It sounds amazing, doesn’t it? To cook one day and eat for a month and save money in the process? So many moms on Pinterest do it like it’s no big deal. For some reason, though, the idea of making a bunch of meals and freezing them for the week or month has always seemed intimidating to me. Thankfully, this month’s Recipe Redux theme is freezer meals, so I had some motivation to overcome my fear of cooking in bulk. I did my research and have compiled some tips for other beginners (like me) right here:
Things you’ll need:
- Freezer bags or freezer safe plastic containers
- Measuring cups and spoons
- 6 quart crockpot (but not for today’s recipe)
- Freezer space
- Large mixing bowls
- Permanent marker
Honestly, that’s about as far as I got in my research before realizing I can totally handle this and so can you! So let’s get right to it. My very first freezer meal is a seasoned turkey burrito bowl. I chose this recipe because you can easily freeze each component separately to use in other dishes if you get tired of eating burrito bowls. I was also inspired by the cooking philosphy in the cookbook “Well Fed,” in which Melissa Joulwan does all the chopping of vegetables and cooking of meats on Sundays like a CrossFit workout for time and then assembles the prepped ingredients on weeknights to finish off her meals in just a few minutes. Thinking of meal prep as a timed workout helps to make the process more efficient! By the way, if you’re cool with eating the same thing every night, you could store this meal in the fridge instead of the freezer and enjoy dinner for one 5 nights in a row.
-20 oz lean ground turkey
-2 tablespoons taco seasoning
-1 cup brown rice
-1 tablespoon olive oil
-1 large onion, sliced
-1 green bell pepper, sliced
-1 red bell pepper, sliced
-1 can black or pinto beans, drained and rinsed
-For serving: shredded lettuce, salsa, avocado, shredded cheese, and/or sour cream
1. Brown the ground turkey in a 10″ skillet, breaking it into crumbles until no longer pink inside. Add taco seasoning and stir to thoroughly coat the turkey. Set the meat aside to cool.
2. Cook the brown rice on the stovetop or in a rice cooker by combining 2 and a half cups of water with the cup of rice, bringing to a boil, and reducing to a simmer until all liquid is absorbed (30-45 minutes).
3. Heat the olive oil in a 10″ skillet over medium high heat. Once hot, sauté the vegetables until they begin to soften and caramelize, abot 5 minutes.
4. Divide the ground turkey, cooked brown rice, sautéed vegetables, and black beans among 5 sandwich sized zipper bags or pint sized plastic freezer containers. Freeze until ready to serve.
5. When ready to eat, transfer the contents of the freezer bag or container to a microwave safe dish and defrost according to microwave instructions. Alternatively, you can thaw the contents of the freezer bag/ container in the fridge during the day and zap for a minute or two on high power when ready to eat.
6. Top with shredded lettuce, salsa, avocado, shredded cheese, and/ or sour cream and serve!
That really wasn’t so bad! I don’t have much freezer space, but I’m excited to try some more freezer meals for a family of two. Pre-prepped meals will definitely be useful over the next few months while I’m studying for the MCAT and have no time to cook!