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!

Boeuf bourguignon (had to Google the spelling!). You can put it with rice, fresh crusty French bread, a green salad.

Anything vaguely Italian/pasta-ey (without the pasta, just cook that from fresh).

quietbatperson Fri 18-Jan-13 16:02:26

Chilli con carne
Bolognese sauce - just add to freshly cooked pasta
Cheese sauce - you can add to macaroni or cauliflower or put on a lasagne
Chicken and ham pie

Bundlejoycosysweet Fri 18-Jan-13 16:04:21

Lebanese meatballs - make with beef mince, piece of bread soaked in milk, add chilli flakes, grated onion, cumin and coriander.

To cook just fry off and then simmer in a tomato sauce made with tin of tomatoes, an onion, garlic, more chilli, bit of sugar. Serve with cous cous and toasted pine nuts.

magimedi88 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:05:10

meatballs in tomato sauce to serve with pasta. Make a huge batch & then freeze. Easy & they don't take long to thaw.

Homemade soup, especially really hearty ones. Just need bread and maybe cheese and/or salad for a complete meal.

manormuppet Fri 18-Jan-13 16:05:24

Soup e.g butternut squash, carrot and parsnip, just serve with nice crusty bread.
Chilli , meat or vegi.
Pasta sauces
Lasagne
Fish pie

HeadFairy Fri 18-Jan-13 16:07:34

I made a really nice pork and sweet potato casserole the other day from a recipe card I got in Waitrose... it froze really well.

recipe here

ravenAK Fri 18-Jan-13 16:09:27

Enchilladas - assemble in an oven dish when you have some leftover chilli & can be bothered.

Curry.

Stuffed peppers (blanch, fill with leftover cooked rice & veg before freezing).

Any tomato-ey pasta sauce eg. tuna, roasted veg.

HeadFairy Fri 18-Jan-13 16:12:44

I also freeze home made chicken nuggets, breaded turkey escalopes, fish balls etc.

JuliaSqueezer Fri 18-Jan-13 16:13:00

BBQ pulled pork

Pork shoulder in the slow cooker, when cooked pour away all liquid and then shred the meat and put back in the slow cooker with a bottle of BBQ sauce (or can make your own sauce obviously) give it another hour or so to cook through.

Fine to freeze and is nice with a jacket spud/ wedges and coleslaw.

Greensleeves Fri 18-Jan-13 16:16:07

these are great, thank you!

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 16:16:23

Lasagne, curry, Bolognese, pies - shepherds variety and proper crusts, soups and stews - generally anything saucy goes in my freezer thinking about it.

My general method is to freeze in those metal trays like the ones you get takeaways in, then chuck in the oven until stir-able and tested while I cook up whatever goes with it eg.pasta, rice, veg

PeachActiviaMinge Fri 18-Jan-13 16:19:38

The Americans are awesome at this some examples here 40 make ahead meals and melissafallistestkitchen.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/freezer-cooking-slow-cooker-meals.html freezer to slow cooker meals. Google once a month cooking for more ideas smile

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 16:19:45

Enchiladas freeze ok too, you can just do the meat and sauce to freeze then heat up the tortillas and veg and have lovely messy fajitas. Taco mince would be good too.

magimedi88 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:21:00

I also batch make & freeze a lovely curry sauce for fish - you can thaw it & even cook frozen fish in it!

Chicken Stew - I defrost it and add some dumplings.
Shepherds Pie
Mince cooked with anything
Fish Pie
Cheese & Onion Pie
Tuna Pasta Bake

Anything I make really, I make extra and freeze. Don't always label though so it is often pot luck confused

jazzcat28 Fri 18-Jan-13 16:21:54

Curry
Bolognese
Sweet n sour
Meatballs in sauce
Chilli con carne
Lasagne
Casserole

- Chilli Con Carne
- Bolognese (with the mince, so you just have to make pasta).
- Shepards/fish pie
- 'Proper' pies, like a stew filling with an all round crust
- Cornish pasties
- Stew
- Chicken noodle soup! Ace for when someone is poorly.
- Lasagana - sounds hard, but put it in the fridge first and it'll go a bit hard, then you can easily portion into containers.
- Macaroni Chees - as above.
- Any leftovers you have from meals from the above. Sometimes this means you can have a 'pot luck' evening where everyone gets something different!!

