Freezer meal recipe swap? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Freezer meal recipe swap?

We just bought a deep freezer to make meals ahead for after baby comes. Does anyone else do this? If so, I thought it might be fun to post our favorite freezer meal recipes. I'm just getting started, will be making a vegetable soup from a new recipe later today. If it turns out, I'll post the recipe later today if anyone is interested.
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#2 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 11:28 AM
 
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I really want a deep freezer before baby comes. I'll share later.
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#3 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 12:24 PM
 
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YES!!! I am cooking ahead and have done this in the past for other family events like camping or family reunions (they usually last a weekend and I don't like baking the entire time I have company.) Some of my favorite freezer meals are beef or chicken lasagna, broccoli chicken and rice casserole, spaghetti, chicken alfredo, rice pilaf, fried rice and spicy Chinese chicken, pre-patted hamburgers ready to put on the grill, sweet potato casserole, and cookie dough rolled into logs for easy slice n' bake. I'll have to pull out my cookbook this evening. I am gluten free, so it makes my recipes slightly different than conventional cooking. Is anyone else gluten free?
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#4 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 12:26 PM
 
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P.S. we raise our own beef and poultry so we have two deep freezers. Space can still be an issue... :P
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#5 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 12:48 PM
 
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@ChasingDreams , I am gluten-free and vegetarian. I don't do a lot of freezer meals though.

Chili
Enchiladas (add more sauce when you bake)
Smoothie cubes
Pancakes/Waffles
Plain cooked rice
Soup base for potato-cheese soup (veggie stock, onion, celery, potato) then thaw/heat and blend with milk and cheese.
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#6 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 12:58 PM
 
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I have quite a few recipes that I freeze, in fact I often "double cook" and freeze. Then, because of my health, on bad there is something healthy to eat. Amongst the recipes is butternut soup. I am not sure if you get butternut squash in the US? You can also use pumpkin as a substitute but it mustn't be a "watery" pumpkin.

I'll be happy to share. I do all my cooking/baking from scratch.

Regards,
Lindy
South Africa
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#7 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 03:31 PM
 
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Oooh I'm excited for this!! Already so many yummy things on the list here...I've never frozen meals before, and I have a silly question - what type of "vessel" do you keep things in? To make sure the food stays sealed/fresh?

We won't have a deep freezer, but we keep almost nothing in our regular freezer, so I'm imagining we could cook up at least a few freezer meals to stock up!

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#8 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 03:43 PM
 
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Freezing things is actually fun. There are just a few things to remember, like that air is your enemy and that things look different when they are frozen. Which means, try exclude all air from the package before you freeze, and label your stuff, because when it's frozen you cannot tell soup and stew apart ;-)

I use many different types of containers. I have lined casserole dishes with clingwrap (a thick kind) and frozen the dish then wrapped it up in more layers. That way I can pop the casserole into the original dish and put it straight in the oven.

I have used the Ziplock containers that we can purchase here. And freezer bags, for soups.
Mostly I have used plastic ware like tupperware and addis.

Always leave a bit of "head space" as the stuff get a little higher when it freezes.

Oh, the most difficult shape to "pop out" of it's frozen form, I found to be those barrel shaped large 1litre yogurt tubs. I tried soup in them but it was so hard to get out.

Hope that helps,
Lindy
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#9 of 19 Old 03-07-2015, 05:03 PM
 
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I did freezer meals with the previous two babies, but it sorta backfired - I was a little overenthusiastic, and there's only so much beef stew and mince DH and I are willing to eat! Turns out most of our favourite meals aren't freezer-friendly.

I will freeze some stuff again, though. Off the top of my head (and bearing in mind this will be a winter baby for us):

-Pumpkin soup
-Tomato soup
-Veggie soup with alphabet noodles
-Hamburger buns
-Hamburger patties
-Bread in general, as much as I can make - regular loaves, raisin bread, bread rolls, whatever

And in the past, I've had some success with freezing 'meals' that are pre-prepped but not cooked. Like, putting some raw chicken drumsticks in a ziplock bag with soy sauce, brown sugar, ginger, garlic etc, and freezing it; then popping the bag in the fridge the night before and cooking it (crockpot, stove, oven, whatever) the next day. I find there's a greater variety of meals we really like that work that way, and the texture's sometimes better.

I'll also try to buy ahead some sausages, spring rolls, pork dumplings, tortellini etc for quick meals. Beats takeout!

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#10 of 19 Old 03-08-2015, 05:34 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Ooooh! So many good ideas here!

Last night I made a veggie soup that was delicious, then I made a second soup base minus the things that I didn't think would freeze well (zucchini, potatoes, orzo). The recipe is here
@albanyaloe , we definitely get butternut squash in the states. I'd love to get your recipe!
@FyerFly , I've been reading about freezer storage and second what albanyaloe said. Label, label, label. A lot of people prefer glass containers with a sturdy seal, some don't mind plastic containers or bags. One thing I learned about which was a good tip - if you're freezing meat that you don't want to freeze together (like, I breaded some chicken tenders to freeze last night), lay the food out flat on a baking sheet and "flash freeze" for 2-3 hours, then package the food in your chosen container. This works for fruit too - if you find a good sale on blueberries and buy a lot of them, flash freeze them, then wrap 'em up and toss in the freezer for later.
@ChasingDreams , I'm not gluten-free but I do try to limit gluten and find I feel better when I do. Can't wait to see some of your recipes!
@Emanresu , would you share your enchilada recipe?
@Smokering , I've been looking for a good bread recipe for just regular loaves of wheat "sandwich" bread. Do you have something like that? I'd love to see your recipes if so!
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#11 of 19 Old 03-08-2015, 07:58 AM
 
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I do a lot of soups and casseroles:

Chili
Spaghetti meat sauce
Ravioli
Breakfast muffins
Chicken (all different ways, like Smokering does, I just put all the ingredients in the bag so it's good to go the day I want to make it)
Pulled meats

Really, I freeze about anything! The only thing that gives me trouble time and time again is potatoes, I still haven't figured out how to do them so they don't come out with odd texture.

