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Old 03-12-2016, 09:40 AM   #1
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College Bound, Need Quick Health Meals I can Freeze

Hi Guys,

So I'm a 36 yr old mom of two. I work full time and have my hands full. But, I'm going back to college! First day of class is Monday. Which leaves me to why I'm posting. I fix dinner around 5 every weekday. I need freezable meals I can either put in the crock pot in the mornings, or take out and cook within 10-20 mins or so. I don't want to spend a lot of the time in the evening cooking since this will be my main time to spend on classes.

Any ideas?

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Old 03-12-2016, 09:48 AM   #2
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We make meals to put in the freezer all time. Stews, pasta sauces and soups lend themselves to your situation quite well. They can go in a sauce pan frozen and be warmed up on low.
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Old 03-12-2016, 09:55 AM   #3
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I cut up and froze some potatoes last week. But when I took them out and baked them they turned black. :( Am I not able to freeze potatoes?
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Old 03-12-2016, 11:00 AM   #4
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College Bound, Need Quick Health Meals I can Freeze

In my experience, raw potatoes don't freeze well, unless they're tator tots, hash browns, or twice-baked.

Pea soup in the CP, chili, soups and stews, chunks of ham all freeze well. Since I always cook more than the two of us can eat, I freeze just about everything left over.
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:29 PM   #5
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If you are short of time and or energy I would go with a pouch of instant mashed potatoes or commercially frozen hash browns.

Meatballs or sausages in sauce can be frozen with good results and thawed to serve over pasta or as hot meatball sandwiches.

Frozen slices of roast beef, turkey, chicken, meatloaf, etc... can be frozen and reheated with a can of gravy for a quick meal.

Try breakfast for dinner. French toast is quick or scrambled eggs with toast.

A bag salad can also make a quick dinner with the addition of a few odds and ends.

If you make the dough and stash it in the refrigerator or buy it you can put together a quick pizza with a few odds and ends from the refrigerator.

Soup and a sandwich. Nothing wrong with a can of Campbell's tomato soup and a grilled cheese or tuna sandwich.

If the kids are old enough and your nerves can take it try assigning each of them to fix dinner one night a week.

Good luck!
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Old 03-12-2016, 12:46 PM   #6
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When I was in school and working with 3 kids, I'd cook a chicken and beef roast with sides of vegetables on the week-end in addition to the week-end meals. A chicken can be made into soup (just add noodles or dumplings), pot pie, enchiladas and sandwiches. A roast can be made into stew/soup/sandwiches/pot pies/stroganoff/etc.

If you make 5 lbs of hamburger into 5 meat loaves, they freeze well. Make some big lasagnas, ham and scalloped potatoes, chicken/ham/swiss casserole.

If you do all the long time cooking on the week-end all at once, and you do it for 2-3 week-ends, you'll have enough frozen meals to have variety every week.

I do this for my husband, so he has 'dinners' to take to work 5-6 nights per week, I rotate about 30 meals for him in the freezer. Each time I make a meal, I make enough for 6 people, we eat 2, then I freeze 4-5 for him. He never eats the same meal in the same week.

To add variety, buy fish sticks and frozen fries, pot pies when they are on sale, meatballs (or make your own), pasta sauces (or make your own), spaghetti and egg noodles.
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Old 03-12-2016, 03:03 PM   #7
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As mentioned, most meals with sauces or made in a slow cooker reheat / freeze well.

If you like rice, think about a rice cooker. Dump in the ingredients, press the start button and ignore. Rice will be done in 20 minutes or so, and the rice cooker automatically switches to keep warm mode when done. Easy enough for one of the kids to do (unless they are really young!). A lot of things can be served over rice, like many slow cooker meals.

I've never frozen mashed potatoes, but leftover mashed potatoes nuke well. Same with leftover quick gravy made with Better Than Bouillon.

Leftover burgers can be nuked. Not as good as hot off the grill, but much better than I expected.
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Old 03-13-2016, 09:35 AM   #8
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Thanks for the suggestions. I have a 14 yr old and a 4 yr old. So my oldest can and does help me cook. But she tends to leave my kitchen a mess.

The only soups we normally eat are potato soup and beans. Since potatoes are not really freezing well I guess that might not freeze well either?

We don't eat a lot of fish since I hate it. The others will eat it but only once in awhile. A rice cooker does sound like thats a good plan. My daughter loves rice with ranch on it. (don't ask. Ranch is on everything for her! lol)

I can definitely do meat balls and meatloaf. :)
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Old 03-13-2016, 10:46 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin View Post
Thanks for the suggestions. I have a 14 yr old and a 4 yr old. So my oldest can and does help me cook. But she tends to leave my kitchen a mess.

The only soups we normally eat are potato soup and beans. Since potatoes are not really freezing well I guess that might not freeze well either?

We don't eat a lot of fish since I hate it. The others will eat it but only once in awhile. A rice cooker does sound like thats a good plan. My daughter loves rice with ranch on it. (don't ask. Ranch is on everything for her! lol)

I can definitely do meat balls and meatloaf. :)
Never had any problems with cooked potatoes in soups, stews or pot pie filling not freezing well.
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Old 03-13-2016, 12:27 PM   #10
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I just came across this list easy pasta dishes. If you cook a large amount of chicken on the weekend, you can make dishes like these and add a side salad to make a complete meal:
http://www.thekitchn.com/5-delicious...or-less-229210

Your 14-year-old can make salads, I'm sure. And she just needs to be reminded to clean as she goes - put away ingredients, wipe up counters, etc. My mom never actually taught me that; a friend from DH's Navy days did.

Tacos are another quick dinner. I serve them with refried beans (add salsa, lime juice and cilantro for more flavor) or Mexican rice - replace 1/2 cup of the water with jarred salsa.

Rachael Ray has a great salsa stoup (thicker than soup but thinner than stew) that makes a lot and freezes well. Add chicken or ground beef to bulk it up: http://www.rachaelray.com/recipes/sa...ed-quesadillas
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