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Freezer Meals That Make Busy Days Easier

It is back to school time! Many areas of the country have started back to school or start back to school this week. If you live in the northern part of the United States you might not start back to school until after Labor Day, but that will be here before you know it.

Back to school means back to normal routine. That is something I actually look forward to. I like routines and schedules. But it also means that schedules get busy with school, homework, and lots of activities. We all want to serve our family healthy meals, but getting food on the table can sometimes be a challenge with crazy schedules.

This week I want to help you save time in the kitchen. I want to help make your busy life easier with some easy freezer meal ideas. Today we are covering freezer meals for dinner and Wednesday I will be sharing easy make ahead freezer friendly breakfast ideas.

Spending a few hours here and there stocking your freezer is well worth the time it takes. It makes crazy days so much easier because you can just pull a meal out of the freezer. It also helps you avoid the drive thru, which will save you money and help you eat healthier.

If you don’t have a lot of time for freezer cooking, just double recipes on the days that you can. If you are making chili just make an extra batch and freeze it. If you are making a pasta casserole make two and freeze one. You don’t need a full day to stock your kitchen. You can easily do it without spending a lot of time.

Freezer Burrito Casserole

Freezer Burrito Casserole is an easy dinner to make several pans of. I almost always make two of these and we have one for dinner and I freeze the other one.

Chicken Burrito Casserole

My Chicken Burrito Casserole also freezes well.

Gluten Free Meatloaf

Meatloaf is always a great freezer meal. I like to cook it and then freeze it, but you can just as easily make it, form it into a loaf, freeze it, and then cook it when you are ready to serve it. This is my favorite meatloaf recipe.

gluten free meatballs

Meatballs are another great freezer meal. You can freezer then cooked or uncooked. They work great because you can serve them so many ways. With sauce over pasta, for meatball sandwiches, with bbq sauce over them, and more. This is my favorite meatball recipe.

5 Ingredient Freezer Burritos

Five Ingredient Freezer Burritos are one of my son’s favorite meals. He like to eat them for lunch or dinner. They work great when he needs something quick and easy.

I have been making taco pasta for years and it freezes very well. Make one for dinner and freeze one for two easy meals your family is sure to love!

Spoon Burgers

Sloppy joes are a favorite in my family! We love them over bread, buns, or baked potatoes. They are an easy recipe to make in a big batch and freeze in zip top bags. My spoon burgers are a nice change from regular sloppy joes.

Chili is another meal I freeze all the time. I have lots of different versions that I make, but we love my slow cooked chili and my slow cooked chili without beans.

Crock Pot Taco Soup

Soups like taco soup are always great to keep in the freezer. You can freeze them in large containers for a full meal or smaller containers perfect for taking for lunch.

homemade slow cooked refried beans

It is no secret that we love Mexican type food and my freezer almost always has taco meat, salsa chicken, and homemade refried beans in it. With those things in the freezer I can easy put together tacos, taco salad, taco bowls, enchiladas, nachos, and so many other meals.

Keeping a freezer full of meals has saved me so much time and money over the years. We avoid the drive thru and eat so much healthier with a well stocked freezer!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Weekly Menu Plan

Pizza Salad

This week’s menu plan includes an easy make ahead breakfast for back to school and several slow cooked dinners that make busy days easier.

Here is the plan!

Breakfast

Homemade Chocolate Cherry Granola Bars and yogurt

Eggs and Sausage

Dinner

Pizza Salad

Pizza Salad

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

BBQ Ranch Chicken Salad

Crock Pot Beef Sandwiches

Crock Pot Beef Sandwiches

Crock Pot Mexican Pork Chops

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Pasta with Roasted Vegetables

Dessert of the Week

Mounds Bar Pie

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Menu Plan

Ground Beef Fajita Bowls

Here is this week’s gluten free menu plan. I made notes next to the ingredients that need to be gluten free, but as always read labels to be sure the ingredients are safe for your family.

Breakfast

Gluten Free Banana Pancake Muffins

Gluten Free Brown Sugar Waffles

Gluten Free Dairy Free Banana Bread

Dinner

Zucchini Pizza

Zucchini Pizza

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

Grilled Honey Mustard Chicken

Chicken Salad with Tomatoes and Bacon

Chicken Salad with Tomatoes and Bacon

Easy Migas

Easy Migas

Ground Beef Fajita Bowls

Ground Beef Fajita Bowls

Triple Berry Spinach Salad

Hamburgers on gf bun or bunless and Triple Berry Spinach Salad

Gluten Free Dessert of the Week

No Bake Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

No Bake Chocolate Cherry Cookie Bars

For more menu planning ideas see Menu Planning Mondays.

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Three Simple Recipes {Week 10}

This week for Three Simple Recipes I have a delicious main dish pasta salad, corn on the cob, and and easy summer dessert.

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta Salad

Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta Salad

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Brownie Fudge Sundae 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins are a moist and delicious gluten free muffin! These are so good that no one will know they are gluten free!

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

It has been a couple of weeks since I did a recipe for my series where I convert recipes to gluten free. I shared a picture of these muffins on Instagram and Facebook and quite a few readers wanted the recipe, so I knew I needed to get it posted for you.

I made these muffins after our neighbor gave us a some zucchini from his garden. Instead of making something healthy, I instantly knew I wanted to make muffins with it.

I remembered seeing a recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Bread on Two Peas and Their Pod and decided to give a gluten free version a try. Their chocolate banana bread recipe converted so well to gluten free chocolate banana muffins I knew the zucchini bread would also work well.

I am so glad that I gave these a try. These muffins are a new favorite at our house. They are so good!

