Saturday, November 6, 2010

My first ever freezer cooking day

I've been reading posts about freezer cooking (or batch cooking) for ages now and really thought it wasn't for me since I am single with no kids.  But the other frugal blonde tried it a couple of weeks ago and was happy with her results, so on a bit of a whim I decided to give it a try today.  I put some black beans in water to soak overnight and started going through a massive list of saved recipes (from various blog posts).  I settled on Tristin's Zucchini Sausage Cornbread, Ham and Potato Soup, and a super awesome friend's spaghetti sauce (sorry, I have to ask if I can share the recipe).  I had quite a bit of zucchini left over since I bought a 3 pack at Aldi, so I had the brilliant (ok, kind of obvious) idea to make zucchini bread.  I searched and searched for my hometown church's cookbook to use my mom's recipe but couldn't find it, so I used a fairly healthy recipe I found online (recipe below).  The black beans are something I cook about once a month.  I don't have a recipe, it's just something I came up with.  Which is super odd since given my mathematical (aka analytical, aka anal) mind, I typically stick to recipes and actually prefer baking over cooking.  But I just cook the beans with onions, sausage, garlic, cumin and a bit of salt until I like the consistency - sorta mushy and really thick.
Anyway, I'm about done - waiting on the spaghetti sauce and black beans to cool down a bit before I put them in containers to freeze.  I don't have any pictures but here's what I ended up with:

2 loaves of zucchini bread (should feed me for at least 8 breakfasts/desserts)
6 very generous servings of the cornbread (I had a little bit - wow, it's great)
3 generous servings of ham and potato soup (I had a full serving tonight for dinner - YUM)
6 containers of spaghetti sauce (should last me about 6 meals)
6 containers of black beans (4 meal size containers and 2 side dish containers - since I put sausage in it, it's a full meal)

As a conservative estimate, I'd say I made myself approximately 20 meals, plus snacks (did I mention some cookies are going in the oven later?).  Hopefully this will last me about 3 weeks.  Obviously I can't eat at home every single meal, I'd go crazy, but since everything tastes fantastic (yay for great recipes) I'm excited.  The best part about all of this?  I did my shopping at Aldi and spent.......wait for it......$30!  And the only things I didn't buy were flour, sugar, spices, oil, etc.  Aka, the normal stuff you always expect to have at home.  That's about $1.50 a meal.  My feet hurt, but I'm hooked to freezer cooking.  Thank you fellow coupon bloggers!!!

UPDATE: Last night I had the ham and potato soup from the freezer for the first time.  Maybe I just didn't thaw and heat it up correctly, but the texture totally changed.  The milk curdled a bit.  It was still edible, but not near as good as the first day.


Julie said...

spaghetti sauce???