I hate wasting food.
Opening the fridge to find moldy lettuce makes me want to cry.
Pasta sauce with white spots on top is devastating.
There is just something about paying hard earned money for something and throwing it in the trash.
The thing is, I’m mainly cooking for two. Yes I have a little one and one of the way (so maybe I eat for 2?), but really J eats her own thing and I’m basically cooking for just my husband and I. We can’t eat up an entire can of 20 chipotle peppers (most recipes only call for 1-2). I can’t make enough Thai food to use up the giant chunk of fresh ginger. This is also paired with the fact that I love bargain shopping and more often than not, that means buying in bulk. I’m not talking about loading a chest freezer with 15 pounds of butter. I am talking about buying chicken for $1.49 a pound and bringing home 10 chicken breasts.
Here’s my trick. I portion and freeze.
This can be done with more food items than you may think and you’ll rest assured that fresh and delicious ingredients await your next cooking whim.
The following are foods that I regularly portion out and freeze.
Chicken Breasts – frozen separately on a cookie sheet then all thrown in ziplock bags. Next time you need chicken, you just pull out the number of breasts you need and go. I will add – it is way cheaper to shop sales and freeze your own that buying already frozen.
Ground Beef – 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound is frozen in a ziplock to be used in tacos, hamburgers, or spaghetti. I don’t use recipes for those, but I’ve found that size chunk feeds both of us.
Pasta Sauce – poured into sandwich size bags and frozen flat. Use this amount for pasta for two, pizza sauce (one of my favorites) or to dip bread into. I love knowing that I can whip up Ginny’s 30 minute pizza recipe and I don’t have to check and see if I have a bottle of sauce in the cabinet.
Bread – tear a big french loaf into 4 pieces and freeze three. Now you’re not carb loading and you have yummy bread for three more meals!
Coconut Milk – Half of the can of coconut milk is frozen in a ziplock for next time. I make vegetarian or chick pea curry all the time, but only need half a can of coconut milk per recipe. I don’t make it quite often enough to use the remaining milk before it goes bad.
Chipotle Peppers – each pepper is laid out on a piece of waxed paper with a little blob of sauce. The whole sheet is frozen, then I throw all of them in a ziplock.
Recipe Freebie – I can’t resist
Throw one can of drained chickpeas, one chipotle pepper, a clove or two of garlic, and a splash of olive oil in the food processor till smooth.
Tadaaa! The perfect chipotle hummus!
Fresh Ginger – cut into 1 inch chunks and freeze. You can grate the ginger frozen into your next Tom Kha Gai soup, Thai salad, or curry dish. I hate not being able to make one of these favorites because I don’t have ginger. No longer an issue!
I am sure we can think of even more everyday and speciality items to freeze. I’m all for saving money and making delicious food!
What do you like to freeze to avoid letting it go bad? Anything I should add to the list?