Prepping things ahead of time


Aberrantatavia

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I kind of like being efficient when I can be, so I tend to prep ahead. It's just as easy to make a double batch of something and freeze it for next week. So along those lines, and in the spirit of the once a month cooking that some do, what things do you do in larger batches and freeze or prep ahead?

Here are some of mine:

10 pounds of ground beef cooked at one time. Then package the cooked meat in whatever quantity you will use for a recipe later. Same thing with cooked chicken breast and pulled pork.

Eggplant rounds cooked and frozen

Condiments like cocktail sauce in large batches and frozen in small amounts

Has anyone tried processing cauliflower for "rice" and frozen it?

I'd like to do as much ahead with as many recipes as possible for this whole 100!

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I would be interested in knowing what folks tend to cook in large quantities and freeze. My 7yo daughter and I are in need of another Whole30 (or longer), but I am NOT looking forward to the weekly meal planning.

Does ketchup freeze well?

I have made egg "muffins" in the past (eggs mixed with meat and veggies then baked in muffin tins) and I found that they freeze/thaw/reheat well.

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I would be interested in knowing what folks tend to cook in large quantities and freeze. My 7yo daughter and I are in need of another Whole30 (or longer), but I am NOT looking forward to the weekly meal planning.

Does ketchup freeze well?

I have made egg "muffins" in the past (eggs mixed with meat and veggies then baked in muffin tins) and I found that they freeze/thaw/reheat well.

Hmm..as in w30 compliant ketchup or the stuff beyond W30 so you don't need to toss it?

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Yup, I was thinking Whole30 compliant. My daughter eats ketchup likes it's the only thing keeping her alive. I try to fight it, but then remind myself that she's only seven and if I make it myself who cares if she puts it on everything?

Especially considering she'll actually eat almost anything as long as it has ketchup on it.

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Anything that can be made with mince, chilli, shepards pie, "spaghetti" sauce etc.

fruit in season such as mango, berries, banana for smoothies ( hmm that isn't whole30 though)

Poached chicken breasts, shredded

I also portion fish/meat etc into individual portions so I can grab and cook for one if I am in a hurry.

Oh I tried to freeze scotch eggs....bad...lol.

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I think I'll try freezing cooked spaghetti squash and zucchini noodles (uncooked) and see how either of those work.

Ooh, let us know how is works out! I always have too much spaghetti squash leftover.

Some things I do:

Every time I make soup, I portion out one or two servings and freeze them so I'm not eating the same darn soup all week, and so I can have it as a change of pace next week or the week after.

Chop a whole bunch of veggies on the weekend so I have easy access to them during the week. Makes subsequent meals come together much more quickly.

And, um, there's a post in my log/my blog (link in sig) that shows how I prepared for this whole30. Feel free to check regularly for new tips while I figure things out for myself. ^_^

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Callan, thanks for the prepping tips on your blog. Definitely something I need to get more organized with.

Do you freeze those Bora Bora Fireballs raw or cooked? I usually freeze meatballs raw but I wonder how the coconut coating would hold up. Is it crazy to think of making them with chopped salmon?

Terez

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Terez, you're welcome! I froze the meatballs cooked, but haven't tried reheating a frozen one yet so I can't report as to their quality! Actually, maybe I'll go try that now, just for you. ;) In the past, I've frozen meatballs raw as well, but many people swear by cooking them first.

As for salmon... I think someone else oughta field that question. I literally just started warming up to the idea of eating fish about a year ago, and actually haven't had fresh salmon outside of sushi... But, it might be tasty! The coconut, ginger, garlic, spices, and pineapple really stand out, so I chose turkey (a meat with a very mild flavor) to help showcase those.

Edit: Just popped a meatball in the microwave for 50 seconds. It's as good as the day I made it! ^_^

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Ditto on the mince for the freezer. I like having veggie serves and meat serves seperate (if it's not a curry or something mixed), so I can mix and match to make a meal.

I'm not sure if it's counted as SWYPO, but zucchini lasagne (meat sauce and grilled zucchini - hold the dairy) freezes very well and is a good pizza substitute (quick and easy and yummy) in the freezer.

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I'm back here for tips because I had a bit of a meltdown last night over the nonstop prep I'm doing. (OK, not really a meltdown but...)

Callan, thanks for the feedback on reheating cooked Bora Bora Fireballs. (Love that name!) I have the ingredients, just need to plan out more cooking to do a whole lot in one fell swoop. This meal or two at a time business is getting to me.

