Freezer Meals


Emily

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Hi!

I am SO EXCITED there is a forum! Thank you!

Like everyone here, we are busy people--three kids, three dogs, two full time jobs, and a desire this time of year to be out on the bike or climbing or hiking. We've been trying to "hit the easy button" without losing the spirit of the Whole 30 (w're on day 9 of our second for 2012).

Do you make meals and freeze them? What freezes well? What doesn't?

We're trying eggplant strata (Well Fed), and we have marinara sauce.

What else will work?

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A lot of long cooked foods work well frozen because they're textures and tastes aren't so delicate that reheating them will ruin them. Things like chili and stews works great frozen in single portions. I've also frozen meatballs and paleo chicken nuggets for quick simmering or re-baking. I also freeze bone broth in 1 cup sized mason jars and use it for cooking mashed cauliflower and soups as I need it.

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If you are busy and don't always have the chance to eat a family dinner, one of my favorite things to do is cook a roast in the slow cooker and a few vegetable sides (garlic mashed caulfilower, steamed kale, etc.) and then freeze several complete dinner plates (in Pyrex bowls or otherwise). You can take them in and thaw in the microwave for lunch, or heat them up at home for a complete meal. Pulled chicken or pork is an easy slow cooker meal that freezes fairly well, and can then be eaten plain or used in a soup. I also keep a bag of frozen shrimp in the freezer. You can defrost one serving size in about five minutes and then sautee them with coconut oil and a favorite seasoning blend--I like cajun spices. Add some vegetables on the side, and you've got dinner in 15 minutes!

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Every week I make a big batch of various sauteed veggies and season them only with salt, pepper and garlic powder. (This week it's mushrooms, bell peppers, onions and broccoli). I also will cook up a pound of ground beef and chicken thighs or breasts. These are staples that I always have on hand for busy days. I'll always throw some of the veggies, some meat or chicken, and whatever spices I want into a pyrex storage container and freeze one or two. (Labeled with reuseable freezer labels) That way there is always something in the freezer for busy days. And like everybody else said, any time you make a big pot of stew or soup, ALWAYS freeze one or two individual portions. Fritatas freeze well too. It's reassuring to open your freezer and see several meals in there ready to go when you're too busy or tired to cook. :)

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This is an awesome thread! Does kale actually freeze ok? I wonder if kale chips would freeze all right. Maybe that's a stretch.

We always freeze extra stews and soups. I also make stuffed bell peppers and paleo "lasagna" (made with zucchini) to freeze. Those are great to make ahead in bulk for the purpose of freezing.

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I'm not sure about kale because I don't like it much, but cooked chard and spinach freeze fine when they're in with something else, like a marinara sauce or stew. For instance, I've had success freezing veggies with cooked spinach, chicken and tahini sauce. The tahini sauce ends up a little thinner once it thaws but it's still super yummy, especially on busy days. :) Last week I froze some sauteed chard and carrots with some chicken and thawed one out for lunch for today, so I'll let you know if it turns out ok. I'm guessing kale chips wouldn't but who knows. Try a few and see. :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

I freeze soups, stews, cut up uncooked veggies & fruits. I also make single serving meals like zucchini lasagna, chilli, and tomato sauce with spaghetti squash. I freeze add-ons like tomato sauce, alfredo sauce, & cranberry chutney in ice cube trays and then full zip lock bags with the cubes.

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  • 1 month later...

I love freezer cooking! I've always been a big fan of it, no matter what types of food I'm choosing to eat at the moment...

Some easy ones are:

-meatloaf! Freeze it uncooked, or I've had success freezing cooked individual meatloaves. This one is constantly on my rotation http://www.foodrenegade.com/chorizo-mini-meatloves/

-I always have veggies in the freezer to throw into a quick scramble with ground meat and/or eggs. Spinach, kale, shredded sweet potato, broccoli are some of my favourites.

-soups, stews, curries and sauces freeze well either in large portions or in indivdual ones for lunches. http://whatthisfoodieeats.com/carrot-ginger-soup/ and http://whatthisfoodieeats.com/italian-sausage-stew/ are delicious! (my blog, for full transparency sake ;) )

- Marinated meat also is very handy. Use coconut milk, ginger, garlic and tandoori masala to make tandoori chicken. Freeze in large pieces or cubes and skewer them. Greek marinade can be made with lemon, garlic, olive oil, oregano, pepper, salt (or a pre blended spice mix).

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