Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘freeze’

My friend gave birth to her third child. So I volunteered to cook for her. She asked for food that can be frozen, to feed her whole family. Vegetarian, preferably vegan. Soup seemed like the best option. So I Googled recipes that can be frozen and tried a few. The undoubted winner was the freezable Minestrone. I already made it for them three times and counting…

Ingredients (based on this recipe)

1 large onion, minced
3 carrots, minced
1/3 bunch celery, minced, stalks and leaves (I use two prepared bags of onion, carrot and celery mix)
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed (I use 2 heaped tsp frozen chopped garlic)
2-3 squash, peeled and sliced into half-moons
100 gr tomato paste
2 bay leaves
400 gr crushed tomatoes (half a large can)
400 gr red kidney beans, frozen (or canned)
1.2 L water
oregano, basil and thyme to taste (roughly 1 tsp each of basil and oregano, 1/2 tsp thyme)

After thawing: 150 gr small pasta

Sauté the onion, carrot and celery in the olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic, squash and tomato paste and sauté for a few more minutes, until garlic is fragrant. Add the crushed tomatoes, water, beans, and spices. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes. Let cool and freeze in family-sized portions (or other portions to your liking)

For serving, thaw in pot. Bring to boil. Add pasta shapes. Boil until pasta is ready. Serve with pita or whole wheat bread and a salad.

Bon Apetit!

perfect for a cold winter's day...

perfect for a cold winter’s day…

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Another of MIL’s legendary recipes is her recipe for Belgian waffles. Traditionally, we made it only on days when it snowed, but as it hasn’t really snowed here since the early ’90s, clearly it was time for a change. The first time I made it, it was gone within 20 minutes. And a little voice in my head pointed out that this would be perfect for weekday breakfasts, as the kids eat it quickly and it’s filling. Granted, it’s not the healthiest thing around, but for kids? It’s not that bad.

So I started quadrupling the recipe, and freezing it afterwards. Then I defrost in the microwave (30 seconds) and it’s on the table before they finish dressing, and we can go out on time. When my husband was on reserve duty it was perfect, and any day we’re in a hurry it’s a pleasure as well.

Being who I am, I obviously tweaked the recipe a bit 🙂

Ingredients: for ~30 Belgian waffles, 2 is breakfast for one hungry kid

400 gr dark brown sugar (I intend to try 350 next time)
250 gr butter, melted
160 ml oil
8 egg yolks (careful that the melted butter doesn’t cook the yolks!)

Mix all together. Then add:

8 tsp cocoa
8 tbsp milk (120 ml)
150 gr spelt flour
350 gr all purpose flour

And mix together again.

8 egg whites

Beat until stiff. Fold into cocoa mixture. Spoon into hot waffle iron or flat toaster (for making grilled cheese sandwiches). 10 minutes and it’s done. Let cool on wire rack. Slice each waffle into five parts and freeze.

Cooked!

Cooked!

Cut and ready to eat

Cut and ready to eat

 

The original recipe, for comparison (makes 6-8 Belgian waffles)

125 gr sugar (I put 100, it’s still very sweet next time I’ll put less)
125 gr butter (I substitute half the butter for 2/3 oil, e.g. instead of 60 gr butter I put 40 ml oil)
2 egg yolks
2 tsp cocoa
2 tbsp milk
125 gr all purpose flour
2 egg whites

I’m off sugar for the moment, so I can only watch my kids eating this, but it’s sooo worth it!

Read Full Post »

Last Friday I made:

1. Cooked carrot, squash and potato for my baby

Vegetable soup for baby

2. 6 bags of carrot + celery + onion mix for my freezer.

Carrot, onion and celery mix

3. Carrot muffins as a hostess gift (we were invited to dinner). As our friends don’t eat refined sugar or white flour, I substituted the 3/4 cup sugar by 1/2 cup of honey, omitted the chocolate chips, and baked for 25 minutes at 10 degrees less (170 degrees). Notes for next time substitutions: less honey and more cooking time. It was just a little too sweet and just cooked. But it tasted awesome!

