Talk on Tuesday: Freezing Ahead

Heather says:

Longtime reader and commenter, Tracy left this comment on yesterday’s Menu Monday:

Hello Heather and group! I truly hope that I am not out of place to ask for some advice. I am about to go thro surgery for cancer and Doc says I wont be able to much for 2-3 weeks. I always cook from scratch and I am looking for some “t.v.” dinner ideas. I have done the meatloaf and mash, turkey and mash, soup, spagetti and I am not in the mood for the sameold when I come home this time. Does anyone have any ideas for something new that I can make to serve 1, I dont have a problem with bulk cooking. It just needs to be freezer and micro friendly. Thank you so much!

Before I address the questions, I want to let you know, this is exactly why we’re here. Secondly you’ll be in our thoughts and prayers.

For the most part, I tend to turn to beef for freezer meals, as helpful people usually bring chicken. That said, there are some exceptions in the list I’m about to share.  I’d like to open the comments to anyone who has a great link or recipe for their favorite freezer meals.

Here’s a list of recipes available here that I find great for the freezer:

Ok Home Eccers, add the best of what you have for Tracy!


  1. Scrumptious Sunday « Kate the Cook on March 20, 2011 at 9:32 am

    […] Freezing Ahead at Home Ec 101 […]

  2. ~M on January 5, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    For these type of freezer meals, how long would you say that they can be frozen for? I'm planning on using mason jars and pyrex type food storage, if that matters. My due date is at the end of March, but I want to make the meals sooner rather than later (when I expect to be more tired and achy). Thanks!

  3. Tara on February 22, 2010 at 3:54 pm

    Late post, but still…

    Chicken pot pie, in small oven-safe pans. Spaghetti. Chili. Smothered rice from scratch. Stuffed shells. Hot sausage grinders (just the fillings). Any kind of whole wheat/nut muffin you'd like. Oatmeal-molasses cookies – nutritious enough I let DD eat them for breakfast.

    Hope you're feeling better!

  4. Bettie on January 21, 2010 at 3:42 am

    I like to suck on frozen blueberrys when I am sick, maybe you would like some of them too. God bless and keep you.

    • HeatherSolos on January 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm

      I wish I had thought of that when I was feeling poorly. I have a few bags of blueberries in the freezer. Great tip, thank you!

  5. Carye on January 20, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    I'm glad I read ahead. I too always have cooked chicken and cooked ground beef on hand. Frozen flat in freezer bags, they defrost very quickly and there are myriad of meals you can put together in just minutes with these two items.

    Tracy, you will be in my prayers and I hope you have some help after your surger.

  6. Jennie on January 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm

    I like to bake chicken and cut it up so it can be added to things like salads, burritos, tacos. You could also do that for ground beef. What about smoothie makings on hand. They'd be easy to digest and healthy. I hope you recover quickly and with relatively few side effects.

    Take care.

  7. Danielle on January 19, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Quiche is something I freeze all the time. Mix up your egg mixture (3 eggs, about 1 cup half-and-half and a few handsful of grated cheese) and freeze in a ziploc or other containter. Defrost and bake in glass dish, or pour into pie crust and bake. I use frozen pre-made pie crust to make it even easier. You can also add all kinds of veggies….spinach, peppers, onions, zucchini, etc. Prayers for a successful surgery and speedy recovery!

  8. Tinkerschnitzel on January 19, 2010 at 2:44 pm

    I don't have the recipes in front of me, but manicotti and eggplant rolatini freeze great. If you can chop up some meats and veggies and freeze them, then all you have to do is heat them up with some soy sauce for a great Chinese meal.

    I hope that everything goes well with your surgery, and I will keep you in my prayers.

