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Five Whole 30 Approved Freezer Meals

freezer meals                              soup

When we decided to do Whole 100 this year, we knew that being prepared before the start date was going to be important to our success. Being prepared is everything when completing Whole 30. Getting rid of forbidden items and stocking your refrigerator, freezer, and cabinets with approved items is key.

Two weeks before we began I made a few large batches of food that could be stored in the freezer. I wanted these meals to be quick to make, would freeze well, and would be delicious too. Of course you don’t need to store these in the freezer to enjoy them. Tons of foods freeze very well. Soups, stews and sauces do very well. Precooked meat and casseroles do well too. Some foods to avoid putting into your freezer are items like lettuce, cucumber, sprouts, eggs and potatoes. Freezing them will make them weird, rubbery and watery. I’ve not heard of anyone trying to freeze these items but if you’ve ever accidently pushed them into the back of your refrigerator and they have gotten frosted, you know exactly what I mean. I made all these meals during one long cooking meal preparing session. Of course you could make one or two of them per week, or make double of any of these to eat during the current week while still having enough for storing some in the freezer too.


vacuum sealer

We already had a vacuum sealer which worked well to store recipes that don’t have a lot of liquid in them. We purchased ours at a garage sale for $10 last year. We have two kinds of vacuum sealing bags; these FoodSaver bags and these VacMaster VacStrip Bags. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. Both bags say that they are safe to use in the freezer, refrigerator, microwave, and can be put in boiling water. This is nice because it gives a lot of options for reheating these frozen foods. I’ve used the “boil in the bag” method a few times so far and thought it worked well. If microwaving just make sure you vent the bag in some way to avoid an explosion.

The Food Saver bags say that they “Work with FoodSaver Heat-Seal vaccum sealing systems”. This leads me to believe that they would not work well with other vacuum sealing machines. They allow you to make any length bag you desire as they come on one large roll. They also come in a few different widths. We used the 8” bags. The VacMaster bags come in pre-measured sizes of various widths and dimensions.  They claim to work on “all vacuum packaging machines”.  So, apparently any vacuum sealing device, no matter the brand would work. Here are some pictures of each bag. The FoodSaver bags are on the left and the VacMaster is on the right.

foodsaverbag                           foodbag

I’m not sure if it is because our vacuum sealer is an older model but I thought the VacMaster bags sealed much better and removed more air than the FoodSaver bags. The extra strip down the middle is supposed to increase the suction, so I suppose that could be the reason. Perhaps a newer model vacuum sealer would work better than ours. It’s hard to say.

We also purchased some freezer friendly plastic containers from Target to store soups and stews. There are a slew of cheap plastic containers out there. I liked these ones because they are PBA-Free and are freezer, microwave and dishwasher safe. But honestly the price is very good as well. $3.99 for a 12-pack is very reasonable. Even though they are microwave safe, I try not to microwave in them. I find that even if a plastic container is listed as “microwave safe”, continuous microwave heating does damage the integrity of the plastic.

You don’t need to use my methods of storage either. I have heard of many people using Ziplock freezer bags, aluminum foil pans, or glass storage containers. It all depends on what kind of space or methods you think are best for you and your family.

So, here are five recipes that I made and stored using either the vacuum sealing bags or the plastic containers as I explained above.


Butternut squash soup 1

Roasted Butternut Squash soup
2 medium butternut squashes
1 medium apple of choice- I used a gala
2 Tablespoons ghee
4 cups of compliant chicken or vegetable broth
½ cup coconut milk
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed:
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Large sauce pan
Blender or stick blender
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  3. Split the squashes in half and removed the seeds using a spoon. Place squashes cut side up on the baking sheet.
  4. Melt 1 tablespoon ghee and brush tops and insides of the squash with it. Season with salt and pepper and place in preheated oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the squash is fork tender.
  5. While the squash is baking, peel and dice the apples and onion.
  6. Heat the remaining ghee in the large sauce pan and cook the onions and apples in the sauce pan for 7-8 minutes. Remove pan from the heat until the squash is finished cooking.
  7. Once squash has finished baking cool until you are able to handle it. Scoop the flesh from the skin of the squash and add it to the sauce pan with the apples and onions.
  8. Add the chicken broth and season with salt and pepper to taste. Turn heat to medium and simmer 10-15 minutes.
  9. Remove pan from heat and add in the coconut milk. Puree the soup with a stick blender or transfer to a blender (do it in small batches to ensure that you won’t get scalded or make a mess) to make a smooth soup.
  10. If storing in the freezer separate the soup into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


