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Old 08-06-2011, 12:54 PM   #1
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Cooking once a month

Has anyone tried this? I've been reading up a little but I don't own a crockpot and I'm a little leery about cook everything all at once. I don't like soggy veggies. Anyone have any fail proof recipes? Pros and Cons?

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Old 08-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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I've never cooked in advance for a whole month but made big meals and froze enough for a few nights.
Stews, soups and casseroles freeze well and even dishes like lasagna or mac and cheese.
You could try making the food without the veggies and add them when you reheat to keep the veg crisp.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:51 PM   #3
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It can be done. I used to have to shop once a month. Much of what I bought could be cooked ahead for easier prep down the road.

Unless you're good at leftovers, I wouldn't do this. Some things taste good left over, and some don't.

For instance, lasagna, stew, chili. All are usually better the next day. So make a big pot of chili and freeze in 2-dinner size packets. Two dinners, because one won't be enough, plus you could have a guest.

A nice big pork ham or butt roast. The fattier the better. Braise in the oven, and separate into 2 portion dinner size packages.

Save the bones. Use with a pot of beans. Half a package of beans is still a LOT of beans.

Veggies that you can make ahead:

Boil potatoes in water with some beef bullion. Boil a sliced onion too, and make some potatoes au gratin and add any kind of meat for a one dish meal. Save the broth to boil some country style ribs. The ribs will be moist and tender, and the broth is to die for to cook rice in, just use the normal rice/liquid ratio 1:2.

Fry up a pound or two of ground beef and mix with onion and garlic, drain and add taco seasoning mix. First meal = tacos/burritos, second meal, add some chili powder and beans (if you like) for some chili.

Make macaroni & cheese, add some to chili for chili mac.

It can be done.
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zhizara View Post
It can be done. I used to have to shop once a month. Much of what I bought could be cooked ahead for easier prep down the road.

Unless you're good at leftovers, I wouldn't do this. Some things taste good left over, and some don't.

For instance, lasagna, stew, chili. All are usually better the next day. So make a big pot of chili and freeze in 2-dinner size packets. Two dinners, because one won't be enough, plus you could have a guest.

A nice big pork ham or butt roast. The fattier the better. Braise in the oven, and separate into 2 portion dinner size packages.

Save the bones. Use with a pot of beans. Half a package of beans is still a LOT of beans.

Veggies that you can make ahead:

Boil potatoes in water with some beef bullion. Boil a sliced onion too, and make some potatoes au gratin and add any kind of meat for a one dish meal. Save the broth to boil some country style ribs. The ribs will be moist and tender, and the broth is to die for to cook rice in, just use the normal rice/liquid ratio 1:2.

Fry up a pound or two of ground beef and mix with onion and garlic, drain and add taco seasoning mix. First meal = tacos/burritos, second meal, add some chili powder and beans (if you like) for some chili.

Make macaroni & cheese, add some to chili for chili mac.

It can be done.
It sounds a lot like how my Gran used to cook
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:57 PM   #5
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I make soups that tend to grow out of the pot, and freeze them in cottage cheese containers, a good size for two, along with Zhizara's recs. I would also get at least a mid size crock pot, they aren't expensive and you can do so much with them. Stock up on dried beans and split peas.
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Old 08-06-2011, 02:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
I make soups that tend to grow out of the pot, and freeze them in cottage cheese containers, a good size for two, along with Zhizara's recs. I would also get at least a mid size crock pot, they aren't expensive and you can do so much with them. Stock up on dried beans and split peas.
I wish I could get away with Cottage cheese containers but in my house they won't be big enough for 1 person
I use 2 liter Ice Cream containers, they hold just enough for the 4 of us and also cook the whole bag of dry beans or lentils when I buy and freeze them in single portions in Ziplock bags. That way you can spread them flat to take less freezer space and the beans don't get stuck to each other when frozen.
Cooked rice also freezes well and when warmed in a strainer over a pot of boiling water it tastes just like the day you made it.
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Old 10-14-2011, 02:39 PM   #7
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Thanks for the suggestions on what tastes better the day before and what not to store for long periods of time.
To be honest I've never tried saving the bones to put in the pot of beans for flavor, I'll be sure to try that next time.
Thanks!
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