When freezer cooking, increase productivity by making a number of different meals around the same central ingredient.
The main purpose of freezer cooking is to quickly and efficiently put dinner on the table on busy week nights. Busy moms and others with limited time enjoy getting home from work and having a stress-free home cooked meal. However, preparing these meals can be time consuming and most people have other things they also need and want to do during weekends. An excellent way to make freezer cooking more efficient is to make a number of different meals using the same central ingredient. Since food stays good for months in the freezer, one month’s food preparation can be devoted to hamburger meals, the next to chicken and the following to stew meat. You can customize this to your family’s preferences with some families preferring half their meals be chicken based. By focusing on one central ingredient, the time preparing a number of meals can be reduced.
During a hamburger food preparation session, you might choose to make meat balls, meatloaf, shepherd’s pie and chili. All of these require onions to be chopped. Using a food processor, it is efficient to process enough onions for all the dishes. The beef for the shepherd’s pie and chili needs to be fried and drained. Doing this in batches for both dishes allows an assembly line process. While the beef is frying, you can mix up the ingredients for the meatballs. Include parsley, eggs, parmesan cheese, and oatmeal to make a delicious and nutritious meal. The meatballs should be cooked in the oven on a rack (20 minutes at 375) to reduce the fat content of the meatballs. The meatballs can be frozen in a resealable freezer container and just the amount needed can be pulled out for a dinner. While the meatballs are cooking, you can make a number of meatloaves. These should be frozen uncooked. Just remember to take the meatloaf out of the freezer and put it in the refrigerator the night before you plan to use it. Using the cooked hamburger, complete the chili and shepherd’s pie.
A focused work session of six hours can result in 4 meatloaves, 60 meatballs, 4 shepherd’s pie, and 4 containers of chili. Admittedly, after the cooking session you will be very tired but the thought of 16 dinners in the freezer, waiting for your family to enjoy after a busy day of work or school makes it worthwhile. At the beginning, you need to take the time to do several different main ingredients. However, once there is a variety in the freezer you also reap the benefit of several weekends a month where you don’t have to cook.
Never worry about what's for dinner again. I've got you covered with the meal plans in the Once a Week Cooking Club. Cook once, eat all week.
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