Skip to comments.Complete Freezer Meal Recipes Wanted
Posted on 12/08/2001 6:30:33 PM PST by ChemistCat
My C6-7 spinal fusion surgery is scheduled for December 21st. Old Student cannot stop going to school nights, and I want to make sure that I'll be able to feed us when the spring semester starts for him. I won't be able to lift anything over 10 pounds, drive, or bend over for 30-90 days after the surgery as I will be wearing one of those nasty collars. So I'm looking for freezer recipes that will let me cook ahead and avoid making Bill stop and pick things up at the store too often. The kids can get their own sandwiches and cereal, but I can't stand the idea of them not getting a hot meal made by Mama once a day at least. However, except for my Dad's fabulous spaghetti sauce, I don't make a lot ahead; we use our freezer mainly for raw ingredients. This is a project I haven't tried before except when my last child was born, and the results of just freezing my normal recipes were not too satisfying, except for spaghetti sauce. The casseroles and other recipes I froze reheated watery and tasteless. Hopefully FReeper cooks have some more successful techniques and recipes!
I'll post my Dad's recipe first. (I wonder if one can freeze cooked spaghetti pasta? Hmmm.)
There are five in our family; generally I make six-portion meals and it seems to work out okay. The middle kid eats almost nothing, but her big brother seems to be gearing up for early adolescence as he is suddenly eating frighteningly large amounts of whatever will hold still.
Easy and tasy, let's see.....
Beef stew freezes and re-heats very well. Use a tomato base stock, not gravy. 20 oz can of canned tomato sauce simmered with stew beef (1 1/2-2 Lbs.), potatoes and diced onion (My mother also adds yellow turnip.) for 2 1/2 Hrs.
Add any or all of the following the last hour.frozen Green breans, peas, corn,carrots.
Quick! Meatballs in tomato sauce.
Re-heat and put in Grinder rolls topped with the usual, i.e. onions, peppers and cheese. Wrap in foil and put in pre-heated oven (350) for 7-8 minutes.
Try the above web site--tons of recipes--check the casserole section. Have you considered using a slow cooker for preparing large batches of soups/stews to make and freeze ahead?
I found the meals to be a bit bland, but we like food spicier than most. All I did was add a bit more hot stuff.
Another hint is to make up meals & freeze them on some of the disposable plastic plates. If you have a vacuum sealer, it does a very good job of sealing up a meal or meals. When you want to eat, defrost & zap.
And yes, pasta can be frozen as well as rice. Potatoes don't do as well unless they're preprocessed (like frozen fries & hashbrowns)--but homemade mashed potatoes do okay. What else doesn't freeze well? Cooked eggs--they tend to get rubbery. I'm sure there are a few more things, but those are the ones I know about.
Lots of freezer recipes here. Also, there are several other freezer cookbooks listed on the page.
I had the older edition of this book, and while I used some of the methods, I didn't use a lot of their recipes because they were all pretty high fat. I don't know if that's an issue with you, but this newer edition is supposed to have lower-fat recipes.
Make a huge batch of veggie soup and freeze into smaller batches. Just the basic soup bone, a bag of frozen veggies, tomato juice, potatoes, and a few noodles.
Both are hearty meals that only need a loaf of french bread to round them off.
Good luck with your surgery.
Dried beans. I have used Red beans and Pinto Beans. About four cups worth.
Pork I use Italian Sausage, about 2lbs.
Onion Chopped. I use the smaller green ones.
Worcestershire sauce About 1/4 tsp.
Ketchup About a half a cup.
1. Wash the beans and soak them in a pot overnight.
2. The next day, put the pot on the stove and bring to a boil, in about 2 quarts of water. Fry the sausages, slice them and the onion, and add all the remaining ingredients to the pot.
3. Boil for an hour or so. You should boil until you have lost most of the water, leaving a thick bean soup.
4. Ladle it into soup bowl sized plastic bowls and freeze.
5. When it comes time to eat, reheat the beans, cook some rice, and pour the beans over the rice.
You can change the recipe for variety in many ways. Switch types of beans, add spicy sausage, add peppers, or anything else you like. The recipe makes about 8-10 individual servings.
Good luck with your surgery.
I think the only recipe I tried was the burger, onion & green pepper base (I haven't made anything for quite a while). The fat isn't a problem with us. I just remember that--at least for us--it was blander than what we like. I just jazzed the recipes up a little.
I also did a google.com search on "once a month cooking" & came up with a number of sites. Another place to look would be www.kitchenlink.com. The search engine can be a bit awkward, but it's a good place for any kind of recipe.
Surely you are not talking freezing his turkey left over from Thanksgiving? I like glenns' idea but I would want about 10 gallons of home made ice cream.
We may have thought the same. I tend to do my own thing with the herb and spice jars -- take off the lids and dump 'em in! (My mother would die. She is the queen of bland food -- must be why I swung the other direction.)
You must have posted while I was off looking up the link to Amazon. Story of my life -- always five minutes late.
I freeze the sauce but not the pasta. The sauce loves being frozen, the pasta not so much (at least the thinner ones, up to fettucini)... the exception seems to be lasagna; it freezes pretty well.
Stew was made to be frozen, IMO; any kind.
Try anything you like to eat, and double or triple the amount.
I freeze smoked turkey, brisket, and pork tenderloin.
They make good left over main course meats and sandwiches.
If you do not have one, get a vaccum sealer, you will never figure out how you did without it.
Buy lots of rolls of bags as the first thing you want to do is bag everything in your freezer.
Never any freezer burn and they can be put into the microwave or used as boiling bags.
I do rice, beans, soups and casseroles, we are small eaters so I always have left overs of these type foods.
Chicken casseroles freeze real well as does stew and soups.
(I have been told not to freeze things very long that have egg in them), but I make a choc. mousse with raw eggs that stays okay. Of course it does not last long.
Most Italian sauces freezes well I have found, as does chili.
I also freeze my cranberry bread and the like and have good luck with fruit pies.
I leave them in the pan (buy foil ones), seal them in plastic wrap, foil and put them in brown paper bags that I tape shut.
The crust remains flaky and they are just like fresh.
Most of all take care of yourself and get well soon.
Don't go into the hospital worn out.
They will all learn how to help if they get hungry.
Maybe it will make someone in the family love to cook.
p.s. one of them is a much better spaghetti sauce recipe. By better I mean my genuine Italian recipe, that I have been making since I was 10, with the best meatballs you could ever make.
I used them when my first child was arriving and I figured we would be too busy to want to cook the first week.
My Mom thinks it's daring to use an extra shake of pepper (and can't figure out why I use a pepper grinder). When she called the day before Thanksgiving, she said I'd better not put sage in the dressing because it gives her gas. I had already made the dressing and put in LOTS of sage, but I saved a bit out for her WITHOUT sage and baked it separately.
She won't even touch my chili mac, even though she says it smells good.
Oh, please post it here! It sounds great.