So far, my September goal of maintaining a short freezer cooking session once a week has gone great! Flowing with the current season of life, this plan is working well — it’s much more energizing than anticipating an all day cooking time. Yes!
But, the plan for posting progress? Not so great.
Thus, this double whammy issue of freezer cooking express from the last two weeks.
I plan breakfasts and lunches for the month, and dinners week by week. For the first two meals, each weekday is assigned a meal and we stick to this all four weeks before changing it up. So for example, baked oatmeal is eaten on Tuesdays, muffins and smoothies on Wednesdays, etc.
Truth be told, September has been shaky — the ‘schedule’ hasn’t been followed much. Overall though, this idea has worked well for years and right now, I’m sticking with it.
Dinner planning weekly isn’t a stress usually, as I found by attempting once-a-month cooking in the past. A helpful system, just really not for me! Freezer cooking includes a variety of foods for breakfasts and dinners, and two weeks ago my tally came out fairly well.
Here’s what made it into the freezer in an hour’s time:
- 3 meals of baked oatmeal
- 3 quart bags of trail mix – a combo of mini animal crackers, nuts, seeds and dried fruits
- 3 dinners of chicken fajitas – I’d like to make my own fajita mix, but this time added Penzey’s fajitas seasoning, olive oil, lemon juice and a little water to the chicken
- 1 quart bag of cooked ground turkey – used to throw into spaghetti
Last week was productive as well and in honor of fall’s official entrance, I added soup to the list of potential meals to freeze.
An hour in the kitchen left me with:
As for a handy kitchen tool, I found my strong poultry scissors helpful when cutting up meat into strips or chunks. Much faster than a knife!
Overall, two great weeks of progress in the kitchen!
Black Bean Chili
- 1 pound boneless pork tenderloin, cubed
- 16 ounce bottle of salsa, mild or hot
- 45 oz canned black beans, rinsed & drained
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 green pepper, chopped
- 1 sweet onion, chopped
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 2 tsp. chili powder (or to taste)
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
Place tenderloin in the crockpot and add remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 8 hrs or on high for 4-5 hours. If freezing, place meat in bag, mix up remaining ingredients in a small bowl and pour over the tenderloin. Seal and freeze. When ready to cook, thaw in refrigerator the night before and place in crockpot to cook. Serves about 4-6.
Can also be made meatless, but add an additional cup of broth or water.
Serve with sour cream on top and warm tortillas.