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Old 10-22-2014, 10:48 PM   #21
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somehow, dw is able to make one portion extra from what we eat for dinner, then eats that extra portion for lunch the next day or so.

i know there's ways to stretch a starch or protein to get 3 or 4 meals, maybe more, but how many weeks can you eat the same thing over and over no matter what it is. even if you modify it somewhat with different ethnicities to keep it interesting.

unless it's sushi of course.

you can only blow up a balloon or stretch a rubber band so many times...
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Old 10-22-2014, 10:58 PM   #22
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Cook once per Week? Month?

I think Andy put it well, it takes time to build up a stockpile. I freeze my homemade soups, sauces, beans and rice, etc. in cottage cheese or yogurt containers (labeled) and put them in the deep freezer, that way there's just enough for the two of us on any given day when I need to go spelunking. Haul them out and nuke in a glass dish. Maybe make up a couple big batches of different soups (minus potatoes of course) on the weekend, eat a couple meals from them, and freeze the rest. For your lunch, just put some frozen or defrosted soup in a smaller container and nuke at work. We could probably eat for a year from the containers of soup and chili I have in the freezer.
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:26 AM   #23
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VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!

Always label your containers. You will NOT be able to see what's in them next week/month/year. I use white board markers. They wash off easily.

More than once, I've defrosted a container only to find it wasn't what I thought it was. Then you have to revise dinner plans on very short notice.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:29 AM   #24
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VERY IMPORTANT!!!!!!!!

Always label your containers. You will NOT be able to see what's in them next week/month/year. I use white board markers. They wash off easily.

More than once, I've defrosted a container only to find it wasn't what I thought it was. Then you have to revise dinner plans on very short notice.
+1! With the contents *and* the date. I use glass canning jars and some plastic containers; I keep a pad of mini PostIts, markers and tape in a kitchen drawer for labeling. I'm going to have to try the whiteboard markers. I wonder if they work on canning jar lids.
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:37 AM   #25
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+1! With the contents *and* the date. I use glass canning jars and some plastic containers; I keep a pad of mini PostIts, markers and tape in a kitchen drawer for labeling. I'm going to have to try the whiteboard markers. I wonder if they work on canning jar lids.
Write on the glass!

Whiteboard markers, dry erase markers, are great for leaving messages on the bathroom mirror!
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:41 AM   #26
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...I'm going to have to try the whiteboard markers. I wonder if they work on canning jar lids.
Since canning jar lids are not reused, you could use permanent markers. I have a couple of sharpies in the junk drawer for use on Ziplocks.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:08 AM   #27
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+1! With the contents *and* the date. I use glass canning jars and some plastic containers; I keep a pad of mini PostIts, markers and tape in a kitchen drawer for labeling. I'm going to have to try the whiteboard markers. I wonder if they work on canning jar lids.
They do but they can get smudged and wiped off. I tried them and decided masking tape with permanent marker was the best means of identification.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:13 AM   #28
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I use masking tape too.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:46 AM   #29
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Since canning jar lids are not reused, you could use permanent markers. I have a couple of sharpies in the junk drawer for use on Ziplocks.
I reuse the ones I use for freezing, but not for canning. I keep the reusables in a separate box. I used to use masking tape; can't remember now why I switched.
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:55 AM   #30
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I mark my freezer stuff with scotch tape, fold one end over on to itself just a bit to make a pulltab, use a sharpie to write content and date (I save deli containers and reuse for deep freeze)
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Old 10-23-2014, 12:06 PM   #31
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When I go to my parents' house, I do a lot of cooking for the freezer.

I will make a HUGE roaster of turkey or chicken stock. Then, once the stock is done, I will make that into several variations of turkey or chicken soup so all my dad has to do is take it out the night before, let it thaw in the fridge, and heat it in the microwave.

I will make basic biscuit dough and then add cheese/garlic/herbs to the dough, cut out the biscuits, freeze them, so all he has to do is bake them.

I make beef stroganoff for the freezer, chili, spaghetti sauce, meatballs, meatloaf, pies, pot pies, cabbage rolls, lasagna (that is for if they want to invite s/one out for supper), pizza, wildrice casserole. For the most part, all my dad has to do is follow the spreadsheet, thaw the main dish the night before, and make sure he has picked up the fresh ingredients needed.

When I am at home, I often do "mega cooking" on the weekend and freeze meals (1 or 2 portion size) to eat during the week or to take on site with me. Because of my food sensitivities, I have a hard time eating "ready made" meals from the grocery store.

