I'm really quite fond of communal gatherings that center around food... have you noticed? From potlucks to picnics to food swaps, I just love the way food brings people and families together. So of course I was over the moon to be invited to a "freezer meal swap" last weekend.
I joined five lovely young mamas, most with babies in tow, as they prepped and packed wholesome freezer meals to swap. The goal: to ease the challenge of cooking and serving a healthy, homemade meal every night. Basically, every participant shopped for and prepared one meal, five times (six if they included themselves). Then, we all gathered at one person's home and exchanged our meals (which were to be six-serving portions) to take home and freeze.
Swappers were instructed to bring our own dishes for the meals to be assembled and stored in, to make the swap as sustainable as possible. So rows of casserole dishes and storage jars lined the host's kitchen counters and farmhouse table, as we dished out our offerings in assembly line fashion.
Sides... rice, quinoa, and whole grain noodles... were packaged separately to be cooked along with their respective meals (butternut squash chicken curry, hearty chicken stew, roasted eggplant & basil parmesean). Pre-cooked cornbread accompanied a turkey & white bean tomatillo chili. And one-pot meals included a farmhouse turkey potpie and a roasted butternut squash, caramelized onion & spinach lasagna (my meal!).
The entire swap was organized via a Facebook, where each invitee posted two potential meals - with recipes and container needs - to an event wall. The meals were then voted on a week before the swap, so everyone had plenty of time to shop and prep.
The six-portion meals were a bit big for my crew, since my little chicks are a wee bit particular (ahem). Knowing it would be mostly me and my hubby enjoying these meals, I was able to portion them out into two-meal servings each... so I have 10 meals ready to go. Of course, we've already gotten into a few... what a lifesaver for busy nights!
~ Do you have any favorite, go-to freezer meals? I'd love some suggestions for the next swap! ~