sausage and peppers

Italian Sausage and peppers
1 package of Whole 30 compliant Italian Sausages
1 of each green pepper, red pepper & yellow pepper
1 large yellow onion
1 clove garlic
1 jar of Whole 30 compliant marinara or sauce of choice
1 Tablespoon olive oil

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large skillet
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Wash and dry the peppers. Remove seeds and slice the peppers into strips.
  2. Remove the skin of the onion and slice into strips.
  3. Mince the clove of garlic.
  4. Heat the oil in the large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and fry for 30 seconds. Add in the onions and peppers and sauté, turning often until vegetables are tender.
  5. Slice the sausages into rings and add to the pan with the peppers and onions.
  6. Once the vegetables and sausages are cooked well add in the jar of sauce and warm everything together.
  7. If storing in the freezer separate the sausage and peppers into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


Crockpot pork loin with sauerkraut, apples and onions
2 pound Pork tenderloin
1 medium granny smith apple
1 package of sauerkraut (32 oz.)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon caraway seeds

Kitchen equipment needed:
6 quart oval crockpot- or at least this is what I have
Meat thermometer
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1.  Drain and rinse the sauerkraut. Mix the caraway seeds into the sauerkraut and put it in the bottom of the slow cooker.
  2. Slice the onion into strips and place on top of the sauerkraut.
  3. Slice the apple into thin wedges and place on top of the onions.
  4. Rinse the pork loin and pat dry. Place it on top of the other items in the slow cooker and season the meat with the salt, pepper, paprika and garlic powder.
  5. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or until tender and a meat thermometer reads 145 degrees F.
  6. Once cooled, cut tenderloin into equal servings and separate the sauerkraut, apples and onions into equal portions and scoop into storage containers in desired portions. Label the containers with contents and date.


chicken leggs

Chicken legs in mushroom sauce
10 chicken legs
3 pounds mixed mushrooms of choice- portabellas, white mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, oysters, etc. cut into slices.
2 cups compliant chicken broth
2 Tablespoons ghee
2 Tablespoons chopped parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

Kitchen equipment needed:
Large, deep skillet with lid
Kitchen thermometer
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Rinse and pat the chicken legs dry then sprinkle the legs with salt and pepper.
  2. Heat the ghee in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add 5 chicken legs to skillet and cook until browned on each side- about 3-5 minutes. Remove the first 5 legs then do the same to the remainder of the chicken. Set chicken legs aside for now.
  3. Add sliced mushrooms in the skillet and mix them into the ghee. Cook the mushrooms until tender- about 5 minutes.
  4. Return the chicken to the skillet and add in the chicken broth. Cover the skillet reduce the heat to medium and cook for approximately 25-30 minutes or until chicken is fully cooked and internal temperature reads 165 degrees F and the broth is reduced. Check the skillet about halfway through the cooking time- if it looks like the broth has reduced too much add a little more. At the end of the cooking time if there seems to be too much liquid, remove the chicken from the pan and continue to simmer the liquid until it is reduced to a gravy like consistency.
  5. Sprinkle the dish with parsley and mix it into the sauce.
  6. Once cooled, separate into desired portions and separate into storage containers. Label the containers with contents and date.



