Food that freezes well? pls?
Hey all, I need your help :)
My bf has recently started an extremely rigorous program which leaves him little time to cook. Id cook for him, but were doing the long distance thang this year, so thats impossible. Right now hes basically living off of frozen tv meals and frankly, i cant let this continue! lol. Next time i go visit i want to make an array of things that can be frozen for him to eat later. That way at least i know hes eating well and not frozen tv-dinner sludge.
aaaaannnnyways, what freezes well? Heres what ive already thought of:
since its summer and hes sans-AC, id love to think of a few things that are slightly more summery than the above.
Thanks for helping me feed my boy!!!
Think about buying a vacuum sealer.
BBQ'd chicken freezes REALLY well. Got a grill? Fire up the bbq, and smoke off a whole bunch of stuff one day. I always do a good handful of "beer can chickens," ribs, and a butt or two for pulled pork rations at the end of fall to tide me over until I can get back in the full swing of q the next year.
Don't freeze soups with potato cubes in them. Doesn't work right. Texture gets lost.
I do the same thing for my bf. He's somewhat of a novice cook so whenever I'm there, I just stock his freezer with things.
Ribs (cooked, freeze quite well)
Ham (baked and portioned into slices)
Shanghai noodles (with shrimp, chicken and mushrooms) thaws out surprisingly well
Steamed chicken (with mushrooms, lily buds) - I freeze it raw but all he has to do is steam it
Steamed baby riblets (frozen raw but again, all he has to do is steam it)
Stirfries (chicken, beef, pork) - just undercook the veggies and reheating will bring it to the right temp. Don't include tofu in this
Pizza (not cooked - all he has to do is bake it)
Dumplings (potstickers, wontons) - raw and just needs to either pan fry or boil or steam
Eggplant (cooked and freezes quite well)
I also prepare some portioned out raw meats that he can just throw in a pan like chicken breast, raw shrimp that's been peeled for him, porkchops. And I also freeze sauces that he can cook an assortment of meats in.
You're so thoughtful! :)
Agree with the grilled, baked, or even pan-fried chicken. Great to pair with some rice and a simple sauce (BBQ, sweet chili, etc). Plain cooked rice (real rice, not instant) freezes surprisingly well if you wrap it while it's still warm. After cooking, portion it out into meal-sized servings and wrap well in microwaveable saran wrap (spread the rice into a relatively thin patty, so it reheats evenly). Pop it in the freezer, and you're ready to go -- just microwave in its package at meal time (if you're wary of saran-wrap in microwave, just remove it, though you may lose a bit of moisture). He won't even have to boil water.
I also like to have those packages of frozen cooked, shelled shrimp on hand in the freezer. They are super quick to thaw. Saute quickly in olive oil & garlic, toss in with hot pasta, some jarred pesto, and a generous squeeze of lemon, and you've got a nice light main. Some boiled asparagus or pan-fried peppers or mushrooms would be a tasty addition, if he is feeling ambitious. (Ok, I guess this doesn't involve you cooking per se, but it hardly takes more time than microwaving a TV dinner.)
Not that my son has been through 3 years of nuking lunches at school, I have become much more proficient at the freezing and reheating thing. I have learned most mashed potatoes do not freeze well because the mashing has broken down the protein bonds. I used scallopped or au gratin or just plain oven roasted (or grilled potatoes) instead.
Avoid also anything with heavy cream sauces as they do not always stand up to the freeze and thaw.
I like roasted beef, chicken and turkey and frozen with gravy. It keeps everything moist when re-heating and it seems like more of a meal.
Also pasta with a tomato sauce and sausage does really well in the freezer, better than cream sauces.
Pengast is right about potatoes, but I've never had luck with even scalloped potatoes. If you want to make stew or soup that really should have potatoes, put a note on the container saying "microwave one potato per serving, cut up, add while reheating."
Salmon loaf freezes great. One can of red salmon makes a loaf good for two meals. I put tomato sauce in with the portions. On a good roll, one generous slice makes a fabulous sandwich. For a more summery version, open the can of salmon, crumble some on a bag of pre-washed lettuce, drizzle with dressing.
Mac and cheese, with or without the addition of chopped ham or cooked, crumbled sausage, or sliced beef hotdogs.
Quiches freeze well also. There are tons of combinations besides Lorraine. Chicken and mushroom, crab or shrimp and spinach, ratatouille. And you can make in a square or oblong pan for easy portioning.