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TOPIC: Don't panic, dinner is in the freezer, batch cooking

 
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June 13, 2013 4:48 PM
Anyone use this kind of cooking? I am trying to organize my life by doing batch cooking.

Do you have experience with this?

Great victories ? Horrible disaster ?

Trick you wish you knew before starting?
  11614737
June 13, 2013 5:37 PM
Bump
  11614737
June 13, 2013 5:40 PM
I do it, though not in an official freezer cooking session. I will make a meal, double the recipe, and throw the extras in the freezer. Because I constantly do this, I have a good stock of meals for those days when I need them.
  24223134
June 13, 2013 5:42 PM
BUMP

i could also use some info on this as i work days and nights so it can be a nightmare trying to find the time to cook (as much as i love it)
June 13, 2013 5:45 PM
It has many names OAMC (once a month cooking), freezer cooking, etc, but yes I have done it. It can be helpful to have meals ready to go. It takes a lot of work in the set up, but is very nice afterwards. A lot of the recipes rely heavily on calorie dense sauces (cream of soup type). There are some great recipes out there and a lot of your normal recipes might be able to be adjusted to fit this. Pinterest has quiet a few boards about this. I have hamburgers and meatballs in the freezer from my latest batch and in both of those I added shredded carrots, onions, oatmeal, spices, and a few other things upping the nutrition and lowering the calories. There is no way I would have time to do that on a daily basis, but this way I can.
  29916881
June 13, 2013 5:46 PM
QUOTE:

I do it, though not in an official freezer cooking session. I will make a meal, double the recipe, and throw the extras in the freezer. Because I constantly do this, I have a good stock of meals for those days when I need them.



^^This way saves a lot of time and can be very useful.
  29916881
June 13, 2013 5:51 PM
Absolutely. I cook for one. Nothing comes in cook-for-one sizes, not meat, cheese, cabbage or most other vegetables.
  5978
June 13, 2013 5:59 PM
I am in a Yahoo group for Frozen Meals. Here is a copy of one of their e-mails with some FAQ's.....
i have not tried it more than freezing the extras i cook. Hopefully you can get some more answers there.

Hi, all.... :-)

Certain topics are frequently mentioned on the Frozen-
Assets Email List. For the benefit of newcomers and to cut
down on some of these frequently repeated conversations,
here's the current edition of the FA-FAQ (Frequently Asked
Questions).
_________________________________

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS INCLUDED ARE:

~How do I order the "Frozen Assets" books?
~How do I post a message to the group?
~How can I let others know about this group?
~How do I unsubscribe from this List? Or change settings?
~How can I find further information about this topic via email?
~What is meant by "flash freezing"?
~How (and why!?) do some of you boil hamburger?
~Any special tips for vegetarians?
~My freezer's too small for a month worth of meals.

_________________________________

FAQ's ~ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
_________________________________

Q) How do I order the Frozen Assets book?

A) Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month
(ISBN: 1402218591) by Deborah Taylor-Hough is usually
available nationwide. If your local bookstore doesn't
carry it on their shelves, be sure to ask for it. They
should be able to special order it for you easily -- it's
carried by all the major book distributors in the USA and
Canada.

Owning this books is definitely helpful when participating
in this group. Many of your questions will be answered if
you're just starting out, plus you'll find several menu
plans complete with shopping lists and complete instructions.

The newest editions of the Frozen Assets books can be
ordered online from the following links:

Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month
http://snurl.com/frozenassetsbook

Frozen Assets on Kindle
http://snurl.com/frozenassetskindle

Frozen Assets Lite & Easy
http://snurl.com/frozenassetslite

_________________________________


Q) How do I post a message to the group?

A) To post, send an email to: frozen-assets@yahoogroups.com

***Due to some severely inappropriate messages being sent
to the Frozen Assets List in the past, we have a moderated
format. This means when you send a message to the Frozen
Assets List address, it will first be sent to me (Debi),
Linda Stolz (Lead Moderator), and our other moderators
for approval before it will be sent out to the entire
group.

Our moderators are just wonderful, by the way! Be sure
to show your appreciation for everything they do for
us whenever you have a chance! :-)
_________________________________


Q) How can I let my friends and website visitors know
about this group?

A) To invite others to join the Frozen Assets Discussion
Group, simply give them the email subscription address:

frozen-assets-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

If you'd like to invite your website visitors to join
our group, you can get the HTML for a subscribe button
to add to your site at:

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A) To change your settings on this mailing list, send an
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To change your settings, you can also go to:
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_________________________________


Q) How can I find further information about this topic?

A) Be sure to visit the Official Frozen Assets Home Page
at: http://frozenassets.info

_________________________________


Q) What is meant by "flash freezing"?

A) The term "flash freezing" is used on the Frozen-Assets
list to describe the process of freezing things quickly and
individually. For example, if you're freezing whole straw-
berries, lay them out individually in a single layer on a
cookie sheet, freeze just until solid, and then pack tightly
together in a zip-top freezer bag. Many people flash freeze
items such as meatballs, chicken nuggets, hamburger patties,
cookies, and waffles -- anything you don't want sticking
together when it's time to take individual portions out of
the freezer bag.

