Come and tell me your top 10 cook-and-freeze meals - if you don't, you are condemning my family to a future of fish fingers and waffles!!!

(107 Posts)
Greensleeves Fri 18-Jan-13 15:50:21

We just seem to have less time these days, and I am finding that I don't actually want to come in from a long day's work and start chopping bloody vegetables blush

I love cooking and am pretty good at it, and so is dh, and we all have very wide taste, no veggie-refusenik kids etc

So what are your top 10 freeze-for-later dishes/ Joking aside, I do cook from fresh a lot and I like doing it, but there are increasingly frequently times when dh and I just look at each other and say "fuck it, there are some fishcakes in the freezer"

I've cooked and frozen things like soups, lasagne, burgers, veggie burgers, falafels, apple pies, strudel, steak pies

but would love some inspiration and some more exciting and tempting ideas!

Kazar99 Thu 24-Jan-13 22:20:40

I think everyone has covered the meals I normally freeze. The one thing I always freeze too is mashed potato. I make a huge pot then freeze portions so can serve it with stews or mince or to make cottage pie. It defrosts and reheats easily in the microwave, just needs a bit extra milk or butter once hot as I usually put a bit less than normal in it before freezing. Saves peeling and cooking potatoes when I get in from work smile

Greensmurf1 Fri 25-Jan-13 06:50:36

Risottos freeze & defrost quite well. Mushroom risotto is good on its own. Saffron risotto is nicer served with grilled courgettes.

We often make batches of rice - basmatti or japanese rice in the rice cooker & freeze them in 1-2 portion-sized Tupperware. Rice is good for side dishes or you can stir fry it with egg, frozen veg, tofu, assorted frozen seafood, meat or meat substitute. Look up the seasonings to see what flavours you like to add to it. Ikea's ovals or squares are good sizes for rice portions.

Making a basic tomato sauce and freezing it in jam jars means you can pop the glass in the microwave to defrost & not worry about nasty chemicals when you re-heat in plastic.

I'm a fish eating vegetarian, so it helps to have bags of quorn mince or pieces to add to anything. Frozen fish fillets can be pan fried with butter & herbs quickly. Salmon is good pan fried with teriyaki sauce. My husband makes a lot of sauce & keeps it in a jam jar in the fridge. Store bought sauce is probably good too.

Part baked bread, meatballs, bit of tomato sauce & mozarella makes good subway style sandwiches that are as filling for dinner or lunch.

Buying packs of udon noodles that come with sauce packets can be stored in the cupboard or fridge & then you can make a quick soup with egg, dried and frozen fried tofu pieces, some frozen veg, spring onions, fish cakes (Chinese supermarket ones not the kind with potatoes and breadcrumbs) or other seafood or meat pieces.

Japanese curry freezes & defrosts well. Get s&b sauce cube packs from Asian grocery store & cook as instructed with potato, carrot, courgette, butternut squash. Serve with breaded chicken fillets, pork schnitzel from aldi or lidl, or quorn goujons.

Awakeagain Fri 25-Jan-13 07:48:33

Nothing very different from other post but pretty much freeze any left over portions
We use ziplock bags, the 'quart' size I think from Costco
We are even crazy enough to flatten the food out, freeze them flat CBS then stand them up so you can sort of leaf through them (like a freezer filing cabinet!)
Seen lots of American sites with ideas for freezing all your raw ingredients chopped up in a huge freezer bag ready to just throw in the slow cooker, haven't tried any yet thou (freezer too full of massive 22 portion chilli dh made!!) try searching six sisters blog I think or looking in Pinterest

CairoLucy Fri 25-Jan-13 09:15:29

Lurking for inspiration.
(and maybe someone's already said this, but you can defrost raw meat, cook it, then refreeze the cooked meat. What you mustn't do is defrost raw meat and refreeze it while still uncooked)

ProfYaffle Fri 25-Jan-13 09:26:45

I've just started copying this idea. You prepare raw ingredients for stew type recipes, portion them up in freezer bags and freeze. The night before you take a bag out of the freezer then in the morning stick it in the slow cooker. By evening you have a main meal. I find it really handy for the days when I work.

So far I've tried her honey garlic chicken (not impressed tbh), chicken with chorizo, beef and broccoli and lemon chicken.

RebeccaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Jan-13 16:35:27

Hi all, we are going to move this thread to food so that it lives on forever rather than disappearing.

Thanks for all of the great ideas.

33goingon64 Fri 25-Jan-13 21:36:37

I have successfully frozen the filling for pies and then bought JusRoll to rollout and pop on top once defrosted.

I use the plastic lidded pots you get Chinese takeaway in. Keep a roll of labels and a pen handy and just cross out the previous contents and write the new one. They are dishwasher friendly too (and free, if you don't count the cost of the takeaway!).

I also keep any kind of food container with a well fitting lid e.g. ricotta or marscapone cheese pots, creme fraiche, margarine. They stack up well in freezer.

sashh Sat 26-Jan-13 06:07:23

Shepherds pie - put loads of veg in and it is a complete meal.

The same with fish pie.

If I do a roast dinner I pack up a couple of portions, usually the meat in gravy in one container and they veg, roasts, YP in another. I tend to use foil ones that can go straight to the oven.

