etcetera

A month (or so) of meals!

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Back in April, we spent a few weeks in Australia visiting my family. I think being away really energized me, so when I got back to the US, I hit the ground running with organizing things! We got back to the US on a Saturday night, then on the Monday morning I decided I’d launch into freezer meal prepping!

And it was SO painless!

I spent about 15 minutes at Once A Month Meals picking out a menu and printing out all the recipes and shopping lists.

Then we drove to Costco, Aldi and Wegmans to get all the ingredients (AND the quilt store to pick up my sewing machines from their well overdue “annual” service).

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And after getting home I got to work making all my meals!

Prepping everything took me maybe 5 hours all up (a few hours in the afternoon and a couple more after dinner), and having a freezer full of healthy, quick to prepare meals really made the whole month less stressful (and cheaper) on the meal front.

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Our freezer menu included:

  • Instant Pot Middle Eastern Garlic Chicken (2 meals serving 4 each – my kids hardly eat at meals so each one made enough for leftovers)
  • Instant Pot Low Carb Meatball Parmesan (2 meals serving 4 each – this one was a hit!)
  • Instant Pot Beyond Easy Pulled Pork (2 meals serving 4 each – I used the wrong cut of meat for this so it wasn’t as good as I had hoped it would be, but the concept was great!)
  • Instant Pot Skinny Southwestern Chicken and Veggies (2 meals serving 4 each)
  • Instant Pot Tilapia and Pesto Packets (8 servings – This was really tasty but took longer than the recipe called for to cook).

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Here’s the tilapia pocket before it got wrapped up.
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The tilapia was really tasty but I will say that the key is to use good quality pesto. IMO, the Costco Kirkland pesto is the next best thing to home made pesto.

I love how easy Once A Month Meals makes the prepping.

  1. On one page you have your prepping (how to cut all the meat, what to do the night before, and any veggies that need to get cut up).
  2. The second page includes your prep day recipes – what to put in each container.
  3. Then finally there’s a page with your “day of” instructions – which are also available as stickers to put on top of your containers/bags.
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I tape my prep sheets up on the cupboards so they’re out of my way but still in sight

My total cost for April freezer meals (which actually did carry us through May and a bit of June too), was about $102. Included in this total was extra ground beef (since Costco slabs come in such huge trays) that I cooked up in my pressure cooker, bagged, and froze for later use AND a bag full of chopped garlic to use later.

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I found a recipe for quickly cooking ground beef in the Instant Pot. It just requires the trivet in your IP, along with a cup of water.
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Carefully rest 2lbs ground beef on the trivet, and then cook for about 6 minutes. Once cool, separate into bags and freeze.
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One of my friends used to be a White House chef and taught me this trick! Peel and process garlic (I LOVE a stick mixer for this!), then…

 

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…store in a ziplock bag and freeze! It breaks apart really easily.

Right now, Once a month meals is closed to new signups, BUT you can join their waitlist NOW to get an email reminder when they reopen in August. Come save some of your sanity with me! ❤

AND BONUS! I also made granola! I was really on a roll! This is my favorite granola and I’ve been making it since I was in 7th grade – some day I guess I should share the recipe, hmm?

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Disclosure: I’m an affiliate for Once A Month Meals. I receive a small commission when you sign up for membership (but my account stays active if you simply sign up to their email waitlist – at no cost to you!)

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