10 Freezer Meals in an Hour, WildTree Style
I am sitting here in a state of relaxed excitement, contemplating the fact that I currently have 12 freezer meals stocked in the freezer. And I couldn’t be happier with the menu that I chose–Get Your Grill On! I love grilling out, and I love it even more when I don’t have to do much prep work other than defrosting and lighting up the grill. So without further ado, the step-by-step plan assembling 10 freezer meals in an hour or less.
Get Your Grill On
I really, really, really love my WildTree workshops! The workshop boxes come with all the instructions and seasonings you need to turn out some really fabulous meals. Before you even get the box, you receive an email with a shopping list and a “pre-workshop” list for filling your bags with food. Then at workshop time, you take your bags to the workshop and receive seasonings and instructions for distributing them to each bag. And my favorite pieces of the workshop are the labels and freezer inventory with serving suggestions. There are even additional recipes to use up the leftover seasonings.
If you ever get the opportunity to attend or host a workshop, I would really recommend it! It’s lots of fun, and you get to try some of the WildTree products as well as sip some adult beverages with your girlfriends. But today, I’m putting this one together on my own.
The first thing I do is grab the pre-workshop prep sheet and my Freezer Meal Planning Worksheet. I make all my notes about how to prepare the veggies and proteins (veggies first, so as not to cross-contaminate).
Next, I number all the bags I will need to correspond to the bag numbers/recipes on my chart. I like to do it this way rather than attaching the labels first because things tend to get messy with this process. Notice the stain ALREADY on the page!
Then, I gather ALL. THE. FOOD. When seen all at once, the task seems daunting. But don’t worry. It really does come together relatively quickly, especially when you stop to consider how much time this would take done 10 separate times. Whew! I get tired thinking about it!
So, armed with knives & spoons, bags & bowls, it’s time to begin preparing my veggies. Remember my worksheet? This tells me exactly how much of each vegetable to cut and how to cut it. That way I can handle one vegetable at a time (and clean up one veggie at a time).
The first vegetable on my chart was the red onions, all of which needed to be chunked for skewers. Onions on skewers can be tricky. So, I thought I’d give you a mini-tutorial on the process.
- The first step is to choose a large and FRESH onion. The individual pieces “stick” together better with a fresh onion. And larger pieces are easier to finesse onto a skewer.
- Next, find the core piece and take it out, keeping it intact. Cut it to an appropriate size horizontally.
- Then, divide the remaining layers into two roughly equal sets.
- Finally, cut these sections into appropriately sized chunks and plop into the bag.
I follow this process with the remaining vegetables and all the proteins EXCEPT the shrimp and ground beef chubs. Since I buy these already frozen, I just mix up the spices and other ingredients. I’ll add the protein on cooking day.
Spice it up
Once all the bags are full of all the meat and veggies, it’s time to add all the flavor. I totally LOVE this step. I’ve eaten enough of these meals to know that the time in the freezer with all the seasonings transforms the proteins, especially the dryer ones, like pork or chicken breasts.
Here’s where you will need measuring spoons, and if you’re making as much extra food as I am, large bowls. The recipes as designed by WildTree will serve 4-6 people. I am feeding 10, so we need more food. So what do I do about the spices? Are there enough to go around? Well, usually. Sometimes, I may have to supplement with a bit of garlic-pepper salt. But I did find a way to make sure the seasonings were all evenly divided, even if there weren’t quite enough to thoroughly season the food.
I use a separate copy of my prep chart to prep seasonings just like I do for the veggies. I list a particular seasoning, find all of the instances where it will be used, and write them all down with the corresponding bag number. Then I write down both the amount of seasoning noted in the recipe as well as the ideal amount for my larger freezer meal.
Next, I gather a handful of condiment cups to measure the seasonings into, keeping track of which cup goes into each bag. I measure the allotted amount into each cup first, and then if I have enough left over, I measure the extra amount. Then I just dump the seasonings into the appropriate bag.
Sometimes, a bag is too full of food for me to mix it all up in the bag. So I will transfer to a bowl where I can give it a good toss with some tongs (let’s be real–I use my hands a lot!). When I’m finished, I just dump it back into the bag.
Label, Freeze, Clean Up
At last, all the food is crammed into the bags. I squeeze out all the air, slap a label on the bag, and into the freezer it goes. To keep track of all my freezer meal resources, I punch holes in the recipe cards and freezer inventory and place them into a three-ring binder. I gather up the remaining seasoning, wash the few dirty dishes, wipe up, and I’m done!
There you have it! Ten freezer meals in an hour or less. And the best part is these meals will taste so much better than the pre-cooked meals you may have done in the past.
To give you a taste (pun intended) of the fresh freezer meal game plan, I have prepared a PDF of the Get Your Grill On Workshop. I have only included the bag-fill and recipe instructions. The complete workshop would come with the labels and the Freezer Inventory. In the PDF, there are links to my WildTree website where you can purchase individual seasoning blends or the complete freezer meal workshop.
I also want you to be able to try out freezer meals even if you think the WildTree products are not for you. So I have listed alternate products that you could find in your grocery store. Sign up below to receive the password for the printables page!