In which I revisit my attempt to waste less food (#4), which has taken far longer than three months.
I have really been struggling to use ingredients up and waste less food. As soon as I fall off the meal planning bandwagon a bit, everything gets more hectic. It becomes very likely that things will fall through the cracks. I will be meal planning again next week, so keep an eye out for that. Anyone have any tips on staying motivated on the meal plans? Obviously the pubic accountability isn’t enough to get me going.
I’ve not been a total loss, however. I am trying to better utilize my freezer. We’ve still got meatballs stashed away, and just added two meals of calzones as well. We always have ricotta cheese left over, so why not make up more than one batch in the first place? Now we’ll just have to pull than out and heat them through in the oven or toaster oven. I’ll be keeping this in mind as I continue to meal plan to see if other meals will lend themselves to doubling up at the start. I’ve successfully made enchilada casseroles, but I’ll be looking for other ideas. I especially like the meals that cook in the crock pot. A bit more prep at the beginning, and only a bit of work at the end, and I have two meals for the work of just slightly more than one.
I’ve also been freezing some meal components. A while back, I cooked a whole chicken in the crock pot. I froze some of the cooked, shredded meat, but I also made chicken stock with the bones and froze that too. I have some pizza dough, frozen fruit for smoothies, and frozen veggies. But I really went to town last week when I made Beef and Chipotle Burritos. We froze half of the completed shredded meat, but I was on a roll before it had even cooked. I had parsley and cilantro on hand for other things, so I whipped up a batch of chimichurri and froze it in an ice cube tray. I also cut up all the remaining chipotle peppers from the can, and now have a cube per chopped pepper.
I gave in and bought the vacuum ziploc bags, which I made fun of not long ago. I think it will help keep the food tasting better, but I’m more interested in being able to pack things into the freezer more efficiently.