I never liked cooking and my dream was never a homemaker who can clean, bake, cook, iron, fold, wipe, sweep, and raise babies with full make up with red lipstick all the time. Not that I dreamed of being a power suit wearing career driven executive with an assistant attached to my side either. In any case, I never cooked when I was single and when I got married, kitchen was a foreign territory to me.
I looked up recipes to figure out what to make and most of the times it looked decent and tasted pretty great. But I didn’t really know my way around the kitchen. I didn’t plan my meals, I didn’t know how to store food to last, and I didn’t use my pantry at all. I would go to the grocery store before every meal or every other meal. A lot of my veggies went bad and went to the trash can. I also got sick of going to the grocery store all the time. This is one of the reasons why my grocery bills were high and it made me want to go out to eat more too (an excuse, but a good one at the time).
Then I got a little better and had a few more repertoire of meals I was comfortable making without looking up recipes and I started to go to the grocery stores once a week. I would buy all the meats and veggies to last a week, but the problem was always the veggies. Either they went bad or I didn’t have enough. My mother in law told me to freeze the veggies, but I’m not good at listening to her, so I forgot about it. Then I saw one of the new care takers for my mom freezing the veggies that I brought for my mom.
I asked her about it and she said freezing the veggies will help you not to waste veggies, you don’t have to go to the grocery store that often, and the veggies taste fresh. I’ve been using the prepackaged frozen veggies for fried rice sometimes, but they get soggy and I use it for convenience not for taste. However, a few weeks after the chat I had with my mom’s care taker, I got sick of chopping and slicing veggies for every meal preparation, I decided to try freezing my own veggies too. She said to make sure I dry it before putting them into a Ziploc and get all the air out. I chopped garlic, ginger, and cut green onions, carrots, and squash. I use them a lot in my cooking and these are the ones that don’t change texture or color when frozen.
I don’t know if you can see the grooves I made for the garlic pack like a chocolate bar. When frozen it’s easy to break off what you need. As you can tell from my pictures, I didn’t do a great job of drying them before freezing them since you can see some ice formed inside. I’ve been doing this for a couple of weeks now and it’s really convenient and no waste so far at all. It’s shortening my cooking time during the week since I’m not washing and cutting the veggies.
After church on Sunday, I go to the grocery store and buy all that I need. Sunday is a slow day, so I have time to use the food processor or free hand to chop, slice, julienne, and cut all the veggies to freeze. This way, during the busy and tiring week, I can just take it out and put it in the pan. Voila~
The veggies you see in this dish I made today, other than the onions, are all the ones that I froze myself. I’m sold on this method. I’m going to try to find more veggies that I can freeze. I wish I can freeze onions since I use them sooooo much~ But they turn color and texture. Darn~
Do you guys freeze vegetables? If you don’t, try it and let me know~