I use the plastic containers that you get take-away food in like these - about 500ml is a good portion size.

www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10-x-PLASTIC-500ml-MICROWAVE-FOOD-TAKEAWAY-CONTAINERS-/190784208454?pt=UK_HomeGarden_Kitchen_FoodStorage_GL&hash=item2c6b9ffe46

Marking my place for some ideas

DeathMetalMum Fri 18-Jan-13 16:29:21

Sweet and sour (chicken) and sausage and bean casserole both on the change4life website.

thegreylady Fri 18-Jan-13 16:34:00

batches of bolognese can become chilli [add beans and chilli pepper] or lasagne or moussaka it is very versatile.

Mybumissquidgy Fri 18-Jan-13 16:34:58

Can I sneak in and ask how you freeze things? Do they cool on side then go straight in the freezer? How long do you cool on the side?

PicaK Fri 18-Jan-13 16:46:34

Sausage casserole. Make a big batch by fring up sausages then cutting into chunks. Throw in a pan with lots of tins of beans - kidney, borlotti, butter, cannalini (sp?), black-eye etc and cover with tinned tomatoes. Add herbs, salt and pepper and chilli to taste (and any leftover red wine). Simmer for half an hour. Serve with bread. Freezes really well - i get the plastic takeaway style cartons from pound shops.

Cowl - but with beef not lamb. Big pan of water, add pearl barley, lentils and split yellow peas. Simmer for 25 mins. Fry beef and onions, drain and add to big pan. Dice carrots, swede, leeks and parsnips and add. Add herbs and bay leaves simmer for 30 mins. Serve with bread. Again freezes well.

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 16:48:29

mybum I dish up into containers and leave to cool before freezing. You end up having to defrost your freezer more if you put things in hot.

Lurk

jammiecat Fri 18-Jan-13 16:54:51

The usual curries, chilli, bolognese etc but this is my current favourite:

Chicken and chorizo

6 skinless chicken thighs (I usually do a mix of thighs and breast pieces)
Salt and Pepper
Pinch of smoked paprika to dust
1 Large glass of sherry (optional)
Few sprigs of tarragon
1 bay leaf
1 onion cut into eight segments
2 carrots sliced at an angle
a handful on small baby new potatoes cut in half (I always use quite a few)
1 small chorizo sausage cut into chunks
600 ml chicken stock
1 cup of frozen peas
1 heaped tbsp crème fraiche
small bunch of parsley to serve

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and paprika then fry in a hot casserole dish on the hob to seal on all sides until golden brown all over. Add the sherry and herbs and reduce slightly this should take a couple of minutes. Next add the onion carrot chorizo and stock and simmer for 40 mins with a lid on or put it in a moderate the oven, if it is on for about an hour. Or put in slow cooker with 200-400ml stock and cook for about 8 hours.

Add the frozen peas and bring back to the boil then taste for additional seasoning if required. Add the crème fraiche another small pinch of paprika and the chopped parsley then serve with fresh bread.

Ilisten2theradio Fri 18-Jan-13 16:58:31

Curry
Bolognaise sauce
Lemon Chicken - re heat in pan rather than microwave or sauce stays jellylike. May need extra water.
Pizza dough
Dhal
Beef and ale stew in the unlikely event there is any left over
Homemede burgers - once cooked ( no horse in these ones grin )
turkey parcels ( sausage meat stuffing, turkey steak rolled around and then bacon) freeze fine if cooked then just heat up in oven again.