I have also had single friends come over for mega-cooking day on a Saturday or a Sunday. We portion out what we've cooked and send portions home so everyone has something to eat during the week. And, share the cost for the ingredients. Perogies, cabbage rolls, and lasagne are some of the favs to do at my house and send portions home for everyone. And, no one can leave until the dishes are done.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:36 PM   #32
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These are great ideas! I've made pierogies and frozen them prior to cooking. I think I'm going to come up with five meals to "make ahead" this weekend. I'll get back to everyone about what I make! Ziplocks, lots of plastic and foil, masking tape, markers.....I'm making a list!

~Kathleen
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Old 10-25-2014, 08:42 PM   #33
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Update and a bit of progress!

I went to CostCo today to pick up ziplocks, foil, etc. today. I also kept in mind that pasta can freeze pretty well over potatoes, etc. as I searched for freezer-happy recipes via Pinterest and search engines. On Pinterest, I stumbled on "Wonderpots." I've seen one-pot ideas before, but these recipes usually had pasta included and the pasta cooked along with everything else. Several ideas looked like they would cook up fast and sounded pretty tasty.

I selected this link and immediately spotted a recipe called "Spinach & Artichoke Wonderpot." While at Costco, I picked up fresh mushrooms and a big jar of artichokes hearts. Instead of spinach, I got some mixed "power" greens.

I made other substitutes like using chicken broth, penne, and ground thyme. It was delicious and my "where's the meat/I don't like green veggies" dining companion even found it tasty. Plus I had enough left over to make three bagged up for later meals! Last of all, ONE pot to clean up.

I love that the pasta cooked with everything else, did not stick and did not get mushy. (The mushrooms held the pasta under the liquid!) A few pictures to share because I am happy-bouncy to find something so fast and easy. When I make it again, I'll add a good splash of white wine because it did seem that it was missing just a hint of something. Last of all, it was cheap to make!

I'm going to try the One-Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies next. I had to share!

~Kathleen



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Old 10-25-2014, 08:47 PM   #34
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It was good. When we reheat it I think I might have to pull some Italian sausage from the freezer.
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:00 PM   #35
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Cook once per Week? Month?

Yay!! Keep building your stash! Freeze, freeze, freeze!
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:20 PM   #36
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Sounds great Kathleen!

Looks better!
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Old 10-25-2014, 09:26 PM   #37
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Once again DC has come to the rescue. You have admit. we all are a bunch of great folks. The kind everyone wants to know and be friends with.
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Old 10-25-2014, 10:06 PM   #38
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Kathleen, that looks like a great recipe. Adding some sausage can only make it better!

I think you could also come up with one pot dishes using rice instead of pasta, giving you another series of meals. Look for rice casseroles.
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Old 10-26-2014, 08:32 AM   #39
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That looks like a great list of recipes. Glad your first try turned out so well. I'm bookmarking it, too.
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Old 10-26-2014, 02:43 PM   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kathleen View Post
I went to CostCo today to pick up ziplocks, foil, etc. today. I also kept in mind that pasta can freeze pretty well over potatoes, etc. as I searched for freezer-happy recipes via Pinterest and search engines. On Pinterest, I stumbled on "Wonderpots." I've seen one-pot ideas before, but these recipes usually had pasta included and the pasta cooked along with everything else. Several ideas looked like they would cook up fast and sounded pretty tasty.

I selected this link and immediately spotted a recipe called "Spinach & Artichoke Wonderpot." While at Costco, I picked up fresh mushrooms and a big jar of artichokes hearts. Instead of spinach, I got some mixed "power" greens.

I made other substitutes like using chicken broth, penne, and ground thyme. It was delicious and my "where's the meat/I don't like green veggies" dining companion even found it tasty. Plus I had enough left over to make three bagged up for later meals! Last of all, ONE pot to clean up.

I love that the pasta cooked with everything else, did not stick and did not get mushy. (The mushrooms held the pasta under the liquid!) A few pictures to share because I am happy-bouncy to find something so fast and easy. When I make it again, I'll add a good splash of white wine because it did seem that it was missing just a hint of something. Last of all, it was cheap to make!

I'm going to try the One-Pot Spicy Chicken Riggies next. I had to share!

~Kathleen

I've been one pot wonder recipe gawking for about 2 hours now...have several I've noted, c&p, wanna try.

The Puttanesca one is very tasty sounding and I have all the ingredients.
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