Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Meal Planning Recipes and Tips

Are you ready for a fresh new start to the year?  Meal planning and preparation can help you achieve many healthy eating or healthy living goals that you may have set.  I love to make large batches of freezer meals to include in our meal planning.  Most often I use our crockpot to cook easy weekday dinners in.  Be sure to follow along on Instagram or Facebook for real-time recipes, inspiration and tips!

Freezer Meals

I start by determining what ingredients I might already have at home and that I want to use up.  For example, I knew that we had about 10 pounds of ground beef in the freezer so I planned around that.  Then I cooked all of the meat the night before and stored it in the fridge so that it would be ready the next day.  I like to drain the hamburger meat and rinse it as well to reduce the fat content.

Then I select which recipes that I want to make, create a shopping list and purchase groceries.  Next I chop up ALL of the vegetables that I will need for all of the recipes.  I try to choose recipes with similar ingredients so that I don’t have a ton of different bowls and vegetables to chop.  This often takes the most time for me.  A food processor is my next investment for sure!

Freezer Meals-002

For quick clean up in the kitchen I simply tuck a garbage bag around a drawer to act as a catch all.

Freezer Meals-003Freezer Meals-007

When I am making recipes I love to know what each ingredient looks like.  So here is our selection of goods from the pantry ready to be added to each meal.

Freezer Meals-010

For freezer meals that can be baked in the oven I use these large tin casserole pans found at the dollar store.

Sausage Pesto Pasta Bake

Baked sausage pesto pasta and lasagna get built right in the pan with all of the ingredients including pasta and cheese.

Sausage Pesto Pasta Bake

Then I wrap them in tin foil and label each meal before storing it in the freezer.  Each of our freezer meals is eaten within 30 days of preparing.  Now for a few of our crockpot freezer meal recipes!  This Sausage Pesto Bake is the same as the recipe listed below only I cooked and added the pasta to our casserole before freezing whereas for the crockpot recipe, I add the pasta at the end.  Oh!  And be sure to check out our other Crockpot Freezer Meals!

Crockpot Lasagna

Crockpot Lasagna
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • 1½ lbs ground beef, browned and drained
  • 8 lasagna noodles, broken into pieces
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5½oz can tomato paste
  • 1 jar pasta sauce
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • ½ cup green pepper, diced
  • 1 cup cottage cheese
  • 2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. Parsley
  • ½ tsp. oregano
  • ¼ tsp. garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp. basil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a crockpot.
  2. Stir at the half way point to ensure that all of the noodles are covered in sauce.
  3. Cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.

 

Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken

Crockpot Coconut Curry Chicken
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 1-2 Tbsp of red curry paste
  • 1 Tbsp fish sauce
  • 1 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup red peper, diced
  • 1 cup zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, quartered
  • ½ cup carrots and celery, diced
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a crockpot.
  2. Cook 8 hours on low or 6 hours on medium.
  3. Serve over rice {optional}.

 

Crockpot Sausage Pesto Pasta

Crockpot Sausage Pesto Pasta
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • 250g pkg ground sausage, cooked
  • 10 oz container of pesto
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 16 oz pkg pasta, cooked
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients {except pasta} into a crockpot.
  2. Cook 6 hours on low.
  3. Serve over pasta.

 

Crockpot Taco Meat

This taco meat is great because it can be used as a starter for a variety of meals!  Keep it as is for Taco Night with the family, add pasta sauce for easy spaghetti or check out the delicious chili recipe below!

Taco Meat
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ground beef, browned and drained
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, diced
  • 1 cup carrots and celery, diced
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning mix
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a crockpot.
  2. Cook 4 hours on low.

 
Crockpot Chili
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Slow Cooker
Serves: 6-8 servings
Ingredients
  • Crockpot Taco Meat Recipe
  • 14 oz can chick peas
  • 14 oz can beans in tomato sauce
  • 10 oz can tomato soup
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 pkg chili spice
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients into a crockpot.
  2. Cook 8 hours on low.

 

Do you have a favorite freezer meal recipe?  Please share!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Like it? Share it!
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Become a subscriber

Enter your email address below and you will receive all my new posts directly in your email inbox.

16 Comments

Trackbacks

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *