We are in week 2 of Plan to Eat’s Make Ahead Meal Plan Challenge, the 30-day challenge to help you start your own meal planning routine. This challenge will show you how you can make freeze-ahead meals for an entire week’s worth of dinners, with extras in the freezer, and it’s not too late to join!
We put together this quick video that shows you what week 2 looked like for us:
Irish Shepherd’s Pie
provided by 100 Days of Real Food
If you are participating in the challenge, all of these recipes are available to you directly in your Plan to Eat account.
This Shepherd’s Pie recipe starts by preparing the mashed potatoes. In a separate pan you will saute the vegetables and brown the lamb. Drain off the excess fat and thicken the meat and veggie mixture with the flour. Add broth, rosemary, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan and stir until the mixture thickens. Pour the mixture into a casserole dish and top with the potatoes. Bake until the peaks are golden brown. This Shepherd’s Pie can be eaten right away or frozen for later.
If you are freezing, let pan cool to room temperature, then cover tightly with saran wrap and foil and place in the freezer. When ready to eat, thaw it completely, remove saran wrap, and reheat the shepherd’s pie (still covered with the foil) for 30 minutes in a 350ºF oven.
Chicken Broccoli Bake
from the book Fix, Freeze, Feast
Cut the chicken into bite-size pieces and brown at medium heat. In a separate sauce pan, sautee the mushrooms and add flour to thicken. Add bullion, curry powder, and pepper. Add water and milk, cooking and stirring constantly until it thickens, then add the lemon juice. Cool the sauce. Label your bags and divide the chicken between your servings. Pour the cooled sauce over the chicken, add the broccoli pieces, and seal the bags. Measure the cheese and breadcrumbs into other bags and seal. Place both bags together into a third bag and place into your freezer.
When you are ready to cook, thaw one entree in the refrigerator, place the chicken and broccoli mixture into a dish, sprinkle with the cheese and breadcrumb topping, and bake at 350 for 35 minutes.
Shredded Ginger Beef
from the book Fix, Freeze, Feast
Begin by cutting the beef. Label your 1 gallon freezer bags and divide the beef evenly among them. Into each bag add water, scallions, soy sauce, bouillon, ginger, and garlic, and place bags into the freezer.
When you are ready to cook, completely thaw the entree in your refrigerator. Place beef and broth into your slow cooker and cook on low for 5-6 hours until the beef is fork tender. The dish can be served over rice or on vegetables.
In 2 1/2 hours we made 7 entrees using these recipes that can be pulled out of the freezer and cooked whenever we need them! Now our stressful weeknight dinners are easy, all thanks to meal planning and a little make ahead prepping!
If creating and following a meal plan feels impossible to you, this the perfect opportunity to make 2017 the year that meal planning becomes a part of your life!
The Make Ahead Meal Plan Challenge is Plan to Eat’s 30-day challenge to help you start your own meal planning routine, and it’s completely free.
You can also join our Make Ahead Meal Plan Challenge Facebook Group to connect with other challengers, exchange recipes, and get freezer cooking tips!
What’s a challenge without a $400 prize package at the end?!
Everyone who joins the challenge by friending Make Ahead Meal Plan Challenge in your Plan to Eat account will be entered into a huge giveaway with a $400 prize package! The drawing will be held on January 31st and the winner will receive:
- ($200) KitchenAid 13 Cup Metal Food Processor (your choice of color!)
- ($39) 1 free year of Plan to Eat
- ($19) a Plan to Eat canvas shopping bag
- ($15) a copy of the book Fix, Freeze, Feast
- ($23) Komax Oven Safe Glass Food Containers
- And over $100 of other tools to get your kitchen set up and running efficiently!
- How do I add the challenge as a friend? Click here to add the menus and recipes for the challenge.
- Do I have to use the meals Plan to Eat chose? No, you do not have to use the recipes we have chosen. You can use any recipes that you prefer and that suit your eating preferences and needs. This challenge has been put together to help you and motivate you to get started meal prepping and planning. Please customize the challenge to fit your needs!
- How do I see the Menus? Navigate to your Plan tab and click on the Menu‘s button in the left hand column. Choose Make Ahead Meal Plan Challenge from the Your Friends Menu’s drop down list. You will then be able to see the list of our saved menus. If you do not see the challenge on the drop down menu, you will need to add the challenge as your friend. (See FAQ #1)
- How do I enter the giveaway? If you have connected as “Friends” on Plant o Eat with Make Ahead Meal Plan Challenge, you are entered! That’s it!
Great freezer cooking tips from other blogs
- What NOT to Freeze
- Freezer Meals for Beginners
- How long can food last in your Freezer?
- Tips for Prep Day