freezer cooking

I always start with the best of intentions. I buy a bunch of food at Costco, and plan to go home and process it all, and then I get busy (or lazy) and before I know it, everything is threatening to go bad and I’m in a rush trying to take care of everything so I don’t waste food. Last week I found myself in this situation, and had to do a day of freezer cooking, although I hadn’t really planned on it.

First off: taco meat

I’m sure everyone knows how to make taco meat, but this is the way I do it. I start with 2 packages of ground turkey (somewhere around 2 1/4 – 2 1/2 pounds), and add 1 medium diced onion and 2 grated zucchini. I also like grated carrots in there, but I happened to be totally out. Sometimes I also add a few cloves of crushed garlic and some salsa, but again, I was out. I let the meat and veggies cook until they’re totally browned, then add taco seasoning. I buy the big McCormick shaker from Costco, so I honestly have no idea how much I add. I think it’s the equivalent of one of the small packets from the grocery store.

I let the meal cool for a little while (so it doesn’t melt my freezer bags) and then separate it into portions. We tend to go a little light on the meat, so 2 packages of ground turkey will make 8 meals for us. Each packet of meat is enough for 4 soft tacos, 2 burritos, 2 taco salads, or 4 servings of taco soup. I squeeze all the air out of the bags, roll them up, and seal them with a cute label from the computer (because I’m a major nerd).

Also threatening to go bad: strawberries and mangoes

We drink a crazy amount of smoothies in our house. Abby is really picky, but she loves smoothies, and it’s a good way to get her to have some fruits that she otherwise wouldn’t touch (pineapple, blueberries, kiwi, etc.). Often I just buy frozen fruit from the grocery store, but I like to freeze my own as well. Between the co-op and our trip to Costco last week, I had 4 ripe mangoes and 4 pounds of strawberries that were about to go bad, so I chopped them all up, flash froze them, and put them in bags for smoothies.

I have pretty much perfected the art of smoothies, for my family at least. Here’s how I make them:

1 cup orange juice or vanilla soy milk
1 6 ounce yogurt (any flavor, I love Tillamook yogurt right now)
2 cups frozen fruit (any kind works)
1 banana

I throw everything into my ninja and blend until it’s totally smooth (I don’t like chunks in mine). If it’s too thick, I add more juice or soy milk. We have smoothies with dinner at least twice a week, if not more often. Yum!

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