What's In Our Freezer
Most foods are able to freeze well. There are of course exceptions. We prefer freshly made rice over a frozen rice casserole, but other than that we haven't encountered any issues with anything we have frozen. And we do still freeze rice casseroles, they still taste good from frozen! If you are considering freezing something that you aren't sure of how it will do just Google it.
From the extensive reading I have done on the subject there isn't one answer on the best way to thaw food prior to cooking it. I generally stick the frozen meal or item in a preheated oven and that works well for me. If you want to know about a specific food item and thawing it then Google it. There are so many sites devoted to freezing meals and you will find a wealth of information. Here is a list of prepared meals or food items we currently have in our freezer or that we have recently had in our freezer, hopefully they will inspire you to try making extra for your own freezer.
- French Toast - multiply your favorite recipe and prepare as normal. Individually freeze*. When you are ready to eat simply pull it out of the freezer and place in the toaster.
- Same as French Toast, but defrost in microwave.
- Cinnamon Rolls - make cinnamon rolls up until the step before cooking. Either individually freeze or freeze in a pan. Cook from a frozen state at 350F until done. We have also frozen these pre-cooked and then microwaved them. They are good this way too.
- Falafel - once the balls are formed place in freezer bag. To cook pull desired amount from bag and either bake or fry until done.
- Chicken & Rice Casserole - cook everything and mix together either in a large freezer bag or in a casserole dish. When ready to eat pull from freezer and pour a can of chicken broth over the entire dish. Cook until heated thoroughly. I find that pouring the broth over the rice keeps it from going dry.
- Shepherds Pie - cook and assemble as you normally would and then freeze. Cook until heated thoroughly.
- Pizza - I have only ever made my pizza and cooked it before freezing it, and then heated it in the microwave. This worked well, but from what I read isn't the normal way of preparing a pizza. Google it if you want success stories from others. I wrap mine in Plastic wrap.
- Burrito filling - prepare and then freeze in freezer bags. Thaw in hot water and then heat before serving with tortillas and fixings.
- Taco Meat - same as above.
- Pulled BBQ Chicken - same as above, but serve on buns.
- Calzones - prepare and cook. Individually wrap and freeze.
- Beef Stroganoff - prepare and cook. Freeze. Thaw and heat thoroughly and serve with egg noodles.
- Chocolate Chip Cookies - prepare in a large batch and individually freeze. Store in freezer bag. Cook from frozen at 350 F for about 12-15 minutes.
- Spice Cookies - same as above, with slightly less cooking time.
- Apple Crisp - prepare in dish and wrap with aluminum foil. Cook from frozen at 350 F until done.
To help me keep track of what items are worth stocking up on when they are on sale I keep a running list (currently it is mainly in my head - it will make its way to paper eventually) of the normal price for an item, a common sale price for the item and also the "rock bottom" price for the item; or, in other words, the cheapest price I have ever paid for the item. If the item is at "rock bottom" then I stock up. I try to not be in a position where I am having to buy things at 'regular' sale price. And I do everything I can to avoid paying regular price for an item. Being flexible goes a long way to make this work!
Freezer Meals - Part 1; Why OAMC Isn't For Us
Freezer Meals - Part 2; Freezer Cooking - Why It Is For Us
Next: Freezer Meals - Part 4; The Essentials