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Does anybody REALLY do batch loads of cooking and then freeze? and if so- what kind of things do you cook?

(89 Posts)
Tiredemma Tue 04-Feb-14 14:51:59

I am returning to work (full time) in four weeks after 7 months Maternity Leave. I have two DS aged 13 and 10 and DD who will be 6 months (and DP)

The past few months obviously everyone has been returning from school/work to a cooked evening meal, because I am here in the day and have time to prepare it etc.

When I return to work I will be doing 37.5hrs over 4 days so will be out of the house from 8am until around 6pm.

Dp will be getting in from work at around 4pm boys similar time.

Im thinking about doing a batch of cooking that is easily frozen on a Sunday afternoon for the coming week- just to take the pressure off on the evening.

Any suggestions what freezes best? Never done this before and dont want to waste time and money doing stuff that wont satisfy come dinner time!

RiojaHaze Tue 04-Feb-14 14:56:24

I do. Mainly basic things like bolognaise sauce, tomato and veg sauces I can chuck over pasta, lasagne, cottage and fish pie, macaroni cheese, sweet and sour chicken that can just be heated up and served with noodles....

shoom Tue 04-Feb-14 14:57:26

The bbc good food website has some good recipes.

I batch cook things like lasagne, Bolognese sauce, chicken and chorizo rice (from above website), curries... I freeze most things in toddler-sized portions.

MartinSheensTeeth Tue 04-Feb-14 14:58:06

Red stuff and brown stuff.
One day I will remember to label it. Mostly it's called "freezer roulette"

Tiredemma Tue 04-Feb-14 14:58:16

ah brilliant. Everything you have put, they all love.


shoom Tue 04-Feb-14 14:58:47

Tiredemma Tue 04-Feb-14 14:59:08

Mostly it's called "freezer roulette"

Costacoffeeplease Tue 04-Feb-14 14:59:48

As above, plus soup, roast potatoes and mashed potatoes, pies (chicken, bacon, leeks, sweetcorn etc or steak, mushroom)

Imnotaslimjim Tue 04-Feb-14 14:59:59

I do, I work similar hours to you with 4yo and 6yo, and DH out longer than I am. So we batch cook between us, and dinner is a simple "bung it in the oven" affair every evening. We do similar things already listed

VelvetGecko Tue 04-Feb-14 15:00:08

I do this all the time as no time to cook during the week. Mainly pasta sauces, one of ds's staples and soups. Bolognese sauce and tomato based sauces freeze well. Fish pies, lasagne, stews all freeze well. There's not much you can't freeze actually. I believe frozen mash is a mumsnet favourite though I've never tried it. I do it as much to avoid waste as save time. Also freeze Fruit that's not going to get eaten and use fir smoothies.

Purplehonesty Tue 04-Feb-14 15:00:32

Chilli is good to freeze as well as all the other things mentioned.
Soup too.
You could get a slow cooker and pop things in that in the morning - (prep the night before)
Then just get dp to do the veg, rice, tatties etc when he gets in.
I often wish I had the energy to batch cook at the weekend but I can never find the time or the oomph to do it!
So slow cooker saves me!

DelGirl Tue 04-Feb-14 15:00:40

Stews, ragu, soup, chili that kind of thing

Clutterbugsmum Tue 04-Feb-14 15:01:42

I do the above, but I also do batches of just mince and onions which can be turned in pies, lasagne etc.

I would also suggest you get some decent freezer dishes (differenr sizes) so you don't end up with all dishes in the freezer.

SomewhatSilly Tue 04-Feb-14 15:02:50

That chicken and chorizo recipe is delicious.

I try to batch cook but it always gets eaten confused grin

drspouse Tue 04-Feb-14 15:03:56

Not as such, but I usually make about 5 portions of whatever we're making, and DH tries to as well, then we freeze half and it makes 2 plus toddler once, and then again.

Sometimes we just have it 2 days later without freezing, and if we miscalculate it goes in the freezer as a "sad single person's dinner" as it is known in our house, for days when one of us is out for dinner.

Tiredemma Tue 04-Feb-14 15:04:03

brilliant. i have been agonising over tea times once I return to work- this makes it look less of a nightmare

DelGirl Tue 04-Feb-14 15:05:58

I use my slow cooker a fair bit and just chuck all the ingredients in, I dont usually bother with frying meat off. Last week it was beef in red wine with added veg, another day chicken cacciatore with leftovers going in the freezer. You can always add in potatoes then its a complete meal done.

Beastofburden Tue 04-Feb-14 15:09:12

Stews- can become pies if needed. Bolognese sauce- turns into lasagne.

Cooked chicken for so, so many things- buy breasts when cheap, cook a big batch under foil, slice and freeze in 100g bags. For fake instant chicken stew, chicken pie, quick chicken curry, stir fry, sandwiches for work....

LadyInDisguise Tue 04-Feb-14 15:18:36

Yes I do.

Very simply, I cook double and freeze what is used. I also freeze and left over and use that as my lunch.

Things that I cook like this: stews, soups, stir fry, Bolognese sauce, batter, biscuits dough, tomato sauce, cooked rice ....
Well anything really.
What I avoid are potatoes, I don't think they freeze well. And for some reason pasta, but not sure why

LadyInDisguise Tue 04-Feb-14 15:19:29

And YY to using a slow cooker, esp if you come home late at night. A meal, all warm and ready to eat is a real treat!

Clutterbugsmum Tue 04-Feb-14 16:11:59

I also freeze roast meat slices in gravy, for quick 'roast dinners' in the week.

SomewhatSilly Tue 04-Feb-14 16:17:20

I slow cooked some chicken breasts in a couple of tablespoons of water the other day and it came out beautifully - tender and moist and shredded nicely. That would do for loads of different things.

I added fennel and cumin for an Indian flavour but you could vary that, or keep it plain for max flexibility.

BigBirthdayGloom Tue 04-Feb-14 19:14:27

I always make a vat of spag Bol with one pack of mince, 2-3 onions, 3 peppers, a pack of mushrooms, 2-3 carrots, 2-3 big courgettes, 2-3 sticks of celery and four tins of tomatoes. Plus dried basil (loads), oregano and 4-5 cloves if garlic.The kids are all fooled that its meatier than it is and it does four to five meals for the five of us. If I do it in smaller batches its hard to get the veg in.
I also do a big batch of fish pies when I do them and freeze them in foil containers. Any stews I do I do big. I just figure that its a lot of washing up for just one meal!

senua Tue 04-Feb-14 19:28:11

get some decent freezer dishes

Ooops. Is that what you are supposed to do? I just save those plastic boxes from the chinese takeaway - they are quite robust, about right for portion size and stack nicely.

My freezer always has bolognaise sauce which can be used in lots of ways (lasagne, chili, pasta sauce, etc)

BirthdayMuppet Tue 04-Feb-14 19:31:04

We pretty much always make double of everything and freeze the half we're not eating that day. Casseroles of every description, anything 'saucy' like chilli, spag bol, meatballs etc. Half of my meals every week are from the freezer.

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