Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: How to make multiple freezer meals with just 1 dish (video)

One of my past kitchen tip posts was how to freeze casseroles for maximum storage efficiency (and freshness!). I used this method to freeze lots of meals before Moshe was born last year!

Even though we like fresh meals better (in most cases), I was able to find a number of meals that froze well and were much enjoyed (but not as much as the new baby!). ;)

Spinach rice casserole recipe
Spinach Rice Casserole, the meal I was freezing in these videos! :) (Go to that recipe for a NEW how-to video showing just how easy it is to make!)

Today's tip is a video of this freezer casserole method that I call the "mold technique". No, that doesn't mean your casserole gets moldy. ;) It just means I am using the dish as a mold until the casserole is frozen solid. Then the dish can be used for other things until needed for the casserole again! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, we need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. Quickly cook beans without soaking (Wendy)
2. Foaming hand soap refill tip (Adrienne)
3. Dehydrating mixed vegetables (Katie)
4. Keep kitchen cleaner (Ashley)
5. Save potato skins (Kolfinna)
6. Tip for crispy cornbread (Mindy)
7. 10 uses for empty egg shells (Tara)
8. Tomato sauce substitute (Alea)

Comments

I love how these turned out - I had forgotten to soak my beans and I was still able to make the soup I wanted to make!

http://thelocalcook.com/2011/04/12/kitchen-tip-tuesday-cook-dried-beans-without-soaking/

Tammy,

What great videos. I just love how you have patience with your little boy...I LOVE when he talks on the videos.

Not sure how to use the straw on the ziplock bag?!

Blessings to you,
Cathy

Cathy, Yehoshua will be glad to hear that you love it when he talks on the videos! ;)
I should have explained about the straw... I use it to remove excess air from the Ziplock bag. :)

Thanks for posting your link Tammy.

I was thinking that's how you would do it in using the straw, but wanted to make sure.

Keep those videos coming....we all LOVE them!!

Blessings to you,
Cathy

Thanks again for this great resource, Tammy - I enjoyed reading your Bulk Storage post from Eat Well / Spend Less. We share a quite a few practices.....tight budget while eating healthy, Costco shopping, and bulk storage techniques. I really liked the way you laid it all out.

I am sharing the way that I refill our foaming soap containers for almost no money.

This has helped not only w/ our budget, but also w/ stress - if the kids decide to use a lot it doesn't give mom a lot of anxiety about money down the drain! :-).

http://wholenewmom.com/whole-new-budget/homemade-foaming-soap/

Katie @ Gluten-Free Food Storage

http://gluten-freefoodstorage.blogspot.com/2011/04/dehydrating-mixed-vegetables.html

I love dehydrating mixed vegetables for ease of use in casseroles, soups, or make your own mixes!

I really need to get into freezer cooking more. I think I your idea would really help. Love it!

My tip is how to keep your kitchen cleaner.

http://foreverinthekitchen.blogspot.com/2011/04/tuesdays-tipkeep-your-dishwasher-empty.html

Love your spinach rice bake -- I'd forgotten about! Thanks for the tip, and the reminder of the recipe :)

SnoWhite

Thank you for sharing!! I always seem to never have enough time during the work week to have a nice easy dinner, so I'm hoping soon to make up some of these freezer meals, so they will be simple and accessable when I'm running short on time!

Katie Jean

I used up some broth and potato skins.....
http://kolfinnaskorner.smellygoodstuffs.com/node/122

Such a good idea Tammy! Thanks for sharing it with us. I love freezer cooking - homemade convenience food!

I would like to share a tip and a recipe for making crispy cornbread - the best kind according to our family! Thanks for hosting Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

-Mindy (The Purposed Heart)

http://thepurposedheart.com/crispy-cornbread-waffles/

I'm going to have to start doing this!

I'm going to have to try this!

