Monday, November 28, 2011

Real Food Freezer Cooking

I am a homeschooling mom of four children under 9 who insanely adds two blogs, freelance writing, a piano student here and there and occasional ministries at church to my already crazy schedule. When someone mentions the concept of once-a-month-cooking to me, my eyes glaze over really fast. A full day in the kitchen easily stretches into 3 for me by the time I add in the typical interruptions. While I love the concept, I have decided it is not for me.

However, Crystal of Money Saving Mom has made the idea of smaller batch cooking popular. I have recently tried to keep a step ahead of my family's voracious appetites by doubling a meal, cooking one and saving one for the freezer.

Does this work for real food? Absolutely!

Right now, I have an extra pan of baked oatmeal in the freezer, a cheeseburger meatloaf without the cheese on top and a batch of waffles. All of this required no extra time on my part this week since I simply doubled up what I was making and put the extra in the freezer. I do this with breads, too. I just make two loaves of cornbread, banana bread or whole wheat bread instead of one.

If we have leftover pasta or rice after a meal, I throw it into a gallon plastic bag and save it. Both of these heat up for a quick lunch. We added spices, butter, shredded cheese and chopped sundried tomatoes to leftover spaghetti  this week, and it was delicious!

When I brown ground beef for a meal, I brown an extra pound or two and put a bag of it in the freezer for a quick meal later. When I make chicken stock, I freeze it in two cup portions in sandwich bags. These thaw quickly for a quick soup or chicken enchiladas.

One thing that doesn't seem to work is soup. I make a double batch every time, and we almost always seem to finish or nearly finish the extra portion. I guess we are just eating more!

What are your favorite real food freezer meals?

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