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Meal building blocks for the freezer

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Old Style MoneySaving
204 replies 79.1K views
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Replies

  • weezl74 wrote: »
    Good tips, thrift lady

    Herby ice cubes is a good trick. I pick my rosemary and sage on a nice day, chop and freeze ito icecubes, and then on a day like today I don't have to harvest them, just chuck a herby ice-cube in the dinner;)

    Please could you explain - can I do this with coriander and if so what do I do? Put it in water in the ice cube tray? :confused:
    Ellie :cool:

    "man is born free but everywhere he is in chains"
    J-J Rousseau
  • thriftlady_2thriftlady_2 Forumite
    9.1K posts
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    Ellie2758 wrote: »
    Please could you explain - can I do this with coriander and if so what do I do? Put it in water in the ice cube tray? :confused:
    Yes, you can do this with any herb, it's especially good for things like coriander that wilt quickly.

    Chop it up, divide it between the sections in an ice cube tray and top up with water. Freeze.

    Freezing lemon slices is brilliant idea pmd. I juice and freeze lemons and oranges before they go too wizened. I pour the juice into ice cube trays. Then I always have lemon juice handy.

    Sorry, if I or anyone else has mentioned that already -this thread is full of great tips, I've lost track a bit :)
  • SeakaySeakay Forumite
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    How long do you allow for defrosting your building blocks? I have a microwave, but find it hard to defrost blocks without starting to cook the outsides - obviously I am doing something wrong so any tips would be appreciated! It's just that at the moment, unless I am really well organised in the morning (!) I think that it would be quicker for me to make pastry, batter etc than to wait for it to defrost!
  • LadygrimLadygrim Forumite
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    Thriftlady wrote: »
    I have a lot of these tubs from Lakeland http://www.lakeland.co.uk/product.aspx/kitchenideas/containers!3033_3031_3029_3030 I use sizes A and B for freezing stuff. I don't freeze whole meals for my family so I don't need big containers. I use size D for storing dry good in though and they'd be good for a big family-sized meal.

    I also freeze a lot of stuff in plastic bags- berries, the veg base mentioned above, sliced cooked meat, grated cheese, crumble mix and loaves of bread all go in bags of varying sizes. Lakeland do a good range of sizes.

    HTH:)


    Havent got a Lakeland down here - so I get mine from Matalan - cheaper prices too. ;)

    LG
    working hard at this thing called life
  • There is no doubt that cooking twice the amount is not twice the work as the equipment is there - only one lot of washing up as well.

    Sadly I only have a small freezer, but I often double up bread dough and freeze it tin shaped to thaw and cook.

    I understand that if something out of the freezer is cooked it can then be frozen. Here is a link with some info.

    The little swine won't cut and paste. I'll have another go... No, nothing doing. Google '
    Frozen Food Information Bureau[SIZE=-1]Frozen Food Information including recipes, storage advice, answers to frequently asked questions, health and nutrition facts, new product reviews.[/SIZE]
  • hollydayshollydays Forumite
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    Seakay wrote: »
    How long do you allow for defrosting your building blocks? I have a microwave, but find it hard to defrost blocks without starting to cook the outsides - obviously I am doing something wrong so any tips would be appreciated! It's just that at the moment, unless I am really well organised in the morning (!) I think that it would be quicker for me to make pastry, batter etc than to wait for it to defrost!

    I find the end of my wooden spoon is good for breaking up the block into bits first.
  • Loving the ideas - thanks very much all. Thrift lady - you've started something good here.

    My husband isn't a very adventurous cook, and as he does most of the cooking we get the same thing over and over. Am going to nick some of these ideas so that when he comes to cooking part of the work is already done for him, and we might try something new.

    Thanks all,

    Metherer
    Not heavily in debt, but still trying to sort things out.
    Baby due July 2018.
  • I love these suggestions, especially as I get loads of stick from friends for my homemade frozens!! What makes me laugh the most is that they say I must have loads of time on my hands to be able to do it - quite the opposite! On a night where I'm cooking from scratch, I often just cook twice as much as I need for dinner that evening and freeze half of it; no extra effort really (ok, so a bit of extra chopping) and means I get another night practically free of cooking when I come to defrost it!

    I freeze many of the ones already mentioned (esp chilli con carne which I make with baked beans instead of kidney beans - kids love it, bolognese sauce, cottage pie etc and often use the plastic boxes from the chinese takeaway which freeze, wash and reuse very well. Also freeze little homemade meatballs & burgers - great to be able to provide a healthier homemade version when kids are demanding junk food!

    Important to mention also that my chilli/bolognese when I'm making twice as much (to freeze half) is generally done using the same size packet of mince as I would use for the meal anyway, but is bulked out with other veg; this means it's not only healthier but also cheaper, as the veg is generally far cheaper than the mince. x
  • WendrieWendrie Forumite
    135 posts
    https://www.savingdinner.com has loads of meals that are designed to be put together and then frozen but you can also use some of her ideas and freeze bits.

    One that I don't do (because I'm allergic :) ) is to chop onions & peppers into slices, lay out on a piece of grease proof on an oven tray in the freezer for ten minutes or so and the slide them into a bag or box. They stay apart enough that you can grab a handful whilst doing dinner. Great for casseroles or stir fries. I do do this with chicken breasts cut into strips however.

    I also make up the meal packs from savingdinner and love being able to grab one out the night before let it defrost over night and then open dump and cook. As good as one of the "just cook" meals from supermarkets but with my own organic/wholesome foods rather than their choices... and of course much cheaper!

    We almost always have frozen burgers, meatballs, browned mince (almost all mince recipes start with "brown the mince" so I do that bit and freeze in meal portions), meatloaf, chicken strips, stuffed chicken breasts plus a variety of chicken and fish in marinades. Takes a weekend every couple/three months to do and saves an amazing amount of time and money.

    Also means I can be careful about portions for example: I cut up the big chicken breasts we buy in bulk into a palm sized portion for the marinade, slice off the finger underneath for stir fries and then all the trimmings go into casseroles or sauces where you wouldn't notice the ragged edges and weird sizes. Means our number of servings per container goes up so price per meal goes down! :)
  • soozsooz Forumite
    4.6K posts
    How do you turn frozen par boiled potatoes into roast ones? Do you need to defrost them first?
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