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Old 10-16-2013, 10:45 AM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,202

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I make my meals ahead of time.

Every weekend I make at least two big pots of soup. I take the soup and split it up into 1 cup tupperwares and freeze. Each day, I grab one for lunch. About every 2-3 weeks I make a large batch of tomato sauce and keep one in the fridge, the others frozen in jars until I need them.

This past weekend I made a large pot of both white bean soup and black bean soup, two zucchini lasagnas, chicken/squash nuggets, turkey/zucchini meatballs, layered chicken/bean enchilada (with chicken I shredded/froze into two cup servings a few weeks ago). I froze them all.

Last night after dinner, I made a butternut squash pasta sauce that I just need to warm and toss with cooked brown rice pasta, spinach, and blue cheese. It's in the fridge. Tonight I plan to make spicy tomato soup and some breakfast burritos to freeze.

Soup, stew, and chili can be portioned and frozen in containers.

Casseroles can be frozen before baking or they can be cooked, cooled, semi-frozen, and cut into portions, then the semi frozen square portions can be bagged side by side into large freezer bags to take out one at a time.

Burritos filling can be cooked, burritos filled and sprinkled with cheese, rolled up, then frozen on a metal cookie sheet. Once they're frozen, they can be bagged into large freezer bags. This keeps them from sticking together.

Chicken nuggets, meatballs, and any kind of burger (beef, turkey, veggie) also can be cooked, then frozen the same way on a sheet tray (I often freeze the burgers raw so I can cook them on the grill).

I have been doing this for about six years and I'm incredibly busy during the week and many weekends, so my huge batch cooking is probably overboard to start out with.

Start with one dish. Cook one dish, and freeze it. I recommend trying a big batch of stew or chili first. Once you see how nice it is to grab one serving and have a homemade, healthy, and inexpensive meal ready in minutes, you may get hooked.
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