With a vacation full of fun and relax, we wanted to do just that. Also, save space for packing vs. packing many ingredients for meals. Especially, being gone a week and a family our size! We premade/preassembled meals, then froze them. And brought the Crock Pot. This technique SAVES SPACE! SAVES TIME. Food lasts longer. DOUBLED AS ICE FOR COOLER! And, it HELPS FINANCIALLY! Because, you can buy the meats when on sale, ahead of time, make and freeze as you go vs. all at once at full price.
(Also, check out our Recipe Gallery and our post Get the Most of Your Roast … Freezer Friendly Meals!)
Here’s the meals we did (ALSO, CHECK OUT OUR 2015 MEAL PLAN HERE!):
– Frito Taco Salads, a ritual for a while now.
1.5-2lb Beef (Turkey can be used)
2 GOOD Taco Season Pkt.
1/2 can Diced Tomatoes, drained (Reserve juice)
1/2can Refried Beans*
Little less than 1/2 can Black Beans w/Jalapenos* Optional
1 small onion, chopped (Added right before freezing)
Cook beef. Add in taco seasons, beans, salsa, tomatoes with juice, shakes of: Garlic Powder, Chili Powder, Onion Powder.
Allow to cool. Place in freezer bag (I double bag), lay flat. Day of eating, either thaw or just throw into crock. (I just threw in and kept on warm, flipping.) Serve with FRESH tomato, fritos, sour cream, shredd. cheese, lettuce, whatever other toppings of choice.
*(Rest of cans we used for tacos, the night I premade meals) These are also optional. Point is, just premake and freeze.
Add legs to ziploc bag, add in seasoning, allow to thaw- Mixing around. Grill legs. Close to being done, smoother with BBQ sauce, flip and repeat on other side. Allow each side to thicken. Serve.
– Tuna Salad:
Space Saver- I bought Miracle Whip. I kept a lil over 1/2 the jar. Rest I placed into separate container (For sandwiches). Then, I used Miracle Whip Jar to store the Tuna Salad SAUCE. In jar, I did:
I kept a lil more than 1/2 jar Miracle Whip (Leave in jar!)
1tsp TO 1+1/4tsp Lawry’s Seasonal Salt
1/2tsp Dill Weed *SEE NOTES
2tsp Vinegar *SEE NOTES
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
-MIX ABOVE INGREDIENTS IN Miracle Whip container.
-Then, add to jar, on top of Sauce (Don’t mix in):
1.5c Shredd. Cheddar Cheese
1c Frozen Peas
-Place on lid.
-1 hour Prior to Serving:
About 2c uncooked Macaroni Noodles, cooked
2 cans Tuna, drained (1 hr. prior to eating. KEEP IN CANS TIL THEN!)
I premade sauce morning of trip. For leak reinforcement: I placed some plastic over top of Miracle Whip jar (I used ripped sandwich bag), twisted on top. Keep cold til serving.
About 1 hour prior to serving: Cook noodles. Mix sauce and canned tuna together. Add noodles into sauce, to consistency desired. Toss rest. I always have it a little saucy, as it’ll sit and absorb some. Keep cold til serving.
*NOTES: I didn’t have pickle juice from the jar, what we usually use. So, improvised with vinegar and dill. Try it with dill pickle juice! I always eyeball it. About 1T to 1.5T… About. Skip Vinegar and Dill, then.
– Hamburger Foils
Frozen Burger Patties, 1 per foil
1 Potato per foil, diced
1 bag Baby Carrots, split up (1 bag lasted 6 foils)
Chopped Onions (We used 2 small for 4 people)
1 Onion Season Pkt. (A small sprinkle per foil. It goes a LONG way!)
1-2T Butter per packet, we forgot, and a smidge of Crisco worked well!
Dice potatoes, cut onions. Give each person foil. Kids love making their own! Add in desired vegis. Top with butter or crisco. Add one frozen burger to top. A small sprinkle of onion pkt. seasoning. Double or triple wrap. Add to hot fire pit coals. Ours cooked in about 45 minutes (Time varies). Rotate, we didn’t flip!
Rest of burgers we had for supper another night. We also ate leftover Tuna Salad with this meal.
