Freezer cooking on a small scale…
When I say freezer cooking…you say? Eek! No way! You’re a crazy lady! Okay, maybe not, but I’m sure you’re not giddy. Freezer cooking to some sounds like a whole day, 30 meal affair. It does not have to be…..
Don’t be scared, it’s not so bad. Freezer cooking does not have to take up your whole Saturday.
Fresh is best, but life happens……
If you know me, you know that I’m a stock up kind of girl. Ive got food for more than a month….if need be. My cupboards are full to overflowing, my pantries are stocked and my freezers are pretty full. Mostly due to thrifty coupon shopping, canning, and freezer cooking.
Need a dinner or two because you’re sick or recovering from surgery? I’m your girl. Dinner party on short notice, no biggie. I’m your girl.
Recession, depression, food shortage situation, Zombie apocalypse (as long as I’m not on the menu) I’m your girl.
I have tween/teens to take care of, and we really like to eat. The teen REALLY likes to eat, it’s shocking, but that’s for another post.
Traditional full month freezer cooking won’t work for me. I don’t have the space, and the idea of spending an entire day cooking makes my eye twitch.
I do like the idea of having a few items pre-cooked and ready to toss into dishes or into the microwave. So, I’d like to introduce you to a mini freezer cooking day.
I try to keep a few pounds of pre-cooked and frozen meat in my freezer. With it I can make a quick dinner on a busy night.
Easy Spaghetti night. Place a pot of hot salted water (for the pasta) on the stove and begin to boil it. Put a pot with pasta sauce on the stove at a medium heat, cover with lid. Take 1 lb. of pre-cooked frozen ground turkey or beef out of the freezer. Microwave on the defrost setting for about 3 min. (just long enough to make the frozen meat easy to break apart). Add pasta to boiling water. Place pre-cooked meat into the pasta sauce, sir and replace the lid, stir every few min. Once the pasta is done (mine usually takes about 8-9 min to cook), drain rinse and return to the hot-pot. At this point your meaty spaghetti sauce should be hot and bubbly. I pour the sauce over the noodles and mix it in. This meal takes me about 15(ish) min. to prepare.
Easy Crock Pot Chili.Take 1 or 2 pounds of frozen pre-cooked meat out of the freezer. Defrost long enough to be able to break the meat apart (3-4 min for me). Place meat into slow cooker. Add chili seasoning (what ever brand you prefer, or make your own *3 teaspoons chili powder, 1 teaspoon of paprika, some garlic salt and 2 teaspoon cumin should do the trick*, add canned tomatoes (undrained), frozen, dried or fresh diced onions (1 cup, less or more if you prefer) add canned Red or Pinto beans (if you want), add 1 8 oz. can of tomato sauce and 1 8 oz. can of water (or follow your chili seasoning package’s instructions.) Set on low for 8 hours and you’ll come home to hot, yummy chili.
Set aside a few hours during your week and make a few different items that you can freeze for later use. It’s a great comfort to know that if you’re sick or running late, you don’t have to rely on a take out meal. If you have a few pre-cooked frozen items on hand you can eat (healthy) homemade quick fix meals you won’t be crying over on the treadmill the next day. Goodbye Big Mac, hello homemade turkey chili.
Ground Beef, Ground Turkey both freeze well to make a quick and easy chili night, taco night or spaghetti night. Muffins freeze well, place them in single serve freezer bags and just remove them the night before you want to eat them, easy quick breakfast. I have a great Banana bread recipe and Pumpkin bread recipe on my blog. Both would work to make muffins or breads.
Making beans? Make two or three times the amount that you need and freeze the rest.
Make cream of mushroom soup and freeze it for later use.
Ready? Set? Cook and Freeze!
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