Whole 30 meat balls
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
½ medium onion diced
2 carrots finely chopped
3 cloves finely minced garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
5 leaves fresh basil chopped finely
½ cup chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 eggs

Kitchen equipment needed:
1 large mixing bowl
Small bowl for whisking eggs
Baking sheet
Aluminum foil
Storage containers of choice- for freezer storage

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In the large mixing bowl mix the beef, veggies and seasonings well.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and add it to the meat mixture. Mix all the ingredients well.
  4. Roll the meat into 1” meatballs and place on the foil lined baking sheet leaving a little space between each. You may have to bake in batches if you have a lot.
  5. Place baking sheet in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 20 minutes or until browned.
  6. Once cooled, separate into desired portions and separate into storage containers. Label the containers with contents and date.


I hope you enjoy these recipes as much as I do. The meatballs are pretty versatile. I’ve reheated and had them just like they are. I’ve also added them to sauce and had them with “zoodles” and I have wrapped them in lettuce and eaten them as a “sandwich”.

One more thing, it’s questionable how long things last in the freezer. Before this, I have only done a few frozen meals.I’m sure that how long food lasts in the freezer is dependent on the method of storage used.  I thought this guide from Real Simple to be helpful. Dating and rotating meals in the freezer is probably going to be important in order to avoid freezer burned food in the future. I’ll try to update this as I gain more experience with freezer food storage.

If you have any questions about my methods or have any great tips to share please comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Top 5 places to get recipes and meals ideas for Whole 30

Sweet potatoes

I don’t always follow recipes. I usually just throw some stuff into a pan and hope for something good. I think I have a good idea of what will taste great, but sometimes I want to use a recipe that someone else has already tested. I listed my top 5 places to get great tasting food.

1: Nom Nom Paleo
Michelle Tam is a pro. I’ve never been disappointed in one of her recipes. She makes wonderful and flavorful dishes. She has a book (Nom Nom Paleo: Food for Humans)and a great website.  Plus she has an entire section on her website that is dedicated to compliant Whole 30 dishes.  I’ve also been able to modify some of her regular paleo recipes by removing sweeteners.

2: Stupid Easy Paleo
She’s a crossfitter, Certified Holistic Nutrition Practitioner and paleo cook. She also has great recipes and has a section dedicated to Whole 30. I’ve tried quite a few of her recipes and keep going back for more.

3: Amazon Ashley
Amazon Ashley is a woman with great food ideas. I recently started following her on Instagram and started going through her blog. All her recipes are grain free, dairy free and sugar free. She also just came out with a book called “Clean and Colorful Cooking”.

4: HolyMamamoly
Mama Moly is such an inspiration. She is another person I recently started following on Instagram. She has done 100 days of Whole 30 and is still going! Her results from her healthy eating journey are amazing. I aspire to be more like her. She has great Whole 30 tips and recipes.

5: The Wonky Spatula
Here is another blogger who I find exciting to follow. Again, I just started following her on Instagram. She has delicious Whole 30 recipe ideas. I just really think her ideas of food preparation are similar to what I like to create for myself.


“…no one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.” ― Julia Child, My Life in France

Easy baked chicken pieces


We eat a fair amount of chicken at our house. I remember when I was first learning to cook that I was always afraid of undercooking chicken. I definitely feared getting Salmonella. Because of this fear I would overcook it just to be safe. Obviously this overcooking resulted in a dry mess. Now I use a meat thermometer and my chicken is always good. I HIGHLY recommend getting one.  There are a ton of brands out there.  We have this brand (ThermoWorks Instant Read Thermometer) and absolutely love it. It is kind of pricey and there are plenty of cheaper and nice brands out there.

I’ve tried many ways of preparing chicken but one of my favorite ways is to bake it. It is quick, not preparation heavy and it tastes great. I always use chicken pieces with bone and skin still attached for this method.  Boneless, skinless chicken could work here but cooking times will probably be shorter. Although, skinless chicken would not crisp up like skin on chicken does. Here is a quick rundown on how I prepare mine.