Lasagne is another good one.

MonthlyWishesCameAndWent Sat 26-Jan-13 10:04:34

Think the American idea of freezing all the fresh / raw ingrediants into a bag, so its cooked from fresh in the slow cooker whilst you're at work is genius. And I thought Americans were all unhealthy!!

TotemPole Sat 26-Jan-13 20:10:06

MonthlyWishes & ProfYaffle, that is a good idea. All that peeling, chopping and cutting up out of the way in one go. I don't have the freezer space to do a months worth, but I could try 1 - 2 weeks.

Greensleeves, for the foil trays, try the local discount houseware shops or ebay. Not sure how big these are I don't have a ruler handy.

babsmam Sat 26-Jan-13 20:21:07

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ProfYaffle Sat 26-Jan-13 20:37:35

Totem - I don't do a whole month's worth of food. Every fortnight or so I'll do 4 meals which cover the 2 days per week when I don't have time to cook. I generally see what I can scavenge from the yellow sticker section in the supermarket and build the dish around that.

Spookey80 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:41:30

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pixi2 Sat 26-Jan-13 20:45:13

I have the luxury if not freezing meals but here is one of my quickies.

Make too much mashed potato the night before. Cover and leave overnight in the fridge.

Turn into veg fingers (circles are more popular with dc) add frozen peas and tinned sweet corn. Roll into small balls and flatten slightly. Sprinkle both sudes with flour. Gently fry in a little butter snd squash into a finger shape. Serve with prepared salad and beetroot (also a hugely popular food as it colours dc fingers).

If you have more time you can do the dip in egg and breadcrumbs.

With even more time the breadcrumbs are delicious if you add some Cajun spices and bashed Pringles.

nannyl Sun 27-Jan-13 14:07:32

chicken korma
grreen thai chicken
chilli
bolognese
cottage pie
chicken casserole
beef casserole
sausage casserole
fish pie
pasta bake
lamb tagine

opps thats 11!

WantAnOrange Mon 28-Jan-13 20:15:56

Bolognese
lasagne
chilli con carne
bean chilli
fish pie
fish stew
curries
pies
beef bourgonioun
macaroni cheese
cowboy beans
hotpot
sausage casserole
beef stew
pizza
soup

WantAnOrange Mon 28-Jan-13 20:17:36

pasties
ratatouille
gnocci
risotto

I like bulk cooking blush

Spinnerbear Thu 31-Jan-13 12:39:45

If I am making one of our regulars, like spag bol, tacos, etc, I make a double or triple batch and then freeze the rest. Same if I am making our sausage meat pie (made with Lorne sausage), or cooking a turkey at a holiday, make extra and freeze it. I make batches of cakes (sultana cake, Dundee gingerbread, etc) cook them in loaf pans with liners, cool and freeze them for quick puds or to take on picnics in the summer.

reastie Mon 04-Feb-13 14:20:11

marking place to read later as we are having our kitchen redone soon and I need to cook lots of meals ready to microwave when we have no cooker for weeks

Fedupnagging Tue 05-Feb-13 06:55:45

This is a great thread-am always looking for inspiration as its very difficult to get a meal that all 3ds's will like!

I try to find time to batch cook then freeze in both family sized portions and individual size- with 3 teenage boys, people are quite often eating a different times and do what most of you are cooking. Love the idea of freezing the ingredients for a slow cooker meal I one pack.

Ideas I've not seen mentioned: cook a batch of pancakes then freeze between layers of grease proof paper. Really easy to take out what is needed and cook in the microwave for a few seconds. The same with sponge puddings-I bake them in the oven in the silicone baking tray as easy to remove esp if its syrup sponge.

I also freeze fairy cakes, biscuits, buttercream icing etc all of which don't take long to defrost. Oh, and teabread, in slices, then defrost/cook, in the toaster.

itinerant Tue 05-Feb-13 07:12:45

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EugenesAxe Tue 12-Feb-13 12:23:17

Echoing a few already but mine are:

Chilli con carne
Shepherd's pie
Boeuf Bourguinon
Ricotta & Spinach pasta bake
Macaroni Cheese
Lasagne (when I have the energy to make it... as I do a proper Ragu that's takes ages to cook)
Lamb and Potato curry
Pork belly cheat's cassolet type thing

I freeze cakes & puddings when I have the time to cook them as I often have events or groups requiring them that sneak up on me.

Palmtree Wed 13-Feb-13 16:45:54

Is it okay to freeze cooked rice? Have heard conflicting stories, (someone once told me it might contain bacterium), so any comments? It would be very handy for lots of meal ideas if it's okay to freeze for the future.

MushroomSoup Sat 16-Feb-13 23:09:59

Interested in the 'frozen bag of ingredients/slow cooker' thing! I looked at the link but couldn't quite understand it.
If, for example, I was making stew, would I put the raw meat, chopped veg etc all in a bag together and freeze it?

HokeyCokeyPigInAPokey Sat 16-Feb-13 23:16:39

Marking place.

I am returning to work after ten years at home the week after next and i have no idea how i will have time to cook dinners!

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