_________________________________


Q) How (and why!?) do some of you boil hamburger?

A) Many on the Frozen-Assets List have discovered that
frying large quantities of ground beef can be time-consuming
and difficult, so they've started boiling their ground beef.
Boiling ground beef also cuts down on the fat content.
Bring a large stock pot of water to a full boil. Place raw
ground beef into boiling water, stirring to separate. Boil
until meat is cooked through. Drain. (You can also use
the ground beef cooking water in soup -- after boiling the
beef, save the cooking water and place the container of
broth in the refrigerator for several hours. After it cools,
you can skim the layer of fat easily off the top.) If you
want to try this method with ground turkey, do NOT
bring the water to a boil before adding meat -- add the
meat along with the cold water. Then prepare as per
instructions.

_________________________________

Q) I'm a vegetarian. Any special tips?

A) There shouldn't be any difficulty adapting Frozen-Assets
cooking methods to vegetarian menus (or any other special
dietary requirements). When you prepare your regular recipes,
try freezing single portions before you attempt a large batch
of freezer meals (this tip applies to any recipes you haven't
tried in the freezer before -- whether vegetarian recipes or
not). Tofu, Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP), and cooked
dry beans all freeze well.

You can also check out this Vegetarian Monthly Meal Plan at:
http://afrugalsimplelife.com/2011/09/12/vegetarian-monthly-freezer-meal-plan/

_________________________________


Q) I only have the small freezer above my refrigerator.
Can I still do a full month's worth of cooking ahead?

A) The easiest way to ease into cooking for the freezer
is to double or triple recipes as you go about your regular
cooking during the week, freezing the extra batches for
later. One week of tripling recipes will give you a two
week stash of Frozen Assets with very little extra effort.

You also might want to consider twice-a-month cooking at
first until you get used to the method and used to packing
your freezer tightly. Eventually, you may be able to store
the entire month's worth of entrees in your fridge-top
freezer with careful planning. Use heavy-duty freezer
bags to freeze food more compactly than in casserole
dishes or foil pans. Freeze the bags flat and stack them
carefully. To prevent a landslide of stacked freezer bags,
store them standing on edge -- like old fashioned LP record
albums (I'm dating myself a bit, aren't I?). Clear out
non-essentials from the freezer before cooking day. Wait
until the freezer clears out later in the month before
stocking up on frozen bread, ice cream, etc. Prepare
meals with sauces to pour over noodles or rice; but to
save space, don't freeze the noodles or rice ahead of
time -- cook them up fresh when you serve the meal.

_________________________________


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*If your country isn't listed, feel free to drop me a
note and let me know where you're located.


Happy "infrequent" cooking!

Your Frozen-Assets List Mom,

Debi
(Deborah Taylor-Hough)
dsimple@aol.com

Author, Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month
http://snurl.com/frozenassetsbook
_________________________________

"FROZEN ASSETS" WEBSITE & FACEBOOK PAGE
http://frozenassets.info
http://www.facebook.com/frozenassets
  25140826
June 13, 2013 6:00 PM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

I do it, though not in an official freezer cooking session. I will make a meal, double the recipe, and throw the extras in the freezer. Because I constantly do this, I have a good stock of meals for those days when I need them.



^^This way saves a lot of time and can be very useful.


Yes to this.

Also, since I have to do batch cooking on Sundays for the workweek lunches, I have been trying to throw in some dinners as well, since the over is hot, etc. Meatballs and marinara is a good one, freezes well and just have to boil the pasta. Most soups. I also do large batches of cooked ground turkey and beef. Unseasoned. Let it thaw while at work and then season it up in the pan while heating for tacos, chili, spaghetti, etc.
June 13, 2013 6:05 PM
Yup. The one thing I would reiterate is that you should make sure you have enough room in your freezer before you start cooking. I love the e-cookbook at mamaandbablove.com, it is easy and yummy.
  13875414
June 13, 2013 10:30 PM
I do this, but mainly with Tomato based sauces. We like those freshly made much better then store bought, so when my husband comes home with 10 kg of tomatoes, I know it's time for me to get cooking. I usually make a part Italian style pasta sauce, sometimes a curry with onions and sometimes also a tomatosoup. I really like the allrecipes.com recipe for curry Maharadja.

