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, a family our size gone a week! 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 ahead of time when they’re On Sale. Make and Freeze as you go. Versus, all at once … At full price.
– (Also, check out our Roast Sandwiches Recipes, Chilis, Soups, Stews Recipes, and Our Crock Pot Meals for More Ideas. You can View Our Recipe Gallery HERE. Most, if not all, are FREEZER FRIENDLY! And, Check out our 2014 Vacation Meal Post HERE)
***TIP: Try to freeze everything flat. I realize large cuts wont flatten. But, whatever can be flattened, do so, without smooshing! Also, FREEZE whatever you can. Cheese Bricks/Slices, Prepped meals, Lunch Meats. And, PACK kids’ FREEZIES!, etc. Doubles as ice, keeping everything cool. Lasts longer!
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!!!
I would not have picked this one, due to extra ingredients needed to bring and NEVER freezing this. But, kiddos wanted it. So, this momma provided. My plan of attack is:
– Mock Chow Mein:
2lb Ground Beef, browned seasoning with few shakes: Butter Powder, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Dried Parsley, Dried Basil
1 can Cream of Mushroom
1 can Cream of Celery (Chicken works, too)
2T Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp Worcestershire
1/4 tsp Pepper
1 small Garlic Clove
1 small Onion
1/3c Mushrooms, sliced or chopped large
1 Celery, halved long way, then sliced
1/2 4.9oz. can Water Chestnuts* (For trip, I may skip)
1/2 can Bean Sprouts, drained* (For trip, I may skip)
Rice cooked in Chicken Broth (I used 1 broth cube per 1c water, crushed)
Hard Chow Mein Noodles.
In skillet, Brown meat, while seasoning. Add in all, except rice and noodles. Simmer, covered, stirring frequently, til vegis are only 1/2way tender. Set aside, covered, to cool. Cook rice in broth (I cook in microwave). Set aside, allow to cool COMPLETELY! (You may stick in fridge overnight to be sure). Place meat mixture in Freezer Ziploc Bag, lay flat. Freeze. Wrap rice, by 1c size, in saran wrap, tightly. (I do flat square shapes). Then, place the amount of cups of rice needed for vacation into a freezer bag, freeze.
Cooking: Place into BUTTER FLAVOR COOKING SPRAYED crock. On warm or low. Serve once fully heated through. Top with noodles.
—– 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!
We buy a pkg. of Frozen Burger Patties, and KEEP FROZEN til use. Doubles as ice for cooler.
Cooking: I cut vegis at cooking. Dice potatoes and 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 options: Turkey Burger. Butter Spray/Olive Oil/Coconut Oil
– Frito Taco Salad, a ritual for a while now.
1.5-2lb Beef (Turkey can be used)
2 GOOD Taco Season Pkt.
1/2 can Diced Tomatoes, undrained
1/2can Refried Beans*
Little less than 1/2 can Black Beans w/Jalapenos* Optional (I may skip for trip)
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, just throw into crock. (I kept on warm, flipping.) Serve with FRESH tomato, fritos, sour cream, shredd. cheese, lettuce, whatever other toppings of choice.
*(If using, rest of cans we used for tacos, the night I premade meals) These are also optional. Point is, just premake and freeze.
Woo Hoo! Got us some Chicken Legs, huge family size, $4/pk.!
– BBQ Legs with Tuna Salad (Or our other BBQ Recipe Here):
Chicken Legs (THAWED WHEN BOUGHT)
McCormick’s Montreal Steak Seasoning
Favorite HONEY BBQ Sauce
Buy Raw (Not frozen) Chicken Legs. At home, brush the legs with white vinegar and sprinkle a little with McCormick’s Montreal Seasoning on all sides. Place into FREEZER Ziploc Bag. Make as flat as can. Freeze.
Cooking: Thaw legs. Grill. When done, slather BBQ. Flip, slather BBQ. Flip one more time, to thicken BBQ on other side. Eat!
