Frequently Asked Questions
by Deborah Taylor-Hough
The idea of cooking a month's worth of meals to store ahead in the freezer is becoming increasingly popular in this modern world of two incomes, daycare, sports, skyrocketing costs, and busy families.
The following are several frequently asked questions (FAQ's) about this time- and money-saving method of meal preparation:
Q) Are all the meals casseroles or pasta with sauce recipes?
A) You can freeze almost anything. Soups, casseroles, sandwiches, meals to serve over rice, chicken dishes, meatloaf, etc. To get an idea of the types of things that freeze well, take a stroll down the freezer aisle next time you're at your local grocery store and notice the wide range of frozen items available.
Q) I'm a vegetarian. Any special tips?
A) There shouldn't be any problem adapting this method to vegetarian menus. Prepare a recipe and try freezing a single portion before you attempt a larger batch of freezer meals. (This tip applies to any recipe you haven't tried in the freezer.) You can substitute TVP (texturized vegetable protein) in many recipes calling for ground meats. Cooked beans and bean-based meals usually freeze well.
Q) Are there special pots and pans, utensils or appliances I should have on hand to make a monthly cooking marathon session go easier?
A) The following are nice to have on a big cooking day: a food processor for chopping large quantities of onions, celery, etc; good quality sharp knives; several large heavy stock pots; long handled spoons for stirring and mixing; an electric can opener; a crockpot; a salad shooter works well for grating large amounts of cheese. If you're cooking ahead breakfast items, you might want a waffle iron to make homemade frozen waffles (much tastier than the ones you buy from the freezer case). You don't necessarily need to purchase all of these items. If possible, borrow some of the items. I borrow my neighbor's large stock pot each cooking day.
Deborah Taylor-Hough is the author of the bestselling Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month and A Simple Choice: a practical guide for saving your time, money and sanity. She also edits the Simple Times email newsletter. To subscribe, visit Debi online at: thesimplemom.wordpress.com Copyright Deborah Taylor-Hough Used with permission. All rights reserved.
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