After everything is done and cooled down, weigh out portions (I do recipe entry on MFP in 100 g portions) and package per 8 to 10 or so. When adding meat or extra vegetables to a meal based on such a frozen sauce, I prepare these in a separate pot. It makes it otherwise very hard to track.
June 14, 2013 2:24 AM
We "feed the freezer" whenever possible, but it seems to be mostly a winter phenomenon for us, when veg and fruit aren't so fresh and we have less time to prep and cook food (we're both students; summers are a little less hectic). We'll make double or triple batches of sauces, curries, pasta dishes, casseroles etc. portion them out, and stick 'em in the freezer either in ready-to-heat containers or ziplock bags (they stack nicely if flattened out to freeze). Even now we might make a big batch of a marinaded meat or something similar and freeze half or more of it for another day. It's definitely a life-saver when you're busy, and it's extra handy if you've already got the nutrition info in MFP because you don't have to hunt around for ingredients or build new recipes :)
June 14, 2013 2:37 AM
We're on the 5:2 diet and I always keep 2 sorts of Fast soups frozen just in case...
  38477345
June 14, 2013 2:59 AM
I do this all the time, spend one weekendcooking and fuilling the freezer. It does tend to be a "winter" thing as most of the recipes are for stews etc but still do some in the summer. I use the hairy dieters cookbook and just multiply it by 3 or 4, then once cooked split into portions and freeze. Always a meal in the freezer and if husband and I don't want the same thing then we can have different things, no problem. Even my daughter will eat these recipies with no complaint. Never an excuse to get fast food!
  35764850
June 14, 2013 3:24 AM
Bump!
June 14, 2013 4:32 AM
I rely on my freezer but wouldn't devote an entire day to cooking just to fill it. I usually cook more than we need of things like soup, bolognaise, casseroles, curries and freeze individual portions. This way there's always a good variety of dishes in the freezer when a quick meal is needed. In the cooler months (which is most of the time in England!) my lunches usually consist of something from the freezer heated in the microwave and jazzed up with the addition of spinach/rocket, chopped cherry tomatoes, frozen peas or some natural yoghurt depending on the dish and what I have to hand.

I also make extra burgers or meatballs and freeze them individually so they are ready to use. A great time-saver is frozen rice - cook extra, spread it out in a tray to cool and then freeze in zip bags to microwave or use in fried rice (just make sure you get it cooled down and frozen quickly as it's a prime candidate for food poisoning). I freeze pancakes, muffins, uncooked cookie dough and slices of cake all ready for quick snacks.
June 14, 2013 4:54 AM
Almost forgot, but I also make breakfast like baked oatmeal or bread pudding in large quantities for freezing!
June 14, 2013 5:12 AM
I do more 'once a week' or 'twice a month' cooking, but I rely on my freezer a lot. I cook for two-ish ( myself and adult son who is very picky plus I often cook and freeze meals for my father). With my crazy working hours , gym, etc I don't cook mid week ( other than an ocassional scrambled egg).

Tips: make sure you have enough containers, bags etc. Make sure to mark everything, incl the date.

What freezes really well:
*most soups, especially split pea, lentil, and stocks ( chicken or beef)
* meatballs in sauce, stuffed veg except peppers which tends to get mushy so I hear ( I don't make them)
* meat - sliced , like pot roast
* chicken or beef or vegetariuan patties baked
* chicken breast, roasted, sliced
*whole chicken, without skin, roasted, then take off all the meat, shred, and freeze in a ziploc bag. Now you always have " leftover chicken" for whatever dish you want to make. I add a cupful to my salad that I take to work

Beans - soaked and cooked or just soaked. If you soak and freeze then you'll have them ready for your next soup or stew.

For myself, I make the main dish and freeze in portions. For my father, I make rice or couscous and some kind of veg and freeze them as meals.
  44333117
June 14, 2013 5:22 AM
I regularly do batch cooking (normally weekends when I'm not working). If you're making a sauce and put it in a bag, it'll get stuck in the creases, so when you want to use it, leave it for 15 mins so the edges defrost slightly. But don't let it fully defrost or you won't ever get all of it out! Also having enough tupperware was a problem I faced, being the organised person I am I didn't think to buy extra so ran out of lunchboxes for work! Genius! But batch cooking is great. I have spinach and ricotta cannelloni in the freezer - three portions left. yum!
June 14, 2013 5:29 AM
I've been batch cooking for years, cause I don't have time to cook during the week. I cook everything on the weekend, freeze, grab and go! Everything goes in those freezer containers, no freezer bags. I found a new recipe for Scotch eggs, so I'll be making those on my Mondays off, cause I can't stomach eggs in the fridge for more then 5 days. Cabbage and Mashed Cauliflower will be cooked on Sunday and it'll stay in fridge. Everything that can be frozen, goes in the freezer. I cooked so much stuff last weekend, that I'm good for two weeks. I only have to cook veggies & my Scotch Eggs. I even made low carb Buttermilk Waffles (6) that will be eaten over the weekend. I take everything out the freezer the night before, put in bottom and pack for breakfast/lunch/dinner. I'm low carb, so my life is easy in the cooking department. You can even grill meats to be frozen.
June 14, 2013 5:39 AM
I freeze excess food all the time. I label and date everything, sometimes with helpful comments. I have learned one important rule, do not save bad tasting food. Sometimes recipes don't turn out the way we want, the freezer won't improve it and it takes up valuable space. I hate wasting food so the freezer has helped me lose weight, I no longer feel compelled to finish things like pizza. I can wrap and freeze the leftovers. The freezer and microwave technology combo is heaven sent, IMHO.

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