Cooking in Bulk: The Master Plan

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The object of making fully prepared meals is that you do all the cooking ahead of time and freeze it so all that's needed is reheating. If you can set aside a day or two to prepare a variety of main and side dishes, you can have a ready-to-go dinner in minutes.

The trick to full meal freezing is to make foods that freeze and portion well. A whole 13x9 pan of lasagna can be split in 2 batches to freeze and re-bake at a later date. Soups are great to freeze in family-size or individual portions and can be moved to the fridge to thaw the day before.

When preparing foods for freezing, make sure you label everything! Make sure to include the date the dish was made along with what the dish actually is to prevent yourself from playing "guess the mystery food" when your freezer is running bare. Remember to cover everything completely and try to remove as much air and excess moisture as possible to avoid freezer burn.

Big Pots Mean Big Leftovers

If you're a parent to a pack of teenagers who will eat just about anything, you're in luck! You can cook big batches of your families' favorite foods that will last for 2 or more nights. This means after the initial cooking night, you can just pull the leftovers from the fridge and reheat without any additional preparation.