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#12 of 19 Old 03-08-2015, 01:23 PM
 
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Quote:
@Smokering , I've been looking for a good bread recipe for just regular loaves of wheat "sandwich" bread. Do you have something like that? I'd love to see your recipes if so!
Not exactly; not if you mean square slices in a tin. Mostly these days my loaves are all free-form boules. And I don't tend to make whole-wheat bread (white bread with whole grains in it, yes). But in Nutrition and Good Eating, there's a loooong thread called 'Our Daily Bread' you should check out. Someone there probably has what you're looking for.

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#13 of 19 Old 03-08-2015, 02:11 PM
 
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Curry freezes well. I make a chicken one or a chickpea and spinach one, and then all you need to do is prepare the rice.

Mama to L (7) and A (born 7/15 by VBAC)
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#14 of 19 Old 03-08-2015, 02:12 PM
 
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This site also looks interesting and I plan to do it closer to my due date. http://www.stockpilingmoms.com/2014/...ls-in-2-hours/
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#15 of 19 Old 03-09-2015, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
in Nutrition and Good Eating, there's a loooong thread called 'Our Daily Bread' you should check out. Someone there probably has what you're looking for.
Thanks! I'll check it out.
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#16 of 19 Old 03-09-2015, 01:12 PM
 
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Loving this thread. I have not done freezer meals in the past but I love the idea of having things premixed in baggies that can be thrown in a dutch oven or crock pot...especially meat meals. We're Paleo so often I can just eliminate any grains. I think I'm going to see if I can find any Paleo freezer meal recipes and if I do, I'll post them.

Tina - mama to DD1 12yrs, DD2 7yrs, DD3 4 yrs & baby and wifey to DH.
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#17 of 19 Old 03-09-2015, 02:55 PM
 
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Here's a good list and great tips too:


http://www.paleomadepainless.com/2014/01/7-freezer-slow-cooker-paleo-meals.html

Tina - mama to DD1 12yrs, DD2 7yrs, DD3 4 yrs & baby and wifey to DH.
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#18 of 19 Old 03-10-2015, 03:47 PM
 
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We are pretty Paleo too We totally eat potatoes, rice and dairy though since it agrees with us and we exercise a lot (well me not as much as before). We've never really done the freezing thing except bone broth since it's been just the two of us so I love this topic as we've been talking about it but don't know much about the right way. Thanks for starting it!!
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#19 of 19 Old 03-19-2015, 05:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lerlisha View Post
Ooooh! So many good ideas here!

Last night I made a veggie soup that was delicious, then I made a second soup base minus the things that I didn't think would freeze well (zucchini, potatoes, orzo). The recipe is here
@albanyaloe , we definitely get butternut squash in the states. I'd love to get your recipe!
@FyerFly , I've been reading about freezer storage and second what albanyaloe said. Label, label, label. A lot of people prefer glass containers with a sturdy seal, some don't mind plastic containers or bags. One thing I learned about which was a good tip - if you're freezing meat that you don't want to freeze together (like, I breaded some chicken tenders to freeze last night), lay the food out flat on a baking sheet and "flash freeze" for 2-3 hours, then package the food in your chosen container. This works for fruit too - if you find a good sale on blueberries and buy a lot of them, flash freeze them, then wrap 'em up and toss in the freezer for later.
@ChasingDreams , I'm not gluten-free but I do try to limit gluten and find I feel better when I do. Can't wait to see some of your recipes!
@Emanresu , would you share your enchilada recipe?
@Smokering , I've been looking for a good bread recipe for just regular loaves of wheat "sandwich" bread. Do you have something like that? I'd love to see your recipes if so!
Sorry it took so long for me to get back to you @lerlisha !

Here's the enchilada recipe as given to me...then I'll post my notes after.

Cheese Enchiladas - 350* 20min
8 large corn tortillas
1 bunch chopped green onions
2 can enchilada sauce
1 pound each, shredded cheddar and jack
1 can diced green chiles
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
oil

brush tortillas with oil on both sides, place on cookie sheet bake 350* for 3-4 min

coat bottom of baking dish with a little of the sauce, pour remaining sauce in a bowl big enough to fit tortillas in

mix together white parts of onions, cheese, chiles, and cilantro

dip each tortilla in sauce, drain off excess, lay on counter and fill with cheese mixture -- roll up, place seam side down in dish

pour remaining sauce over of the top of enchiladas and then sprinkle on remaining cheese mixture

garnish with green onion tops and sour cream

Okay, so I can never find "large" corn tortillas, so I buy a pack of the standard size, not sure how many it makes. I actually rarely follow the recipe anymore and just wing it, adding in black beans or spinach in the filling. For my husband we use green sauce, jalepenos, cilantro, cheese, and chicken. I usually buy tomato sauce and add my own seasonings. I also don't heat the tortillas in the oven, I just put a little oil in a frying pan/griddle and warm them on there as I assemble them.

FYI - when frozen and reheated, it's more of a casserole, than being able to take an individual enchilada out!
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