Freezables/DIY TV dinners

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  • 1 Post By Munchy
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  • 1 Post By rouquinne

I have been so busy lately and eating so much fast food, that I want to come up with some meals that I can make myself, freeze individual portions and then pop in the microwave when i get home. I'm going to go the restaurant supply store and get some containers.

I think I'm going to do each item as an individual package so that I can keep mixing it up. you know, grab a starch, a veg and a meat.

What foods freeze well?
Tomato-based spaghetti sauce, meatballs, lasagna, beans, lentil-based and pureed vegetable-based soups. Also bread freezes pretty well and defrosts fast.
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I like to cook and freeze dishes. To start, pick a one pot meal - stew, chili, curries, or soup (easiest to get the hang of) - cook, cool, portion into individual containers, and freeze. Sauces like marinara, enchilada sauce, or BBQ sauce can be frozen the same way.

You can also freeze things like meatballs, homemade burritos, breakfast sandwiches, nuggets, taquitos, mini-pot pies, stuffed peppers, or mini-meatloves by cooking, cooling, freezing on a baking sheet (flash freeze) then transferring the frozen items into a freezer bag. The baking sheet keeps them from freezing together so you can take out as many or as few as you want to eat at that time.

Casseroles can be frozen for a few hours until semi solid, then cut into portions and you can put the portioned squares into a freezer bag to take out one serving at a time.

Batch/freezer cooking has been my savior. details here. I've done it for about 8 years and I'll never look back. I cook VERY rarely during the week. Occasionally I cook something that isn't freezer friendly - like stuffed zucchini boats - at night after eating dinner so that we can just pop it in the oven the following day.

You can also prep crockpot meals at one time so that you can easily throw them into a crockpot in the morning with no prep like this.

I pretty much make a breakfast frittata/crustless quiche and keep it in the fridge to heat up one piece every morning, then I grab one of my frozen portions of food and I pack it in my lunch bag. Sometimes I make a salad or grab something leftover instead, but at least 3 out of 5 workdays are usually something from my freezer.

You can also freeze chopped cooked chicken or steak, or ground meat in portions, rice, cauliflower rice, and pasta - flash freeze the latter.

We use components of freezer meals (like making pita pizzas with marinara that was pre-cooked), or having zoodles or pasta with meatballs (precooked), or cooking rice to go along with dal (precooked), or putting toppings on chili (precooked), etc so that dinners are easy. I admit that now that I'm no longer a single mother, we tend to eat more meat plus veg (and sometimes starch) meals.
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the crockpot thing never worked for me. I still use, them but usually on the weekend. I prefer to do maybe a pork roast because I HATTTTTTE how soft the chicken is my the time I get home

What about veggies? I can do cabbage or broccoli? squash?

Last edited by scrills; 08-31-2015 at 11:35 AM.
the crockpot thing never worked for me. I still use, them but usually on the weekend. I prefer to do maybe a pork roast because I HATTTTTTE how soft the chicken is my the time I get home

What about veggies? I can do cabbage or broccoli? squash?
Originally Posted by scrills
Almost all of my dishes are half non-starchy vegetable, so they're built right in. Literally my meatballs, nuggets, burgers, burritos, etc are 50:50 meat to vegetable, sometimes even 75% veg (like stuffed peppers).

You can blanch and flash freeze any vegetable you find frozen at the store, too. I also crockpot on weekends and freeze them in portions. Easiest way for me

If I'm willing to put in a tiny amount of effort, I'll just roast some on the weekend and eat over the next 3-4 days.
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Munchy, that post you wrtoe on 3fc is to die for! What great ideas! and the other link about cooking once for a month seems do able as well. I'm going to try this this weekend. Too often I buy veggies and they go bad waiting for me to do something with them. Aspirational veggies is what I call them.
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Munchy.....you should have a career in meal prep!
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Does anyone know the secret to freezing things like potatoes that are cooked in a stew so they don't come out with weird gross texture problems?
scrills likes this.
Ha, I've been meal prepping for A LONG time. When my daughter started solids I also was working really long hours, so I figured if I could make and freeze her baby food, I could do it for myself. I just kept going and now 7 years later, we're still doing it.

I don't ever have a problem with potato texture as long as it's in some kind of juice (like stew) or par boiled and flash frozen (like frozen fries or hash brown potatoes).

Last night I made an awesome buffalo chicken soup with a puree of cauliflower/broth to make it thick like a chowder. The one thing that annoys me is when I pre-make labels for my foods and somehow end up with more servings than I intended. My calorie counts get thrown off. It was supposed to be 6 servings and ended up 9 GIGANTIC servings. I never learn, though!
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Munchy, when you add veggies to something (meatloaf; meatballs etc) do you use a 1:1? Meat: veggies?
Munchy, when you add veggies to something (meatloaf; meatballs etc) do you use a 1:1? Meat: veggies?
Originally Posted by cailin
Pretty much, but I vary the vegetables. The total would be around 1:1. I have a few recipes in the first post of things that I make a lot.

I regularly add finely chopped mushroom and spinach to turkey burgers, or just stick with shredded zucchini and a little bit of minced garlic.

Or with meatballs, I usually do spinach or shredded zucchini, and with nuggets I do shredded zucchini or yellow squash.

Cauliflower cheese sauce is obviously just cauliflower based, lol.

For meatloaf I almost always follow this recipe: meatloaf but I cut the breadcrumb down to about 1/4 cup and I add more veggies. I usually swap the celery for spinach and add in mushrooms.

I basically just take any recipe and see where I can remove most of the starch (if possible) and/or add in A LOT of vegetables.

Enchilada stuffed peppers are one of my favorites and they freeze well. I look for recipes with more vegetables than anything else, and this one is stuffed with, mushroom, zucchini, and cauliflower. It's already in a pepper!

I also use my spiralizer a lot - maybe a few times a week. If my base is vegetables instead of noodles or rice, that opens up a lot more entrees and gives me and my family a lot more nutrition. Inspiralized.com
Ali is a GENIUS. She cooks exactly like how I cook, but she has a lot more ideas

It's called "volumetric" eating.
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Last edited by Munchy; 09-01-2015 at 11:00 AM.
This thread is awesome. We've been batch cooking a lot this summer, and loving it for the most part. I find we've been freezing portions that are too large though, and trying to cut up a block of frozen casserole is really annoying. I'll definitely be trying some of these out.


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thanks for the great tips, Munchy! i am giving serious thought to buying a chest freezer and doing this - even though it's just for me.

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thanks for the great tips, Munchy! i am giving serious thought to buying a chest freezer and doing this - even though it's just for me.

Originally Posted by rouquinne
My parents got us a stand up freezer for my basement for Christmas and I cooked for DAYS to fill it up. Before I had the opportunity to batch cook, I just stared at it longingly more than I should admit.

I don't ever have a problem with potato texture as long as it's in some kind of juice (like stew) or par boiled and flash frozen (like frozen fries or hash brown potatoes).
Originally Posted by Munchy
I always have problems with them in stews, and the texture I get is really gross and to me inedible. I have one stew I love, but it has to be made in large quantities (for a single person) and even if I eat that all the time I can't finish it myself. Does it depend on the kind of potato used maybe? I know some are starchier than others and maybe that makes a difference? The only way I've been able to successfully freeze potatoes is mashed.

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