Frozen Assets

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While it may seem like an outrageous idea, the author of these books cooks all of her meals for an entire month in a single day (actually about seven hours), removing the burden of heavyweight cooking for the month. This provides her with more time and motivation for doing extra special cooking, knowing she won't have to think about any of her main courses for a while. She begins by spelling out her reasoning and logic for cooking this way and addressing any reservations you might have. Next, she walks you through her typical day of cooking. Chapter four is loaded with all the information you'll need to get started, including menu planning, making your shopping list, shopping tips, cooking and freezing tips, thawing and serving, and preparation steps. The next chapter offers you a sample thirty-day line-up - which meals the author is going to make, her shopping list, her preparation plan, and the actual recipes. Chapter six and seven are of the same format, outlining two-week meal plans (for those of you who aren't sure you're ready to do an entire month at a time or if you just want to sample the idea) and a ten-day holiday line up meal plan. Chapter eight is full of tons of additional main dish dinner recipes, and chapter nine offers up tips and recipes for breakfasts, lunches, desserts, and mixes. The last chapter holds money saving tips and grocery ideas and advice. Six appendices include lists of foods that don't freeze well, recipe equivalents, tips for singles, reducing fat in recipes, creative uses for freezer meals (such as for gifts) and recommended resources. In the very back of the book, there are blank calendars, recipe pages, and blank shopping lists for you to use in your own cooking endeavor. If you'd like to lessen stress come suppertime without giving up quality meals, this may be a perfect solution for you.

For those of you looking specifically for low fat and high health meals, the author has written a “Lite and Easy” version. This book can be used with the previous book if you want to add some particularly healthy meals into your menu, or you can use it by itself. It does not have the extensive getting started section or nearly the planning help as the first book (no shopping outline, sample cooking day, etc.), but the author does introduce the ideas and methods and give you ample help to successfully begin cooking meals for an entire month at a time. Chapters discuss saving time and money, easier cooking, cooking to fit your freezer, creating your meal plan, and preparing your kitchen. The rest of the book is divided into chapters in the forms of mini sessions, which each hold 4-8 recipes using one basic ingredient. The idea behind this is that you can buy that ingredient in bulk and save money, knowing you'll use it all. You can pick and choose recipes from different sessions or pick a couple of sessions and stagger meals. The mini sessions contain four chicken, two turkey, two beef, two pasta, two tofu, two vegetarian, and a crab, tuna, pork chops, cooked beans, and eggplant sessions (nineteen sessions total). This way, even if your family hates beans, tuna or eggplant (or all three!) there are still more than enough recipes to keep you eating healthier for a month at a time. - Melissa

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