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    Nutritionally good meals for the Freezer?
    • #1
    • 11th May 05, 10:25 AM
    Nutritionally good meals for the Freezer? 11th May 05 at 10:25 AM
    Hi Everyone

    I am looking for insprination for balanaced meals which I can make in advance & keep in the freezer for post-birth weeks. I always seem to end up defaluting to pasta for freezable meals which gets a bit repetitive after a while, no matter how much I vary it!

    As a bit of background, we like both meat (mostly chicken or beef) & veggie meals, also love fish. I like meals to have a good vegetable content. Hubby won't eat tomatoes for love or money & he can't eat spicy food so chillis, currys etc are no good, garlic is fine. Hubby, who I guess will be chief cook for a while, is not kitchen-inclined so I really am looking for heat & serve ideas, he can just about stretch to grating cheese on top! Any suggestions or recipes would be most welcome as my brain seems to have left my body & I just can't think of what to cook !!

    Thanks very much
    Post Natal Depression is the worst part of giving birth

    In England we have Mothering Sunday & Father Christmas, Mothers day & Santa Clause are American merchandising tricks Demonstrate pride in your heirtage by getting it right please people!
Page 1
    • Pal
    • By Pal 11th May 05, 10:44 AM
    • 2,062 Posts
    • 731 Thanks
    • #2
    • 11th May 05, 10:44 AM
    • #2
    • 11th May 05, 10:44 AM
    You can make chillis and picadillos without adding too much chilli. Then eat with rice, or even better, tacos, sour cream, salsa etc.

    You could make (or buy ) some pizza bases and freeze them along with a simple tomato sauce in a tub. He can then stick what he likes on the top with some cheese and bake it for 15 minutes until cooked.

    Any meat stew will freeze fine. Just bake a potato to go with it along with some frozen peas.

    The chilli and pasta sauces could also go on baked potatoes.
  • Galtizz
    • #3
    • 11th May 05, 10:47 AM
    • #3
    • 11th May 05, 10:47 AM
    Quiche/ flan. You can make loads of cases and fill with egg then just vary the filling. I use loads of veg in mine. Courgette on it's own or with tomatoes (I know) or pepper and something or just cheese and herbs or ham or salmon or just cheese and herbs. You name it, you can probably put it in. You do need to fully cook them first though or the egg will separate. I just heat them back up with the foil still on the top so that they don't burn.

    Lasagne. You can make loads of variations on that either a meat one or loads of veg in a tomato sauce or leeks in butter sauce (hmmm) or peppers or whatever...

    erm... I'm sure I can think of some more, there is a thread somewhere, I think. I'll see if I can find it.

    Found THIS one which isn't too nutritional and THIS one for vegetarian which has some good external links too (not just veggie)
    Last edited by Galtizz; 11-05-2005 at 11:02 AM.
    When life hands you a lemon, make sure you ask for tequilla and salt
    • Ticklemouse
    • By Ticklemouse 11th May 05, 11:17 AM
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    • #4
    • 11th May 05, 11:17 AM
    • #4
    • 11th May 05, 11:17 AM
    I have to laugh here as it reminds me of when I had DS2.

    Birth - early hours of Monday morning - home by lunchtime - friend turned up mid afternoon and ended up staying for tea - I'd pre-cooked a shepherds pie Saturday evening and placed in the fridge. (They freeze quite well and you can add lots of veg BTW)

    Tuesday evening - I made tea, from scratch, cos as Mr TM said, I was only standing up in the kitchen, so I may as well do it cos I am a much better cook. I set the midwife on him on Thursday - he never got any better though!

