Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Vegetarian Freezer Cooking: Spontaneous Session

Spontaneous freezer cooking sessions don't always work out, but I was on a roll one day recently and decided to see what I could get made, both to eat now and to stash in the freezer.

I started with a large container of cooked brown rice that I made the other day (2 cups uncooked), a bunch of kale that I needed to use up, and a bag of potatoes, which I decided to use to make a cheesy hash brown casserole.

First I boiled the water for nine medium-large potatoes, cooked them for 15 minutes, and cooked them.

Meanwhile, I shredded two blocks of cheddar cheese in the food processor and dumped it in a bowl. There was no need to clean out the processor before using it to shred a large bunch of dinosaur kale because the cheese and kale were going to end up together in a casserole anyway. :) It conveniently made exactly two cups of shredded kale (and my favorite part: it was super fast!)

One cup of kale went into a freezer bag for freezing, the other cup of kale was mixed with 4 cups of the cooked brown rice, eggs, milk, cheese, and other ingredients to make a kale brown rice casserole.

I'll use the extra kale to make a potato kale quiche!

I still had a lot of brown rice left and I noticed that right there on the other page of my cookbook was another easy brown rice casserole recipe, so I grabbed some beans, frozen corn, salsa, and more cheese, mixed it up, and plopped it in a freezer bag. (We'll see how it turns out when I defrost it and bake it!)

I returned to the potatoes, peeled the skins, grated them (easier than I thought it would be), and assembled the potato casserole. My original plan was to bake half and freeze half (to see how it would freeze), but I ended up baking the entire thing for a neighborhood happy hour. I'll definitely make it again because the neighbors inhaled the whole thing... no pictures, unfortunately!

I have two parboiled potatoes left (seemed like I had enough potatoes after I grated 7) that I stuck in the fridge, I quickly grated them and fried them with a little butter for dinner the next night, they were just as tasty as the casserole.

I also had cheese left that I used to assemble some bean and cheese quesadillas, which are always nice to have on hand for lunches, snacks, even a very simple dinner.

So in all, not a ton of items made it to the freezer: only 1 bag of shredded kale, 1 brown rice and bean casserole, and 12 Bean and Cheese Quesadillas.

But we also had the potato casserole and kale brown rice casserole along with two extra potatoes, so I consider it to be a successful session, and it took less than two hours!

You can read about another vegetarian freezer cooking session here.

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