Freezer Cooking February: Tips and Quiche in a Bag Recipe (Guest Post)


This is a guest post from my friend, Jenn of Super Jenn and Wii Mommies.

I really discovered the art of freezer meals after I got pregnant with my second child. I knew what I was in for this time around (or so I thought!) and I wanted to be prepared. I cooked and I froze…from casseroles to cookies, cakes and bread I was SURE to be prepared! Let’s suffice it to say I learned a LOT about how to, and how NOT to freeze food for my family that year.

Now I freeze food on a fairly regular basis. Meals that prepare a 9 x 13 casserole can most often be split into two servings and one saved for later, cookie dough in the freezer will save ANY rainy day in a house full of toddlers and breakfast on the go is super easy when you can pull muffins or waffles out of the freezer. I’m a big fan of sharing food with my pregnant and “new mom” friends…having a small stock pile in the freezer can make that any easy way for me to help them out as well.

Here are a couple of tips I picked up in my experimenting:

  • “Flash Freeze” items that might stick together like cookie dough. Put them on a lined cookie sheet in the freezer for 8-12 hours uncovered then move them into your storage container or freezer bag. This way they won’t stick together and you can still avoid freezer burn.
  • Whenever possible freezer items flat. Soups and stews can be frozen in a bag lying flat on a cookie sheet then stacked later. This makes them easier to store in your freezer and quicker to thaw when you are ready to use them. (This works for breast milk, too!)
  • Always wrap your food in waxed paper or cling wrap first…then tin foil. I found out the hard way that if you put the foil on first you will have one heck of a time unwrapping it later!
  • When possible, add items like cheese and sauce when you take the food out to prepare it. This just helps your meal to retain its texture a little more.
  • I like to prepare meals in a glass square pan lined with plastic wrap. I fill the pan as I would if I were baking it then “flash freeze” it for 8-12 hours. Wrap it up the plastic wrap, then remove it from the pan and wrap it in foil and stick it in a gallon freezer bag and label with cooking directions. When I’m ready to prepare it I take it out and stick it back in the square glass pan. This saves me from losing my dishes to the freezer.

This is my newest favorite freezer recipe: Quiche in a Bag! This is also a great recipe to use when you are taking meals to others because it is a little more creative than your average pasta or chicken dish! It is so variable, it can be vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten free! We’ve made a few adjustments but the original recipe is from The Freezer Cooking Manual

Photo Courtesy of TheKitchn.com

Quiche in a Bag

1 c. Cooked meat (any meat diced or browned and crumbled)
3/4 c. Vegetable (any raw, blanched; thawed frozen; or canned, drained)
1 c. shredded cheese (you can exclude this or just add feta)
1/4 c. diced onion
1 c. milk (can sub dry milk and water, soy milk or rice milk)
4 eggs
1/8 t. Tabasco Sauce
1/2 c. flour (may substitute rice flour)
2 t. baking powder

Combine ingredients through Tabasco Sauce. Just throw it all in a gallon ziplock bag. Mix dry ingredients and add them to the bag. Seal bag. Squish to mix.

Seal, label and freeze. This works best if you freeze it flat on a cookie sheet first and then stack like I mentioned above.

To serve, thaw completely (take it out in the a.m. for supper). Shake and squish bag well. Pour into a spray-treated pan. (This is a crust=less quiche!) Sprinkle with paprika if desired. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes until lightly browned on top and well set in the center. Cool about 5 minutes. If you are looking for a quicker cooking time you can make these in sprayed muffin or mini muffin tins as well.

This Guest Post is by Jenn of Super Jenn and one of the founders of the Wii Mommies. She is the sweetest person and a very good friend of mine. I hope you enjoy this recipe and tips she has shared. Thank you so much for your help, tips and recipe, Jenn!

Stay tuned for more recipes and info on how to get started on Freezer Cooking! And in case you missed it, you can read my first posting on Freezer Cooking Methods and Resources.

Freezer Cooking February: Methods and Resources


As I mentioned several weeks ago, I’m doing a month-long series on Freezer Cooking. It’s just one of the ways I am trying to achieve my Goals of 2010 to get healthier. I’m doing this by not only choosing a few healthier recipes but also, by having food on hand, ready to cook, I’m avoid the evil takeout food that’s loaded with so many calories!

