Today I’m beginning a series of recipes I’ll be bringing you over the next several weeks that will save you time, money, and help you get supper on the table after a busy day. The first recipe is my Freezer Chicken Fried Rice. I make a double recipe of this and freeze half of the recipe using my FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System. In total, this makes 8 servings at a cost of just $1.33 per servings because I am able to purchase everything in bulk and store the meal longer thanks to my FoodSaver® Food Preservation System. . In one cooking effort, I have two complete meals my family loves, one for now and one to make supper a breeze at the end of a busy day later on.
But let’s begin at the beginning because I want to show you my grocery shopping trip. I shopped for two weeks worth of groceries – including fresh veggies and salad fixings, and spent right at $300 for everything I need for 14 complete meals. I then price matched all of that at a traditional grocery store and found that I saved over $200 by buying in bulk – which coincidentally would cover the cost of a FoodSaver® Food Preservation System (hint, hint).
This is my haul for these posts. All of my meat and vegetables, including salad greens, purchased ahead of time for two weeks. The beauty of this is that my FoodSaver® Food Preservation System is going to keep all of this as fresh as I need it to be for those two weeks and beyond, even the salad, using just the FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System, FoodSaver ® bags, and FoodSaver® Fresh Containers(they vacuum seal, too).
Over the next several weeks I will bring you all of the recipes I made (including my shopping list) for fourteen meals, complete with sides.
Here are my veggies. Now, normally you wouldn’t want to buy fresh veggies that far in advance but these containers vacuum seal to keep them fresh. Since I have been using these, I’ve had salad greens be fresh and crunchy (no wilt at all) over two weeks after I purchased them.
To make my meal prep for the week easier, I went ahead and chopped, diced, and prepped the veggies for my meals before vacuum sealing them in these containers and storing in my refrigerator. For cruciferous vegitables, like broccoli and brussels sprouts, you need to be sure to blanche them before vacuum sealing. My FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System has a little attachment that connects to the top of the Containers and vacuum seals them for longer storage. The containers themselves are microwave, refrigerator, freezer, and dishwasher safe. The dishwasher safe thing is a priority at my house.
This is my new FoodSaver® FM5000 Series Food Preservation System, which has a few notable improvements over my older model. The main thing I love about it is a separate sealer for the bags. Now, instead of having to make my bag and use the main sealer to seal them, there is a bag making station at the very bottom that cuts and seals right there. This saves steps and time. You can purchase this machine for $149.00 – $199.00 at most department stores such as Wal Mart, Costco, Sam’s, Target, Amazon, or online at FoodSaver.com.
I seal all of my meat using the FoodSaver® bags. Family size portions are vacuum sealed and placed in the fridge (for use within the next few days) or freezer (for use the following week). The beauty of vacuum sealing meats in FoodSaver®bags is that it drastically extends the life of my meats.
I saw this first hand and became a HUGE believer in FoodSaver® a few years back when I was cleaning out my freezer. The meats that I had frozen in regular zipper seal freezer bags were covered in ice crystals and freezer burn. The meats that I had taken the time to freeze in FoodSaver® bags were still perfectly sealed, no freezer burn, no ice crystals, good as the day I put them in.
Here is a chart that shows you the average life of meats sealed with the FoodSaver® versus regular zipper seal bags:
FoodSaver® Bags have saved me hundreds upon hundreds of dollars in meat alone. The way that I typically stock my freezer is when it starts getting low, I choose a week and for a few days I start going to the grocery store or warehouse club as soon as they open and buying whatever meats I use that they have marked down. I bring those home and immediately vacuum seal them and put them in my freezer. After a week of doing this I have a fully stocked freezer with a variety of all types of meat.
I know that I am safe buying that meat and that it will be good however long it takes me to get to it because of the security of having it vacuum sealed.
To make my Freezer Chicken Fried Rice, I begin by sautéing the chicken in a little bit of butter until it is no longer pink in the center.
Add in chopped onion (it’s already chopped and in my FoodSaver® Fresh Container in the fridge) and cook until onion is tender. Add all other veggies, sauces, and seasonings, and cook until veggies are cooked through.
Push chicken mixture over to one side of the pan and add eggs. Cook them, stirring from time to time, until just scrambled. Stir entire mixture together and stir in cooked brown rice. Salt and pepper to taste.
This is enough for two complete meals for a family of four at just $1.33 per serving!
Take half of the Chicken Fried Rice and seal in a FoodSaver® bag. Label and freeze until ready to use. To reheat, remove from freezer and cut one corner of the bag to vent and microwave on high for 6-8 minutes, or until heated through. Allow to sit for one minute before removing from bag.
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2.5 pounds boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 24 ounce frozen mixed vegetables of your choice
- 6 tablespoons soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 6 eggs
- 5 cups cooked brown rice
- In large wok style skillet, saute chicken in butter over medium high heat until chicken is no longer pink in the center. Add chopped onion and cook, stirring often, until onion is tender.
- Add in all other ingredients except rice. Continue cooking over medium high heat, stirring often, until vegetables are cooked through.
- Push chicken mixture over to one side of the skillet and add eggs to empty side. Scramble a bit with a spoon and cook until set, stirring as needed. Stir cooked eggs into chicken mixture and then stir in rice.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
Disclaimer: This post was graciously sponsored by FoodSaver®. All opinions contained herein are my own. Special thanks to them for helping me bring you this budget and freezer friendly meal!Yum