Health Topical

How to Properly Freeze Pre-Cooked Foods -

I have to admit over the last 2 years my LC dieting has fallen off dramatically. I realized one of the biggest problems was transitioning from student to worker. My first problem came in from having to adjust in a pretty flexible schedule (ie random classes and sporadic work week) to a formatted work week of 5 days 8-12hr shifts. :( I became a slave to those devil resaurants. Buying frozen foods are either full of junk and carby or low-carby and still full of junk.
I tossed over the idea of cooking in bulk and freezing them to essentially make my own "tv dinners". I was curious as to a procedure anyone follows in regards to freezing precooked food. I am going to buy the FoodSaver to store the foods. Any comments on what foods are "freezeable" versus those that don't taste so good after being reheated.
I was looking to purchase that California Rice Oil and cooking in bulk would allow me to use the oil more efficiently and not to overuse or even consider reusing cooked oil.
Items I would like to freeze include
Fried Foods (chicken, chops, filets)
Pastas (Lasagna, Spaghettie, Linquine dishes)
Soups (Chili or Veggie based)
Fish (Baked or Salmon/Crab Cakes)
Breads (Fresh Loaves or Croissants)
Prep Foods (Diced Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes, et al)
Ground Meat (Burger Patties, Meatballs)

Items I would like to freeze include
Fried Foods (chicken, chops, filets)
Pastas (Lasagna, Spaghettie, Linquine dishes)
Soups (Chili or Veggie based)
Fish (Baked or Salmon/Crab Cakes)
Breads (Fresh Loaves or Croissants)
Prep Foods (Diced Onions, Peppers, Tomatoes, et al)
Ground Meat (Burger Patties, Meatballs)
Fried foods (unless they're pre-friend and pre-pkged, probably won't freeze very well. They may very well be drier and if they have a coating, the coating will get soggy.
Noodle dishes traditionally freeze very well. Be wary of freezing anything that has a cream sauce as that may curdle upon reheating.
Soups and chili - these are an ABSOLUTE MUST! Portion out what you want and freeze the rest. They freeze excellent.
Fish in the form of premade cakes, I'm not sure, but unless they contain potatoes, I would think these would do OK
Breads - absolutely! I always keep bread in my freezer and just take one or two slices out depending on what I need.
I have purchased pre-packaged prep foods in bags for the freezer of onions and peppers. When I have tried to freeze these foods on my own, the peppers turned out well enough to add to sauces and soups, but were mushy for eating fresh. The onions didn't do well and were completely mushy.
Ground meat, meatballs, meatloaf. I always freeze these and they defrost and reheat marvelously.
Pre-sliced lunchmeat from the deli also freezes quite well. Ham, roast beef, corned beef retain their quality quite well.
Some DONT'S. I have had less than good results with these foods:
cream or cream based sauces
scrambled egg products
potatoes - Don't freeze soups, casseroles or stews with potatoes in it, they get grainy and 'strange.'
I hope this helps you.

This was awesome information.
Thanks so much. I never even thought about deli meats. Maybe I can buy the meat in blocks and purchase a slicer. Probably cheaper per/pd or per/slice than pre-packaged meats.
Thanks so much

I freeze stuff all the time not only for me but for my boyfriend to eat quick meals.
I freeze grilled or pan fried chicken. I season it or use a marinade, grill it and freeze. I make roasted chicken legs and freeze them or slices of roasts. Things like mashed cauliflower and spaghetti squash freeze well for me as side dishes.
Pasta dishes freeze well
Soups freeze well
I have never tried freezing fish so I have no idea
I freeze breads or hot pockets that I make with a sandwich maker
I freeze carbquik pancakes that my boyfriend likes for breakfast
I freeze precooked bacon
I freeze omelettes and quiches
Burger patties and meatballs freeze well
I havent a problem with cream based sauces but it may need a litte whisking if it separates.
Cheese doesnt freeze well for me it can get crumbly or separate and can taste funny.
Veggies sometimes need to be cooked a little and/or flash frozen. Here is a good guide on freezing veggies.

