I’ve been getting a lot of “it’s hard to cook so much food! I wish I had the energy to do that” comments lately. You guys forget that I’m lazy. I overcook so I can freeze the extras and be able to have ready-made meals whenever I want.
I’m nearly done cooking up all of the fresh produce I bought two weeks ago.
My fridge was full to bursting with fresh produce. This week my fridge looks like this:
But my freezer looks like this:
(Click through to see what I’ve got in there!)
Hummus: yes, you can freeze it
I tend to make hummus is big batches because it’s messy to make (or to clean out my food processor, anyhow) and I don’t always have the ingredients on hand/don’t want them to spoil when I do. Depending on what we are in the mood for, the hummus either goes really quickly, or we end up tossing some of it.
I just found out that you can freeze it - without a penalty to flavor/texture.
Spoon just as much as you’ll eat in a sitting into the bottom of freezer bag. Squeeze the air out of the bag and pop it into the freezer. Dethaw in the fridge.
Freeze your bananas!
Found bananas on sale cheap but you just can’t eat them quick enough? Freeze ‘em!
Things you can do with frozen bananas:
- put them in smoothies
- toss a couple in a blender with some vanilla for an ice cream-like treat
- use them for making muffins or breads
- dethaw and add them to your cereal/oatmeal/granola
How to freeze bananas:
- Be sure that the bananas you are hoping to freeze are ripe (no longer green, but have no brown spots either)
- Peel the bananas
- Depending on what you intend to use them for, you may want to slice them before freezing (cutting frozen bananas is dangerous because they are slippery and very dense). I slice mine in medallions for cereal, cut them in half for smoothies or “ice cream”, and cut them in small pieces for baking.
- Place the bananas on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper so they aren’t touching.
- Put the cookie sheet into the freezer.
- Once the bananas are frozen, place them in ziplock bags, being sure to squeeze all of the air out.
Frozen bananas keep for a few months.
Minestrone Soup (based on Uncle Bill’s Vegetarian Minestrone)
Makes 8-12 servings
- 6c water
- 1 can (28oz) crushed tomatoes (low sodium)
- 1 can (28oz) diced tomatoes (low sodium)
- 1 can (16oz) great northern beans
- 3 large carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1c onion, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 1 yellow (summer) squash, chopped
- 4 large cloves of garlic, diced finely or pressed
- 1 handful of baby spinach, chopped
- 2tbsp olive oil
- 1tsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4tsp black pepper
- 1c small shells pasta, cooked
- Possible garnishes: Upton’s Italian Sausage seitan, warm crusty bread, shredded parmesan cheese
- In a large stock pot, saute carrots, onion, zucchini, squash, and garlic with 1/2 of the olive oil for about 2 mins.
- Add beans, both cans of tomatoes, water, spices, the remaining oil, and spinach cook over medium-high heat until it comes to a boil.
- Reduce heat to medium and cover. Cook until the vegetables are tender, approximately 15-25mins.
- Serve over pasta.
If freezing, do not add the pasta to the soup.
Meal plans, OAMC, freezer meals, etc
So I have a confession to make.
I have been absolutely horrible about cooking lately. Sometimes it’s the dishes are all dirty or that my refrigerator is empty or just that what I do have is completely uninspiring.
Whenever I make things like soups or stews I tend to make about 3 or 4 times as much as I know we’ll eat because it saves me time doing all of the prep work, cooking, and dishes at one time. You can only eat so much soup before you bet bored with that, though.
I’ve never done the meal plan thing because it just seems like way too much work up front, but our diets here at the LazyVeggie house have been suffering greatly. While I’m not against a solid meal of rice & beans I prefer a little bit more…depth of flavor.
So my fellow lazy veggies - this is where you come in. What are your favorite freezer-friendly meals? I’m looking for recipes high in flavor and nutritional content. Snack ideas are also welcomed.
Vegan Mexican Soup
This is a really tasty, easy soup to make and great for when it is super cold outside (which it has been here in Wisconsin).
Vegan Mexican Soup
1lb of pinto beans (I used dry and made mine beforehand)
4 cups brown rice
1 can (14.5oz each) of black beans
1 can (14.5oz each) of tomato paste
1 can (14.5oz each) of organic fire roasted diced tomatoes (low sodium)
2 cans (14.5oz each) diced tomatoes with puree (low sodium)
1 carton (32oz each) of vegetable broth
3 large portobello mushroom caps, chopped
1 large sweet onion, diced
1 large red pepper, diced
2 medium green peppers, diced
1 packet (about 1oz each) vegan taco seasoning
salt & pepper
1. In a large stock pot over med-high heat, mix vegetable broth, tomato paste, and dice tomatoes until evenly distributed.
2. Add taco seasoning and stir.
3. Add all of the rice, vegetables, and beans. Stir until even.
4. Add seasonings to taste. It’s ready when the vegetables are tender (but not mushy!) and the broth is hot.
Quick and easy! Store in air-tight tupperware (I use ziploc containers with screw on lids) or freezer bags (make sure to freeze flat on a cookie sheet - makes them easier to stack in your freezer and to dethaw).
Vegan Spicy Taco Soup
Vegan Spicy Taco Soup
2 cans (10oz each) Rotel tomatoes with green chiles (or any spicy diced tomatoes)
2 cans (10oz each) Crushed tomatoes in puree, no salt added
1 can (8oz each) Tomato Paste
1 carton (32oz each) Vegetarian Vegetable Broth
1 sweet onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 orange or red pepper, chopped
16 oz pinto beans, cooked (I made mine from dry, but you can use canned, just drain the liquid and rinse them before adding)
3 cups brown rice, cooked
Spices to taste:
garlic powder (*not* garlic salt)
salt and pepper
1. Put all ingredients except spices and rice in a large pot and simmer. The sauce will thicken.
2. Once it is as the consistency of about chili broth, add your spices.
3. Serve over rice with vegan cheese and/or sour cream and blue corn tortilla chips.
Cook as above. Do not add salt (as it tends to lose it’s taste and you’ll end up adding more) or rice (as it tends to get a weird texture when frozen/dethawed/reheated).
Vegan Thai Red Curry Soup
Original Recipe From Show Me Vegan, modified slightly by me
Thai Red Curry Soup
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 cup chopped Vidalia onion
1 large red bell pepper, chopped
1 large green bell pepper, chopped
2 large portobella caps, chopped
8 ounces seitan, chopped (I used 1 package of Westsoy original flavor)
2 Tablespoons vegan red curry paste (or to taste)
1 large yukon gold potato, cubed, not peeled
1 cup chopped baby carrots
4 ounces fresh green beans
3 cups unsweetened coconut milk
3 cups vegetable broth
2 Tablespoons soy sauce
3 Tablespoons brown sugar
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 package rice noodles
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Saute bell pepper, mushrooms, and onions for about 5 minutes.
2. Add seitan and red curry paste. Stir to distribute curry paste, about 2 minutes.
3. Add potatoes, carrots, and green beans and saute about 1 minute more.
4. Add coconut milk, broth, brown sugar, basil, and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes, or until potatoes are done.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. In a separate pan, cook rice noodles, following the directions on the package.
7. Serve soup over rice noodles.
Freeze soup without adding the salt (as the salt sort of loses it’s taste when frozen and you’ll end up adding more once you dethaw it) and without the rice noodles (the noodles will get a weird texture after being dethawed). Rice noodles are so quick to cook (usually less than 10 minutes) that it isn’t a big deal to cook them while dethawing the soup.