I am a planner through and through.
As a working mom of two school-aged kids, I like to have healthy, filling meals at the ready not just for the kids, but for me too. With classes starting up again and ever-shifting schedules, it makes my life a little easier to have meals prepared either for weeknight dinners, afternoon lunches or grab and go breakfast. I'm all about things being easier for mom.
Don't think prep work is a solo job. If your kids are old enough, have them help. Invite your spouse to join you too. The rule in my house is: Everybody eats; everybody helps!
Make an assembly line to fill and wrap both the burritos and quesadillas. Let the kids scoop and sear meatballs, open cans or if they have basic knife skills (my 11 year old regularly uses my 8-inch chef's knife) let them chop vegetables. I’ve stockpiled my freezer with the recipes below and I thought you might want to as well. Each one can be taken from the freezer to the pan, oven, or microwave.
Chicken Freezer Burritos
I LOVE these. Not only are they perfect for back to school, but they are also great for that Airbnb rental or camping trip. Rather than slice the peppers, I chop them because it’s easier for my kids to bite through. I also double the chicken and add frozen corn. I usually get about 15 burritos out of a batch with my added extras. Wrap them individually and reheat what you need when you need them.
Slow Cooker Chickpea Curry with Sweet Potatoes and Red Peppers
I only use half a bag of chickpeas, add a small head of cauliflower and double the spinach to boost the veggies in this easy slow cooker meal. It makes a ton. I make a batch and divide it into smaller containers and freeze. This way I have a quick, healthy vegetarian lunch ready for me. Serve it with dollop of plain yogurt. If sending it to school with your kids, pack it in a thermos and add some rice.
Slow Cooker Meatballs in Tomato Sauce
This recipe makes about 40 meatballs. It’s great to make and have for dinner one night, freeze the rest for dinner down the road or pack it in school lunches. Commit to a double batch and freeze it all – then you have most of what you need for spaghetti and meatballs, meatball subs, or just meatballs to eat on a busy weeknight in the future.
Southwest Skillet Chicken with Beans and Corn
Make two or three batches of the chicken and freeze it. Then just keep frozen corn and canned beans on hand. You could even use frozen diced peppers if you don’t have any fresh ones laying around.Continue to 5 of 10 below.
Easy Tomato Soup
This is such a quick and easy soup you don’t really need to make it ahead of time, but if you have kids at home during the day, then it’s nice to have this soup in individual containers in the freezer. They just need to grab a container, heat it, and enjoy. Grilled cheese is always a stellar pairing option.
Vegan Stuffed Squash with Brown Rice and Mushrooms
This is one of my favorite recipes. Sadly, my family doesn’t eat winter squash, but they do love the filling in this recipe. So, I make a big batch of the filling and freeze it. I can thaw it to stuff roasted squash for me and serve the filling as a side with sausage or bratwurst for my husband and kids.
Breakfast Quesadilla with Black Beans and Eggs
We can’t forget about breakfast. I cook these vegetarian quesadillas all the way through, cut them in half and freeze them between layers of parchment paper. In the morning, I zap it in the microwave just to take the chill off then crisp them up in a skillet. This one keeps my middle schooler full until lunchtime.
I currently have 8 loaves of this in my freezer. The recipe calls for draining the zucchini, but I never do and it turns out perfectly tender with just a hint sweetness. Zucchini bread makes a great quick breakfast with a side of fruit, a quick (do it yourself) afterschool snack or an extra treat in a packed lunch. If you have a sweet tooth try the chocolate version.Continue to 9 of 10 below.
Freezer Breakfast Burritos with Sausage, Eggs and Salsa Verde
These are great to make in batches and freeze just like the chicken freezer burritos mentioned above. Pro tip: reuse the plastic bag the tortillas came in to freeze the burritos or make your own flour tortillas.
You can make any muffin and freeze it. I try to put as many as a I can in a zip top bag and freeze them. Then when I don’t have time to make breakfast or if we are rushing out the door, I can grab one and go.