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Ideas for meals to cook ahead and freeze down

Discussion in 'Cookery' started by Si N. Tiffick, Apr 2, 2011.

  1. Si N. Tiffick

    Si N. Tiffick Occasional commenter

    In my freezer at the moment I have (scurries away to check)
    • coq au vin
    • barbecued chicken pieces
    • chicken in black bean sauce
    • various curry sauces
    • bolognese sauce
    • braised mince
    • beef and mushrooms in stout
    • pork and beans with paprika and peppers
    • chilli
    • shepherdess pie mix (the bottom bit)
    • celeriac soup
    • spicy butternut soup
    • lentil and ham soup
    • chicken broth
    • leek and potato soup
    • cheese sauce for macaroni cheese
    I don't know if that's any help in terms of it being Spring/ summer, as we tend to eat a fair amount of casseroles year round as a) it's frickin' cold up here all year round and b) I'm a lazy sod during the week and often rely on a homemade frozen meal after school.

  2. bombaysapphire

    bombaysapphire Star commenter

    It's hard to add to Si's very comprehensive list. I couldn't fit all that into my freezer! More summery suggestions are fish cakes or home-made chicken burgers. I have some good recipes - let me know if you want them.
    Homemade tomato sauce is very useful.
  3. If your wife is planning to breastfeed it may be best to avoid very spicy foods. They can flavour the breastmilk and upset baby, making him/her unsettled. I didn't realise this myself until after baby was born. Not always a problem for everyone though.
  4. Chicken soup.
    After thawing, you can adapt it as you wish - add spices, add noodles, add cream, etc.
    Try searching for my Somerset Pork recipe - that is a summer dish and can easily replace a Sunday Roast Dinner.
    Odds and ends of veg - I do this all the time so that I always have a supply in. Saves chopping time and you don't need to thaw - just bung them frozen into whatever meal you are cooking. Great for stir-fries.
    Mince mix for burgers or meat loaf. Also some meat balls, which you can use in a variety of dishes (make some with beef, some with pork and some with chicken and/or turkey).
    Fish cakes (also great for summer).
    Chilli - I often make turkey chilli in the Summer, it is a bit lighter than made with beef (you will only know when baby is there as to how your wife copes with spicy food if breastfeeding - was no problem for me, but is for some. Use less spice and then spice up for yourself, if necessary).
    Batches of tomato sauce - use for pasta dishes, to add to bakes or to add something to for whatever you fancy.
    Stuffed peppers (can be served with the tomato sauce you have frozen!)
    Tagines - can be made with lots of various summery flavours.
    Fish pie.
    This: (which is a gorgeous late summer recipe)
    Also check out Delia's Chicken basque recipe - great for freezing.
    I also often make a salmon, spinach and potato bake, which freezes well.
    Asparagus also freezes really well and is coming into season.
    Summer soups: gazpacho, minted pea soup, cucumber soup, avocado soup, fennel soup, minestrone, tomato (!)
    Bake some pastry and freeze as it is or even better, as pastry cases for things like quiche or tarte.
    Bake some bread dough for weekend breakfasts.

  5. lapinrose

    lapinrose Star commenter

    Seeing CQ's reference to turkey reminded me of turkey burgers, absolutely gorgeous.
    You need a pack of turkey mince(Tesco do 633g for £2.50), finely grated rind of one lemon, small handfull of parsley finely chopped, salt and pepper, 1 small egg. Mix all together, divide into 8 and shape into burgers. You'll need 8 rashers of rindless streaky bacon, stretch with the back of a knife and wrap round each burger. Either dry fry or oven bake, serve with oven wedces and carrot and cucumber batons.
    To freeze, place on a tray and open freeze then put in a bag.
  6. As well as many of the things already mentioned I have loads of meat balls, oven baked on a tray the bagged into portions in freezer bags. Also small ragu sauce portions- defrost (or microwave) reheat in pan whilst spagetti is on and there is a lazy dinner in 15 mins.
    Nut roast cut into slices works well too. (see Sarah Brown's vegetarian cookbooks)
  7. Hurray! AT LAST - someone else who has Sarah Brown's vegetarian cookbooks! I have been going on about her for donkey's years!
    They are brill - I have had two of them for nigh on 25 years and still use the recipes!
  8. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    This is sad..............[​IMG].................what I found really useful post-babies [and having had 2 caesareans, my movement was seriously limited] was portions of rice ready (under-)cooked and frozen to be microwaved for dinner! Also those "economy/basic" noodles (c10p/packet) which cook in 4 minutes - the basis of many a quickly snatched meal while C or A was sleeping.
    And.... sliced bread stored in the freezer in 4-slice bags so they didn't take long to defrost, and a spare pinta in the freezer so you could haul it out at night and have fresh milk in the morning without having to go out (there wasn't a milkman where I lived!).
    Actually I still do these - as a busy working Mum with 2 children it is a godsend to be able to pull stuff from the freezer that doesn't take a lifetime to defrost!
    In a few months, we will all be inundating you with ideas for first foods, so make sure you have a good supply of ice cube trays on hand (at least 5 I would say!) and boxes into which you tarnsfer the frozen contents.

  9. Hooray. perfect thread for me too Nick! Well after being told i could go into labour at any time 2 weeks ago i am still here 32 week pregnant, thank goodness and have made time to make bolognaise sauce to freeze (3 meals worth), pork and cider casserole (3 meals worth) and a beef and red wine stew (3 meals worth). So that's the first 9 days home from hospital sorted....!
    Will look through at all your tips- have zero energy so keeping it simple at the mo x
  10. THere are loads of recipies on the Philidelphia Cream Chesse website and they say which ones can be frozen.
    I highly recomend the thai green curry and the leek, bacon and cream cheese risotto.

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