Saturday, September 27, 2014

Freezer Prep to Make Meals Easier

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know that I do a lot of meal  planning, prep, and cooking on the weekends. Usually, it looks something like this:

Meal Prep 1027

Without it, we wouldn’t eat as well and life would be a whole lot more stressful.

In addition to my weekend shopping, prepping and cooking sessions where I focus on buying and preparing fresh, in-season produce, my freezer and my pantry are my best friends when it comes to keeping meal time stress-free.

Here is what I normally keep in the freezer:
  • Bone-in chicken – I use it to make chicken broth in my slow cooker. I buy organic chicken when it’s on sale and always have some in the freezer. The other day, I came down with a bad cold and was very glad to have chicken to make some broth.
  • Chicken broth – I always freeze some of the chicken broth I make to have around for an “emergency” when one of us gets sick. I also use the chicken broth in soups, stews, and sauces.
  • Vegetable peels, ends, etc. – I freeze the peels, end pieces, etc. from organic vegetables in a big freezer bag. I use the peels to make vegetable stock as well as bone broth (beef or chicken).
  • Pancakes – I make almond flour pancakes every few weeks and always make extra. The leftovers go in the freezer. It’s easy to take a few out for the boys’ breakfast.
  • Various homemade freezer meals: beef stew, chickpea stew, kimchi stew, and various vegetable soups are some of our favorite meals from the freezer. 
  • Leftover rice – it’s very convenient for quick meals.
  • Sourdough bread – I buy a good, four ingredient sourdough bread at the farmers market for the boys. They don’t eat a lot of bread, and I always freeze at least 2/3 of it (sliced). We defrost it a few slices at a time over the next couple of  weeks.
  • Frozen banana slices – I buy organic bananas at Costco and freeze most of them (sliced). I use the frozen banana slices in my green smoothies. When it’s warm out, I also enjoy eating a few slices as a little frozen treat.
  • Organic frozen vegetables – peas, asparagus, etc. – great meal savers when I don’t have other veggies around.
Questions: What do you always keep in your freezer? Do you use your freezer to make meals easier? 

Be well,


  1. Just seeing your photo makes me want to do this a bit more. I do some prepping when we get home from the store, but I need to do more!

  2. very inspirational! we are a fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants-for-dinner couple. LOL

    1. Thanks, Gwen! I think when it's only two people it's easier to wing it... :)

  3. I do this a LOT. I have two boys (8 and 2) and a full time job. I have to do it to keep my head above water.

    Today, I've been up for 3 hours but have no motivation. Regardless, I should start washing and chopping veggies. Sigh.

    1. Yes, prep work is so important to reduce stress... But I totally hear you that it's sometimes hard to find the motivation... But once it's done you'll feel so much better! :)

      Have a great week!

  4. Great ideas you shared Andrea! I enjoy doubling recipes and then freezing the extra in portioned out for future quick and easy heat and meals. I also make up big batches of grains like brown rice and quinoa and freeze those in 2 serving size freezer bags. It makes meal prep so much easier on busy days. Sometimes I will roast up a couple pans of veggies and potatoes on the weekend to give us a variety of options for making Buddha Bowl meals later in the week with a grain, greens and some type of sauce or salsa. If I go ahead and wash and prep fruit I find that it gets eaten quicker and we have less waste. Planning ahead makes such a difference!

    1. You always make very tasty meals, Tami!

      I love how you show on Instagram and FB how to make easy, tasty, plant-based meals with lots of variety!

  5. I like these ideas and will let them flip around in my mind for a while. I get some great prep ideas from you that I actually do use. :-)

  6. Andrea, you are always so practical...Thanks for all the great ideas...I too when possible always prepare/cook extra servings and store in the freezer...
    Have a wonderful week :D

    1. Thanks, Juliana!

      And, yes, cooking extra servings is effortless and makes eating healthy foods when life gets hectic so much easier!