So, as the time gets closer to christmas, I'm starting to get more hours at work. I was thinking of cooking food once a week and then freezing it and just reheating my meals through out the week. Anyone out there know of a good menu, meals, or even just foods that take freezing well? This would be of great help.
If you have a slow-cooker (and if you don't, you should get one), these are my two stand-bys:
Slow-cooked steak with gravy Sirloin roast (amount will vary depending on how much you need for the week. I usually do about 4-5lbs at a time) 1 can coconut milk 1 packet betty crocker slow cooker beef mix
Combine and cook on low for 8 hours. Goes great with rice, which actually freezes pretty well if you are eating it that week. Toss in some frozen spinach, broccoli, or brussel sprouts for veggies.
BBQ Pulled Pork Pork loin roast (again amount will vary) Root beer Your favorite BBQ sauce
Add the pork and enough root beer to partly cover the meat. Cook on low for 7 hours. Drain and rise. Return the pork to the pot and add BBQ sauce to taste. Cook on low for 1 hour. If you want a fattier, better tasting cut go with a pork shoulder roast, though I think the loin tastes great. Goes well with sweet potatoes.
Once a week, I cook Meatloaf sliced and then frozen and 8-10 chicken breasts diced and frozen flat in a large ziplock freezer bag so I can easily break off any amount I like. Reheating can easily be done in a frying pan or microwave for both. I add rice or broccoli depending on my carb needs
If I have frozen cooked food, I'll usually set it in the fridge to defrost a couple days before then reheat the thawed meat on medium power in the microwave (on a plate, not in the plastic bag). If I need to defrost faster than that, I'll place the bag in a bowl of warm/hot water. I haven't found a microwave, even good ones, with defrost features that won't leave parts of the frozen meat tough, dry and inedible.
Do yourself a favor, and buy a vacuum sealer. Sam's Club has a nice one for around a hundred bucks. This is chicken, steak, and halibut all charcoal grilled on one batch of coals. Took me 45 minutes to cook it all. I don't even bother freezing these, fridge only. They get nuked in the bag still and taste like theyre fresh off of the grill. All of the juices stay locked in, and the steaks even stay at medium rare throughout the microwaving.
In my defense, that pic was more to show quantity than quality. It looks better on the plate.
I use FoodSaver brand and I basically just charcoal grill the meat, let it rest 5 minutes so the juices reabsorb and then I seal it while still hot. Once it cools a little I throw it in the fridge and it will last at least 10 days with no degradation in quality. I usually eat through that much quicker though - I only found out it was still good after 10 days when I forgot about a chicken breast while on vacation. Tasted yummy when I got home.
EDIT: hmmm looks like tnation decided to rotate my picture for me...lol looks tastier if you tilt your head
I vacuum seal all of the meat I cook. That is why I cook in bulk. It saves a hell of a lot of money and time in the long run even if you do lose an afternoon to it. I usually only need to cook at the most twice a week.