Mybumissquidgy Fri 18-Jan-13 16:59:29

Thanks sparklyknickers :D

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 17:00:34

Turkey parcels sound amazing. I'm imaging mash, peas and gravy with them <drools>

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 17:01:06

Or imagining....

InNeedOfBrandy Fri 18-Jan-13 17:07:24

Oh all of these sound lovely, my top 10 are

Mexican bean hotpot
Spag Bol/chilli/meatballs
Curry
Beany cottage pie
Stew
Home made fish cakes
Pie whether that's chicken ham beef fish ect
Any left over meat like the odd meatball or hotdog so one day I can make a mix up pasta bake
BBQ chicken
Enchiladas

If its to do with bei g tired when getting in from work like me I freeze stuff in baking trays so that morning I pull the whole dish/tray out to stick in fridge and then when I come home it can go straight in the oven and it's only that one thing plus plates to wash up.

Fluffycloudland77 Fri 18-Jan-13 17:09:56

Lurking.

Greensleeves Fri 18-Jan-13 17:13:08

does anyone know where you can get big versions of those metal takeaway trays? Sainsburys only had little ones, which are OK for a pasta sauce but not really a whole meal.

this thread is great, thanks so much everyone!

PicaK Fri 18-Jan-13 17:17:39

Beef with guiness. Fry up beef and onions - then throw a spoonful of flour in the pan and mix round. Add a load of mushrooms and some carrots. Pour in a can of guiness and top up with water and a small amount of OJ. Add salt and pepper to taste and a beef stock cube. Simmer for at least 30 mins with lid off so it thickens up. Perfect with mash. Freezes brilliantly.

PicaK Fri 18-Jan-13 17:25:47

That turkey parcel recipe sounds fab - how high do you cook that? Do u tie them up?

Greensleeves - honestly the pound stores are where u need to be for these kind of containers.

Xiaoxiong Fri 18-Jan-13 17:32:58

I'm about to make a double batch of shakshuka (google ottolenghi shakshuka for the recipe) - will freeze in 2-person portions for me and DH and then we can just defrost, warm in a pan, crack an egg on top and eat with crusty bread.

NUFC69 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:26:33

I always do at least double quantities of the following:
Chilli con carne
Bolognaise sauce (can then be either served with spaghetti or made into lasagne
Beef in Beer *
Moussaka
Chicken casserole *
Paprika Pork *
Goulash *
Pork and Pineapple *
The sauce for Chinese Chicken
Shepherd's Pie

The items marked with an asterisk are all done in the slow cooker, so that makes life even easier!

Iamsparklyknickers Fri 18-Jan-13 18:33:00

Have you any Asian supermarkets by you? I've seen massive trays in the one by me.

You could use those disposable baking trays and pop into a freezer bag or cover tightly with foil and label.

dizzy77 Fri 18-Jan-13 18:33:25

Realise these are both v similar but I cook in huge batches and don't always serve in the same week, eg serve one, eat one.

Moroccan Chicken

Lamb Shank Tagine - I spin this out with a tin of chickpeas per 2x shanks and take it off the bone once cooked to serve twice as many.

Some other great suggestions on this thread. Also regularly do shep pie, bolog & variations to eat one freeze one. Tin boxes from asda are quite cheap.

BoulevardOfBrokenSleep Fri 18-Jan-13 18:36:05

Greensleeves, I haven't looked but the trays sound like the sort of thing someone will be doing on eBay

SkivingAgain Fri 18-Jan-13 18:38:00

Julia love the sound of the slow cooked pulled pork.

Like others, I use the slow cooker regularly. I also buy the ready chopped onions as that seems to be the bit of preparation I find least appealing.

yesterday we had a slow cooker chicken casserole with cous cous. Cous cous only takes a few minutes and some boiling water.

