I can’t believe that Amelia Elaine turned two this week! It seems like just yesterday she was born, sigh. You can read her birth story here.
Here’s a Vlog of Amelia’s 2nd Birthday plus a few quick tips on how we save on birthdays in our family.
The other week I shared How I Finally Got Off My Rear End & Started Making Freezer Meals for the Slow Cooker. It was a true now-or-never experience and I’m glad we pushed through and did it. If you remember in the first article I shared how I was attempting to make 25 meals for the slowcooker that would be Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
I feel I need to say again that I’m a freezer meals novice. You’re joining me for my clueless journey that I’m navigating through using Pinterest and my iPhone. 🙂
Watch my video of how my family and I went about our first freezer cooking day. I also share my dinner meal plan and you can see some cute kids in my too-small kitchen.
(Sorry, the video ends kind of abruptly after the monthly meal plan. YouTube is another skill I’m still learning as well. Even though some things are a challenge, I’m a forever optimist! 😉 )
Not all of the recipes below are specifically deemed slow cooker recipes or freezer meals. I took a lot of liberty with these recipes. One of the reasons I’ve waited a few weeks to share these freezer meals with you is so I can honestly share our experience so far. I doubled the recipes below unless otherwise noted.
A huge hit with my family has been Low Carb Lasagna Meatballs. This recipe is for an oven casserole. I simplified it even further. I simply layered precooked meatballs from Costco, cheese, pepperoni, sauce, and a little shake cheese several times in the slowcooker. I had enough to make this recipe three times!
Here’s my slow cooker friendly version of Meatball Lasagna that I shared on Instagram. It’s really fabulous.
Low Carb Mexican Chicken Casserole–we haven’t gotten to this one yet, but it’s waiting for us.
Broccoli, Ham, Mozzarella–this recipe I used for inspiration and didn’t add the eggs at all (although that sounds like a great recipe at some point). Using this recipe as my springboard, I stuffed a gallon bag full of broccoli, chopped ham, and various cheeses. The kids ate it over steamed brown rice. It was perfect without the rice as a Trim Healthy Mama “S meal” for me.
Chicken Parmesan Casserole was another big hit. Again, this particular recipe is for a casserole. I turned it into a chicken dump-style recipe for the slowcooker. I didn’t include the bread crumbs to make it Trim Healthy Mama friendly.
Slow Cooker Pepperoni and Chicken–we haven’t gotten to this one yet, but I don’t see how we can go wrong with it.
Slow Cooker Chicken Fajitas–we haven’t tried my attempt on this one yet, so I can’t say. The Pin looks amazing though.
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole–I have to say that I wanted my adjustment on this recipe to rock. It didn’t though. What I did to it completely stunk. My family members were good sports and still ate it. Mostly.
Slowcooker Beef & Broccoli — OOPS! We lost the lid on this one. 🙂 I also learned on this one that the broccoli really shouldn’t be added until later, or even needs to be cooked entirely separate. Things broccoli-wise went well with the Broccoli, Ham, Mozzarella recipe that I mentioned above because the meat was precooked and didn’t need to sit that long. Another lesson learned.
I had a comical morning attempting to add a *little* pepper to this slow cooker meal, sigh.
Slow Cooker Sausage and Peppers–this worked out very well. We ate it over brown rice. Next time I will cut the sausage beforehand. I ended up cutting it once it was cooked.
Slowcooker Chicken Alfredo – this recipe is from the Trim Healthy Mama book. I tripled this recipe. It’s a favorite!
Honey Mustard Slow Cooker Pork Roast–I wanted to mention this recipe because I was going to use it and got stumped because one of the ingredients is honey. If you’re on THM, honey is a no-no. It still sounded like a great recipe and I had full intentions of tweaking it without the honey. I didn’t though, only because I got to this time later in the evening and was feeling pretty done. 😉 At this point in the game I simply cut my pork loin into 3 separate roasts, threw in some salt/pepper/garlic powder/onion powder/parsley, and called it a night. My quick pork loin roast has been another family-applauded try.
See, I’m winning with most of these!
I pull the freezer meal out of the freezer about 24 hours before for defrosting.
