There are no "leftovers" at our house! We prefer to call them pre-planned meals. We buy meats on sale and I usually spend a Sunday evening cooking. I often make meat loaves, barbecued spare ribs and baked chicken. These are all proportioned to what my husband and I will eat at one meal and then sealed in our food saver bags.
We have a family of two adults and three teenagers. Any leftovers go in the freezer for lunch for my husband and I. Our lunches are the envy of the lunch crowd.
I live alone and find it hard to eat well (especially since i'm naturally thin and can eat anything). I've made Sundays my day off and spend about 1 1/2 hr cooking for the week or longer. It really doesn't take much longer to cook many meals than just one if you plan it well and shop wisely.
I have always been a strictly chicken breast woman, but since i took a pay cut in a new career, I've had to make sacrifices. I recently bought 9 chicken thighs for 2.50$. I was wary, not sure if I'd like the dark meat. I experimented, cooked 4 two diff ways. Way better than chicken breasts! Much more taste.
I now use chicken thighs bone in for roasting, or deboned (done myself-takes 2 min) and flattened for scnitzel, stir fry's, or stuffed with rice.
I'll by ground beef in bulk, brown it all and make spaghetti sauce and portion/freeze it, taco meat-portioned and frozen, stuffed mannicotti and divided into two containers of 5 for dinner with my bf, meatballs, meatloaf or stuffed bell peppers. All recepies use peppers, onion, celery, mined garlic. I chop veggies only one time, and never have to throw anything out. The ends I throw into a pot with water and make veggie stock to cook stirfries, rice, or veggies in and freeze the broth in portions.
I invested in a good chopping knife and learned how to use it. Makes chopping vegges a breeze and actually enjoyable.
This 1-2 hour cooking created enough dinners for a couple weeks which are healthy and keep me from visiting a fast food joint. Also, the dinner prep for me after that takes about 15 min.
Other simple fixes are slicing bagels and english muffins before freezing. Just take one out, pop it in your toaster. Sometimes I'll precook sausage rounds or bacon, toss them in the freezer and when the bagel is out of the toaster, i'll put one on top, add a slice of cheese and wrap in a paper towel. Off to work, eat in my car.
Pre cooking pasta is great for one person too.l I always make way too much pasta and throw it out. Now, I'll put some n a zip lock (from the dollar store!) and toss in the freezer. Some hot water and instant fresh noodles.
Also, unfinished/flat beer gets frozen in baggies (same for wine) to be used in sauces. Nothing better than chicken roasted in broth and beer or beef in red wine and onions.
What containers do you use for freezing?
gm5312 AT aol.com
I need help doing this. I really want to start dropping some pounds. I heard this is a great way to do this. My question is will the food stay fresh if it is in the freezer?
Your ideas certainly save money and time. Very precious things both. I do very similar things too, it is especially worthwhile where I live because electricity is half price on weekends! I cook for most of the week, do the laundry and ironing. Its even cheaper for me to put things in the freezer on Sundays!