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Aug 16, 2011 08:09 AM

What are vegetables/dishes/meats that freeze well for later use?

I just learned from another thread that scallions will keep pretty well if you chop them up and freeze them for later use. I always freeze my meat when I separate them into smaller portions and it's great not having to worry about being careful how much I buy and having meat spoiling in the fridge. What are other foods or vegetables that you have found to freeze well and offer a greater degree of convenience in your cooking?

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  1. Beans and other legumes. Make a big pot of them, use what you need, then freeze the rest in bags. I also freeze super-ripe bananas, then pull them out when I need them for banana bread or smoothies. They turn black on the outside, but rest assured that they're fine on the inside (mushy, but good for cooking).

    1 Reply
    1. re: katecm

      You can also freeze beans that have been soaked but not yet cooked. That can be a convenience.

      Ratatouille freezes very well, as does grilled/baked eggplant. Meat loaf and meatballs freeze perfectly.

      Worth noting, according to Harold McGee: The stable, saturated fat in beef means it can be frozen for years without deterioration, but the unsaturated fats in pork, poultry, and fish mean that after a couple of months in the freezer, their fat oxideizes and becomes rancid. He is talking about raw frozen food here.

    2. avoid potatoes.
      pesto works really well. great way to use your summer basil in january. freeze overnight in ice cube trays then pop out and put in plastic bags. single servings!

      1 Reply
      1. re: luciaannek

        Actually potatoes work well in mashed or pureed form (as in soup). It's the whole potatoes that can be nasty ... so no chunks of potato in stew or whatever.

      2. Chili freezes well. I usually make a pot with 5 pounds of beef that has been cubed, not ground. The resulting chili is divided into single serving plastic containers. When my wife goes out for lunch with neighbor women she is usually not very hungry at dinner time. I then defrost a container of chili well in advance of dinner time and that's what I have after reheating it in the nuker.

        1. I freeze a lot of prepared foods. Chilli & most soups freeze really well. Lasagna & Mac & Cheese I chill and then cut into bricks and freeze 2 person portions - they both bake up just as well as fresh (actually better, I think). Bread freezes well and so to a lot of doughs. Tough cooking greens can be blanched quickly and then frozen for use in soups. I'm a huge fan of freezing - I don't like wasting anything if it can be saved for later!

          3 Replies
          1. re: ANin

            Ahem to not wasting food.

            When my wife prepares chard or kale and she separates the midrib from each of the leaves, I ask her to save the midribs for me to use in minestrone. The minestrone often has leftover vegetables added to it. When one of those squeeze bottles of mustard has just a little bit left that can be difficult to extract, I add some water to the bottle, shake it, and add the mixture to the minestrone.

            My frittate (plural) are often made with leftover vegetables and meat.

            1. re: ChiliDude

              I must have been looking cross-eyed at what I keyboard yesterday. THAT SHOULD HAVE SAID "AMEN TO NOT WASTING FOOD."

              1. re: ChiliDude

                Chard stems make a great gratin. I save them for just that purpose.

            2. Rice freezes very well. I also like to make a big batch of pizza dough, portion and freeze it. Then I just pull out a ball, let it thaw in the fridge, and I can have weeknight pizza.