Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Freezer Meals

In preparation for Baby Girl's arrival, I spent the weekend cooking make-ahead meals for our freezer. My parents are coming to visit following Tory's birth and I know my mom will spoil us with yummy food but what happens after she leaves? Friends will bring a few meals over. Ok, but then what? I don't want to instantly chock myself up to bad wife status by not having anything for my husband to eat around here. So I decided to make some easy items for Andi and I to pull out of the freezer and warm up as needed. After all, our focus will be diverted to more important things - our new bundle of joy.

My freezer meal goals:
  • Individually portioned items when possible 
  • Variety - not all baked pasta dishes
  • Meals that utilize some of our CSA produce 
  • Healthy (at least relatively)
Here are a few recipes I prepared:

Makes 36

If you've never been to Nebraska, you've likely never had a Runza. There's a fast-food chain there of the same name which makes these handheld pockets of goodness and they're delicious. You can't go to a Nebraska football game without eating one -- there's something about a cool fall day, the sounds of college football and a little buzz from tailgating that makes a Runza absolutely irresistible. Once and a while, my mom would make homemade Runzas when we were little kids and they were just as great (maybe even better!). A homemade Runza is filled with ground beef, cabbage and onion. Runzas take a little time to make (a great weekend activity) but they're so worth it. The best thing is they're pre-portioned so you can easily pull one out of the freezer, heat it up in the microwave for a few minutes and voila! Instant home-cooked dinner. This is my mom's recipe.

  • 2 lbs hamburger
  • 2 heads of cabbage
  • 1 onion 
  • 1 package of Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed (found in the frozen section)
Brown hamburger. Add salt and pepper to season meat if you'd like. In the meantime, chop cabbage and onion into very small pieces. (Or buy shredded cabbage and chop it down). Put onion and cabbage in a bowl and cover with water. Cook in microwave for about 10 minutes, until cabbage is mushy. Drain water. Mix hamburger and cabbage mixture together and let the mixture cool. Roll out one dinner roll dough ball and place 1-2 Tbsp of cabbage mixture in center. Close the dough around the filling and place onto a greased cookie sheet (the dough opening side down onto cookie sheet). Repeat with all dough balls. Cover cookie sheets with tea towels and let rise for 2 hours. Then bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes.

I freeze these in Ziploc bags. Pull a homemade Runza out and heat it up in the microwave for 1.5 - 3 minutes. I love to add butter to mine, but Andi dips his in dressing. Or, just eat as is!

Other make-ahead meals I made for the freezer:

Squash and Kohlrabi Empanadas
Makes 8

It sounds weird, but these empanadas are actually really good. I started making them earlier this summer when i received kohlrabi in our CSA box. But since then, I've made them with a variety of vegetable mixtures inside (zucchini, squash, potatoes, corn, etc). You can also add meat to these (ground beef would be great) which is what Andi often requests. The husband's a big fan of these because they have great flavor, have a flaky crust and can be frozen individually and heated up in the microwave or oven.
Recipe from

Individual Lasagnas
Makes 5

I like this recipe because it also uses many vegetables from my CSA box. You can find the individual disposable foil pans in the grocery store. Assemble as the recipe states, but do not bake until you're ready to eat.
Recipe from

1 comment:

  1. Great ideas! Thanks for sharing : ) We are always in need of dinner ideas!