ExasperatedSigh Fri 18-Jan-13 18:45:07

Beef stew
Dhal
Spicy chickpeas (Madhur Jaffrey recipe)
Curries of all kinds, in fact
Chilli (meat or bean)
Pizza dough and tomato sauce - you can freeze the dough in portion-size balls which makes life easier
Sausage casserole (sausage, red onion and apple is my favourite)

I made loads of mulled red cabbage for Christmas (recipe on the Good Food website) and that froze brilliantly. Not a meal in itself but a nice addition to a roast or something like sausage and mash.

ooh I want jammiecats chicken and chorizo stew! I almost always have some chickpea and chorizo stew (waitrose recipe) in the freezer. ATM I have coconut curry with chicken meatballs (the sauce only took about 10mins to make though), cod and chorizo fishcakes, cowboy bean bake (from mn recipes). cider gravy and sausages.

JuliaSqueezer Fri 18-Jan-13 19:44:40

Not technically a freezable meal but it's so quick and easy you could have it prepared in the time it would take you to go freezer-diving.

Take some chicken breasts, spread garlic & herb philadelphia cheese on top, lay a piece of Parma ham over, bake for 20-25 mins at 200C.

cathpip Fri 18-Jan-13 19:50:08

Minted lamb casserole
Thai chicken curry
Bolognaise
Fish pie
Meatballs
Any type of stew.

quoteunquote Fri 18-Jan-13 19:51:36

Beef and ale, doubled up, to add a quick pastry top to when cooking.

AbsintheMinded Fri 18-Jan-13 19:52:52

My new favourite one is this. 3 year old claims it is her fave too.
www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1548/mild-chilli-and-bean-pasta-bake

The other few i do have been mentioned already.

izzyishappilybusy Fri 18-Jan-13 19:54:20

.

LauraPashley Fri 18-Jan-13 20:01:12

Prettyprudence please could you tell us more about the coconut curry ?! Yum!

LauraPashley i googled a coconut curry sauce recipe and modified it to what I had:
Fry a chopped onion (and some peppers too if you have them lying about) and maybe some garlic
Add tin of cocunut milk
1 tbsp curry powder (I didn't have any so just chucked in all the curry spices I had in the cupboard)
Stir in a tbsp or two of lime juice at the very end.

I also chucked in some yogurt and coconut meat to stretch it out. I think it would be nice with some mange tout (sp?), baby sweetcorn etc.... chucked in too.

Never, ever, ever, put anything warm in the freezer.

<hyperventilates>

Leave it to cool COMPLETELY before freezing.

Ilisten2theradio Sat 19-Jan-13 14:31:45

pica The turkey parcels are just rolled and put into a baking try - not ties. - Oh and the last time I made them I smothered them with duck fat under the bacon to stop them drying out as I had used very hig quaity sausages in the stuffing - so no fat there.
About 45 mins-1 hour depending on how big they are at about 200c

Frikadellen Sat 19-Jan-13 14:33:55

Pies of almost any sort.

Also when you make stuff up from fresh make a double portion and freeze one half

Lafaminute Sat 19-Jan-13 14:35:54

Spinach & Ricotta Canneloni and Macaroni with leeks and bacon. Also brown bread and soup. bolognese made with veg and lentils.

Virgil Sat 19-Jan-13 14:43:55

Moussaka is a big favourite here. Home made quiches freeze well too, we like pesto and feta cheese.

MollyNollyNoo Sat 19-Jan-13 15:38:30

Bolognaes- turned into pasta bake or spag bol with extra long spaghetti to hold the DC's interest.

Chicken casserole.

Mice for shepherds pie, I add ocardo mash to the top and put it in the oven.

All above 5 litres worth cooked in the slow cooker so I only need to cook properly once a week or so...(except for weekends when I don't mind so much).

LauraPashley Sat 19-Jan-13 20:39:04

YUM thank you! Presumably could just simmer chicken breast strips in that?

I have to say my problem is that I always buy meat on offer like the 3 for £10 in sainsburys, then put it in the freezer as have too much to get through. Then when I make my lasagne or whatever I can't re freeze it!

