When you cook ahead of time, and freeze the food, it’s crucial to use an air tight container. Otherwise, the food can get freezer burn and affect the color, flavor and texture.
Also, you must have the refrigerator and freezer cold enough. The best indicator of a good freezer temperature is brick-hard ice cream. For the refrigerator, if your milk tastes very cold, then it’s probably on 40 degrees, which is perfect.
One thing I like to make ahead of time is lasagna. I make it on Saturday or Sunday then have it during the week. For our family, I make a foil-lined 13×9 cake pan of it. We eat about half, then I take it out, foil and and all, and freeze the rest in tupperware.
Another thing I make and freeze is sloppy joes. Just make them and cool them off completely, then put them in an air tight container. I make my own, you just use 1/4 c onion, 1/4 c green pepper, a little garlic, 1 tsp mustard, 3/4 c ketchup and 3 tsp brown sugar. Cook the meat, onion and green pepper, drain, add the rest and you’re done! I usually have a vegetable with them.
When I make chili, we always have some left over. Sometimes I just make too much so I can freeze some. To freeze it, I use a gallon Zip-loc bag. I put the bag in a bowl, just slightly smaller than the bag, fold the top of the bag back, over the top of the bowl, and pour it all in. Squeeze out the air and seal. It will keep up to four months!
Meatballs can also be frozen. I make about two pounds of them. I freeze a few in several different bags. Then I use them for spaghetti and meatball subs.
Another thing I make and freeze is burrito filling. Cook up the ground beef with taco seasoning. Then cook Mexican or cheese rice. Mix it all together and freeze in an air tight bag or container. In the morning of the day I want to have it for dinner, I put it in the refrigerator. Then for dinner all I have to do is get that out and put it in the flour tortillas, add cheese and beans, onion if you like, and I’m done. And maybe make some cheese nachos.
It really makes dinner time simple and quick when you have food already cooked!