– Tuna Salad:
Space Saver- I bought Miracle Whip. I kept a lil over 1/2 the jar. Rest I placed into separate container (For sandwich uses up there.). In the miracle whip jar, FOR SAUCE, I added:
I kept a lil more than 1/2 jar Miracle Whip
1tsp + 1/4tsp Lawry’s Seasonal Salt
1/4 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Dill Weed *SEE NOTES
2 tsp Vinegar *SEE NOTES
1/8 tsp Onion Powder
MIX ABOVE INGREDIENTS in Miracle Whip container.
Then, set on top, below 2:
1.5c Shredd. Cheddar Cheese
Then, 1c Frozen Peas
Add later (When time to eat):
About 2c uncooked Macaroni Noodles, cooked hour before eating
2 cans Tuna, drained (1 hr. prior to eating. KEEP IN CANS TIL THEN!)
I premade sauce morning of trip. I placed plastic over top of miracle whip jar (I used ripped sandwich bag), twisted on top. For leak reinforcement. Keep in fridge til serving. About 1 hour prior to eating, cook noodles. Mix sauce and tuna together. EYEBALL adding noodles into sauce, to consistency desired. Toss rest. I always have it a little saucy, as it’ll sit and absorb some. Place into fridge.
*NOTES: I didn’t have pickle juice from the jar, what we usually use, so improvised with vinegar and dill. Try pickle juice first. I always eyeball it. About 1T to 1.5T… About.
– Philly Chickies (Try Chicken or Pork (Roast/Chops) with our Other Philly Recipe):
3-4 Frozen Chicken Breast *See Notes
1 Chicken Broth Cube, crushed
1/8tsp Liquid Hickory Smoke
1/2tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1T + 1tsp Soy Sauce
1/4tsp Garlic Powder
3/4tsp MCCORMICK’S Montreal Steak Seasoning
Green Pepper, halved & sliced (Add last hr.)
Topping: Shredded Moz. Cheese and Mayo/Miracle Whip
Buns of choice
LIGHTLY/Barely Rub Crock with Butter. Add all, EXCEPT peppers.
Cook on Low 5hours. Shred Chicken. Allow to cool!
Place into ziploc bag, ADD IN sliced Green Pepper. Make sure tightly closed. Lay flat in freezer, freeze.
Cooking: Add to crock on low. Last 15minutes, top with favorite shredded white cheese (We used moz.) Serve on toasted buns with Mayo/Miracle Whip.
Notes: I use chicken from 3lb freezer bag, to get idea on size. Pork works, as well.
– Tay’s Roast-ier-er Roast Wiches:
1.5lb.-2lb. Large Pork or Beef (We used Pork Butt)
2 Beef Broth Cubes + 3c Water
Onion Soup Packet
Au Jus Packet
1 Garlic Clove, minced
Add all (Uncooked), EXCEPT WATER, into a Freezer Friendly Ziploc Bag. WRITE ON BAG “3c Water”. Freeze.
Cooking: Add into crock. Pour 3c water into ziploc bag and swish around to get left behind season. Pour ALL 3c into Butter Flavor Cooking sprayed crock. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Top with White Cheese (Provolone or Moz.). Once melted… Serve on buns or wraps with Mayo/Miracle Whip.
—– Pepperoncini Roast-wiches:
1.5-2lb. Pork Butt
1 WISHBONE Ranch Dressing Packet
1 WISHBONE Italian Dressing Packet
12oz Jar Pepperoncinis, RESERVE 1/3 juice from jar, cut stems off
1/3 of Juice from Pepperoncini Jar
1c Red Onion
2 Beef Broth Cubes, crushed some + 2.5c Water
1tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Yes, this is an ingredient-Add!)
1 Garlic Clove, minced
1tsp Parmesan Cheese (Store shelf Kind) *Optional
In a Freezer Ziploc Bag, add all, EXCEPT WATER. Write on bag “2.5c Water”. Freeze.
Cooking: Add bag contents to Butter Flavor Cooking Sprayed crock. Add the water TO THE BAG. Swish around to get seasons left behind. Add water to crock. Cook on low for about 8 hours. Top with White Cheese. Once melted, serve on bun. Bring some Arby Sauce Packets for topping (Optional)
Notes: This is setting … So, another 1/4c water may need to be added. Allow to cook, if needed, then add.
