Freezer Cooking. What's that About?
Freezer Cooking, also referred to as Once A Month Cooking, is a way to cook less often, but still enjoy the health benefits of a home-cooked meal, and save money. Some moms take one full day each month and cook a month's worth of food. Others, like me, do batch cooking and quadruple many of my recipes. For instance, if I am making a batch of chili, I usually make a big stockpot and freeze the bulk of it for quick, healthy, inexpensive meals. This is a great way for all Work at Home Moms to save time and money -- while feeding your family healthy foods!
Meals that freeze well:
Chicken in Marinade (Buy a large amount of chicken, divide it into freezer bags with the marinade of your choice, and freeze. When you take the chicken out of the freezer to thaw for your meal, it will marinade as it thaws.)
Soups in Broth (Test potatoes, rice, pasta, and other starchy items before you commit to a large batch. They can fall apart or get rubbery.) Also, beware of cream-based soups. They are wonderful for freezer cooking, but do NOT add the milk/cream before you freeze it. Any dairy must be added once the soup is thawed and warming -- right before it is eaten!
Lasagna -- it is so easy to make several pans of lasagna and freeze them all. You don't even have to cook the noodles in advance. Just layer noodles, spaghetti sauce, ricotta or cottage cheese, meats and veggies in several layers with lots of your favorite sauce. Cover tightly and bake.
Beans and Rice
Chili -- Toss a few cans of chicken broth in a crockpot. Drain and rinse several cans of beans -- whatever you have on hand. Toss them in with some veggies (peppers, onions, celery, etc.). Boil. Then turn down the heat, cover and cook for an hour. At the last minute, add some chili powder and whatever seasonings you like. Plus, add a few cans of diced tomatoes and green chilis if you like them. Cook a few more minutes and it's ready to serve or freeze.
To freeze, scoop into plastic containers.
To serve, top with green onions, sour cream, cheese, crushed chips, etc. You'll love it!
Muffins (If you bake muffins or bread, you can freeze the extras for later.)