I feel that minus two recipes that didn’t go as planned, we’ve had five freezer meal recipes that have been perfect – plus a few more that we haven’t gotten to yet. It has been a huge blessing to have most of our dinners ready and waiting for the slowcooker. It was certainly worth the one long afternoon/evening we invested into the project as a family.
Liam helping me bag Meatball Lasagna.
A reader mentioned to me that she has wonderful memories of preparing freezer meals with her mom. In fact, she and her mom still get together to prepare freezer meals most months. Her story encouraged me because our freezer meal assembly time was full of family fun, and totally normal real life antics. (oh, and my husband started pulling boys from my assembly line for hair cuts towards the end – multitasking family!)
We have a lot of fun together and we’re looking forward to our next freezer cooking event.
Jadin (after my husband pulled him off the assembly line for a hair cut 😉 ) grating cheese.
The major improvement I’m going to make for next month is better planning. Patting myself on the back, I think I pulled off quite a lot for only having 30 minutes to plan prior to our shopping trip. For my March shopping trip I’m making it a point to take more time going through freezer meal recipes and planning. And all the moms said, amen!
In my slowcooker studies I hope to check out Erin Chase’s Slowcooker Meal Plan. That might make things too easy though, ha, ha!
I also bought my friend Sharla’s Chicken Dump Recipes book to get more ideas. Chicken Dump Recipes doesn’t claim to be a Trim Healthy Mama inspired book. The title had me at “Chicken” and I thought I might be able to tweak some of the recipes. The book also comes with gluten free options.
I dusted off my neglected copy of Fix, Freeze, Feast from my cookbook shelf, too.
So that’s the long and the short of my experience making freezer meals for the slow cooker thus far!
Do you have a favorite recipe I should consider trying? Leave me any additional tips below!
Freezer Cooking Videos: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
I took about 30 minutes this Saturday morning while the kids were cleaning their rooms to make a slew of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for the upcoming week. Armed with the confidence of freezer cooking many of our dinners for the upcoming month, I thought I’d go ahead and sneak in a few quick freezer cooking sessions like these easy PB&J sandwiches.
Amelia “helped mommy” make a total of 50 PB&Js for the freezer. Sweet Daniel is hanging out in the Moby Wrap as usual. 🙂 I really don’t mind you all seeing me with no make-up and a towel on my head. I was thrilled that I not only got a shower on this day, but I also managed to get my roots colored. It was a productive morning for the family!
My plan is to have a stack of these PB&Js standing ready in the fridge for a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants lunch as needed, or a quick kid-friendly snack for whenever. Because. Life.
Now that I’m feeling like myself again after Daniel’s birth I’ll start sharing weekly videos on YouTube again. Please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel to support my efforts over there. I appreciate you!
Each week I check the Educents.com website for homeschool freebies. Just this past week I snagged an Editing Practice Freebie, a Snow Kids Color by Code Addition and Subtraction set, a Printable Valentine’s Day Card download, and the Frozen-Themed ABC + MATH Download. Tonight when I checked the Educents.com site they had just released a new Homeschool Gratitude Curriculum, which I of course quickly grabbed.
True, the Homeschool Freebies on Educents.com change out often. Most educational freebies only last a few days. By the time you read this post, it’s safe to say that Educents will have an entirely new slew of freebies for your homeschool available. That’s exactly why I make it a point to check the Educents site a few times a week to download the updated freebies.
What if they’re educational freebies that I don’t currently need? That’s part of the beauty of digital products. I can still claim the homeschool freebie so it’ll wait for me in my Educents.com account. When I need that particular freebie all I have to do is log back in and download my product!
I turned the camera on in our homeschool this week while my kiddos worked with some of the freebies we snagged from Educents.com:
I also wanted to give you a personal tour of how I snag homeschool freebies on Educents. You can even hear baby Daniel cry in this video. Cute stuff! 😉
To get homeschool freebies from Educents:
DON’T forget that FHD readers can use the exclusive coupon code FHD10 to take an additional 10% off all Educents orders.
Here are TONS of additional homeschool freebies!