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Thursday, March 6, 2014

Ingredient Freezer Cooking

Even though I make a lot of things from scratch, and spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen, doing all of the prep work is not one of my favorite things.  Still, if we want to eat, we have to have the ingredients ready to go.

If you couldn't tell by my meal plans, we generally do two weeks at a time, and I usually do the majority of the grocery shopping at the beginning of the two weeks.  That means several ingredients need to be portioned out and put in the freezer so they will last that long.  Enter ingredient freezer cooking.

Rather than getting entire meals ready, I chop the produce, split up and weigh out the meats on our kitchen scale, and label everything with masking tape.

This particular time, I did all this:
  • Chopped 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, and 1 onion for ham/bean soup.
  • Portioned out ham for soup and for salads.
  • Chopped 3 carrots, 3 celery stalks, and 1 onion for chicken cacciatore. (freezer)
  • Chopped 4oz. mushrooms, 1 pepper, and 1 onion for eggs with veggies. (freezer)
  • Chopped 2 peppers and 2 onions for chicken enchilada chili. (freezer)
  • Chopped 3 carrots and 1 onion for tomato soup. (freezer)
  • Chopped 4oz. mushrooms for pizza. (freezer)
  • Portioned out chicken for several meals.
  • Chopped 2 peppers and 1 onion for fajita mix. Added chicken and marinade. (freezer)
  • Made chicken broth on the stove top.
  • Repackaged chicken drumsticks into a container. (freezer)
  • Made granola.
  • Made a small batch of carrot baby food puree (4 jars).
It took me just over 2 hours, which I didn't particularly enjoy, but now for the next two weeks, I basically have to pull things to thaw in the fridge the day before, and then dump and cook them.  That I can handle.  And that is definitely worth the time up front!

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