Make & Freeze ahead meal links including Chinese

You know, for those times when you don’t want to cook and want something you can just pop into the oven. Perfect for when someone is sick or in the hospital. Add your own!

8 Likes

I think this is mainly directed to me? Even though others can enjoy them as well. I was thinking tomorrow for supper Dad and I can make fried rice.

Actually I do believe that this resource is genuinely for everyone. After all, the economic climate is (to put it mildly) chilling.

SWMBO enjoys a nice Chinese and doesn’t cook, so may be open to some of the recipes on this list. Cheers @PublishedAuthor!

4 Likes

There is already one thread about freezer meals, from a year ago, so it’s locked now. Need some easy freezer meal recipes

I use my freezer a LOT. One of the first things that I learned is that, for me, the best way to fill the freezer is to make double the food I ordinarily would for one meal. That way, I make todays meal and freeze a meal for later on. Also, that means that I don’t fill the freezer with just one thing that I then get tired of. Finally, if the meal doesn’t turn out for some reason, it cuts down on how much is wasted (if it’s really terrible).

I used to think that only certain dishes froze well. However, it turns out you can freeze just about anything you cook.

For food safety reasons, do not freeze (or refrigerate) anything in a container that is more than 4 inches (10 cm) deep. It cannot cool off quickly enough to prevent spoilage.

The one thing that I do make big batches of is my tomato sauce. I make it in the slow cooker, and use it for pasta sauce or as sloppy joes (if I put meat in it). I’ve fine tuned the spicing to my taste, over multiple batches. I’ll post the recipe here later today; it is super easy, and you can make it on the stove if you want. I prefer the slow cooker for convenience (I can start it well before supper time) and better depth of flavour.

QUICK & EASY RED SAUCE

2 tbsp cooking oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 to 4 cloves garlic, cut up very small (or pressed flat)
28 oz (795 ml) can diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp ground oregano
1/8 tsp pepper

Heat large frying pan. Add oil. Add onion and fry until golden; add garlic and fry for 30 seconds more. Drain tomatoes, but keep the tomato juice in a separate container; you may need it later. Add tomatoes, oregano, and pepper to the onions and garlic in the frying pan. Cook on medium-high heat, stirring every minute or two, for 10 minutes or until thickened. If it is too thick, add a little of the tomato juice that you saved until it seems about the right thickness for tomato sauce. Serve over pasta.

EDITED to remove my chicken scratched recipe card!

3 Likes

I’ve never heard the four inch rule before, I’ll have to be more careful with which tubs I use.

2 Likes

Oooo, those meatballs look good.

1 Like

I’ve added the tomato sauce recipe to my post above.

Also, the food processor step is completely optional, and you can just cut the garlic small if you prefer.

Oh, man. I like Chinese food, or at least what I’ve been able to get around where I live. Which isn’t much.

But those look good! I need to be more intentional about when I’m actually in the mood to cook and making enough to freeze so when I’m wiped I can just throw it in the oven and have good food.

4 Likes

I found the linked article about why you shouldn’t use a wok to be very interesting! ( Wok vs. Stir Fry Pan - Which is the Right Tool for You? - Omnivore's Cookbook )

I have a non-stick wok, and I often feel like I’d be happier with a frying pan.

I want to check out those recipes some more, I could really use some good Chinese recipes!

1 Like

WOT. HOW DID I JUST LEARN THIS?!

1 Like

I freeze soup in containers that are cylinders about 8” tall— but they are only 4” in diameter. I suspect the manufacturers know about this fact!

Time to think about making another batch of beef barley soup again; that’s another recipe that I make large batches of.

1 Like

Nervously takes her sewing tape out to measure all of her frozen containers

2 Likes

BEEF BARLEY SOUP

1 Tbsp oil

300 - 450 g boneless beef, cut into bite size pieces (leftover cooked meat is okay too)

1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large onion, chopped (about 2 cups)

2-4 cloves garlic, cut very small

6 cups beef broth

1/3 cup pot or pearl barley

2 Tbsp Maggi seasoning (or you can use soy sauce)

1/8 tsp pepper

1 Tbsp thyme

1 Tbsp rosemary

Brown beef in soup pot with oil. Stir in carrot, onion. Cook until onion is transparent. Add garlic, cook 30-60 seconds more. Add broth, barley, Maggi, and pepper. If you have a tea ball or folding tea bag (used for loose tea) or a spice bag, put the thyme and rosemary inside, and add to pot. (Or just add to the pot directly, but I dislike having so many whole spices in my soup.) Simmer 30 minutes to cook the barley, remove spice bag, and serve.

Freezes very well! I‘ve had 1 litre containers of this in my freezer for well over a year, and it’s still been tasty when reheated.

Goes great with fresh bread from the breadmaker.

5 Likes

Thank you. I think I want to try making this!

2 Likes

Archive.org - Cookery books, old-school style.

https://archive.org/details/cbk?tab=collection

1 Like

These look yummy. I’m going to give them a try.

1 Like

I use this recipe for chicken fajitas; you can use thigh meat instead of breast meat, and I double up the marinade ingredients (juice, oil, and spices). Lime juice is traditional but lemon is fine too.

You can freeze the cooked meat, or you can even put the raw meat plus marinade into a freezer bag to thaw and cook later.

2 Likes

I just made a huge batch of this and put it outside to freeze before I move it into the freezer. I love this stuff, have it for breakfast most days. The recipe below makes about 4 servings, but I just made 24 servings in my stock pot.

CARROT CAKE OATMEAL

2 cups water

1 cup large flake rolled oats

2 carrots, grated (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup raisins

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (optional)

Combine all ingredients in pot on stove. Cook until done (use package cooking times as a guide), adding more water if needed. Freeze individual 3/4 cup servings in zippered sandwich bags or other small containers. Serve topped with nuts.

If you freeze in sandwich bags, I find it works best to put the filled sandwich bags on a baking sheet and then into the freezer. Partially thaw in the sandwich bag in the microwave, then transfer to a bowl before it’s too hot to handle. Or just put tomorrow’s serving(s) of oatmeal in the fridge today, they should thaw overnight.

Options:

  • Replace some of the water with a can of crushed pineapple, adding more water if needed to thin. You can also add a bit of coconut or coconut flavouring for a piña colada vibe. (Carrots and pineapple? That was normal in carrot cake when I was growing up!)
  • Put a layer of nuts in the bottom of your bowl, cover with oatmeal, then top with vanilla yogurt.
  • For easier cleanup, or richer flavour, add 1tbsp butter to oatmeal mixture during cooking.

To make with QUICK - COOKING OATMEAL (4 servings):

1 1/3 cup quick-cooking oatmeal

2 1/3 cups water

1/2 cup grated carrot

3/4 cup raisins

1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

3/4 tsp vanilla

Instructions as above, using cooking time from oatmeal package as a rough guide.

1 Like

Yum! Thanks.

2 Likes

OMG I so have to try this.

1 Like