Saturday, 14 January 2012

Preparing to return to work - Meals in Bulk

Following on from my last post, I have been making a few meals in bulk so that I can freeze them and reheat on nights that I come home from work and just can't face cooking.  I don't go about this in a huge way cooking or baking all day, but rather I like to just double or triple recipes that I am already making.

Last night we were having 'Thai Red Curry Chicken' and so I made a double batch.  We ate this for dinner and I have frozen the other one to take out one night next week after work.  Because my son is on the 'Paleo' diet both of these recipes are Paleo friendly but if served on a bed of rice they would stretch a lot further.  Cooked rice also freezes quite well.

Thai Red Curry Chicken - Paleo Friendly
While I was feeling inspired to cook I also made a triple batch of 'Beef Chili'.  I made it in the slow cooker so it was pretty easy to throw it all in and walk away.  We will eat some of that for dinner tonight as I have been in Brisbane all day visiting family, and I will freeze the rest of it in separate meals.  A bonus is that I made a triple batch of the Chili but I got 4 meals not just 3 so I ended up with a free meal.
Ahhh, I can see you're skeptical..........usually we have a bit left over each meal and that gets eaten up for lunch or a snack but with a little bit left over from 3 meals it makes another whole meal for 4 people.

Beef Chili - Paleo Friendly
It is so nice knowing I have back up meals in the freezer with work starting next week.  I plan to repeat this with some more easy freeze meals this weekend, but I also do this during the week even when I'm working.
This works for cakes and some slices and biscuit (cookie) dough too.  Make a double batch, eat one and freeze one.

Meals ready for the freezer

Make sure you mark the date and what it is on your frozen food because believe me, once it's frozen it is generally hard to identify what it actually is, unless you like potluck dinners!

I find freezing meals in ziplock bags works well if you are short of freezer space or containers.  I buy the Medium - 22 x 25cm size for a meal to feed 4 - 6 people.  Adding the date also helps you to make sure things are eaten within a reasonable time so they don't spoil.  Even frozen foods can be kept too long.  Cooked meat and poultry should only be kept for 3 - 4 months and soups and stews about 2 - 3 months.

A handy tip for marking on containers is to write on sticky tape with a permanent marker and stick that to the lid.  It doesn't come off in the freezer and you don't mark up the lids of your containers.  Its also cheaper than buying labels.

Happy cooking!


  1. Hi Chez, I popped over to check out your blog after you left a comment :). Good luck with your debt repayments. It looks like you might live in a similar neck of the woods to us.

    I have a question (it may seem a bit silly) but do you just spoon you meals into the zip-lock bags above? Do you have problems with them leaking? Do you sqeeze all the air out? I'm looking at stocking the freezer at the moment, but our main issue is space. The way you do the ziplock bags would be a good solution for us, just wondering about the details.

  2. Hi Melissa, Thanks for leaving some feedback. It's great to hear that others are interested in what you're doing. I write on the bags first then just use my large soup ladle to scoop the chili or food into them, nearly completely seal the bag and lay it flat and squeeze out all the air then finish sealing. The less air the better so your food doesn't get freezer burn. I've never had a problem with food leaking or the bags bursting.

  3. Wow, that curry looks fantastic! Good for you for doing this --I keep meaning to do something similar and saying I'm going to and all that, but actually following through is something else...

  4. Thanks for dropping by Amanda. I've tried the method of spending a day making meals in bulk and ending up with a few weeks worth of meals but this way of just doubling a recipe a couple of times a week works better for me. It really is not much extra effort.


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