So, the family is nearly done emptying the freezer (previously used for meat storage). After doing a 21 vegan challenge myself last fall (and feeling great during it), the family agreed to allow me to transition them to a mostly vegan diet. I have stayed mostly veg. The family meat consumption is down considerable and we don't plan on refilling the freezer with meat when it is empty. (my dad raises beef for the family so it used to be an automatic thing)
I think that I could really make use of the freezer for make ahead meals. Soups are a given. I also want to put some of that lentil spaghetti sauce in there that someone posted.
But, what else? Which veg one pot meals, casseroles, sides, that freeze well?
It doesn't need to be vegan. We eventually expect to be there, but for now it will be vegetarian. One step at a time. First step was momma. . .
I haven't done as much freezing as others (only a tiny freezer here).
Lasagnas freeze well - I often do this mushroom one (and sometimes make a second to freeze). The muffin pan lasagna rolls also freeze well (whatever recipe of that you like).
I often like waffles & muffins. You can also do homemade french toast sticks.
Haven't done well with making lots of extra beans to freeze myself - but that's a great thing to have when you can get it done. Extra cooked black beans you can throw in whatever. Or other beans to use in soups, etc.
I haven't used this either, yet - but I have found that onceamonthmoms offers a vegetarian monthly freezer cooking menu - so you might find something good there too.
Do you garden? Freezing greens to use in green smoothies. Freezing grapes. (I freeze them on a wax paper covered cookie sheet then transfer them into a glass container for freezing.) I froze tons of grapes last summer and my kids ate them all winter long.
Freezing other produce--sliced peppers, onions, tomatoes. Berries would be good.
Do you make your own veggie broth? I freeze mine in ice cube trays then transfer to a gallon sized glass jar. That way I use only what I need.
Created an instant family (7/89 and 5/91) in 1997. Made a baby boy 12/05 adopted a baby girl 8/08. Ask me about tandem adoptive nursing. Now living as gluten, dairy, cane sugar, and tomato free vegetarians. Homeschooling and loving it.
Breads and muffins freeze well.
I also like to soak and cook beans and freeze them - it gives me the convenience of canned without the cost, sodium and packaging.
I also freeze a lot of fruit when it is in season to use in smoothies and baked goods throughout the year.
I also like to prepare veggies to cook quickly and freeze them to make meal prep easy on busy nights. I slice and chop everything I will need for tacos or a stir fry or something and put them in a large ziploc bag and then I just have to pull them out when needed. Fresh is always best but some days there just isn't time.
I do usually make my own broth. I have a garden, but never thought of freezing the greens for smoothies. That is great; I have started adding greens to my smoothies. I like the idea of doing meal prep ahead of time and freezing for future use.
I love cooking casseroles and quiches, and both freeze well so I usually make double and pre-cut into servings, wrap in foil and freeze in a bag.
I have found, however, that cooked potatoes do not freeze well and come out all mushy when thawed so I avoid cooking with them when freezing.
Mama since 2010
Multicultural living in Europe
My husband and I do a lot of smoothies. We add banana, almonds and vegan ice cream (only a little bit) along with apples, ginger, and coconut. We switch up the fruits a lot but it makes for great protein and its yummy too!
I don't have a big freezer anymore so don't get to do much but I can't possibly say how much I love to have beans in the freezer. I make big pots of everykind we use and freeze them in 2 cup batches, except pintos those are 6-8 cups so we can have refried beans.
I also like to make double or triple batches of pancakes, waffles, and french toast for quick breakfasts. Spaghetti sauce, homemade broth (and the odds and ends of veggies that I saved to make the broth), and bread (great to stock up a bit when you find a good sale) used to be staples in my freezer when we had a big one.
I've not done it before but if I had space I'd freeze brown rice too since it takes so long to cook. I've never been much for freezing full meals but rather ingredients to make a quick meal.
Frozen fruit and yogurt for smoothies is a given too.
Cheryl, wife to an amazing man, homeschooling SAHM to Gavin 12/03, Rhys 09/06, and Ian Aug 11, 2010.
I've been trying to use my freezer more too. I have no patience for cooking dinner every night! So I've been doing a smaller version of once-a-month-cooking - cooking 8-12 meals in a day, so we have 2-3 meals a week from the freezer. I love it! Next I am trying to get it up to 16 meals, so it'll be 4 freezer meals a week. Add in two slow cookers meals a week and I'd only be cooking properly once a week! That's the dream, anyhow. :)
My problem is getting enough variety of meals to freeze. We do chili, soup, pasta sauce, dal - but a lot of those are made with similar ingredients.
I'm going to try this one this weekend:
I'm also going to try this (we don't actually have a baked beans recipe we love, so hopefully this will be it!):
Both should freeze well, I believe.
If you like dal, we tried this one last week and loved it - haven't froze it yet, but I think it should be fine:
And looking forward to filling the freezer with our haul from U-Picks this summer! :)
I just made these baked oatmeals http://www.sugarfreemom.com/recipes/personal-sized-baked-oatmeal-with-individual-toppings-gluten-free-diabetic-friendly/
stuffing (rice, herbs, tomatoes, feta) for peppers, zucchinis
I am going to start doing freezer meals again in the Fall - thanks for these great ideas!! The lentil spaghetti sauce sounds great - do you have the link?? Thanks!
Karin - breastfeeding , cloth diapering: , cosleeping ;, homeschooling , babywearing !, AP Mama to Martin, Ivy Rose, Patrick and Neva , wife to Kevin