The Gift of Freezer Meals
It's been almost 5 years since my son underwent his first heart surgery. These past years have been full of great challenges and great encouragement for my family. Facing the worries and fears of many tests and appointments, I have had to rely on the support of friends and family more than ever. One of the many ways our community has supported is through the gift of freezer meals.
Since we needed to keep my son as healthy and free of sickness as possible (even a cold could mean a trip to the ER), we had to occasionally limit visitors. During one of these seasons, a group of women from my church had a freezer meal party where they assembled several freezer meals for our family. Imagine my delight when I saw a large cooler outside our front door full of easy meals I could use whenever I needed them most! It was a gesture I'll never forget.
If you know of someone who would be blessed by meals for themselves or their family but may not be able to welcome people into their home because of germs, the need for privacy during a difficult time, or any other reason, consider stocking their freezer with easy, convenient meals. These recipes from our friends at Thriving Home are some of our family-friendly favorites.
1. Baked Beef Ravioli - To make into a freezer meal: Put the casserole together and then freeze before baking.
2. Burrito Pie - To make into a freezer meal: Put the casserole together and then freeze before baking.
3. Cheesy Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas - To make into a freezer meal: Put the casserole together and then freeze before baking.
4. Chicken Parmesan Casserole - To make into a freezer meal: Put the casserole together and then freeze before baking.
5. Mini Chicken Burgers with Herbs - To make into a freezer meal: Package the uncooked breaded burger patties in a freezer bag between layers of wax paper. Separately package cheese slices and some mini buns or dinner rolls, which can be frozen as well. The recipient will have to cook these on the stove for about 4 minutes per side, but they are assured a kid-friendly meal that night.
Soups are some of the easiest freezer meals for others. They thaw easily and quickly warm up on the stove. Simply put the whole frozen soup in a large pot and within 20-30 minutes it's ready to go. Serve with a frozen baguette or rolls. Here are three of our favorites:
6. Italian Sausage and Tortellini Soup - To make into a freezer meal: Fully cook soup except do NOT add the tortellini. Cool and freeze soup. When ready to cook, thaw the soup and bring to a simmer on the stove. Add frozen tortellini and simmer until done, according to package directions.
7. Mexican Soup - To make into a freezer meal: Fully cook, cool and freeze. When ready to cook, thaw and warm up on the stove.
8. Tomato Bisque (Panera Bread Fake-Out Soup) - To make into a freezer meal: Fully cook, cool and freeze. When ready to eat, thaw and warm on the stove. You could include a bag of shredded Parmesan cheese and a bag of croutons for garnish.
For more freezer meal ideas, check out Thriving Home's cookbook, From Freezer to Table.
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