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Dishes that freeze well

37 posts in this topic

Posted

So the anticipated B-day of our little one is fast approaching, and I was thinking that food preparation is probably not going to be high on my priority list for the subsequent 2 to 3 weeks, and that it might make sense to freeze some meals. For some reason the LL supplied a full extra freezer, so we are set for space.

Now many might say...just order in...but we really actually like to prepare our own food, and eat 90%+ organic, and so prefer to cook with that.

I usually cook fresh, so I really don't have a good feeling for what meals actually freeze well and the heat up well.

I have stocked away some fresh soups, pasta sauce, and chicken broth...but would love some ideas on easy dishes that you know of that freeze well, and that are not lasagne. We are omnivores, have no food restrictions, and love all kinds of foods.

Have had some luck with a Middle Eastern cookbook, and will be making some chicken and meat filo pies today.

Any thoughts? Recipees? Any freezing disasters that I should avoid?

Thanks

Gem

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Posted

Wouldn't any casserole freeze well and be most convenient to reheat and eat without a lot of fuss?

Edit - I see don_riinja reading this - he'll probably have some lovely ideas!!!

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Posted

That is just it DD, haven't done a lot of casserole cooking in my life! Guess I best try a few.

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Posted

I really don't know many either. Chili springs to mind as an easy option. It's the simplicity in reheating that you'll need. And also consider the spices and onions if you will be breastfeeding. Certain flavors go into the milk and some babies react differently to them. It would be bad if you have a gassy baby and a bunch of oniony dishes you can't eat, for example. So go for variety and basics would be my suggestion.

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Posted

Chili is a good idea, though if this kiddo really can't tolerate onions and garlic...then I am in for a serious change in my diét, as I love them both, and very few of my meals escape them.

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Posted

Stock up on fenchel tea then! ;)

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Posted

goulash B)

curries

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Posted

Mac & cheese. Stews. Chili. Gratins. Spaghetti sauce (if you want to add the noodles in advance so you can nuke them, too, make sure they're not quite al dente before freezing).

Ziploc bags (sold under the Toppits name) are excellent for freezer storage and portion control.

woof.

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Posted

jml's pimp my chicken

Tajine or some kind of kebab would also work.

The Nigella Lawson recipe for meatballs cooked in tomato sauce with milk in also freezes well - here it is.

What you can also freeze well are pre-marinated or pre-dressed joints of meat for roasting, I've got a rolled beef roast sat in my freezer waiting for an occasion, easy to cook too as you don't really need to do much other than defrost and stick them in the oven.

Watch the seasoning with frozen stuff, it is easy to salt before the dish is frozen and then re-season, the salt hasn't gone away, it just doesn't zing as much so you could take in far too much sodium.

Good Housekeeping.co.uk freeze ahead recipes

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Posted

Thanks, my shopping list is now growing. That JML Chicken dish sounds really easy and yummy.

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Posted

yep definintely chilli, savoury mince, soup, beef in red wine, chicken casserole, spag bol, you can even cook off a whole roast chicken dinner and portion it up - meat pots and veg and then heat in micro from frozen too.

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Posted

jml chicken really is great - freezing it somehow helps the flavours really go into the meat. Try also painting chicking pieces with tandoori paste and freezing. If you see chicken or other meats reduced in price, doing simple prep like that fills your freezer with good stuff cheaply, but only if you do the prep and freezing immediately.

That GH site is a bit clumsy, the next page button is only at the top, not the bottom.

Spicy pumpkin and sweet potato soup also freezes really well and you can microwave it.

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Posted

Just a heads up...we have no microwave...and no plans to get one.

I need to find a good beef tips dish as that does seem a good freezable item.

And I am scrolling through that GH site, thanks Katrina

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Posted

I have a weakness for traditional English sandwich bread. You know, the kind that you can roll into a ball but which magically expands back into place after a few minutes. I have not been able to find this here in Munich, though I haven't really looked either, and was thinking of getting some on my next expedition abroad. Does anyone know if this stuff can be frozen? Thanks.

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Posted

It can, but it goes a bit soft if you defrost it too quick, defrosting it in a fridge works better than on the counter. Or toast it? You can toast it from frozen.

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Posted

Things that can be portioned and freeze exceptionally well (do not fully or over cook):

Lasagna

Stuffed peppers

Spaghetti sauces

Word of caution: Don't make things spicy. Stick to preparing things very bland. Your tastes will likely change again and especially if you breast feed. After Ian was born, my wife wanted almost nothing of the things she craved so much during pregnancy and wanted only simple bland meat, starch and veggie dishes.

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Posted

We made aboutr 20 "Kohlrouladen" last weekend - a couple

of times a year we collect meat from a naerby part-time farmer whose hardy cattle stay out all year & are robust.

Excellent Hackfleisch - so wife & daughter made Kohlrouladen. We ate 5 that evening, kept a some

for a few days later & froze the rest. This is one meal that BOTH children love.