Baked chicken pieces

Ingredient list:
3-4 pounds bone in, skin on chicken pieces of choice (Note: I usually pre-marinade my chicken before baking and have included some suggestions below. If you don’t marinade ahead of time, that’s okay. Toss the chicken pieces with kosher salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika and parsley flakes and a couple tablespoons of olive oil to lightly coat and then follow the directions below)

Kitchen supplies needed:
Pans and Wire Rack
Meat thermometer

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil and place wire rack in center.



3.  Place marinated chicken on rack with an even amount of space in between each piece.


4.  Place chicken in preheated oven uncovered. Bake thighs for 40-45 minutes. Bake legs for 35-40 minutes. Bake wings for 25-30 minutes. The chicken should be crispy and nicely browned on the outside and the internal temperature should read 165 degrees on you meat thermometer.


There are tons of marinades out there. But, I have had some difficulty in finding prepared marinades or sauces that are Whole 30 compliant. Because of this, I’ve come up with a few easy combinations that I can create at home. Try one of these and see what you think.

Each marinade covers 3-4 pounds of chicken. Finely mince any fresh ingredients and combine with wet and/or dry ingredients. Place chicken pieces into a large bowl or large storage bag and add marinade.  Coat chicken pieces with the marinade. Cover bowl or seal bag and place in the refrigerator to marinate for 1-3 hours.  Follow the directions above for cooking instructions.


1 crushed clove of garlic
1 small shallot minced
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon kosher Salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2 Tablespoons each fresh thyme, rosemary, parsley and basil leaves finely chopped

2 cloves crushed garlic
1 Tablespoon finely minced ginger
2 scallions finely chopped
2 Tablespoons coconut aminos
2 Tablespoons Red boat fish sauce
2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
The juice from half a lime
Optional: ½ teaspoon dried, Asian chili flakes or any whole 30 compliant Asian chili sauce

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove minced garlic
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

What to serve it with:
For the herbed chicken try serving them with sweet potatoes, mashed cauliflower, green beans, salad, or Brussels sprouts. For the Asian marinade, try it with an Asian style slaw, sautéed Bok Choy with sesame seeds, or mixed stir fried vegetables. For the Indian marinade, try serving it with cauliflower rice, crispy potatoes or bhindi masala.

Of course these are just a guide. Try adding your own combinations of herbs or other compliant seasonings.  I’m sure that there are so many other marinating possibilities out there. I’d love to hear any comments you might have about marinades or flavor combinations you’ve enjoyed.

Apple Butter

Fall is probably my favorite season. The clothes get cozier, the colors become more vibrant and the food flavors get more exciting. Apple butter is just one of the many things that I look forward to once fall starts, but finding a sugarless version of apple butter is basically impossible. So, if I wanted to enjoy apple butter I had to make my own.  Before I made it, I also wanted to make sure I had some uses for it as well. I’ve pretty much have only eaten apple butter on toast, biscuits or off a spoon.  Once I decided I had enough recipes around to justify making a large pot of the delicious stuff, I set off into coming up with the following recipe.


Sugarless Apple butter

Ingredient list:
7-8 large sweet apples
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground allspice
¼ tsp ground ginger
Dash of ground nutmeg

Kitchen supplies needed:
Large pot
Slow cooker
8” chef’s knife
Cutting board
Measuring spoons
Ladles and spoons to stir and transfer sauce
Stick bender, blender or food processor
If canning:  Ball jars with lids and rings and other canning supplies (jar lifter, lid lifter, canning jar funnel)

Start by making an apple sauce.

  1. Select 7-8 large, sweet apples. Any variety of sweet apples will do- Fiji, Gala, McIntosh, Winesap. I personally used a mixture of Fiji and gala apples. Really any type of apples will do as long as you use sweet apples and avoid tart varieties like Granny Smiths or Pink ladies. Remember that since no sugar is added you have to rely on the sugars in the fruit to supply all the sweetness.
  1. Wash and peel the apples. Remove the cores and chop the apples into a medium dice. If you have one of those apple slicers you can use that to remove the core and then chop the individual segments into smaller pieces.  I don’t have one so I just chopped them up the old fashioned way.