I thought you could re-freeze meat once if defrosted then cooked? I do confused

RainbowsFriend Sat 19-Jan-13 22:44:52

On similar lines - how long can you keep home cooked stuff in the freezer for? I have some tuna pasta bake that was cooked and frozen possibly October..... maybe September - would it still be OK?

LauraPashley Sat 19-Jan-13 23:23:08

Well I've never been sure but dh swears blind you can't! Maybe someone here will know the definitive answer!

I just found this and it says food can be frozen forever but its the quality not safety which is the issue with long term freezing. It also says that defrosted raw meat which has then been cooked can be refrozen (relevant paragraphs are just over halfway down the link)

InNeedOfBrandy Sat 19-Jan-13 23:36:07

I am doing a level 3 cert in food safety I can 100% assure you that you can freeze raw meat cook it and then re freeze it.

LauraPashley Sun 20-Jan-13 19:14:59

Oh thank you! Is it sad to be very excited?! So what is the no-no, is it cooking, freezing, defrosting then re-freezing?

Zoomania Sun 20-Jan-13 19:27:31

I always make big batches of red Thai curry made with chicken thighs and freeze portions to have in a hurry with microwave rice. I have also just frozen the sauce with peppers and veg in and then added fish or prawns or whatever I have in the fridge. Always seems to freeze well.

InNeedOfBrandy Sun 20-Jan-13 20:24:01

You can get something raw cook and re freeze but you can't get something raw defrost and then re freeze laura

Greensleeves Sun 20-Jan-13 20:57:52

am definitely going to do a sausage casserole, am thinking cassoulet with chunks of bacon <slaver>

one thing I am struggling with is portions - I can never work out how much of something is right for 4 of us, it never looks like enough when I put it in pots confused

Greensleeves Sun 20-Jan-13 21:20:34

bumping for more pearls of wisdom smile

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 21:24:00

Hmm, not sure if I have 10 TBH! I'll give it a go grin

Portion wise I use the containers you get from Chinese takeaways, a full one is an adult's portion size (when you add something to it, rice, naan bread, crusty bread, pasta/spaghetti, mashed potato, mashed potato topping, baked potatoes, veg etc) Half of one of those is a child's portion - although my DS is 4 so perhaps a small child's portion. Maybe fill it around 2/3 full for an older child and mark with "C" or "A" on the lid?

I make:

Spag bol (obvious!) Can also make just pasta sauce to have with sausages and pasta or chicken and pasta.
Curries - this cauliflower curry with added chickpeas is lovely. (Chickpeas make it filling) I usually use the leaves from the cauli instead of spinach.
Chicken curry too - can use a jar if you like, but much nicer if you make a big batch using curry pastes and then coconut milk or tinned tomatoes or whatever to make the sauce - experiment with sauces and ingredients too smile
Cottage pie filling - beef mince with onions, garlic, beef stock cube, peas and carrots.
Shepherd's pie filling - lamb mince, onions, white wine, peas, parsnips, honey and loads of mint. May want to add gravy browning & a little bit of veg or lamb stock to make gravy.
Veggie shepherd's pie filling - either rattatouille or a hugh-fearnley whittingstall lentil and butternut squash mixture is fantastic - my friend gave me a batch of this for the freezer and it's lovely in a "shepherd's" pie!
Beef stew - I make in the slow cooker. My secret ingredient is a generous dollop of dijon mustard smile
Coq Au Vin - sounds fancy but is pretty easy to make, again in the slow cooker (or on the hob!)
Chicken Supreme - chicken in a white wine cream sauce - can probably find recipes online but I make it the way my mum did - with a can of Baxter's condensed soup blush You just use half the amount of liquid it suggests and all milk, no water. Add chicken, onions, sliced mushrooms and peas.

That probably works out as more than 10 anyway grin

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 21:24:54

PS if you don't want to order loads of chinese, you can buy the containers at supermarkets - tesco even have them on their online section so you can have them delivered with the weekly shop.