I fear they dont keep for very long - at least not in our household :(

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Posted

I would do a lasagna in particular I would recommend doing one with a eggplant sauce and ricotta cheese filling it freezes very well. Also most Indian food freezes very well and can sometimes even come out tasting even better than when fresh.

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Posted

As suggested by everyone, long cooked dishes, eg casseroles, stews, freeze well. Meat that you are gonna cook for hours does not need to be expensive cuts, so you can buy a large amount cheaply, cook lots, portion it off and freeze. Don'T cut the meat too small if you are planning to freeze a casserole. It's too easy for it to fall apart completely when you reheat it, and you'll just have shredded meat in sauce.

Pasta sauce is another good idea of course - I'd personally freeze off a load of standard tomato sauce, then you can use that as a basis for a few different sauces, just by adding a bit of fried pancetta and chilli one day, a load of fresh basil and chopped fresh tomato another day, some flash fried squid and prawns another day. It's a good technique; freezing off some of the "building blocks" of food that would normally take more time to cook, and then use that in conjunction with other, perhaps fresh, ingredients to whack together something very quickly, that still tastes good. Also, I never know what I will fancy eating, so freezing off some stuff that gives me more options when it comes to eating it appeals to me.

Curries are another good one - make a few different curries, and freeze them in small portions, so when you eat, you actually have a selection of dishes. All you then need to do is boil some rice, nuke some poppadoms, and you have a nice little thali, with minimal work.

Shepherds/Cottage pie is awesome for freezing. Cook the mince up as normal, cover in mashed potato, but don't cook it further, just freeze it at that point.

Gratin Dauphinois, the famous frog gratin of potatoes in a creamy cheesy sauce probably freezes well too. Prepare it according to a recipe, then just freeze it at the point when the recipe calls for you to cook it.

Dumping some raw meat, chicken legs maybe, into a marinade, and then freezing is also pretty good. Just defrots, grill serve with a bit of salad and some bread, done. A simple mix of olive oil, lemon, and a bit of garlic would be nice, or maybe a spicy mix of paprika, cumin, olive oil and oregano.

Mashed potato freezes ok, so you could cook off some mash, fry up some bratwurst to get some colour on them, then make an onion gravy, pour over the sausages and freeze. Bangers n mash. Lovely. Lentils are also awesome with some bratwurst. Make a really thick lentil stew (just fry off a mirepoix of chopped veg in some goose, duck or pork fat, add lentils, add stock, cook) and that'll freeze perfectly. Just reheat, and pop a couple of sausages on top, and there you go. Dump vinegar all over the lentils if you want it tasting German.

Bascially loads of stuff freezes perfectly well.

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Posted

I am doing exactly the same thing, albeit with slightly less space. I already did what most others have suggested--chili, lasagne and pasta sauces. I also put together a batch of cookie dough to freeze--some small attempt at hospitality when the in-laws start arriving. I was limited by space, so went with things which could be sqeezed into small spaces. But all these meals have been frozen before and come out perfectly. Am slightly worried about my chili, though, after reading other posts.

Good luck!

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Posted

Most of my favourite freezer meals are already on this thread. If you're planning to breastfeed go easy with the spice and avoid adding too many 'gassy' vegetables such as cauliflower.

There is a thing I cook called Sky Pie (or Skye Pie ?) which is a layer of fried onions, a layer of sausagemeat (can use veggie ingredients), a layer of cooked apple and a layer of sage and onion stuffing. Start with the onion at the bottom and finish with the stuffing on the top. The whole thing goes in the oven to bake until the stuffing and sausagemeat are cooked through.

When I cook this I always make 2 and put one in the freezer. It's nice when you feel like a roast dinner but don't have the time to make one.

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Posted

I think this was the closest thread I could find to the topic I'm interested in...

I'm sick of cooking for one every night, so I'd like to cook and freeze a bit more in advance. Even the "do lots of different things with one lot of mince änd keep in fridge for a few days" approach has started to pale. However, I have a tiny freezer, and a very small kitchen. There's no way that a separate freezer will fit. My question: does anyone keep a freezer in a different room? There'd be space in my living room for a small one, but I'm not sure if that raises any other issues. My guess is that I'd have to stand it on a mat or something, as excess water wouldn't be great for my fake-wood laminate floor. And how noisy are they? I'm reluctant to share my living space with a low-grade buzzing sound.

Obviously, the thing will stand out, but I can live with that. (Could I stick a pot plant on top of a small freezer?) And what sort of impact would a new small freezer have on my electricity bill?

I have a bit of time to sort this out since the uni semester is over, so any advice would be much appreciated.

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Posted

Maybe you can throw a table cloth or something over it, to actually hid eth fact that it is a freezer for when friends pop round?

Once you have enough freezer space, you can really get going on the cooking part - I have frozen all sorts of things from chillie, to blackberries, to semmel knödel.

You could try getting in the habit of cooking one really big meal each weekend, and freezing at least two portions of whatever you have cooked - that way you will soon have a small stock-pile of nice things in the freezer, and if you don´t feel like cooking one single meal of an evening, you can just dip in!

Try some of these too!

http://www.delish.com/recipes/cooking-recipes/freezer-meals

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