Since fish cooks pretty quickly, I wouldn't pre-cook it before freezing it. Try this instead: place your fish on some foil, add whatever seasonings you like and some butter etc... wrap the fish in the foil (one filet per package) and pop in the freezer. You can grab out one or 2 or however many filets you need when you are ready to eat it. Just pop it in the oven for about 20-30 mins. When it's done just open the foil and eat. Works really well and the clean up is a snap!

I freeze just about everything except cream based sauces and cooked fish.
Fish cooks so fast I've never felt the need to freeze it.
I even freeze battered fried chicken--I just reheat in the oven (I brush with a little oil before reheating).
I'll grill several things at once like chops, burgers, steaks and freeze them.
I freeze cheese that I plan on shredding anyway. The only one I've found that doesn't get real crumbly is mozzerella. I haven't noticed any off flavors.
I also freeze peppers and onions for cooking. I usually thaw just enough to be able to cut it up so it's not too mushy. I've also prechopped peppers and onions in food processor and then froze in amount sizes that I use often.
I vaccum pack most everything I freeze (except cooked bacon). You have to pre-freeze raw meats and anything with liquids before vacuum sealing--I do that for precooked meat too.

This thread is amazing.. Alot of great tips. I honestly think this will be the only way I can maintain a LC lifestyle while balancing all the other demands of life...
Good point about fish... The idea bout pre-seasoning is another time-saving method--Thanks!
I am excited to make my own version of hot pockets and quesidillas. I didn't think of that. Does cheese freeze properly when its within a prepared dish?
Has anyone had problems freezing and reheating pasta dishes that use Dreamfields?
I am so excited :D
One more question. After you cook your foods, do you immediately place them in the freezer or do you allow them to cool off before freezing?

I freeze all the stuff mentioned above, and when I am too lazy to use my vacuum sealer, I just pop individual servings of frozen cooked meat or poultry into sandwich-sized zipper bags and then put them all in a large freezer bag to prevent freezer burn. I typically buy the meat/chicken/turkey roast when it is on sale, so it is not only quick, I save money. I do this with baked/grilled fish too.
A favourite quickie dinner after work is to put plenty of fresh or frozen vegetables in my vegetable steamer (metal thingie that goes in a pot over an inch of boiling water & is cooked on top of the stove) and add frozen meat (as many servings as people) and steam everything. When the veggies are done, the meat will be thawed, moist & warm. Put on a plate, add butter or whatever to the veggies & enjoy.
If I'm having a salad instead of steaming the veggies on the stove, I will defrost/heat the meat/poultry in the microwave and add it to my salad, which I make as the meat defrosts/heats. I use 50% power and put the meat in a bowl with a plate on top to keep the liquids in so it won't get tough or dry out.
With either method, dinner is ready in 3-10 minutes and I haven't gotten a lot of pots & pans dirty, so cleanup is quick too!
I also make a lot of 1-dish soups/stews/casseroles ahead of time that contain my target fat/protein/carbs per meal and freeze in individual containers. I take out a frozen one in the morning & take it to work for lunch, or nuke one for dinner.
I also store individual servings of omelet-like fillings (e.g. chopped up ham & cheese) in the freezer so I can make a yummy breakfast in 3 minutes. I scramble a couple of eggs in a pyrex measuring cup, stir in 1 bag of fillings per serving and some butter or coconut oil, nuke on high for 60 seconds, stir, nuke on high for 60 more seconds and stir. Let stand for a couple of minutes then eat.
The best thing about my method is everything stays in the freezer until I need it, so nothing goes bad if my plans change or I just don't feel like eating X on a particular night. I pick whatever I am in the mood for out of the freezer right when I want it.
Cheese freezes OK but some types get crumbly, so it isn't ideal for eating plain, but in things that are getting cooked/reheated it is great. I also keep individual servings of cheese in the freezer so I can grab one plus a baggie of almonds for a road trip meal. The cheese thaws to room temperature in a couple of hours and the texture change is minimal for full fat cheeses.

For those who freeze to make "on the go" meals, do you store the servings in a dish and then vacuum/seal inside the bags? If so, what type of dishes to you use?
Well I found pressware stoneware on ebay. It was a lot of 195 freezer to over dishes; very similar to the dishes you see used for frozen meals. It was $15 plus another $12 for shipping.

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