Yesterday I started telling you about my first attempt at freezer cooking. I did it about a month ago before I went away for work (I am still away for work…) in an attempt to help my husband avoid eating out while I am gone. I went through the first two meals that I made… and today I will go through the next two and the results on how all that food turned out…
Mac & Cheese
The next meal I made is a household favourite, mac and cheese. I made mine dairy and gluten free… Which seems odd when you are talking “Mac & Cheese”, but it is delicious, I promise! I was searching for the recipes that I used to create this… but I have been making this recipe (with small variations) for years now… and I just make it from my head… so I can’t seem to find the original recipe that inspired it…
First up I cook up the pasta. Gluten free pasta is getting pretty readily available these days, which is great news for me and my great love of pasta…
I wanted to make sure there was some protein in this meal, so I cooked up some Italian sausages.
As I mentioned yesterday, when I was making my Shepard’s pie, I set aside some of the cooked veggies from that to add to my mac & cheese.
For the sauce, I use dairy free margarine and some gluten free flour to make the roux… Then add rice milk, nutritional yeast, and garlic (I used both fresh and garlic salt this time). To thicken and get the gummy texture that is normally a part of a cheese sauce, I use some arrowroot powder. I have zero measurements for this recipe… I kind of just wing-it… And normally it works out pretty well.
Once the sauce is ready, I mix everything together, then put it in baking pans with some gluten free bread crumbs (I keep the nubs of my bread in the freezer for just these occasions) on top and bake until crispy on top.
There are no pictures of either the one that was eaten right away, or the one that went in to the freezer… Whoops!
Coconut Lentil Curry
I decided to try a new recipe for my last meal… This one is from a website: Vegangela. I didn’t follow the recipe exactly (because I rarely do that), but if you are looking to make something similar, that’s where to start.
I didn’t take many photos of this process… but the recipe explains how to cook it really… Basically saute your onion, garlic and ginger… then add your spices… and then add everything else, except the kale and simmer…
I chopped up a lot of kale to add in to the recipe.
Once it was cooked, I added in my kale and I served it over rice for dinner. My photo doesn’t look nearly as good as the ones in the original recipe…
The leftovers I put in jars similar to how I did my chili (from my part 1 of my freezer cooking).
I have no photos of the marinated chicken that I put together and froze, but basically I took a couple family packs of chicken breasts, sliced them in to skewer sized pieces and put them in ziplock freezer bags. Each bag had about enough for a meal for 2 people (or two meals for 1) and each one had a different flavour. I did a soy ginger one, a honey mustard one and a greek oregano one. Pretty simple to do, but the idea is to have something tasty that can just be thawed and BBQ’d or fried up.
And the Results…
I was pretty proud of myself for actually going through with the plan to cook and freeze all that food… It was a process for sure… and I suppose I would get better at it and more efficient if I were to do it more often and perfect my recipes, so in terms of that, I would call this attempt a success. But… did the food actually get eaten? And was it enjoyed?
When I went home for Thanksgiving, I was able to take a quick look at what was left in the freezer and what was in the fridge… And I also asked my husband for some feedback…
The Mac & Cheese and the Chili were both resounding successes! It was requested that those be made again… So, I will definitely keep those in my repertoire for next time.
The Shepard’s pie was apparently too dry after it had been frozen. Not sure what the solution to that one is, because it really was tasty the day we made it and ate it… but maybe I need to make the mashed potatoes a bit more runny and creamy (more fat) when they are frozen? Or add some more sauce to the meat and veg on the inside?
The Coconut Lentil Curry was not a favourite. I really enjoyed it the day we ate it, but my husband’s complaint was that it was boring and didn’t have any meat… So perhaps that is a recipe that I can freeze for myself… or maybe I can add some chicken to it next time…
And for the marinated chicken… well… it was still in the freezer when I was home… and apparently my husband had forgotten that it was there… We will have to see if it is still there when I get home next.
Even though not all my recipes were complete successes, I feel like the whole experience was definitely a win! Plus, I stocked up on nice jars, so now I will have to keep it up!
Have you ever done any freezer cooking? What are your best freezer cooking recipes?
4 thoughts on “My First Attempt at Freezer Cooking (Part 2)”
This is such a good idea! Your mac and cheese looks delicious 🙂
I haven’t really ever done any full meal freezing. I do like to prep the ingredients and freeze those, like you did with your chicken. That way, I can pull out the chopped veggies or ground beef or whatever, and put something together for that night.
I love your idea of the preportioned chili and curry. Such a smart way to eat healthier and more frugally, but you’re keeping the convenience of taking something out of the freezer and popping it into the microwave.
Your husband is super lucky!
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He’s either lucky, or I’m pushy and controlling. Ha ha!
But it did seem to work out pretty well for him so far, but I’ve been gone so long that everything has been used up now… I’ll have to get more of a stash going in my every day cooking… Freezing the ingredients all prepped is also a great idea, I should do more of that.
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This is something I need to do more of! Thanks for the inspiration 🙂 We loveee thai curried chili, we use this fine lady’s recip -> http://www.theppk.com/2010/12/red-lentil-thai-chili/
I also make dal and rice, and freeze that in individual portions. Can you tell we’re obsessed with lentils? 🙂
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That Thai chilli recipe sounds pretty good. I’ll put it on the list to try when I am home next.
I didn’t really know I liked lentils until I got some given to me from a friend and started cooking with them… Turns out I love them and they are also good for me!
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