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  1. Place chopped apple into a large pot and add in about ¾ cup of water. You want about a ½ inch of water in the bottom of the pot. The apples will produce more liquid once they start to break down. Put the pot on medium-high heat. Once the water starts boiling reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the apples are soft and start to fall apart or in about 10-15 minutes.
  1. Using a slotted spoon, remove apples from the pot and transfer into a large bowl. You don’t want a lot of extra liquid in the apples when you blend them. Next blend the apples into a thick apple sauce that is free of chunks. I used my handy stick blender but if you don’t have one a blender or food processor will work fine. Just make sure to blend the apples in batches if you need to in order to avoid a mess. Once the mixture is smooth add in the spices and stir to mix the spices into the sauce. So now you have apple sauce. You could just set a small amount of the sauce aside to eat as is or use in another recipe.
  1. Place apple sauce into a slow cooker and set on to low heat and cover. Leave to cook for 6-10 hours checking and stirring the sauce halfway through the cooking time. As the sauce cooks down the fragrance will become stronger and the color of the sauce will change from a light brown to a rich, darker brown. The sauce will cook down to ¾ of the original volume. Blend the cooked apple butter again with one of the methods mentioned above. You want a smooth, thick texture. Taste the apple butter and make sure it is to your liking. If you think it is too thin, cook it a while longer. If you think it is too thick then try adding a little apple juice to thin it out. It is all about personal preference here.


At this point you can do a few things with the finished product. You may put the apple butter into a container with an air tight and store it in the refrigerator. Or you may can the apple butter.  Never canned before? Learn how!

Now you have a delicious apple butter. But what do you do with it? Basically anything you want. I’ve found that this apple butter goes well with pork and hearty root vegetables. Try my pork loin recipe or the waffled sweet potatoes.



Apple butter pork loin

Ingredient list:
2 pound boneless pork loin roast
1 cup apple butter
½  teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt

Kitchen supplies needed:
Large, nonstick skillet
Kitchen Tongs
Meat thermometer
8’x11” Pyrex Baking Dish
Cutting board
8” Chef’s knife

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Season the roast with kosher salt and pepper on all sides.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 Tablespoon olive oil over heat, then brown the pork for 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Place pork into the roasting dish and place into the heated oven uncovered.
  5. Mix the apple butter and cayenne pepper together and set aside.
  6. Roast the pork for 25 minutes then remove from the oven and slather it with the apple butter mixture.
  7. Return the roast to the oven and roast for approximately 20 more minutes or until a thermometer inserted into the center registers 145 degrees.
  8. Rest the pork on a cutting board for 5 minutes then slice.

What to serve it with:
This pork roast goes really well with root vegetables as a side. I’ve done a mixture of roasted parsnips, carrots and beets. I also really like roasted Brussels sprouts. Other good options include mashed potatoes, mashed cauliflower or mashed parsnips. I have also used the meat between sweet potato “buns” and serve it as sliders with caramelized onions and sautéed kale.  The possibilities are endless.



Waffled sweet potatoes

1-2 sweet potatoes
Coconut oil
Kitchen equipment:
Box grater
Paper towels
Waffle iron
Silicone basting brush

  1. Begin by heating the waffle iron to medium.
  2. Wash, peel and grate the sweet potatoes using the large holes of a box grater.
  3. Squeeze the grated potatoes in between sheets of paper towel by the handful to get rid of any extra moisture.
  4. Brush the tops and bottom of the hot waffle iron with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil.
  5. Place about ¾ cup of shredded, dry potato in the iron, spread it out, and close it.
  6. Cook until the hash browns are golden brown and crisp, about eight to ten minutes.
  7. Repeat with the remaining mixture.

Serving suggestions: Try it with the apple butter spread over the top. Make it more savory by topping with spicy pork, salsa and eggs. Top with various vegetables like sauteed Kale, mushrooms and onions.


I’m sure that I will come up with a few more recipes to make with my apple butter. Comment if you have any other good ideas. Until then I’ll be eating it these ways or straight off a spoon.



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“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” -Oscar Wilde