I hate cooking; I hate that you can spend hours making a meal that is eaten in half that time. I hate that I can prepare a dish and pop it in the oven then forget it’s there and burn it (or is that just me?). I hate that it creates all that washing up and you know there will be even more in just a few hours.
I do love to eat though, and so does the rest of my family. So to address these diametrically apposed attitudes I decided to try meal prepping. My hope is that it will reduce the time spent preparing individual meals before and after work, keep me from forgetting I am cooking by keeping me in the kitchen while the oven is on and reduce the washing up by having one large batch rather than a lot of small ones. I also get to play with the new freezer.
I have been working on replacing our freezer bags with those silicon, re-usable zip lock bags that keep popping up on trendy environment sites. I found a brand that is sold in Australia, can be used in the freezer and (very importantly for the washing up situation) can go from the freezer to the oven or stove top. My thinking is that I can cook a meal, divide it into family meal sized bags then reheat it in the bag. That way I only have to wash the silicon bag thing rather than a baking tray or saucepans. They are not cheap though; so I have been saving up a little chunk of money from the grocery budget each fortnight and buying two or three at a time.
My first recipe comes from a blog called ‘2 share my joy’, which sounds like particularly boring porn, but isn’t. I chose the Vegan meatballs recipe. My reasoning is that these meatball things (made from beans) can be used in a huge variety of recipes and they freeze really well. My plan is to make the balls and freeze them in a sauce (or different sauces in different bags) then reheat the entire bag in a hot water bath.
The dish tastes pretty good. The balls have a nice spicy flavour and they are very filling. I think these little bean balls are going to be a versatile addition to the freezer meals. It remains to be seen whether meal prepping saves a lot of washing up, I hope it does because I don’t like washing up either.
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Freezing food has taken my meal prep game to the next level!