Usually I only have to worry about food for myself when we go away for the weekend, but thanks to this year’s Whole30, we spent an entire day prepping food for both of us before heading out of town to visit family. I know I’ve written about traveling with freezer meals before, but I always love sharing recipes that are easy to make, and freeze/travel well. I’m sure it makes me a little selfish, but it was nice to have someone else that could only eat food brought from home for a change. I’m sure it was extra difficult for my hubby, since he doesn’t usually have to restrict himself so much.
Trying to keep things simple, we chose three meals to make in larger quantities. This ensured we had enough food for our planned three days away. We also decided we’d stop at Chipotle on our drive home, so we wouldn’t need to worry about reheating food. That meant cooking and freezing each of these so all of our meals were set!
The first thing we got cooking was Chicken Masala. Trying to minimize our efforts, we chose this since it’s a crock-pot meal and always turns out perfect.
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Juice from 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons curry
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 1 tablespoon garam masala (usually in the international aisle of the grocery store)
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 (15 ounce) cans coconut milk, unsweetened
- 5 large chicken breasts, boneless & skinless
- 1 (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (no sugar added)
- 1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste (no sugar added)
- Fresh cilantro for garnish
After getting that going, we riced a head of cauliflower to go along with the chicken. It was only enough for two servings, but there was plenty of chicken for at least six meals!
Our next major task was to get the chili going. This recipe was one we found a while ago, and loved it so much that it’s now a regular in our menu.
Sweet Potato Chili
- 2 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 2 cups beef stock
- 3 carrots, chopped
- 1 large can (29.5 oz) tomato sauce
- 1 small can (15 oz) fire roasted petite diced tomatoes, with juice
- 5 small sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 2 bay leaves
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 2 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Dash oregano
- Dash red pepper flakes
In a large pot, brown the beef, onions, and garlic. Drain the fat when browned. Add remaining ingredients to pot, mixing well before bringing to a boil. Simmer for 30-40 minutes. By the way, that little green thing in the pot below actually belongs there! It holds the bay leaves, so you can easily pull them out of the pot when it’s cooked.
While the chili was simmering, we started chopping up sweet and red potatoes for our usual morning side dish. Along with eggs, we start every morning with sauteed potatoes. My go-to spices are chili powder, turmeric, smoked paprika, and a little salt and pepper to taste.
Branching out to something new, our final task was to take on Stuffed Acorn Squash. This was a completely new recipe for us, and thanks to the ease of the crock-pot chicken and simmering chili, most of our efforts were focused on this.
We really lucked out with the temperatures for this trip too! Go figure, we managed to see the coldest temperatures I’ve ever seen while we were up in New York that weekend…all the way down to -20°F!!! Thankfully, that meant we could leave the cooler in the car and not worry about anything thawing too quickly. As we bounced around visiting everyone, all we had to do was bring in the cooler to start defrosting and cooking our next meal 🙂