Freezer meals that can be reheated/cooked in a microwave/(convection) oven?
We're tearing out our kitchen's linoleum and replacing it with tile in a few weeks. The dishwasher and stove will be out of the kitchen for about 2 weeks and my only access to direct heat/a burner will be my grill. And it's spring in the Seattle area, which means I can expect torrential downpours, hail, and windstorms to be the norm for the next few months, so I'd REALLY rather not rely on that.
I plan to make a bunch of REAL food and freeze it so we can reheat as necessary. I painted our cabinets a few weeks ago and lived off of storebought frozen dinners and haven't felt worse in my whole life. The only restrictions that I have are that soups/stews are not appreciated by hubby, but I'm already planning to make a few quarts of tortilla soup. He also doesn't like pasta (!!!) though I already have a couple of pans of ricotta and spinach and herb stuffed shells tucked away in the freezer that I'm planning to bake off in the convection cycle of the oven.
What would YOU make? We are willing to try lots of things, but DH hates pasta and soups/stews. Which of course limits things.
pretty much anything that doesn't have bread or biscuits, or requires crispy of any kind can go in the micro-- and you have the convection for those.
I'm afraid I'd be out getting a hot plate and a George Foreman -- the $100 or so is a pretty small investment in the greater scheme of things (and they're not dependent on the weather)
plus one, sunshine. In the grand scheme of things, it's a pittance. As I wrote upthread, the washing up was the real pain. For cooking, with a two-burner hotplate, panini grill, toaster oven and toaster and MW, I could do just about anything. Now that I have a huge MW/convection the skies the limit. I covered my dining room table with thick towels, put a flameproof mat down at one end and I was good to go.
i feel your pain. i remember when my mom did a remodel, and was without kitchen for a lot longer than expected.. what else is new... she had a microwave going in the living room... thought--
-waffles :) breakfast for dinner can be comforting, esp good homemade waffles that will recrisp
-teriyaki chicken, making extra sauce to rebaste and keep moist, and serve with frozen rice like at TJ's
-meatballs and sauce for meatball subs
-bangers and mash
-you can easily do fresh omelettes in the mw/convection in ziplocs
-polenta with ragu - frozen separately
If you still have access to your refrigerator, I'm not sure I understand the need to pre-cook meals. Just buy a small hotplate and maybe a cheap toaster oven. You can make almost anything with that setup. Even without refrigeration, you have your pantry items and fresh produce - people have cooked from that forever.
Anyway, if I had to reheat frozen food, I think I'd do some variations of braised meat, and maybe some bean-dishes, and then serve them with polenta or rice that I'd cook in the microwave. Perhaps microwave some frozen peas or green beans to get some fresh vegetables.
Interesting challenge: Our daughter is celiac and pregnant and working very hard so I have recently prepped a selection of frozen dinners for her freezer. Here is what I made:
Adoba pork with peppers and sweet potatoes
Spaghetti sauce on spaghetti squash
Caribbean Chicken on peas and rice (chicken pieces marinated in rum and lime juice and curry, then braised in mango and tomato).
There's hardly anything I cook that can't be frozen and then reheated. I'm mentally going through a list and can't think of much of anything. Just in the last few days I've thawed and heated leftover black-eyed peas, collards, little meaty pork ribs, menudo. Tonight we're having corned beef. Can certainly freeze that if I choose. What are you thinking about that you CAN'T freeze. I'd also strongly recommend a hotplate. I used a two burner one with a MW and toaster oven for a redo about five years ago. Cooking was the least of the inconvenience. The washing dishes in the bathtub was the true PITA.
Huh, I live just south of Seattle, and have the same "no soup/stew" challenges with my sweetie, so I feel your pain.
Beans and Rice with peppers (add shredded chicken or beef if you'd like). I sometimes make this for dinner then wrap leftovers in tortillas for lunch the next day
Twice baked potatoes with a variety of fillings. You could even do sweet potatoes with Indian spices and lentils or curry
Mexican "lasagne" with tortillas for the pasta, or a more traditional lasagne with polenta or quinoa replacing the pasta
Meatballs with peppers and onions, served on rolls with cheese
Pork chops with sweet potatoes, apples, and onions
Steak/chicken strips you can use to make salads or tacos
Shepherd's pie/cottage pie
Hope some of that works for you.
Not gourmet but Broccoli, Rice and Chicken casserole always goes over well at my house. I lightly poach the chicken in broth before cutting it up and then use really good cheese and breadcrumbs.
Potroast also heats up well in the microwave.
I also make these stuffed baguettes from King Arthur's website that I freeze. I wrap them in foil and reheat them in a toaster oven taking the foil off for a few minutes towards the end. They would work well in a convection oven.
oh man, i would think that pastas like a tray of ziti or a chili would be best & those popped into my head first. shrimp will grill quickly to avoid rain, but you can always marinade & prepare burgers or some steak in advance, same with quicken breast. my great aunt used to marinade meats the second she got them home from the store.