Bulk freezer cooking(9 Posts)
With normal routines commencing tomorrow I'm looking into ways I can be more organised. Also I'm going to be starting a uni course this September, on top of part time job and 2 small dc, so want to try and get in the habit of preparing the weeks/months meals ahead.
I've been looking on Pinterest but nearly all the posts are American and include things like cans of condensed soup and the like so not getting very far in that. So far I've got a slow cooked stew (which we already do). Dh does a lovely tomato sauce which we freeze and use for a few different meals.
So I'm looking for ideas, links and suggestions for what meals help make the evenings easier whilst not having to resort to crap food.
I bulk cook in the slow cooker things like Bolognaise sauce, chilli, meatballs, Spanish chicken, curries, goulash and basic stews. I always do double what we need and freeze half. If I make lasagna I make 2 and freeze one. You'll eventually get a good range of frozen home cooked Ready meals you'll just have to cook pasta rice etc to go with it.
Other things I cook and freeze include cheese sauce, tuna pasta sauce and beef ragu.
Mashed potato freezes really well, I line a muffin tin with cling film, fill the holes with mash and freeze, once solid I pop them out in to a freezer bag, and just defrost what we need. Sometimes do the same with sweet potato. Cooked jacket potato freeze well too. Just defrost and pop in the oven for 20 mins to crisp up again.
Always all manner of fresh veg can be bought frozen these days, probably worth keeping those in. Hope that helps.
My top tip is to just make vast (or at least double) what you normally do, and freeze the leftovers...one lot of effort for two (or more) dinners.
That American Mom style thing where you bag all the uncooked ingredients does work. I just adapted recipes I already did, with the exception of pre cooking the onion/carrot/celery mix first....I hate slow cooker food when that is not done, imo that's where the damp sweaty not properly cooked taste comes from when folks complain about slow cookers
I also didn't put in thing like tinned toms, or beans....they are already in tins so you can just put them in when you are ready to go, brandishing a tin opener is hardly a chore
I went with a Spanish chicken thing....so soffrito, chorizo, chicken, plenty of S&P, crushed garlic/oregano in freezer bag.....hurl in chick peas, passata, tinned toms and maybe some chicken stock when you put it in the slow cooker
Country Chicken/Pork.....again with the soffrito, meat, big chunks of apple, great big dod of wholegrain mustard, big pile of chopped carrots, and sliced leeks into the freezer bag, and then add cider/stock when it goes in the SC
Paprika Beef, Beef in Beer, Chicken Curry type effort, Spicy Pork & Beans ....basically any one pot style recipe can be done.
You get the gist! ...the only issue I had was remembering to defrost the bag!
I have a few part prepared things in too.
Frozen chopped base veg. My sister buys this in and I chop my own leftovers and have some boxes in my freezer.
Crumble mix. Which for maximum simplicity I put a few tablespoonful of this over frozen fruit, cherries or blackberries work well.
Ooooo, @Testarossa1 I never thought of freezing mash. I'm going to do that one today.
Thank you. I'm just compiling my shopping list now. Adding chriozo and bits for Spanish stew.
I am bulk cooking today. No slow cooker
and i honestly dont have time for faff in the morning though so making a chick korma, bacon/pork and bean casserole and Bolognese. I cook two/three portions of each.
I also roll butter with herbs, garlic etc and freeze which can be added to plain chicken.
if I have leftover mash then I tend to fancy it up a bit as it's not quite right once it has been frozen
so I use it up on cottage pies, or grate some cheese and chop some chives and mix them through, put it in a foil dish an it can just reheat in the oven, and go all toasty and cheesy on the top
Braised Red Cabbage is amazing and can be done very easily when you have the cooker on for other things and it goes so well with roasts or casseroley things.
Another thing is a midweek roast....it all sounds a bit school dinners, but if you get a much larger joint than you need and make far too much gravy, the extra meat can be sliced and frozen in the gravy and it reheats beautifully....add in some frozen fancy mash, frozen veg, yorkshires and it's very quick.
I do marinaded chicken for the freezer which is great for a quick stir fry (I use straight to wok noodles) - honey, spy sauce, garlic, ginger, lime juice.
Pesto freezes really well and still tastes better than bought.
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