Tammy, that is such a good idea! Thanks for sharing! I love freezer cooking :-)

I would like to share a tip and a recipe for crispy cornbread. We love crispy cornbread in our house and I found a great way to make it perfectly crisp! Thanks for hosting Kitchen Tip Tuesday!

-Mindy (The Purposed Heart)

http://thepurposedheart.com/crispy-cornbread-waffles/

Love this tip. Such a good idea!

Freezer cooking is something I've always wanted to try. We have a nice, big chest freezer, too. I've never done it, though. I usually feel like I'm in too much of a rush. I'm going to try a few of your recipes, I think, and just jump in. We'll see!

My tip is uses for egg shells. They don't need to go in the trash. :)
http://www.feelslikehomeblog.com/2011/04/10-uses-for-empty-egg-shells/

Tara, I didn't have a lot of extra time to do freezer meals before Moshe was born, but I just planned out a couple weeks of meals that could be frozen, and then made a double batch of everything. I would freeze 3 of the 8-inch square dishes (1 dish =1 dinner for us) and we'd have an 8-inch dish for dinner that night. It really filled my freezer fast! :)

Love your tip this week! :)

Great tips! I enjoyed watching the videos!

My tip is substitutes for tomato sauce: http://www.premeditatedleftovers.com/2011/04/making-do-tomato-sauce-substitute.html

Alea @ Premeditated Leftovers

My tip is how to dehydrate mixed vegetables for easy use in casseroles, soup, and make your own mixes.
http://gluten-freefoodstorage.blogspot.com/2011/04/dehydrating-mixed-vegetables.html

Katie @ Gluten-Free Food Storage

Hi! I love your website and have been using this molding technique for a few months now. It is great! Have you ever used aluminum foil in place of the plastic wrap/wax paper? I use the non-stick foil - this allows me to simply put the entire "mold" back in the dish and bake as-is. The casseroles come out of the pan easily, and clean-up is a cinch. I just throw away the foil!

That sounds easy! I'd not heard of non-stick foil before! :)

Sometimes when I use foil, the acids in the food (or salts, too?) eat away at the foil. Does this ever happen with the freezer meals, or do they freeze quickly enough that there's not time for that to happen, anyway? :)

(Greasing the foil for on top of lasagna helps keep the corrosion from happening, I've found...)

Thank you so much for this, Tammy! I haven't made freezer meals in a while, because of lack of freezer space, but this has convinced me to! Do you usually thaw in the fridge or go straight to the oven? Also, do you have any recommendations for larger size casseroles (9 x13)? (what to store casserole in after mold freezing? Thank you so much for sharing your wealth of knowledge. By the way, I did make challah, thanks to your great tips: http://christine-mary.blogspot.com/2011/04/march-and-april-challenges-apple-butter.html

Christine, I have actually never frozen a 9x13 size casserole! I figure I would rather have 1-meal size dishes of foods frozen... so we don't have to eat as many leftovers (since a freezer meal is close to leftovers already in my book, haha!). ;) If I did, though, I would probably just tightly wrap in several layers of plastic wrap, and then maybe wrap with foil too.

I either thaw in the fridge and bake as directed (in the recipe), or else bake from frozen at a lower temperature for a longer time (and usually covered, as well). :)

Hi Tammy,
I'm loving your videos. Sometimes watching something gets the point across much clearer than reading it!
I'm moving soon, and on a pretty limited budget, so I think I'm going to try this out.

Your recipes and videos have really inspired me to try new things. I also enjoy your videos and your little boy behind the scenes.

I really love the idea of freezing the casseroles and then stacking them up in plastic bags! I also live with a small apartment freezer, so this idea is great!

I just have a question though. Do you think it's possible to take casserole recipes that call for a 9x13 inch pan and instead just bake them in two 8 inch square pans?

I love your blog, you always post great recipes with easy to find ingredients!

Yes! That is exactly how I do my casseroles for the freezer! Most of my recipes make a 9x13, so for freezer meals, I like to put that into two 8x8-inch dishes. This way we have meal-sized portions and don't have as many leftovers! :)

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