  9. tracy on January 19, 2010 at 7:19 pm

    Hello Heather and group again! I want to thank you so much for the advice and prayers. I know in my heart that eveything will be alright. This isnt my first rodeo with this. So far I have chili, chicken meatball soup with spinich, french onion soup, lasanga and oven baked chicken. I am making another meatloaf and I have a roast in the crock pot. I am planning to make your tamale pie and maybe a tuna casserole as well. If my energy will allow me, I am planning to bake some bread and rolls too. I am not sure how to make hotdog rolls tho. Hopefully this will carry me over until I can get up and cook again. Thank you to everyone and especially to you Heather. Have a blessed day everyone!

    • Gypsie on January 20, 2010 at 12:14 am

      I know that Owlhaven had a fairly easy recipe for hamburger buns on her blog and since hamburger and hot dogs buns are so close, this might work for you as well.

    • @carolinadreamz on January 19, 2010 at 8:37 pm

      I've had some good results with this bread machine recipe, for hot dog buns. Its my experience that making them into the shape of the hot dog, letting them rise to double their size, and then bake to golden brown.. I don't know if you have a bread machine, or not.. but here's the recipe:

    • Debbie on January 20, 2010 at 9:55 pm

      Dear Tracy,
      I just went through a very simalar thing with Cancer. I, unlike you, did not think to go out and buy everything bring it home and fix the meals on my own. However, my husband and I went to a local meal fix it place and made 12 servings (most could be used for two or three meals). You order on line, when you get there everything is laid out for you and you make all the food yourself adding how much spicies you like. It was a life saver and it took all the worry off of me. The cost was about the cost of a weeks worth of food for us and all you do is take it out of the freezer. Well worth the money!!! Still home cooked but just a little easier. You are in my thoughts and prayers, having just lived through it recently.

  10. Karen L on January 19, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Perogies freeze well.

    You may also want to think about using your slow-cooker if you have one. You can brown and freeze ground beef, stewing beef, and chopped vegetables then combine with cans of tomato and beans.

    Another easy-peasy meal is “barbeque” chicken sandwiches. Just toss a rinsed whole chicken or chicken parts in the slow-cooker with a bottle of barbeque sauce.

    The down-side to the slow-cooker can be that your house will be fragrant all-da, which normally is good, but can be a problem if nausea is making you sensitive to smells.

  11. Ceci on January 19, 2010 at 6:29 pm

    I live alone and I often make casseroles and freeze them in individual servings for a fast & easy dinner when i get home from work. Pasta casseroles work well (lasanga, baked ziti, baked manicotti, etc.) I do a chicken casserole that is just chicken breasts with jarred Chicken Tonight sauce (not exactly from scratch but I'm bad) – I bake and freeze that and then when I heat it up i just make some rice to go along with it.

    There used to be a place called The VillageTable in Houston, where they provided all the ingredients and you just came in and put the stuff together, then took it home, and froze it for reheating later. I used to do it with my mom and instead of freezing the whole recipe in one bag, i would indiviudally bag servings. Look online to see what you can find, sometimes just looking at what was available there for the month gave me ideas of 'frozen food', then i just had to find a recipe.

  12. Rebecca on January 19, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    I did a bit of cooking ahead before I had my baby 2 weeks ago. There are many sites that can help you out. I like (they have monthly menus with grocery lists and instructions for 2 people to make meals for smaller families). Also, recipezaar is a recipe site and is you search for freezer friendly or OAMC in the cookbooks you can find lists of recipes.

    So far our favorite make ahead meal has been a hamburger casserole that my husband says reminds him of his mother’s lasagna but with a little less cheese. I think going with familiar recipes is a great solution, but don’t be afraid of trying something new. We also really liked some of the breakfast casseroles (though we eat them for dinner) that we have tried.

  13. CJ McD on January 19, 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Great suggestions above.

    Noodle casseroles are good and easy to digest. Mac & Cheese, tuna casserole, manicotti or canelloni are all good too.

    Also stock up on easy to eat items, eggs, cottage cheese, jello. hummus, bread, cheese, etc.
    After chemo, often your tounge will be sore, so milder flavors and quick proteins (eggs and cottage cheese) are just a scoop or flip in a pan away. And drink lot and LOTS of water. It really helps make post chemo tolerable.

    Sending wishes of wellness your way.

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