Awesome carrot muffins

So basically I peeled carrots all Friday 🙂

 

Read Full Post »

I’m joining the blog event Love food – Don’t Waste here.  I already sent some of my blog posts (such as crumbles and jam for fruit, etc.), but I wanted to add some concentrated tips for not wasting food. I hate throwing away food.

Bread:

Four things to do with leftover bread:

1. Freeze. Defrost using a microwave or at room temperature. To defrost in the microwave, wrap with thin cloth towel and microwave 10-20 seconds (depending on how much bread). Some trial and error is needed, but the bread usually comes out as if it was just baked :).
2. French toast: That standby of old bread everywhere. Beat 1-2 eggs (depending on how much bread). Add a splash of milk or water. Dip bread slices in egg, both sides. Fry in a frying pan both sides until brown. Serve with jam, peanut butter, sprinkle sugar on top, chocolate syrup, maple syrup…

Quick Real Chocolate Syrup:

Ingredients:

4 squares good chocolate of your choice
few drops vegetable oil

Put chocolate in microwave safe glass, and microwave 30 seconds at a time until melted (chocolate doesn’t loose its shape in the microwave, so you need to actually mix with a spoon to see if it melted) . Add a few drops vegetable oil and mix. Serve.

Note: Never add water to melted chocolate, it causes it to seize (become gritty).

3. Breadcrumbs: Put bread in a straw bowl or plastic box with holes (such as what mushrooms are bought in) and let dry a few days. Once dry, process in food processor until you get crumbs. Excellent home-made breadcrumbs.

4. SemulKneidl: Literally: breadballs. This is a recipe of my MIL which we usually use just before Passover to get rid of all our bread. Basically you mix bread (typically at least a loaf) with one cup of milk, and mix until becomes a dough-like. If you need more liquids, add more water. Form into balls and boil for 20 minutes. Serve with sour cream or mushroom sauce.

Dairy Products:

Milk: Use up in chocolate milk or cornflakes, or make blintzes. Also, milk makes a great heavy cream substitute to use in sauces:

Heavy cream substitute:

One cup heavy cream = 1 cup less 2 tbsp milk+2 tbsp milk mixed with 2 tsp flour. You need to mix the flour with a small amount of milk first to prevent it from lumping. Then add the milk and the flour-milk mixture to your pan (or pot, or whatever). Heat until thickened to your liking. You can also add some butter for taste.

Yogurt: I just love putting in muffins. Another great option is freezing it to make frozen yogurt. Be warned, however – home-made frozen yogurt, unless made with an ice cream machine, tends to come out like ice rather than ice-cream.

Cottage cheese – I like to use it in a casserole. Basically mix your leftover pasta, some tomato puree or sauce, cottage cheese, olives if you like them, anything else you have on hand, sprinkle grated cheese on top, and bake covered for 30 minutes and uncovered for another 15 minutes (to get brown). I do this also when I don’t have any leftovers to use up at all :).

Potatoes:

Slice up and fry them. Potatoes don’t freeze well, unfortunately.

Everything

A great leftover food is to slice all the leftovers you have (potatoes, meat, vegeatables, pasta, rice, etc.) and fry it all together. You can add a chopped onion. At the end, pour some beaten egg on top and wait for it to cook. This is my husband’s family spécialité 🙂

There are tons more great ideas out there – like shepherds pie with leftover chicken/meat and potatoes, or leftover meat lasagne, but they will be in another post…

Anther option which are always great is spreading the food around. For example, If I have too much watermelon, I give half to my parents and that way everyone is happy…

Love Food - Don't Waste

 

PS. I’m so sorry for your loss, Tes. My heart goes out to you. May you get strength and courage to face this terrible loss.