Greensleeves Sun 20-Jan-13 22:11:37

cauliflower recipe looks lovely Bertie smile tis my favourite vegetable and works so well with spices

blackeyedsusan Sun 20-Jan-13 22:21:39

pork and apple cook onions, sliced carots, and pork... add water and a couple of apples cook til apples go soft. also add bit of sherrry in there too if I hve any.

PrettyPineapples Sun 20-Jan-13 22:26:22

I always cook and freeze -chiilli con carne
spag bol
shepherds pie
curry
vegetable soup
leek and potato soup
chicken and ham pie

BertieBotts Sun 20-Jan-13 22:55:26

What would you serve that with, susan? I've seen it recommended a few times now but have never eaten it before.

The cauliflower recipe is gorgeous - the sauce is a bit thin, but it's so quick to make! I imagine you could also add lentils to thicken it up a bit? I tend to add the chickpeas because naan bread is a pain to store and I always have rice in the house.

ethelb Mon 21-Jan-13 19:52:49

oooh, I'm going to do a lovely lamb curry in the slow cooker for Friday night/to freeze using Jamie O's base sauce.

mrsbadger2 Thu 24-Jan-13 20:57:54

Delia's beef ghoulash recipe, with smoked paprika and red peppers, is quick to prepare and freezes beautifully. I always serve with rice, spuds, green beans and soured cream for a dinner party. Fairly economical for every day too.

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

.

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

.

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

.

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!

Laradaclara Sat 16-Feb-13 23:34:45

I've never found freezing rice works very well personally. I've tried freezing risotto but the texture changes a lot and it goes too mushy. However I sometimes cook he start of a risotto/pilaf using all the ingredients that do freeze eg i often do one with onions, chicken, chorizo, vermouth or wine, saffron, bay leaves and olives. If you then freeze that then all you need to do add rice, water or stock and cook.

I often freeze partially made recipes that I can then finish quickly. For exam

Laradaclara Sat 16-Feb-13 23:39:01

I've never found freezing rice works very well personally. I've tried freezing risotto but the texture changes a lot and it goes too mushy. However I sometimes cook he start of a risotto/pilaf using all the ingredients that do freeze eg i often do one with onions, chicken, chorizo, vermouth or wine, saffron, bay leaves and olives. If you then freeze that then all you need to do add rice, water or stock and cook.

I often freeze partially made recipes that I can then finish quickly. Sauces work well like this. For example, mix cumin, chopped chilli, coriander leaves, salt and pepper, spring onions and garlic and divide into an ice cube tray. Each portion makes salsa if you mix with a fresh chopped tomato.

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Wed 27-Feb-13 12:21:04

Can someone post a good, freezable sweet and sour sauce recipe please.

CMP69 Wed 27-Feb-13 17:19:44

I have actully just had a tidy of my freezer this afternoon. There is:
Bolognaise
Chilli
Greek lamb stew (nigella)
home made soup (various)
meatballs (no sauce)
mince (for shepherds pie or with dumplings)
chicken and veg Risotto
Chicken and chorizo stew
Lasagne
Sorry not 10, but not bad, more than I thought, was quite pleased smile

sashh Thu 28-Feb-13 04:16:46

When I've done a roast I freeze left over meat in left over gravy and freeze the cooked veg and Yorkshires too.

Anything mashed - potatoes, carrots, swede.

Anything with a sauce, casseroles, curry etc.

Anything in pastry, pies, pasties etc.

Anything topped with mash - shepherd's pie, fish pie.

Home made versions of fishcakes, chicken nuggets, meatballs.

I always reheat these from frozen.

IAmSheWhoMustBeObeyed Thu 28-Feb-13 18:17:17

turkey parcels are fab! Thank you to whoever posted that one. We are eating them now with frozen mash. An MN meal. Well to complete we should probably have chocolate cake microwaved in a mug.

Loanoffer1 Thu 31-Jul-14 19:08:28

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

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