Time to Plan

It’s not a new quote – and somehow I don’t think Benjamin Franklin was talking about anything food related – but it’s definitely true for once a month cooking!

One thing I learned last time is that you can’t plan too much. When you’re sitting in the kitchen surrounded by mountains (believe me – it feels like it) of fresh veg, meat and freezer bags and boxes, you just need someone or something to tell you what to do! So you definitely need a Plan.

But before forging ahead with cook-for-a-day-mark-2, I thought it would be a good time to have a look at what went well and what wasn’t such a success in the last months efforts.

I cooked for less than 5 hours but ended up with the basis for 22 meals – at a cost of £77. All of which sounds good to me!

But freezer cooking can be not-so-good. I’m thinking about soggy food reheated in the microwave, and casseroles that have been left in the freezer so long that they’ve lost their flavour.

My aim was to make meals ‘kits’ which needed cooking once defrosted rather than cooked meals waiting to be reheated.

So what was good and what not to be repeated?

  • Lamb kebabs – great
  • OAMC-2Stir-fry kits – a bit soggy but so convenient. Not sure if I’ll do those again
  • Four Cheese Pizza Home made pizza – always brilliant! Instant supper!
  • Tomato-and-Mascarpone-sauce-3Roast Tomato and Red Pepper sauce – delicious. All the meals require a little more preparation on the day but were quick and tasty.
  • Chicken_Ginger-Lime4Chicken in ginger and lime – is always good. I froze the marinade separately and then defrosted chicken and marinade together
  • Pork-schnitzelsPork schnitzels with lemon and thyme – these worked very well. They defrosted quickly and required little effort to cook
  • Chicken tikka – some sites had warned that yoghurt in the marinade might separate a little but a quick stir and all was fine. The flavours developed beautifully leaving the chicken in the marinade in the freezer
  • Creamy-Pasta-with-Roast-VegetablesRoast veg and bacon – froze peppers, onions and bacon and added others on the day which worked well. I just forgot to remove what was needed for the next days meal so it all got eaten!
  • Roast-Tomato,-Basil-and-Feta-TARTPastry cases (baked blind) – x3 – it would have been nice to have them filled when they came out of the freezer and yes, both Roast Tomato, Basil and Feta tart and Ham, Spring onion and Cheese Quiche don’t seem to mind being frozen so I could do that next time (don’t re-freeze the ham if it’s already been frozen)

So what about this time:

  • Perhaps make the meals more complete – e.g fill the quiches, top the pizzas. This means more time in the kitchen on cooking day but more convenience later in the month
  • Add in some lunches
  • Make some cakes / snacks / biscuits! – definitely an omission last time!

Do you have any other ideas for easy freezer recipes?? Please let me know!

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