I’ve been investment cooking for over two months now, and I’m hooked. I borrowed every library book on the subject I could get my hands on to find the best recipes.  Now, since hubby and I are empty nesters, I focused on quality and not quantity, so my book selections might not be the same as a homemaker cooking for a family.

My criteria were that it couldn’t be full of recipes that used canned soups or Velveeta cheese. Most freezer books are full of these kinds of recipes.  I’m not knocking people who use them, heck, if I was still feeding a big family I might take that shortcut, but again, I’m looking for quality, so I wanted recipes that were mostly made from scratch so that I could control the ingredients.

I also looked for recipes that were easily converted to vegetarian recipes without fussing too much. I found three books that fit all of my criteria and ones that I went back to over and over.

COOKBOOK REVIEWS: Which Freezer Cooking Books to Buy and Those to Skip

The books that made my list were:

The Freezer Cooking Manual from 30 Day Gourmet: A Month of Meals Made Easy companion website and book.  This manual is not as flashy as the others.  No photos and it’s printed on plain paper, but it’s got some great basic recipes.  The batch white sauce is a staple and used for so many of the dishes.  This one does go to the prepared stuff at times, but the majority are quality recipes.  I chose to get the book instead of subscribing to their online service.  The cost to purchase was just over $10.

Fix, Freeze, Feast: More than 125 recipes to prepare in bulk and by the serving– I loved this book and purchased it from Amazon.com for just over $10.  My husband especially loves the Chicken-Broccoli Bake (made vegetarian by substituting fake chicken and vegetable stock), the Baked Potato Soup (easily made vegetarian by using vegetable stock and fake bacon),  Asparagus & Potato Frittata, Salisbury Meatballs, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and so much more.  It’s easy to start the recipe and split it in the middle to make one regular and one vegetarian.  The instructions are easy to read and understand, and the writers are aware of how bulk meat and condiments is packaged, so recipes are designed around this.  This book doesn’t have pictures, but I didn’t even notice.  The descriptions and summaries are enough.

Don’t Panic – Dinner’s in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead – I loved this one and purchased it also through Amazon.com for just over $10.  I had to take the library copy back because there was a huge waiting list and mine hasn’t arrived yet, so I can’t share the best recipes.  There were many. There’s a new book coming out April 1 called Don’t Panic–More Dinner’s in the Freezer: A Second Helping of Tasty Meals You Can Make Ahead, and I’ll be sure to pick that one up as well.

The books I passed on:

Dream Dinners: Turn Dinnertime into Family Time with 100 Assemble-and-Freeze Meals – This is a companion book to the DreamDinners neighborhood stores.  Unfortunately, there are 45 pages of corrections for the book on their website.  One of the corrections even had an obvious error in it.  I emailed for clarification, and I  was promptly answered; however, the recipe has yet to be corrected on their website.

Holly Clegg’s Trim & Terrific Freezer Friendly Meals – This appears to be more of a bulk-cooking book.  I found very few delicious recipes and too many that used premade soups.  This book was sent back to the library.

My freezer is stuffed with fabulous food now.  I try to cook every three days or so – I’m not a once-a-month cook.  I cook for dinner and package the rest.  This vegetarian then only has to deal with meat every few days.  A plus for me 🙂  I also make several breakfasts that are easy to microwave and take on the run.  I use vegetarian patty sausage, and my husband loves them.  Today I made breakfast burritos with vegetarian link sausages for a change of pace.

I’m enjoying investment cooking and find handling 10 pounds of chicken and 10 pounds of hamburger all at one time isn’t so awful thanks to the disposable gloves purchased at Sam’s Club – I go through about 20 pairs per cooking session :).

My most used items besides meat?  Red Wine Vinegar, Honey, Soy Sauce, and Butter – lots and lots of butter!

Questions?  Ask, I’d love to chat about Investment Cooking!

Enjoy!0

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From Freezer to Table: 75+ Simple, Whole Foods Recipes for Gathering, Cooking, and Sharing

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The Make-Ahead Kitchen: 75 Slow-Cooker, Freezer, and Prepared Meals for the Busy Lifestyle

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AuthorAnnalise Thomas
BindingKindle Edition
EISBN9781462125593
FormatKindle eBook
LabelCedar Fort, Inc.
LanguagesName: English; Type: Published
ManufacturerCedar Fort, Inc.
Number Of Pages176
Product GroupeBooks
Product Type NameABIS_EBOOKS
Publication Date2016-06-14
PublisherCedar Fort, Inc.
Release Date2016-06-14
StudioCedar Fort, Inc.
TitleThe Make-Ahead Kitchen: 75 Slow-Cooker, Freezer, and Prepared Meals for the Busy Lifestyle

Fix, Freeze, Feast: The Delicious, Money-Saving Way to Feed Your Family

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AuthorJulianna Sweeney
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EAN ListEAN List Element: 9781511643818
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Item DimensionsHeight: 900; Length: 600; Width: 95
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Number Of Pages418
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Package Quantity1
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Publication Date2015-04-09
PublisherCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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Title365 Freezer Recipes (Freezer Meals, Freezer Recipes, Freezer Cooking, Dump Dinners, Make Ahead, Slow Cooker)

Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Ahead

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AuthorRobin Donovan
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LabelRockridge Press
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Number Of Pages200
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Product GroupBook
Product Type NameABIS_BOOK
Publication Date2017-03-14
PublisherRockridge Press
Release Date2017-03-14
StudioRockridge Press
TitleThe Healthy Make-Ahead Cookbook: Wholesome, Flavorful Freezer Meals the Whole Family Will Enjoy

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AuthorNanci Slagle; Carol Santee
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ISBN0966446771
Label30 Day Gourmet Press
Manufacturer30 Day Gourmet Press
Number Of Items1
Number Of Pages234
Package DimensionsHeight: 80; Length: 1080; Weight: 150; Width: 830
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Product Type NameABIS_BOOK
Publication Date2012-04-01
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Studio30 Day Gourmet Press
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AuthorMarie Adams
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ISBN1542574668
Item DimensionsHeight: 900; Length: 600; Width: 56
LabelCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ManufacturerCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Number Of Pages246
Package DimensionsHeight: 56; Length: 900; Weight: 96; Width: 600
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Product Type NameABIS_BOOK
Publication Date2017-01-15
PublisherCreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
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TitleMake Ahead Freezer Meals for the Slow Cooker: Fix, Freeze, Slow Cook!

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6: Freezer Meals: 39 Gluten Free Meals From Freezer To Crockpot Plus Shopping List To Save Time And Money-Cook On A Budget And Eliminate Gluten ... Cooking, Freezer Crockpot Meals) (Volume 6)

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Item DimensionsHeight: 908; Length: 714; Weight: 145; Width: 67
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Number Of Pages256
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PublisherReaders Digest
Release Date2009-10-29
StudioReaders Digest
TitleTaste of Home: Freezer Pleasers Cookbook