Friday, August 19, 2011

Freezer Cooking Take 1

“What’s for dinner” 
oh lawdy do I hate this question!! It makes me feel like a crazy ready to rage woman. Enter freezer cooking. In an effort to avoid this internal meltdown and have better odds of my children surviving into adulthood I thought I would give this notion a go. There are some seriously hard core people out there that literally cook once a month and make/prep most of their meals. Well, I’ll never be that girl but I wouldn’t mind having 2 dozen or so meals prepped in the freezer.

There are countless websites, blogs, and cookbooks dedicated to this. I just want to share a few recipes that are tried and true. It’s a little nerve wracking making things that you don’t know how they’ll save and taste later! I knew I should start small just in case it wasn’t my thing we hadn’t invested too much time or money into it! I chose to make 2-3 meals of 3 different dinners. At this point I have used these frozen meals and they all passed the test! Well, one wasn’t a favorite here only because Chris hates tomatoes….oops {I knew he hated them but thought they were small enough he wouldn’t mind. Next time I will throw them in the food processor along with the onion and bell peppers I hid in this dish}

My meatloaf recipe. Do not cook ahead or mix the sauce. Do that as you would when cooking. I prepped it all and put it in a disposable pan to freeze. Eventually I think I’d like pyrex for them all. I also saw something were they lined the pan with saran wrap, froze it solid and then took it out and put it in a bag. Takes up much less space in the freezer and budget friendly. Maybe I’ll try this next time!

Baked Ziti from Annie’s Eats. I did cook the turkey ahead and I also cooked the noodles a little more than half done. This one I prepped all the way to the cooking stage and froze (again in disposable pans) instead of baked. This one is awesome!  

Creole Jambalaya from Keeping Life Creative. Cooked the chicken and the sausage. Cooked the rice about halfway. I also put the veggies in the food processor in hopes of hiding it from the kids. This dish turned out to be a little too spicy for them anyways. I thought it was delish but considering I was the only one that ate it , it won’t make it into rotation. I do have another frozen bag of it I guess I’ll be eating alone. I poured this into 2 large Ziploc freezer bags and layed perfectly flat to freeze. Once they were frozen solid I could stand them up and they took up next to no room. Loved it.

I also put one large pack of chicken in the crock pot and shredded that into separate bags to freeze. Sliced another one into fajita strips, poured in the marinade and froze. We typically have shredded meat in the freeze.  When I make it for dinner I am sure to make enough extra for another meal...we love shredded meats! They are so easy to cook and tasty! Plus you can use them for lots of things! My go to recipe is this one from Make It and Love It

 We’ve made it dozens and dozens of times always perfect!

That's about it!  Wish I had tons more to share but like I said, these are ones that I have not only frozen but already tasted after the big freeze.  I'll keep you posted on more.  If you are feeling even a teensy bit tempted I really recommend trying a few meals!  It has made a few of my evenings much easier not to mention saving time and money!


MRMD_GRL said...

definitely wanna give it a go as well :) would love to worry less when I work late abut what we will be eating for dinner!!

Thanks for testing all this out and sharing with the rest of us!

Anonymous said...

When I was pregnant with my second daughter, I cooked and froze enough meals for the first 3 months!
I did muffins, breakfast cookies, spag bol sauce, all kinds of things. Made life a lot easier.

I'm going to try some of the recipes you listed here, thanks!

Rosa Pereira said...

Sounds great and a great idea. Lasgna also freezes up very well. I make a delicious chicken and spinach lasagna. I brown up small pieces of chicken breast (buy on sale) and I use drained frozen spinach and I add also add some sauteed mushrooms. My family absolutely loves. I always make 2 or 3 lasagnas at once and freeze for later. It's a life saver for someone with a full time job like me and a family to feed.