    (Oh, and I packed the whole house to move when DS2 was 10 weeks old too - so be thankful if Mr Lillibet cooks your tea, even if he does just grate cheese over the top )
    • Chipps
    • By Chipps 11th May 05, 12:06 PM
    • 1,543 Posts
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    • #5
    • 11th May 05, 12:06 PM
    • #5
    • 11th May 05, 12:06 PM
    Shepherds Pie (or Cottage Pie)?
    Make it in a dish lined with foil, freeze in dish then take it out when frozen & wrap well in clingfilm. To serve, take it out of clingfilm and replace in the original container to defrost & cook. Of course if you already have loads of pyrex dishes you don't have to do all that rigmarole!
  • Queenie
    • #6
    • 11th May 05, 1:41 PM
    • #6
    • 11th May 05, 1:41 PM
    My experience of babies are that:
    a) they wake at inconvenient times so "planning" has to have a wiiiiiiiiiide degree of flexibility
    b) they *always* wake up when you sit down to eat. Without fail
    c) despite many endeavours to have a "routine", each baby is an individual and will happily (vindictively, it appears at times your lacking in sleep! ) put a spanner in the works of any plans you may have/think you have/*want* to have
    d) It is absolutely FINE to ask dh to "grab something in on your way home from work!" - no guilt trips
    e) If anyone asks "Do you need anything for the baby? What can we bring? The right answer is: Yes - a couple of casseroles for the freezer/tonight's dinner and thank you *very* much Any weird looks should be met with the ultimate answer: "I'm breastfeeding and that is baby's favourite meal via the milk supply"

    HM meatloaves freeze well, as will pies, soups, heck, most things you make ordinarily are great for the freezer.
    If you simply make double the quantity of the meals you are already eating, freeze the excess, I have no doubt it will carry you through all the times you need to turn to the freezer
    PMS Pot: 57.53 Pigsback Pot: 23.00
    • spendaholic
    • By spendaholic 11th May 05, 1:49 PM
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    • #7
    • 11th May 05, 1:49 PM
    • #7
    • 11th May 05, 1:49 PM
    I'm with your hubby on the tomatoes/spices front - I can't stand either, erm, either, but garlic is ok.

    Most stews and casseroles will freeze. If you get those foil trays with the cardboard lids (shop around, they're very cheap from Crash, Bang, Wallop type market stalls), you can save portion sizes and write on the lids how long to defrost/cook and on what temperature. I have a great recipe for chicken casserole with parsley dumplings and even the dumplings freeze well.

    You can also make pies with pastry lids.

    But August ... hmm. Hopefully it will be far too warm for cooking, so you could get loads of salads in and serve them with chicken, tinned fish, quiches, cold pies, boiled eggs, cheeses, etc. My husband is a good cook, but he's just as good at tossing a salad together. Only trouble is, he seems to think we need everything in it. :rolleyes:
    • elona
    • By elona 11th May 05, 2:18 PM
    • 11,150 Posts
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    • #8
    • 11th May 05, 2:18 PM
    • #8
    • 11th May 05, 2:18 PM
    Don't forget that omelettes can be made quickly as can home made salads, coleslaw , potato salad etc.

    Brainwave - do you have a barbecue ? - if so let hubbie do the cooking as it is " a man thing!" lol
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    • Ticklemouse
    • By Ticklemouse 11th May 05, 3:11 PM
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    • #9
    • 11th May 05, 3:11 PM
    • #9
    • 11th May 05, 3:11 PM
    If you don't want to use foil trays, so you can pop things straight in micro, I found a shop near me called The Range, that sell those plastic ones with lids, like the takeaway ones - 1 for 6 (I think)

    Other than that, do you have 'access' to mum/MIL? They usually do a great job in cooking and cleaning in the first few days/weeks
    • crazyhazy
    • By crazyhazy 26th May 05, 10:29 AM
    • 313 Posts
    • 361 Thanks
    Meals for freezer
    I haven't ben on here in a while, so apologise if this has been covered recently, but couldn't see anything in the search. My freezer is really empty just now and in preparation for when i go back to working silly shifts and also for h2b when I'm away, I need to stock up. Howevere, apart from spag bol and chicken curry, I am totally out of ideas of what to cook and freeze. So, looking for some inspiration! What does everyone else make and freeze? What works best? Would chicken pasta bake freeze ok?
  • rchddap1
    At the moment my freezer is full of meat portions. I haven't had time to do any cooking. However, I will do some of my shepherd's pies on bank holiday Monday. However, it would be good to see if there are any other dishes that I could try whilst I'm at it.
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  • lipidicman
    All meat and sauce stuff freezes OK (sweet&sour, chilli etc) I am not sure how the pasta will be though.
  • Lillibet
    Chicken pasta bake, tuna pasta bake, potato bakes all freeze well in my experience. So do stews & casserols. Pies, both pastry & mash topped, are good too. Personally I like to cook all in advance & freeze cooked, then defrost & just heat through when required but I know some posters freeze uncooked or re-heat from frozen, I think it is just a matter of being sensible & personal preference. If you make dishes with veg mixed in you have a ready-meal all in one go & don't need to worry about cooking veggies/accompaniments seperately