Read Full Post »

There’s fast food, which is over processed and full of sugar and salt. There’s slow food, which I suspect was originally just home made food from scratch, but has now become very slow food: Food that you have to soak overnight, and then dry naturally, and then cook for hours, and then let rest, and perhaps refrigerate again before you eat it. Tastes great, but really, can you picture a working mom doing this? (Of course, maybe I just haven’t found the right recipes yet). So my take is freezer magic food.

I don’t always (read: never) have the strength and patience to start mincing vegetables to create, say, a healthier pasta sauce. I do not have the patience to peel and crush garlic. So I make do with ketchup? No. I make do with Freezer Magic.

Things that are always in my freezer:

Chopped onion. Whenever I need to chop an onion, I chop two (usually using the food processor because of the tears :)) and stick one in a bag in the freezer. Keeps for months.

Chopped onion, carrot and celery. I buy a bunch of celery, and use half. The rest I chop (in the food processor) with onion and carrot, put in bags in portions, and freeze. A great base for sauces, soups and casseroles.

carrot, celery, and onion, and chopped parsley

Gedunskeskimuse (probably spelled wrong, shortened form: gedunsk). German for “vegetables in their own juice”. This is stewed tomatoes, cucumbers and red bell peppers. Whenever I have some of these vegetables getting old in the fridge, I stew them with a pinch of salt and freeze them. Great as a pasta sauce base or alone; sauce over rice or couscous, etc.

Minced garlic: I put everything in the food processor, move into a jar, cover with olive oil, and freeze. Easy peasy.

Garlic... and a lot of garlic peel

Leftover food that I froze – great as a quick meal (I brown bag my lunch during the week, so that’s important)

Schnitzels – my husband makes schnitzels wholesale. We usually freeze about half in two-schnitzel portions.

Stock – any leftover chicken soup, liquid from cooking vegetables, gravy.

Lemon juice cubes – I juice a number of lemons and freeze in ice cubes.

Bread – I bake most of my own bread in the bread machine. I usually slice half and put in the freezer, and the other half eat fresh. Yummy.

Chopped herbs: Fresh basil, celery, oregano, mint, etc. Just chop it, stick it in a bag (or double bag) label (very important!) and freeze.

Chickpeas: Whenever I’m feeling particularly thrifty1 or paranoid2, I make chickpeas from dried chickpeas in bulk and freeze in 1 cup portions.

Chickpeas & Gedunsk

So that makes dinner a snap – defrost gedunsk, mix with unsweetened yogurt for a great pasta sauce. Or use celery, onion and carrot as a base for Bolognese. Or take some schnitzels out of the freezer. You get the idea. Same with Shabbat meals – so much easier when you’ve got the base already doen and your herbs on hand. Almost like…magic.

My Freezer

Close up

Close up


Thrifty: 1 kg of dried chickpeas costs 16 NIS. I made half a kilo which came out to be 7 cups cooked chickpeas =>0.875 NIS per cup. 1 can of 560 gr ~2 cups costs 6.5 NIS => 3.25 NIS per cup more than three times as much.

Paranoid: There is periodically some scare about Bisphenol A in cans. The summary as I see it: Everyone agrees that BPA leaches into food from cans. FDA claims these amounts are harmless. The treehuggers cite 100s of articles showing that such amounts casue various diseases in mice. The spectics point out that mice aren’t men in this respect: BPA in humans is quickly broken down and goes out in the urine, while in mice it is retained. Therefore, these mice research articles aren’t worth a thing. The treehuggers came back with another article, showing correlation between high BPA in human urine and higher risk of heart disease and diabetes. The sceptics say – correlation is not causation. I agree, in this case, because it seems quite obvious that the actual progression could be: lots of BPA in urine->eat a lot from cans->eat less healthy food in general->higher risk of heart disease. This does not mean that BPA is dangerous. However, to be on the safe side, I’m trying to cut back on cans. Nothing major – some things can only be found in cans, and I have no intention of giving up tuna or Heinz baked beans. But things like chickpeas which can easily be cooked at home…

Love Food - Don't Waste!

Read Full Post »