Our household consists of my husband, 21 year old daughter, and myself. I'm sure you can imagine that our schedules differ. With that in mind, I like to keep some individually portioned meals in the freezer for the days we are like ships passing in the night. Between work, meetings, etc, this does happen often. Those frozen individual portions are also nice for me to take to work for my lunch---saves money too by not going out for lunch.
Soup is great to freeze in individual portions. Super Easy: Fill the crock-pot with your favorite soup recipe. Let it cook away and then freeze in portions or as meals. (Keep in mind that milk based soups do not freeze as well.)
Recipe: Kelley's Easy Crock-Pot Vegetable Beef Soup
Night before: Place 1 pound beef roast, beef cubes, or beef of choice in crock-pot, season with salt and pepper, and add 1 cup water or beef broth. Cook on low overnight.
In the morning before work or activities for the day: Break beef apart into bite sized peices right in the crock-pot with a fork. Add vegetables of choice. (I use a 2 lb. family sized bag of mixed vegetables along with 1/2 cup chopped onions.) Add 1 can of diced tomatoes or equal amount of chopped fresh tomatoes. Pour in a 1 quart can of tomato juice and season with 1T. each dried basil & dried parsley flakes. Stir in 1 cup water and 1 cup of red wine such as Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon (the wine adds a very nice flavor, but if you do not want to use wine, substitute beef broth or vegetable broth) Add 2 beef or vegetable boullion cubes and 2 T. brown sugar. Cook 8 hours on low. Divide the soup into individual portion freezer containers, label & freeze.
Chopped potatoes or beans are also good additions to this recipe.
The key to this soup is cooking the beef first. The beef becomes very tender and brings a real depth of flavor to the soup.
I make my Mom a big batch of this soup every year for Christmas and give it to her in individually potioned freezer containers. For many months, I'll be talking to her on the phone and she'll say, "I just had some delicious vegetable soup for dinner." =) I guess I'll just have to keep this on her Christmas list!