    Last edited by Lillibet; 26-05-2005 at 10:48 AM.
    Post Natal Depression is the worst part of giving birth

    In England we have Mothering Sunday & Father Christmas, Mothers day & Santa Clause are American merchandising tricks Demonstrate pride in your heirtage by getting it right please people!
    • apprentice tycoon
    • By apprentice tycoon 26th May 05, 10:46 AM
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    apprentice tycoon
    A general rule of thumb is if Birds Eye/Findus/Iceland make it and freeze it then you can too
    • Curry Queen
    • By Curry Queen 26th May 05, 11:01 AM
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    Curry Queen
    At the moment my freezer is full of meat portions. I haven't had time to do any cooking.
    by rchddap1
    Mine's the same too at the moment ... the only cooked stuff in there are a couple of portions of chilli, a couple of various soup and 2 chicken breasts. Got tons of raw mince, stewing beef, chicken portions, joints and fish though but it's just finding the motivation to cook it all, not to mention needing extra freezer space for cooked dishes and remembering to get it out to thaw beforehand :rolleyes:

    I can see us living on pasta and salads all week at this rate
    "An Ye Harm None, Do What Ye Will"
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  • lipidicman
    A general rule of thumb is if Birds Eye/Findus/Iceland make it and freeze it then you can too
    by apprentice tycoon
    Yes but they can 'fast freeze' with very cold temperatures. This process prevents the ice crystals being large enough to disrupt the structure of the food

    from :
    'One of the desired effects of freezing is that water is made unavailable for the growth of microorganisms by being in the form of ice. With the exception of water and fat, very little happens to the components of food as it is frozen. When water freezes, however, it expands by 9% in volume while forming ice crystals that vary in size depending on the rate of freezing (i.e., slow freezing gives large crystals, fast freezing smaller crystals). In products such as ice cream, lactose also may tend to crystallize out of solution. If such crystals are too large, they may damage the structure of cell walls which, upon thawing, causes juice loss, nutrient loss and unacceptable appearance.'
    • Iona_Penny
    • By Iona_Penny 26th May 05, 12:31 PM
    • 690 Posts
    • 604 Thanks
    Most meals will freeze succesfully but (and this is just my own observations) things with smaller 'bits' freeze better for longer ie spag.bog sauce and shep. pie better than chicken casserole. The other thing I always do is refrigerate for several hours before freezing so you are adding chilled things rather than at RT. I also think home cooked food probably has a shorter frrezer life than bought stuff due to the 'frosting'.
    Interested to hear what others think
    • crazyhazy
    • By crazyhazy 26th May 05, 2:33 PM
    • 313 Posts
    • 361 Thanks
    Thanks, have got a few ideas now, just need to get cooking and fill my freezer! here's what I've got so far -

    Spag Bol
    Cottage Pie
    Pasta Bake
    Chicken Fajitas
    Sausage casserole

    That should keep me going for a while!
  • raeble
    Cooked rice is another thing I've started to freeze. I notice that you can buy it frozen these days.
    • r.mac
    • By r.mac 26th May 05, 2:42 PM
    • 4,736 Posts
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    Iona, I think you are right. They don't last as long in the freezer as 'bought' foods do. However, I'm not sure that this has to do with temperature etc, rather that there are no, or certainly significantly less, aditives and preservatives in home made food.

    crazyhazy, I am in the same situation and am plannng a big cook over the weekend. I get paid tomorrow (yippee ) and so will take a trip to the supermarket. I freeze a mixture of cooked meals and uncooked meat portions. For example I might buy two pounds of mince, make one pound into dishes and the other just seperate into portions - so that I can make something from scratch if I don't fancy another portion of what's already in the freezer.

    I usually have chilli concarne, spag bol, tomato sauce (tinned toms with onion and pepper), mince and chicken breasts in the freezer. I am looking to experiment more this time as I am finding I crave more 'summery' dishes at this time of year.

    r.mac, you are so wise and wonderful, that post was lovely and so insightful!
    Originally posted by aless02
    I can't promise that all my replies will illicit this response
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