Healthier Option: Turkey Burger, Butter Spray/Olive Oil/Coconut Oil
– Pepperoncini Roast Beef Sandwiches (Updated Recipe. PLUS, More Roast Recipes!):
In a freezer bag place:
1 Pkt. Au Jus *Optional
1 Pkt. Good Ranch Season
1 Jar Pepperoncinis, whole, tips cut, and drained
1 small Onion, sliced
3 Beef Broth Cubes
1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
Fresh Cracked Pepper
3.5c Water (Add to crock when cooking! 3, if skipping Au Jus)
Provolone Cheese (I buy and FREEZE complete pkg. – SEPARATE from roast. Throw into fridge at vacation destination, to thaw, then use.)
Eating time, just throw everything into crock, except cheese. (Tip: Add water into bag to get excess seasons, add to crock). Cook on low til done. Near end, add Provolone Cheese to top. Serve on buns once Provolone’s melted.
– Zesty BBQ Chicken Sandwiches
1 Zesty Italian Season Pkt.
1 bottle BBQ (We used Smoked Hickory. Your Pref.)
1/4c Brown Sugar
1/4tsp TO 1/2tsp Red Pepper Flakes
1 small Onion (Added right before freezing)
PREMAKE IN CROCK at home (On low, til chicken is done). Cool, add onion, then freeze, laying flat, in double freezer bags. Eating time throw into crock and warm til thawed, cook on low. Serve on buns.
1.5lb Beef, cooked.
Season with few good shakes of: Basil, Oregano, Pepper, Garlic Powder
1 can Manwich Sloppy Sauce
1 can Stewed Tomatoes, drained
1 small Onion, chopped
Cook. Allow to cool completely. Double Freezer bag, lay flat. Freeze. Eating day, throw into crock. I did on warm til thawed, stirring. Serve on buns.
– Chicken Salad Burgers (Try this recipe, too)
1/4c White vinegar
Up to 1/4 tsp Sea Salt (I use 1/8+1/16tsp)
1/4 tsp Pepper
1c + 1/4c Mayo
1c Sour Cream
4 celery, cut small
1 bunch Green Onion
4-5 Chicken Breasts, cooked (Boiled in Water+1 Chicken Broth cube)
Optional* 1/8 tsp Sugar, or more to taste
Place frozen chicken into water with chicken broth cube. Turn on heat and cook til done. Drain and cut up. Mix all together. Pack in tightly concealed container. Keep refrigerated til serving. I premade morning of leaving. Ate for lunch within 3 days.
YOU CAN Pretty much make any of our recipes and prefreeze them for vacation meals. Then, just throw in Crock Pot and Forget About It! Check Out Our Soups, Roasts, Chili Recipes. Or, Our Crock Pot Recipes … Those are all GREAT to PrePrep/PreMake and Freeze… Making Easy Meals! Last year we did our Chillin Chili (Premade in crock, froze as flat as could in ziploc.). You can do this with any stew, roast, chili, even soups!
TIP: When Premaking Meals with Broth:
-If Pre-PREPping (Not cooking): I usually add the Broth Cubes to freezer meals, then, add water at time of cooking. Just Write on freezer bag how many cups of water needed for cooking!
-If Pre-COOKing: Add Water at time of cooking, of course.
Also, we had Lunch Meat Wiches with leftover Miracle Whip (I freeze Lunch Meat and thaw in fridge on arrival), Tuna+Pea Sandwiches, Easy Packable Breakfast (Cereal, Poptarts), Smores, Waffle Camping Cones: Waffle Cones, REPEAT layers with pieces: Chocolate, Bananas, Marshmallow. Wrap in foil 3 times. Place in small fire, or on coals, about 30sec. on 4 sides.
YOU CAN EVEN FREEZE Buns! Luckily we have a toaster where we go, for quick thaw/toasting. Or use foil in Fire Pit. Or, toast on Grill. Also, awesome if you see them ON SALE at the store! Be sure to keep frozen til use. Or, they will thaw and mold!!!
Tips I seen, and will try next year. Probably better if you’re scrambling eggs. Crack and add to mason jar, place plastic on top, twist on top. Pour out to use. Helps those pesky eggs from breaking in carts!
Premake pancake mix, add into cleaned out ketchup bottle. Shake and use.
Pack FREEZIES – Doubles as ice. Cheap Treat!