? Here are some easy tips:
1. Print out all of your recipes and pick your prep date (you will need a few hours).
2. Label freezer bags and containers you will be using for storage with the recipe name, and additional directions and additional ingredients for when it is time to cook, and the date the meal was made.
3. Make your shopping list. This takes time but be sure to double-check your pantry for items you already have on hand. One tip - If you write down chicken on the list, tally each pound next to the item for each recipe. That way you are sure to get enough for everything you are making. Be sure to account for any recipes you are doubling or tripling.
4. Grocery shop (duh!). Decide if there are items that are better to buy in bulk and shop accordingly.
5. Prep. Make sure you have everything you need and get started! You can prep everything for all meals at once, or go one meal at a time.
6. Bag it up and freeze. It is best to lay zip locks flat so they can stack on one another in the freezer.
Chicken Teriyaki Dump Meal (easy to double/triple)
- 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1 package frozen stir fry veggies or cut up veggies
- 1 onion, diced
- 1/4 cup honey
- ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tbsp. sesame oil
- 1 tbsp. fresh ginger root, grated
Add all the ingredients to a gallon-size freezer bag. Make sure to eliminate any air, seal tight before freezing, and store laying flat.
The night before you plan to cook it, place the bag in the fridge to thaw. Then, on the day of, dump the ingredients in your slow cooker, and cook on low for six hours or until chicken is tender enough to shred with a fork. Remove the chicken, and shred. If you want to thicken the sauce, add a mixture of one tablespoon cornstarch and one-fourth cup water. Return the shredded chicken to the pot, and stir it into the sauce.
Serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or a side salad.
#freezermeals #mealprep #backtoschool