Clean Out the Freezer: Week 1

I will admit it, I am a freezer hoarder.  I spend time making beans, rice, muffins, freezer meals and more from scratch and then feel afraid to eat them because I might need a quick meal some day and then it won’t be available.  Anyone else have this problem?  Surely I’m not the only one.   I also throw random bits of leftovers in the freezer for another meal down the road.

My inlaws raise cattle so all of our beef comes from them.  It is almost time for the next round of beef to hit my freezer so I figured this was the perfect time to eat those random bits in my freezer.  Of course, I forgot to take many pictures throughout the week but here are a few of the yummy things I made using what I already had on hand.

Quinoa salad

The above picture is a quinoa salad I made using quinoa, black beans, and corn from the freezer.  I added onions and a homemade lime dressing and let it sit for awhile to absorb the flavors.  So yummy!  This was my lunch one day as I knew the kids would never touch it but I needed some grown up food.

Bits and pieces of leftover homemade gluten free bread – I turned this into bread crumbs, croutons, and french toast.

Quinoa Blueberry Muffins – These need to be frozen if not used in 24-48 hours but they are delicious and an easy way to sneak some protein in. I used sorghum flour in place of the millet flour as I did not have any on hand. Quinoa and blueberries came from the freezer.

Banana Bread Muffins – If you follow me on Facebook you have already seen this recipe posted.  I used bananas from the freezer as they are starting to take over one compartment.  I plan to make another batch this week as the kids loved this.  Brown rice flour was used in place of white rice flour.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole – From the freezer I used leftover lunch meat ham, shredded chicken, and bread crumbs from leftover bread.  My husband doesn’t like bread crumbs on anything so I made half without and he loved it.  He is picky so that is a huge win.

Slow Cooker Party Pork – When buying a pork roast I usually cut it into smaller portions so that we are not eating leftovers for ages.  I used one of these portions and half of the sauce recipe here.  All of my kids love this super easy recipe.

Mexican soup – I took the way too hot homemade enchilada sauce, added some random leftover mexican dish, more black beans, corn, and some chicken broth to create a something new.  The other ingredients toned down the enchilada sauce which meant my effort to make it didn’t go to waste.

I plan to keep cleaning out the freezer this next week and I will report back at the end of next week.  Feel free to join me and leave a comment with any recipes you try.


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Repurpose a Muffin Tin For Snacks or Meals

Muffin tin edited

We are currently on day six of what was supposed to be a four day weekend.  When my boys are home, they aren’t interested in actual meals.  They prefer to graze all day long.  I get tired of constantly refilling snack cups.  About a year ago I stumbled onto the idea to use a muffin tin to put out a variety of foods.  This concept has been a lifesaver lately.  In fact, my toddler knows where I keep the muffin tins and many times will go get one of a morning.

I first used this concept to get my kids to eat a wider variety of foods.  They tend to stick to the same things but when I put one or two new items in they didn’t seem to mind too much.  The picture above was for a morning snack but I’ve used the same concept for full on meals.

The muffin tins sits on the coffee table as the living room is the hub of our home.  My kids walk by and grab whatever they want, when they want, instead of me refilling snacks all day long.

In the picture above there is chocolate chips, Chex cereal, raisins, gluten free granola, cashews and gluten free pretzel sticks.  Some other ideas we have used are dried cranberries, peanuts, peas, baby carrots, cheese cubes, m&m’s (a great way to limit portion control), apple slices, strawberries, grapes, etc.  When it is just Silas at home, sometimes I will use a mini muffin tin so that the portions are just his size.

Looking for a gift for a child or new mom?  I prefer useable items instead of junk.  Package a muffin tin with a few snacks and it is a practical gift that will actually get used.

What other food ideas do you have for a muffin tin snack? I’m sure we could all use a few new ideas for our usual rotation of kid friendly snacks.

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