Once-a-Month vs. Doubling Recipes
Freezer cooking can seem daunting to some because they have only heard of the weekend long sessions and just don’t have that much time to spend on cooking. Once-a-Month Cooking, as it’s often called, is not the only way to “freezer cook,” though. In fact, I rarely do big sessions anymore since I have the two little kids and a blog to keep me busy.

One way to get in some freezer cooking is to just simply double your meals whenever you can throughout the week. This is how I normally get in my “spare” meals. When you think about it, it’s actually quite easy to double a recipe. The time-consuming part of meal prep is the chopping of the veggies and or meats, such as ground hamburger or turkey. It only takes a few extras minute to chop up an additional carrot or cook up two pounds of hamburger instead of one.

Often, I’ve even cooked up double the hamburger recipe and put the extra half in the fridge after it’s cooled. Even just having that part done is a huge time-saver for the next night. I can quickly just throw that in a casserole or heat it up for Tacos, etc.

I usually recommend that those new to freezer cooking start off with just doubling recipes. Once you get the hang of what freezes and doesn’t and which meals you do like, then try the Once-a-Month method. While the Once-a-Month method can be exhausting, it’s also great not to have to spend much time in your kitchen for the several weeks that follow.

Resources
Now, when I first discovered Freezer Cooking about 3 years ago, the first book I read was 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy. It’s still one of my favorites. Not only is it a book full of recipes, but you also get access to their online recipes after you buy it. What I like about the book is that it has the recipes in a grid so you can easily make them according to how many servings you need. There’s no messing with fractions or scratching your head to figure out if you doubled or tripled the recipe right.

Here are a few other books that I’ve either enjoyed myself or have had recommended to me:

Fix, Freeze, Feast: Prepare in Bulk and Enjoy by the Serving – More than 125 Recipes

Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead

The Everything Meals For A Month Cookbook: Smart Recipes To Help You Plan Ahead, Save Time, And Stay On Budget (Everything: Cooking)

Once-A-Month Cooking

Once-A-Month Cooking Family Favorites

Frozen Assets: Cook for a Day, Eat for a Month

How to Freeze: Everything You Need to Know About Freezing

Make-A-Mix

Now, while I am a self-proclaimed book junkie, I highly recommend that for recipe books, you try to flip through them first at a book store or library. I’m a simple recipe person and I often find that some books are too gourmet for my taste. While you could be the opposite and want more of a gourmet meal on most nights. Recipe books are by far the books I end up buying the most so I can easily reference them later.

I want to keep these segments reasonably short so that’s all I’ll share so far. This should give you an idea of the two ways most people freezer cook and also some recommendations on books to check out for more ideas and recipes. Next time, I’ll go into how to get started and I also have recipes from some Guest Posters that I’ll share throughout the series.

Freezer Cooking February & Guest Posts Request


One of the ways that I find that I can stretch my grocery budget a little farther is with “freezer cooking.” This is basically where you make meals ahead of time and freeze them for quick meal-prep later. I’ll go into the ways to save in one of my “Long-Term Savings” postings but I wanted to share with you my plans for February.

I’ve been wanting to get in another good Freezer Cooking session coming up. Well, I’ve been sitting here for days saying how I’ve been fr-fr-freezing and I thought it might be fun to do a month-long Freezer Cooking theme for February to go along with the cold we have outside here in Chicagoland.

While I am still learning the do’s and don’ts of freezer cooking, I know some of you have also had success with recipes, etc. So I’m opening up to some Guest Posts if anyone is interested. I’m keeping them real simple with just bloggers/readers sharing some freezer cooking recipes that they’ve had success with–and maybe some tidbits of what you’ve not had success with, too! If you are interested in doing a guest post, please send me an email with the subject line “Freezer Cooking Guest Post” and I’ll get back to you with more details.

And what fun would another monthly theme be without some great giveaways? I’ll also be hosting some giveaways for some Freezer Cooking books and some supplies to aid in the freezer cooking process. I’ll do a link-up, as well, for you all to share your freezer cooking sessions.

I hope you all will enjoy the theme and not only find more ways to stretch your budgets farther, but that you’ll also find some great recipes in the meantime! Stay Tuned!