Freezer Cooking, part 3

Some blog friends have wanted new ideas for make ahead dishes.  Sometimes, people don’t realize meals they already make can be made ahead and frozen.  I’ve decided to post a list of our favorites here.

Summer:

Buy or mix up your favorite marinade.  Place meat in a zip top plastic bag in proportion to your family size and/or the number of servings you need.  Add the marinade, press out the air, seal, label and freeze.  When you thaw the package in the fridge prior to grilling, the meat marinades a second time (the first was as the meat was freezing) giving it more flavor than if you marinated just that day.  I added the number of servings part because personally I like to grill up extra marinated chicken to add on top of a salad for lunch a day or two later.

Chicken Chow Mein & Beef Chow Mein-I could eat this any time of year.  My own recipes for these are under the recipes tab at the top of the page.

Muffins, quick breads, bars and cookies-Again, any time of year but especially nice not heating up the kitchen more than once a month to have baked goods all month long.

Fall

Soups-Some of the soups I’ve made and frozen with success:  Potato Cheese (puree the mixture and it freezes well), Broccoli Cheese, Tomato, Chicken or Turkey Vegetable (I add noodles or rice or dumplings on serving day), Beef Vegetable (same thing-add the barley or noodles on serving day), Ham & Rice, Chili, Vegetarian Vegetable.

Precooked beef stew meat in gravy-this is especially versatile.  It can be used for stroganoff, beef pot pie, beef & gravy over noodles, thin the gravy and make soup, as well as just using it for stew.

Chicken & Vegetables in Gravy-love this served over biscuits or as pot pie.  Can also make white sauce instead of gravy and serve the mixture over noodles.

Shepherd’s Pie-I also freeze the mashed potatoes in a separate bag placed with the meat mixture so that I don’t have to do anything extra on serving day.  Make the mashed potatoes with sour cream instead of milk to keep them a bit thicker and they will freeze well.

Goulash-I personally enjoy goulash, but skip it if you don’t.

Lasagne

Precooked ground beef or ground turkey-this makes tacos or spaghetti go even faster.

Extra portions of mashed potatoes-I reheat the frozen mashed potatoes in an 8×8 pan in my oven while the roast or chicken bakes.

Parmesan Chive Chicken-chicken marinated in italian dressing then on serving day breaded with a mixture of dry bread crumbs, a bit of grated parmesan cheese and 2 Tbsp chives.  Really good!  I freeze the marinating chicken in one bag, the crumb mixture in another and then place both bags into a larger bag, seal & label that bag.  This way the crumbs are right there with the chicken when I’m ready to bake this dish.  No searching for crumbs, etc in the cupboard.

Well, that should get you started thinking about what dishes your family enjoys that you might be able to make ahead and freeze.  If you have any questions about whether or not a dish would freeze well, you can post them in the comments section and I will try to answer them for you.

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