When it comes to cooking . I am an ok cook. WHEN I cook . I rarely cook. I whip up something quick and healthy for the kids , me and hubby live on sandwiches , noodles or crap.
I seriously feel overwhelmed like I don't have time. Which is lame I know, every mother on here is so busy , and with even more children that just 2 like I have .
My son has therapy three days a week , my daughter has speech therapy once a week , I do a HEAP of home therapy with them and I feel like I am always just behind with everything and anything . I'm frazzled always . I always feel overwhelmed .
Please help me with things I can freeze ? I need to utilise my time better . The times I am cooking I have so much left over and it goes to waste as I just don't know what you can and can't freeze . I'm hopeless with this stuff .
Can I freeze rice ?
Steamed or baked vegetables ?
Do I let it cool before freezing ?
Meat that's ALREADY cooked for example mince meat .
Forgive my dumbness :-)
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09-05-2013 16:50 #1
Please help the most hopeless housewife .....
09-05-2013 16:56 #2
All pasta/lasagne is good for freezing. Just make it extra saucy.
I also make up pasta bakes or lasagnes during the day when I get the chance, put in the fridge, then put in the oven ready for dinner time.
Your best off preparing your vegies and freezing uncooked.
Mince dishes like cottage pie and chilli con carne are good for freezing. Again, just add extra sauce.
I always get cooked meals to fridge temp then freeze.
09-05-2013 17:04 #3Senior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2005
There are heaps of freezer friendly recipes here, plus tips on how to freeze etc..
I freeze quite a lot of meals - lasagne, pasta bakes, bolognese sauce, savoury mince, soups, cottage pies, spinach and ricotta cannelloni etc..
09-05-2013 17:06 #4
I'm always frazzled and overwhelmed and we eat eggs on toast more often than I'd like to admit haha.
I love making a heap of homemade rissoles with 2kg of mince, cook them then freeze. Easy to microwave for dinner or put them in an ovenproof disk with gravy and bake.
You can freeze anything except salad stuff, mashed potato and some dairy separates on thawing.
Easy to do a big stew in slow cooker with sausages, veg and lentils and freeze. Or soups.
You can freeze cooked rice and fried rice freezes well.
I do homemade nuggets too. Buy a heap of chicken thighs, cut into big pieces and crumb then freeze uncooked.
09-05-2013 17:35 #5
Don't stress out about preparing super-dooper masterchef recipes. Choose something simple and than add something great to it ... like simple tacos, but add a homemade guacumale (can be made in 2 minutes). The mince mixture can be frozen for next time. Or hot dogs - get good quality pork sausages and grated cheese, nice buns, pickles, salad, then add sauerkraut - hey new Yorker! Kids love helping build their own dinner, and this way can try little tastes of things they normally wouldn't. And if they like it - you get kudos for opening a jar. Go mum!
Pies are another good one to freeze, make a load of beef/chicken casserole, get the alfoil trays from the supermarket, spoon mixture into shop bought pastry, serve with steamed veg. Kids love helping with filing the pies, getting the fork to seal around the edges and they can cut out an animal or letter of the left over pastry to put on top. You can make 4 - 5 at a time, that's 4 - 5 dinners you have on standby.
Yes you can freeze minced meat that has been cooked (even if it was defrosted before you cooked it).
A good tip for freezing is to get one of the large sized silicone muffin trays and freeze everything in muffin sized portions, then empty into a zip lock bag once frozen. Then you can use as much or as little as you want (eg spag sauce just for one kid for lunch = 1 muffin sized block). Works well for everything - soups, stocks, sauces etc. You don't get so overwhelmed feeling like you are wasting food, or waiting 8 hours for a large soup to defrost. I do mac and cheese occasionally like this and DD loves it for lunch with salad.
Best of luck!
09-05-2013 17:37 #6
Curries and soups also freeze well.
We also make beef stroganoff without adding the sour cream and freeze. Then we thaw and heat and add sour cream just before serving.
09-05-2013 17:44 #7
Do you have a slow cooker?
I use mine constantly, especially through the winter.
I have a few super easy recipes where I can dump everything in together in the morning before the day has gone to poo . Then we live off it for a couple of days.
Or you could freeze the leftovers.
09-05-2013 18:05 #8
I don't tend to freeze a lot or do left overs, but I've been using my microwave/slow cooker/air fryer/homecooker instead of my oven/stove top lately to save power and I've noticed its making cooking a lot quicker and easier.
All of my bench top cookers (and I have bit of a collection, lol I love buying cooking appliances) don't need a lot of attention so I use my food processor to cut everything up then chuck it in whatever cooker I want to use and let it do its thing while I get other stuff done.
My favorites are potato bake with steak, casseroles, rice cream, and roasts. I love a lot of the suggestions in this thread though and I think I'll have to use some of these ideas
09-05-2013 18:43 #9
I don't really like freezing whole meals cause I find them fiddly and hard to reheat and it ends up taking so long that I might as well have cooked them from scratch.
The thing that has made the biggest difference for us is a list of our favourite dinner meals that we've stuck on the pantry door. We plan our dinners once a week before doing the grocery shop and use that list for inspiration. Dinners don't need to take long to prepare and don't need to be crap food either. I'm also getting increasingly convicted that children should eat the same food as the parents wherever possible and the earlier that this is started the better. We're struggling with our nearly 6.5yo ds eating the same as us and slowly working on making it happen.
Anyway, some easy meals with minimal prep at night include:
- ravioli - seriously takes 4 - 5 minutes in boiling water, add a jar of pasta sauce that is heated in a jug/bowl in the microwave before being mixed with the cooked ravioli and hey, presto, you have a healthy and very filling meal.
- shepherd's pie/lasagne/quiche - buy good quality ones from the fresh section of the supermarket and put them in the fridge for the nights when you just want to put something in the oven and do little else. You can serve cooked chips (frozen, low fat ideally) with them, or salad or nothing, depending on your preference.
- slow cooker meals - google slow cooker recipes and put them on in the morning after you've had breakfast and come dinner time at night you'll have a lovely meal ready & waiting for you. It can be SUPER easy to do. I don't use my slow cooker as much as I should, but I do especially love corned beef done in the slow cooker.
I hope that gives you some ideas. Mostly I think you should make a list of your favourite recipes and stick it on the pantry or somewhere else in the kitchen. Use it for inspiration. And meal plan - you have a busy week, plan once a week and then you won't have to stress each & every day as to what you are going to do for dinner.
09-05-2013 19:00 #10Senior Member
- Join Date
- May 2012
When my DS was younger I found preparing stuff in the morning was easier than in the arvo, things such as lasagna, pasta sauce, burgers or patties, canneloni, homemade sausage rolls or pasties etc can all be made and ready to either bung the oven or reheated at meal time.
Just do some steamed veg or salad to have on the side.
I am certainly no master chef, but i know what the kids like and i always opt for something easy
Dinners that the kids like are... ( we are vego's so i use vegie mince, sausages etc instead of meat)
Spaghetti or pasta dishes
Taco's ( we use flat bread and build them at the table)
Burgers and oven baked chips
Lasagna and salad or Canneloni and salad
Homemade vegi sausage rolls and steamed vegies
Vegi burger wraps ( i use quorn vegi burgers that are similar to chicken burgers and slice them up once cooked, the kids add lettuce, grated cheese and carrot and wrap in flat breads)
Soup and Rolls
Noodle stirfry with firm tofu and vegies
Chow mien noodles
Beans on toast
Vegies sausages and steamed vegies
Curried sausages and rice
Zuchinni slice and salad platter
Hope that helps
Last edited by Blue Dragon; 09-05-2013 at 19:03.
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