Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Freezer Friendly Meals


Chocolate cupcakes, with no frosting [Photograph: Juliasalbum]

Our last challenge for Weekend Cook and Tell was for all of you to share your favorite easy-to-freeze recipes. We called this Freezer Friendly Meals. Whether you are about to have a new baby, are bringing meals to friends, or simply making weekday life easier, freezer-friendly meals have the ability to provide a hearty meal with a not so hearty prep time. Here are your best dishes in our quest for good frozen goods.

lemonfair kicks us off with an entire menu of dishes that work for your icebox. She freezes entire turkey dinners, complete with mashed potatoes, gravy, rutabaga, and apple pie filling. Our favorite tips of hers are to "add a lot of gravy before freezing to help keep them moist" and to freeze in plastic containers, wrapped in foil, so they are ready to reheat when you are ready to eat. A bonus to these meals is their price-point as many of the ingredients go on special during the holiday season.

To spice things up, joyyy cooked up Rajas con Crema (Roasted Poblanos in Cream Sauce). You can beef it up like she did by adding white hominy, cooked chicken, and other compatible leftovers (a little bit of beans and rice), you might have.

We love the way Hydra thinks. Rather than freezing entire meals, Hydra freezes components. "So rather than filling it with finished dishes (which commits me to stuff I may or may not want, or want in the quantity that ends up in the freezer), I now stock up on on a wide assortment of cooked grains, beans, polenta, half-baked pizza crusts, blanched garden vegetables, and the like."

CJ McD is a serial freezer. Meals of "lasagna, lasagna, chili, spaghetti sauce with meatballs, red beans with sausage (to serve over rice), mac & cheese casserole, beef stock and chicken stock for a couple of quick soups, some freezer pickles, and last but not least a small pan of enchiladas" are some of the things you might find if you opened the freezer door. You can also find CJ's recipe for Fresh Frozen Cucumbers on our Talk thread.

salsasis14 freezes anything "stewy" - and in single serving containers. We sense a belly-warming trend here: "Currently I have turkey chili (made with Indian spices), lentil curry and East meets West bean soup. I also have cooked grains- rice and quinoa."

As usual, zahavah comes through with an easy and delicious idea. Her "slam dunk" is to freeze salpicón, a Mexican shredded beef. When ready to fill your belly, defrost meat, add diced tomatoes, lettuce and tortilla and voila! Fresh, healthy, and tasty.

Finally, Juliasalbum leaves us with a sweet treat. Her chocolate cupcakes freeze and reheat easily. Frosting optional.

A big thank you to everyone for sharing their savory pumpkin love for this week's Weekend Cook and Tell challenge. Be sure to head over to Talk and read about next week's challenge: A Vegetarian Thanksgiving