One of the awesome things Simon has been into the last few years is Boy Scouts. He started later than many of the boys in his troop but it has really been an excellent experience for him. Chris has spearheaded most of these adventures - attending meetings and often going on outings with him and taking the time to help him get organized.
For one of his Family Life Merit Badge requirements (a family project) he decided to plan out seven freezer meals for our family.
Here's what he decided to prep:
- Loaded Egg Burritos
- Healthy Freezer Breakfast Sandwiches
- Sweet Potato Sausage Breakfast Casserole
- Slow Cooker TexMex Chicken
- Teriyaki Chicken
- Paleo Crockpot Meatballs
- Tropical Chicken Meatloaf
I helped him locate some possible meal ideas on Pinterest and then he narrowed them down to the choices above and compiled a list of all the ingredients he would need to make these seven meals before heading to the store.
After we got home, and after his hour of screen time, we got down to business.
We started with the three breakfast recipes. Those were the ones he seemed most excited about and I was excited that he was excited.
Some of you have been around long enough to remember when eating a variety of foods was a big issue for Simon (check out my archive of Simon stories here). These days he eats pretty much everything - which is amazing and awesome and man am I thankful for that evolution. There are things he likes less (like noodles and soup) but he will eat it if that’s what's offered.
He’s been really into breakfast sandwiches this past year and for awhile we were buying some from Costco until they stopped carrying them. We started with this recipe because that seemed to be the easiest and the one that he could really feel some accomplishment about. We doubled the recipe to end up with 12 instead of 6 (as you can imagine with so many kids around here those will go fast).
I can totally see making these again. I loved the technique for baking the eggs in round ramikins - so easy and simple. Totally a game changer for this kind of batch cooking.
After the eggs were baked and cooled he assembled them with a slice of cheese + Canadian bacon and then individually wrapped each one before putting them into a larger freezer bag.
Next we moved on to cooking the sausage for both the other breakfast recipes and doing the work for the breakfast burritos (another food he generally enjoys). He dealt with all the eggs (cracking and scrambling) and I helped with some of the chopping.
After that point he got tired and asked to go take a nap.
We were at a good stopping point where the filling for the burritos was complete and the casserole was ready to be baked so I cleaned up while he took a nap.
When Aaron and I chatted about it later he suggested just bagging up the burrito filling into individual servings that could be warmed up and added to tortillas vs. freezing them in the tortillas (which is what the recipe says). Loved that idea so the next day Simon scooped out individual servings of the breakfast burrito filling and put them in the freezer. He made one today and it worked out great to just heat up the filling and then wrap it in a tortilla.
For dinner that night I decided to just make the Tropical Chicken Meatloaf vs. doing it as a freezer meal so we need to add something else to his list.
Splitting this up into a couple sessions made it much more reasonable adventure for him. The dinners were almost easier - except the meatballs which were messier and he's not always a fan of having his hands in the that kind of texture. He cut up chicken and I chopped some veggies. He bagged up the rest of the meals and it was all good to go.
This adventure was so worth it. It's great for him to see that you can do this kind of batch cooking and have it quick and easy to grab later on. It was helpful for me because we now have meals in the freezer that can just be pulled out and put into the crockpot. Looking forward to doing this again something soon (the breakfast sandwiches are already gone of course) with his help and/or inviting another kid to participate and select the meals we put together.
Highly recommend this adventure with kids.