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

These muffins were actually fairly easy to adapt to gluten free because the recipe was so similar to the banana bread recipe that I already converted.

I used the same basic flours that I use in many of my muffins and desserts. Just like in the banana recipe, I used all oil instead of part oil and part butter. I think using all oil helps keeps them from drying out. Gluten free baked goods often tend to be dry and oil seems to help that in many recipes.

If you have lots of zucchini this is a great recipe to double and freeze for back to school breakfast, lunches, and snacks.

Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

 

 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob makes corn on the cob an easy summer treat!

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

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Corn on the cob is one of my favorite summertime foods. It brings back memories of fresh from the garden corn when I was a kid. Corn was something my parents grew in their garden almost every year and it is something that I still love to eat.

Corn on the cob is not hard to cook. It usually takes more time to shuck and clean the corn than it does to cook it. However, I have discovered that the Instant Pot makes corn on the cob even easier to cook. It has become my favorite way to cook corn on the cob!

If you have an Instant Pot and haven’t tried corn on the cob you need to. It is so easy and so good!

If you don’t have an Instant Pot you might want to get one. I love mine!

If you need more Instant Pot recipes be sure to check out my huge list of Instant Pot Recipes and my huge list of Gluten Free Instant Pot Recipes.

I will also add that many Instant Pot recipes for corn on the cob say to only cook it for 2-3 minutes. I don’t like my corn over cooked, but I also don’t like it super crunchy. I find that we like it best at about 6-8 minutes depending on the size of the corn.

Instant Pot Corn on the Cob

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Weekly Menu Plan and Menu Plan Update

I loved hearing from all of you regarding my weekly menu plans! I am so glad I asked you all. If you haven’t shared your thoughts you still can. I would love to hear from you.

The majority of you said that like my menu plans. Some readers did say that they skip over them because they don’t menu plan or don’t find them helpful, but the majority wanted me to keep sharing them. So I will. For now I am going to keep things that same and will share them weekly on Saturday. I may start doing them in a newsletter in the fall or in January, but I am not sure. For now I will keep doing them like I have always done them.

For those that don’t find my menus helpful, I am fine with you skipping over those. Don’t feel bad. I understand that although I LOVE menu planning, not everyone does. I also know that not all my readers are gluten free. I expect many readers to skip over the gluten free plans. I am fine with it. Feel free to skip over them and read what you find helpful.

I will say though that my menu plans are a great way to find recipes that you missed before or have forgotten about. I link to all kinds of recipes from the archives. So even if you don’t menu plan, if you are looking for recipe ideas, be sure to scan through the weekly menu plans!

Now for this week’s menu plan!

Breakfast

Frozen Breakfast Burritos

Homemade Frozen Breakfast Burritos

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate Chip Muffins (or Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Muffins) and Instant Pot Boiled Eggs

Crispy Homemade Granola

Dinner

Pork Tacos

Greek Scrambled Eggs

Greek Scrambled Eggs

Bacon Cheeseburger Salad

Slow Cooked Chicken Legs

Layered Taco Salad

BBQ Sloppy Joes

Dessert of the Week

Blueberry Upside Down Cake 

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Gluten Free Menu Plan and Some Menu Planning Thoughts

Earlier this week I asked my readers if they enjoy my menu planning posts. The majority of readers said they loved them and wanted me to keep doing them. I am so glad to know that readers enjoy them.

What surprised me though is how many people love my gluten free menu plans. They are a favorite among my gluten free readers. So, I will keep sharing them weekly. I may turn them into a weekly newsletter later this year or in January, but I am not sure. For now I am going to keep things the same and will share them every Saturday.

Here is this week’s gluten free menu plan. I made notes next to the items that need to be gluten free, but make sure to read labels to be sure the ingredients are safe for your family.

Breakfast

Gluten Free Banana Pancake Muffins

fluffy gluten free pancakes

Gluten Free Pancakes

Dinner

Taco Bowls

Grilled Chicken Spinach Salad

Apple Bacon Cheese Frittata 

Bacon Salmon

Bacon Salmon

Gluten Free Macaroni and Cheese

Gluten Free Dessert of the Week

chocolate flourless peanut butter cookies

Double Chocolate Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Three Simple Recipes {Week 9}

This week’s three simple recipes includes a salad and two make at home favorites.

Main dish salads are great during the summer. They are quick and easy to make and don’t require the use of the oven!

Chicken Bacon Salad

Chicken Bacon Salad is a favorite at our house. I like to use leftover or rotisserie chicken when making it because it is an easy way to have two meals in one. We can have chicken one night and use the leftovers for this salad the next.

Croutons on not necessary on salad, but they are delicious! I love the crunch they give a basic green salad. Homemade croutons are so easy to make. If you have never tried them you should. They are a great way to use up bread that might not be the freshest. They also work great with gluten free bread for gluten free croutons.

If you have kids or grand kids Homemade Magic Shell is a must make! It only has two ingredients and is so easy to make. It makes summer ice cream fun and delicious. And adults love it too!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures

Seven Ways to Make Tacos

Oven Tacos

Mexican food, especially tacos, is a favorite at our house. We love it not only because it is usually a quick and easy meal, but because we almost always have all the ingredients on hand.

Mexican food also works great for serving a crowd. You can set everything out and everyone can just make there own just how they like it.

Tacos are one of my favorite ways to serve Mexican type food. We eat them often, so I am constantly changing up how I serve them. Today I thought I would share a few of my favorite ways to serve tacos.

Do you have a favorite way to serve tacos? I would love hear what your favorite way to serve them is!

Lynn's Kitchen Adventures