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Oct 6, 2009 07:33 AM

need cookbook recommendation- good freezer recipes

I've got a new baby, so for the first time I'm really embracing the idea of cooking and freezing food. But I'm not really familiar with what works best frozen/defrosted and I'm getting tired of my cookbooks. Any recommendations for a cookbook that might either be geared towards cooking and freezing or focuses on cuisine that is good for freezing (soups, stews, etc)? I don't cook with meat or poultry, but I will consider a non-vegetarian cookbook. Simple recipes are better for me these days. I've got both of Bittman's How to Cook Everything, Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, and Katzen's Vegetable Heaven. These are my usual go-to's.

Thank you!

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  1. looks like you've got company!

    i haven't tried any of them myself, but you might want to look into reviews of these:

    you can also try some of the recipes from these sites (though i know it's not the same as having a cookbook on hand):

    6 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      Thanks for your sleuthing! Definitely a gap in the cookbook market here, huh?

      I guess I'm a food snob, but I don't want a cookbook that focuses on quickies and shortcuts. I still enjoy cooking and don't mind investing a little time and effort. So I guess my question really is what foods freeze best (does pasta come back ok? can i freeze a pan of lasagna before baking? can i freeze something with fish in it? do beans and grains survive freezing well?) And of those foods, can someone recommend some new cookbooks since I'm getting a little weary of mine.

      1. re: tb1478

        lasagna is extremely freezer-friendly, as are filled pastas such as ravioli & tortellini. best to par-cook first, freeze, then finish cooking when ready to serve. the other thing you can do is make large batches of sauce & pesto, divide into smaller single-meal containers/baggies, and freeze. when you're ready to use it all you have to do is defrost one container or bag and toss some pasta into water.

        potato gratin is another really good make-ahead dish you can stash in the freezer. and soup is always a good bet.

        fish dishes don't fare well in the freezer - the texture suffers when you reheat.

        as far as cookbooks, i like Sally Schneider's "A New Way to Cook" and "The Improvisational Cook." since i'm also a fan of Deborah Madison & Mark Bittman, you may like hers as well.

        hope that's more helpful!

        1. re: goodhealthgourmet

          Thanks! I have heard of Sally Schneider's cookbooks, so I'll pick those up from the library and give them a go.
          I like the idea of sauces in bags- pestos and curries. Glad to know pasta will fare well. I defrosted some minestrone, but the pasta seemed to kind of fall apart. Maybe make it extra al dente to survive the reheating better. Thanks for the heads up about fish.

          1. re: tb1478

            make the minestrone *without* the pasta, freeze it, and add pasta to the defrosted portion when you're ready to serve it.

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              My favorite food related blog is I've long enjoyed the narrative and the recipes and you might especially enjoy it right now since Deb, the blogger, also has a very new baby and is writing about how it's all working and what she's cooking. She seems to be very responsive to questions, though that may be harder with that new and amazing little baby distraction.

            2. re: tb1478

              Lasagna truly does freeze beautifully; it was a standby of mine in the months after I had my son. I also use a vacuum sealer device to freeze easily used portions of pasta sauce, which come in handy pretty often.

     is a great all-purpose site that can help you save time on hunting through cookbooks. It's often a lifesaver for me, although it's obviously not a vegetarian-only recipe site. It does have a feature you can use to list ingredients you do and do not want to generate a list of applicable recipes.