Living alone I rely on big batch cooking. I work long hours sometimes and cant be bothered cooking when I get home so would ALWAYS head to the takeaway joints. I bought myself a deep freezer (friends/family were initially like "why on earth do you need a freezer for just yourself?") and batch cook loads of meals. So simple in the mornings - take out my prepared lunches/dinners/snacks to defrost and Im away. I always make sure I have some meals in there I can reheat in oven directly from frozen too in case I forgot to get them out in the morning (Im not a fan of microwave defrosting)
I do a little bit of this...I will make chili and freeze half, or sometimes I will brown ground beef with some celery and use it for sloppy joes later. I have also done this with chicken. I even have frozen turkey burgers to eat at a later time. I make egg muffins to freeze for breakfasts at work. I work a lot and have a lot of hobbies. Doing this sort of thing helps us to eat healthy meals instead of grabbing something bad.
When we make lasagne, it's a family event. Each of the kids has an assignment (cheese, noodles, sauce, meat, etc.), as do my hubby and I. We make about six to freeze, plus one for that night's meal & leftovers. Line up all the pans on a table, each person adds whatever "their" layer is, and we just keep rotating around until all the layers are finished.
It goes quickly and we all feel great about doing something together that we can enjoy in months to come.
Great article. I do this when I make salsa and marinara sauce. I make a big batch, 3 gallons or so, and put them in canning jars and a 45 minute water bath in a canning pot. I'm not sure how long the shelf life is but at least 6 months, and it is all used for meals by then anyway.
12/13/2011 10:04:16 PM
I work 12+ hours a day, six days a week, and I tend to sleep more on the only day of the week I have off. But I really like to cook as many meals as possible when I'm going to be in the kitchen!
I never knew the freezer life of foods, so I did learn something new from this article. Thanks!
12/13/2011 11:10:11 AM
Ugh, I agree...veal is NASTY... I don't eat any meat that's not organic...it's all really disturbing if you know where industrialized meat comes from and how it was raised...check out Food, Inc. to learn more...
12/13/2011 11:07:20 AM
Big batch cooking is the secret to consistently eating healthy...I spend an afternoon each week cooking for the week, and it's a lifesaver...when coming home after a busy day, all I have to do is heat and eat...way healthier than commercially frozen frankenfood or take out...ew!
12/13/2011 8:38:11 AM
I don't think that you should be encouraging people to eat veal. It's an unhealthy food, considering the high fat content. And a baby animal was penned in a tiny cage and fattened up on food he wouldn't normally be eating, that's very inhumane. Why don't you really look into veal, how it's produced, and decide for the good of the animal to not eat that way!
What's next, are you going to be recommending we eat fois gras? That's another example of an animal that is force fed to an extreme. Eat healthy food, people!
Hahaha - I grew up in a very large family and didn't know how to cook for only 2 when I got married! Since then, I have cut down, but always freeze at least half of what I make in freezer containers, labeled & dated. As my daughters grew up and had their college apartments, I froze individual servings of food for them, too. They absolutely love it when they get their "care packages" of homemade foods that they grew up loving. Some items are suitable for preparing and freezing immediately without cooking, so I try to do that as much as I can so it tastes even fresher. Examples: meatloaf (pressed into mini bundt pans), lasagne (made in one large 12x16 pan, slightly frozen, then cut into sections for individual freezing), marinated & seasoned chicken breasts or fish fillets, etc. These I make into 2-3 person servings so they can have company, too. Don't forget to add cooking instructions taped to the lid! I also make homemade chicken soup without the starch (rice or noodles) and give them frozen packages of my homemade noodles or rice mixtures and they add them in to prevent sogginess.Their friends see these prepared meals and then beg their mothers to do the same for them now.
8/30/2011 3:36:20 PM
Love the idea of cooking in big batches. I have tried this before. My husband wasn't too thrilled with it, but with 4 kids and our hectic schedules I think we are going to return to this soon.
8/24/2011 12:12:07 PM
This article says not to freeze celery which is true if you want it to look like celery afterwards. However I freeze chopped celery to use in soups, stews, and casseroles all of the time. This is a great way to keep from throwing away celery and always have it on hand when you need it to flavor a recipe. The consistency changes but if you are only using it to flavor a broth or other recipe you only need it for the flavor not for what it looks like.
I am a soup nut... On a weekend I'll cook about 3 large pots of soup put them in 2 cup containters and freeze. I then have enough lunches for an entire month or more. I put the frozen container on the counter at work and when lunch comes it's somehwhat thawed so I can then just nuke it for a couple minutes! Delish... Healthy lunch.
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