Monday, April 11, 2011

Naptime Freezer Cooking (+ Taco Meat Recipe)

A blissful nap

Last week, while my son was doing the above, I tackled my freezer cooking.

Most months I do my batch cooking in 1-2 busy, dirty-dish-filled days. But this time around I took a slower pace...and with great success! So, if you feel like a huge once a month cooking day is out of your reach (due to lack of childcare, busy work schedule, etc.), let me encourage you that much can be accomplished in just a 1-2 hour stretch.

Here's what I accomplished in around 4 naptimes:

2 big batches of taco meat (recipe below!)
2 batches of meat for Shepherd's Pie
8 hamburger patties (flash frozen, then stored in a freezer bag)
Gallon freezer bag full of individually wrapped Freezer Breakfast Burritos
2 dishes of Pepper Jack Stuffed Chicken Breasts
2-3 meals worth of marinated chicken breasts
1 meals worth marinated chicken breasts for Chicken and Veggie Stir-Fry
1 Quick Crustless Quiche and cooked bacon for an additional quiche

Cooking still left to do for this month? Black Bean and Mango Chicken Salad x 2,  Stuffed Pasta Shells x 2,  one more quiche (I ran out of eggs!) and a huge batch of pizza dough. Doable! Most likely I'll cook these dishes on the day we plan to eat them and double the recipe for a future meal.

Taco Meat

I love having taco meat on makes for such an easy dinner! In fact, my husband jokes that if there's no plan in place, then we automatically eat "mexican."

I make my taco meat the following way:
Taco Meat

1 lb ground beef
1 can refried beens
3/4 cup water
1-2 TBSP homemade taco seasoning (or one package of store-bought seasoning)
Extra black or pinto beans (drained), if desired
Brown the ground beef and drain excess grease. Then add 3/4 cup water and taco seasoning and simmer for a few minutes over medium low heat. Then add refried beans and mix well. Add additional beans to your taste and adjust seasonings as necessary.
Printable Version
Easy-peasy...definitely not complicated! I freeze this laying flat in ziplock bags, so that it's easy to thaw. Our favorite toppings are lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream, cheddar cheese, and fresh guacamole!

Based on my freezer cooking and an adaptation of April's meal plan, our menu this week will look something like the following:

Breakfasts: Cold cereal, yogurt, fruit smoothies, toast with jam
Lunches: Salads or leftovers
Dinners by weeknight:
Monday--Baked Grouper with rice and steamed squash
Tuesday--Stuffed Pasta Shells with garlic bread
Wednesday--Hubby and some of his friends are volunteering to cook for the I have the night off!
Thursday--Shepherd's Pie
Friday--Pizza night
Saturday--Hamburgers on the grill with Garden Macaroni Salad
Sunday--Black Bean and Mango Chicken Salad Wraps

So, do you cook during naptime? I find that it's nice and peaceful when no one is underfoot...

Linked to Menu Plan Monday and Tasty Tuesday.


  1. I use to do a lot of cooking/cleaning during naps. Now... I nap. ;) Hopefully I'll get some energy back soon and can go back to my old routine, because it was much more helpful.

    P.S. That picture of Squishy is just so adorable. Nothing cuter than a sleeping baby.

  2. Ooooh, you are growing a baby, so you are being very useful, even when napping (maybe especially so!). :)

  3. That is SO awesome what you've been able to accomplish during naptimes! I'm impressed! I love that you posted the taco filling with the beans! I used to make that ALL the time! I really need to invest in a big freezer!!

  4. Dont you just love having all thos meals in your freezer? You have some great recipes on your blog! I am a new follower...

  5. Way to go! Freezer taco meat sounds like a fantastic thing to have. Perhaps that will be my first freezer cooking thing! I can definitely get that done in 40 minutes (the amount of time Archer ALWAYS naps)!

    Sleeping babies make me say ahhh : )

  6. Wow you really got a lot accomplished!! That is such an adorable picture. There is just nothing like watching little ones sleep. He really is so cute! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog this past week. I really appreciated it!

  7. You go girl--that's more than I get accomplished in a week! You first photo is SO PRECIOUS. :)

  8. We have the same crib bumper.

    Good job! Sounds a little less stressful than a one day schedule.

    Naptime is my breaktime. =p Soon the older one will give up her naps, so I'm taking advantage of it now.

  9. Oh my goodness! I'm excited to try the Black Bean & Mango salad and those breakfast burritos would be perfect for my hubby! Thanks so much for sharing!! :D

  10. What a great idea, my little turkey doesn't nap but he does go to bed before me, I bet I could get a lot done in an hour after he goes to bed. Thanks for the encouragement to try this!

  11. When my monkey did nap, I used to as well since I work a "full time shift" outside the house...sadly naps have gone by the wayside so now I'm just perpetually tired and go to bed at the same time as my son at night. (I work an EARLY shift to save on daycare costs and be home as much as possible with him)


I love your comments. :) I know your time is precious, so I appreciate the time you spend reading and giving feedback.

Please be respectful of others and kind with your words.