PraxisProject, I've been wishing for zucchini lasagna because it freezes so well. Never thought of doing it without the cheese. So just the zucchini noodles, sauce and meat?

10 pounds of ground beef cooked at one time. Then package the cooked meat in whatever quantity you will use for a recipe later. Same thing with cooked chicken breast and pulled pork.

So Aberrantatavia, exactly how do you cook 10 lbs of ground beef in one go? A couple of pounds at a time until the whole 10 lbs is cooked, or what?

Thanks!

Terez

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Well, I have a couple of big cooking vessels that I could fit 10 lbs of ground beef into. I think most folks do (what we use to make bone stock and pot roasts and so forth). I'm wondering if Aberrantatavia puts 10-lbs of ground beef in something like that and bakes it, then cuts the result into hunks and shreds it. Or if she puts the 10 lbs in one of these big pots and browns it on a burner. Or if she batch-browns it in frying pans. Or what.

I'd sure prefer the first method but I don't know that I want to be the one to experiment with 10 lbs of grass-fed ground beef! :)

Terez

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I've been into freezing things in muffin tins, then popping them out and throwing them in gallon freezer bags for easy servings (thank you, pinterest!) Last night I threw in a whole tray of bone broth - each "muffin" holds about half a cup. I also did this with soup (but ended up not liking the soup, oh well), and cauliflower rice (but I don't like cauliflower rice, so this was kind of a wash, too). For smaller serving sizes, you can use ice cube trays (herbs in olive oil works well, I've heard)

Last night I prepped and froze Robin's Super Veggie Meatballs. I froze them raw because I couldn't figure out what to do, lol. So, at least some of them will be dinner on Friday, I'll let you know how it goes!

Also, to save your containers for other things, if I'm freezing a sauce, gravy, or other dish (I guess you could do this with anything?) Fill a plastic bag with the food, then lay it in a glass/plastic container that you would have stored it in - after it's frozen, you pull the bag out, and it keeps it's shape in the freezer, and you get your container back :)

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I've been into freezing things in muffin tins, then popping them out and throwing them in gallon freezer bags for easy servings (thank you, pinterest!) Last night I threw in a whole tray of bone broth - each "muffin" holds about half a cup. I also did this with soup (but ended up not liking the soup, oh well), and cauliflower rice (but I don't like cauliflower rice, so this was kind of a wash, too). For smaller serving sizes, you can use ice cube trays (herbs in olive oil works well, I've heard)

Last night I prepped and froze Robin's Super Veggie Meatballs. I froze them raw because I couldn't figure out what to do, lol. So, at least some of them will be dinner on Friday, I'll let you know how it goes!

Also, to save your containers for other things, if I'm freezing a sauce, gravy, or other dish (I guess you could do this with anything?) Fill a plastic bag with the food, then lay it in a glass/plastic container that you would have stored it in - after it's frozen, you pull the bag out, and it keeps it's shape in the freezer, and you get your container back :)

I hope they're as good to you as they are to us! PS: If I were going to freeze them, I'd do it raw ;)

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Spaghetti squash tends to be mushy from frozen - if I'm crunched for time, I'll make it in the microwave. It only takes about 10-15 minutes that way.

Cauliflower rice also turned out mushy. This time, I'm trying freezing it raw. Mashed cauliflower turned out better (already mushy!)

I always double chili, stir frys and soups. I freeze some in individual containers for lunches later in the month and I freeze some in larger containers to thaw for quick dinners. I also make large batches of chimmichurri and pesto and freeze in ice cube trays and then transfer to ziplock bags.

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I'm back here for tips because I had a bit of a meltdown last night over the nonstop prep I'm doing. (OK, not really a meltdown but...)

Callan, thanks for the feedback on reheating cooked Bora Bora Fireballs. (Love that name!) I have the ingredients, just need to plan out more cooking to do a whole lot in one fell swoop. This meal or two at a time business is getting to me.

PraxisProject, I've been wishing for zucchini lasagna because it freezes so well. Never thought of doing it without the cheese. So just the zucchini noodles, sauce and meat?

So Aberrantatavia, exactly how do you cook 10 lbs of ground beef in one go? A couple of pounds at a time until the whole 10 lbs is cooked, or what?

Thanks!

Terez

I totally relate to the prepping meltdown! I had one lastnight but told myself its my choice to eat this way... I just need to get even more organised!

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