Gardening Tip ~ Cooking with the Intent to Freeze

1 min to read

Submitted by Doreen Coyne, a member of the Richmond Hill Garden & Horticultural Society

Cooking for one or two people isn’t much fun so I tend to make food for the “family” and then freeze the remaining portions for future meals! Sometimes I plan a small dinner party and use those leftovers for freezing. You can make several small containers of soup, stew, or chili and then you’ll be eating something different each night of the week! That last idea is the focus of this article.

Here are some ideas for cooking once and getting lots of meals from it.

Cooking a Pot Meal:  When I make a pot of something, it is always a lot more than I can eat and I do not enjoy eating the same meal every night nor even every other night until it is gone.  Most of my pot meals can yield a meal for 10 people or more and it typically takes 2 to 3 hours to cook. But given a “pot meal” is generally more “liquidy” than say a pound of cooked hamburger or a chicken breast, I can’t vacuum seal it for freezing.  But I can put a serving or 2 into a clean but used margarine or yogurt container and freeze that.  Don’t quite fill the containers – leave a good half-inch of space at the top.  Then put them into the freezer. The next morning when the little containers are all frozen, I pop out the frozen contents and put them all into a big freezer bag that is dated and marked with its contents. Then clean the containers for the next usage.  Looking in my freezer, you’d see marked bags marked with “meals for one” of chili, beef stew, Osso Buco, and spaghetti with meatballs!  The result: A different meal every night without cooking every night! Yes, I have to thaw and cook my meal, but there is no measuring, lengthy cook times, nor adding of spices, etc.  Those parts are all done!

SOUPS:  When I make soup, I tend to make 3 to 4 litres at a time. My favourite is beef barley. I keep enough in the fridge for 3 to 5 lunches then freeze the rest in taller yogurt containers that can each hold another 3 to 5 bowls of soup. I freeze them in the same way as I do for “Cooking a Pot Meal”. If each week you make a pot of another soup – choose between minestrone, carrot soup, lentil soup, broccoli soup, and/or perhaps chicken noodle soup, then you’ll be able to get a 2 or 3 different soups each week and enjoy a variety of soups for lunch each day that week!

Note: This article is part of a series on Freezing Foods.  Below are links to other articles in this series.
- Too Many Vegetables from your Garden? Read this article. 
- And More Veggies to Freeze.  Read the article.
- What else can you freeze? – Baked Goods! Read the article.