– tTt’s Sloppies (Aka Sloppy Dad’s):
Now, we usually use Turkey or Beef for these. But, we have TONS of Pork to be used. So, thus Ground Pork. Saves money!
1.5lb – 2lb Ground Pork
Brown Pork, season with few good shakes of:
1 can diced Basil Oregano Tomatoes
1 can Manwich Sloppy Joe Mix
1 sm. Onion
Brown meat, with seasoning. Add rest. Allow to cool. Add to Freezer Ziploc Bag. Lay flat in freezer. Freeze.
Cooking: Add to crock. Turn to Warm or Low. Stirring frequently. Once heated thoroughly, serve on buns.
We plan on eating leftover burgers from the Frozen Patties (Used for Hamburger Foil Recipe above). Also, we scored some Brats on sale 99cents for the good kind! So, we have enough dogs to eat for a year! That alone should cover lunches, with side of chips. Plus, we usually have leftovers from supper the night before, too. You can FREEZE and pack lunch meat, as well. Seeing as we will already have bread/buns, cheese, and Mayo/Miracle Whip.
Tip: On trip up, for Lunch, I plan to make fun meal packs: Sandwich, Fruit Snack, Rice Crispy Treat, small Drink (Not too much!), Surprise Toy, Chips, annnd a wipe.
TIP: FREEZE LUNCH MEAT & Cheese Blocks/Slices, doubles as cooler ice! Thaw upon arrival.
– Breakfast Burritos (Also, try tTt’s other Sausage, Egg, N Potato Burritos):
Some Chopped Green Pepper
Meat of choice: Bacon or Pork Sausage (We used Pork Sausage)
Cook meat. Then cook eggs and seasoning. Add to meat.
Add Eggs/Meat to Soft Taco Shells, with: Cheese, Miracle Whip/Mayo, Small Spoon of Salsa. Roll burritos. Butter Flavor Cooking Spray Skillet, Brown each side of Burritos. Freeze single layer on plate that was sprayed with cooking spray (Don’t allow to touch, may stick). Cooking: Rub with wet finger. Microwave or bake til warmed through. Butter spray pan if baking.
TIP: Keep an eye out on sales. ESPECIALLY, Non-Perishable Items/Long lasting ones. Buy, set aside. Meats were on sale, too. But, buy and use those within date of use. DO NOT thaw, then refreeze meats- Unless cooked!
On top of the $4 Family Pack Chicken Legs and 99cent Brats… We scored Cereal $1/box. Chips $1/bag. Scored Cereal few wks. ago, Hot Dog last wk., Chips this wk. Breakfast, Lunch, Dinners, AND snacks… On the DOLLAR!!!
Now, I will need to pack the ingredients- Ex.) Taco Salad (Lettuce, Sour Cream (I will pack some into smaller storage container), Fritos, Cheese)… That’s okay, because the ingredients double for other meals: Lettuce-Burgers/Sandwiches, Fritos-Snack, Cheese-Top on crockpot sandwiches/Burgers/etc.
I will plan on bringing 1 brick of WHITE cheese or WHITE shredded cheese. I’m leaning toward Mozzarella Cheese. It will go with ALL the above meals.
I will bring Miracle Whip, vs. Mayo. Kids love it. And it will be leftover from Tuna Salad. Also, it will go with sandwiches/breakfast burritos/etc.
I will bring bread (Cheaper & you get More) for Sloppies, hot dogs, burgers, breakfast toast, and lunch meat sandwiches (In case I bring a pkg. meat, but, I probably won’t. There’s enough meals to have leftovers, and not to forget the hot dogs and burgers!). Buns for rest of sandwiches. Taco shells, because I like wraps vs. sandwich buns. Taco shells work great for breakfast burritos and great for any leftover Taco Salad for tacos the next day for kiddies. Shells also work great for leftover crock dishes. Making wraps the next day, served with cheese and Miracle Whip. We don’t need to, but will bring Fresh Tomatoes, because that’s our preference for Taco Salad, Burgers, etc. I have yet to try, but, you can blanch whole tomatoes. Freeze. Slice and thaw for use. Slice while frozen for easier handling.
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Check Our last Vacation Post, similar, but, some differences. HERE
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