I need to do a bit more batch-cooking and generally be a bit more frugal, but don't have much freezer-space.
Can I have some sensible pragmatic guidelines on how long things can be kept in fridge for?
1. A cooked veg-based dish (e.g. mashed potato) 2. A cooked meat-based dish - e.g. bolognese sauce 3. Left-over pasta without sauce 4. Chilled soup 5. Half a tin of beans / chopped tomato etc 6. An uncooked meat pack (e.g. 1/2 pack of chicken breasts)
The rice rule is no more than 24 hours, I think. I know you have to take things out of cans if you are saving bits, but otherwise I'm a bit clueless and don't want to poison people
I make soup on a sunday and I keep it in the fridge for lucnhes all week (ie til friday) been doing this for years andnver had a problem, even if the soup had meat in eg bacon.
Mashed potato- 2 days? Im really jjust guessing, i have no idea what would happen if left longer. Pasta i would think a few days? although pasta is so quick to cook would it be worth cooking extra to heat it up again as i find it goes rubbery?
Meat dish- i would say eat it the next day.
Beans (remove from the tin and put in bowl as Im sure the tin can react with it?others will know better!) but will keep 2 days i think. chopped tomato/onion- couple of days but will depend on their ripeness when used originally, IYSWIM.
Most of these are just my own habits, other people may well feel differently.
In terms of food safety, I would reckon up to a week for vegetable things and maybe 4-5 days for meat, though it depends crucially on whether I'm going to reheat it again, in which case I'm not so worried, or not, in which case I wouldn't take any chances. However, there's the taste issue too. IMO - mashed potato generally doesn't taste nice after more than a day (though a very cheesey mashed potato pie might be all right, and in shepherd's pie the meat flavour would probably disguise the stale mashed potato). Pasta on its own is dry after more than a day, though if you drenched it in oil you might get away with a few days. Uncooked meat - use your eyes and your nose, though be aware that often food only starts to smell once it comes from room temperature, so you need to take it out of the fridge a while before sniffing!