I love my freezer. As well as the usual ice cream and frozen veg, I store as much as I can in there. All my butter and any other multibuys go straight in so I can bulk buy when it’s on special offer. I don’t eat much bread so when I bake a loaf, I slice it up to go straight into the freezer to use slice by slice so there’s no waste. I also cook batches of vegetarian meals for me so I just need to defrost something for me and cook a meat version for everyone else. Cheaper food, less waste and convenience – I’ll go for that!
It is important to freeze, defrost and reheat food safely so take care!
This week I’m batch making a vegetarian chilli to add to the bolognaise in the freezer. If I can do one meal a week, it gives me a selection to pull out of the freezer.
Vegetarian Chilli – serves 6
225g dried white haricot beans
125g dried red kidney beans
1 tbsp oil
2 large onions, quartered and sliced
14oz tin chopped tomatoes
3-4 bay leaves
1 veggie stock cube made up into 850ml stock
2 red and 2 green peppers, cut into medium strips
chilli powder to taste
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
- Soak the beans for 8-12 hours or overnight in plenty of cold water.
- Drain the beans and rinse really thoroughly.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan and fry the onions until they are just turning golden.
- Add beans, tomatoes, bay leaves and stock.
- Bring to the boil uncovered, and once boiling, boil rapidly for 10 minutes (very important when dealing with dried beans to kill toxins).
- Cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add peppers, garlic and chilli.
- Cook slowly for 45 minutes.
- Remove bay leaves and serve with rice.
I have been freezing this in individual portions for years. I just defrost a portion the night before in the fridge and microwave it until it is completely reheated throughout.
Our weekly meal plan is as follows:
Monday: Jacket potatoes and salad – should have had this last week, but after a day of cleaning and decluttering the kitchen, we had a celebratory takeaway pizza so we didn’t get it dirty again!
Tuesday: Veggie chilli/Chicken and Vegetable Stew
Wednesday: Creamy Haddock and Broccoli
Thursday: Vegetarian Goulash
Saturday: Fish Pie
Sunday: Beef Hotpot/Veggie Bolognaise
Linking to At Home with Mrs M’s Meal Planning Monday. Pop by and see what everyone else is having this week to get some inspiration.