I’m a big fan of freezer cooking; that is, cooking large quantities of a dish, enjoying some now and freezing the rest for later easy meals. I was introduced to this concept years ago when my sister gifted me with the cookbook “30 Day Gourmet“. As a busy working mom, this efficient cooking approach appealed greatly. The cookbook provided recipes and strategies for buying in bulk, and investing in one mass preparation day that would yield dozens of prepared freezer meals for later. I employed this strategy for years and when I downsized to the bus, this was one of the few books that I have actually kept in hard copy.
Although I don’t go full-on freezer cooking any more, I still embrace the philosophy. In our busy travel lifestyle, it’s fantastic to be able to pull a delicious, home-made meal out of the freezer at the end of an adventurous day. Just heat and eat! So, when I have a little time, I will intentionally make a large batch of a recipe that freezes well and stock up.
Here’s one of my faves – Coconut Red Curry. It does require a bit of preparation, but it tastes fantastic and freezes quite well. I’ve adapted this recipe from one that I got from taking a Publix Aprons cooking class series. This makes a double-batch – enough for dinner and a freezer meal.
1 medium onion, chopped 2 bell peppers, chopped 1 can bamboo shoots 6 green onions, sliced on a bias 3 Tablespoons grated fresh (peeled) ginger 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 3 Tablespoons red curry paste 2 (15 ounce) cans unsweetened coconut milk 2 Tablespoons honey 2 limes, juiced 1 cup cilantro, chopped salt / pepper (to taste)
Sauté onion, bell peppers and white portion of green onions in a little olive oil until just softened. Add bamboo shoots, grated ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook for another minute or two. Stir in red curry paste and cook one minute. Whisk in coconut milk, honey, green onions (green part), lime juice and cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Heat through. Serve with rice.
One of the things I like about this recipe is its versatility. If you don’t like it spicy, leave out the red pepper, or add more if you want to turn up the heat. You can add any vegetables you like – baby corn, bean sprouts, mushrooms, water chestnuts, stir-fry vegetables, pea pods, bok choy – whatever you’ve got. You can add more or less red curry to taste. If you don’t like cilantro, just leave it out. I suppose could substitute bottled lime juice and ginger seasoning, but fresh tastes so much better, it’s worth the effort.
This makes a nice vegetarian meal, but you can also serve with any protein. You can sauté shrimp along with the veggies or add cooked diced chicken at the end. Or just serve with a nice grilled pork chop or salmon filet on the side – it’s up to you!
I cook up a huge Instant Pot of brown rice to go with this. Freeze the leftovers (package rice separately) and you have an easy, delicious meal anytime!
If you try it – let me know how it turns out!