Large Scale Cooking

I’ve always been hesitant to make anything I have to separate into portions and either freeze or eat that week. There’s something depressing about it, like the fact it makes me feel old and adult-ish. But now that I am an adult I felt that I should try it again. I had a box of pre-cooked lentils in my fridge so that became the main theme of the dishes, along with soup since it’s so chilly here and I was so hopeful that Juno would actually shakes things up in Charm City (she didn’t but it’s still been plenty cold enough for soup).

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I took all the recipes from other websites so rather than go through each one here and rewrite them, I’ll just post the links and my reviews of them. First up, lentil stew with sausage, kale and sweet potatoes. This was my favorite dish of the three, based on both taste and how long it lasted. Here is the original recipe. The only changes I made were using chicken sausage instead of pork, and I chose kale instead of mustard greens because they cost half as much at Trader Joe’s. I also only used one large onion which was plenty. It tasted delicious right when it was done cooking, but also a day later. I separated it into five portions and froze one of them, while keeping the rest in the fridge. The only complaint I have is that the sausage started to toughen up. But the taste remained wonderful.

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Next I made lentil lasagna using this recipe. I was pleasantly surprised by this considering the fact that it was only five ingredients and one of them was creamy tomato soup rather than red sauce. The directions are a bit confusing so to clarify my layers went as such: Tomato soup, pasta, pesto, lentils, tomato soup, pasta, pesto, lentils, tomato soup, pasta, pesto, lentils, tomato soup, pasta, tomato soup, pesto, cheese. Sorry that isn’t especially clarifying but the original directions make it sound like you should only have two layers of pasta. I also used much more than one cup of precooked lentils, but that’s because I like meaty lasagna and because I wanted to use up the whole package. Clearly this dish isn’t dairy-free but there isn’t too much so my stomach felt alright after eating it. The slices weren’t incredibly easy to separate but I managed to cut up half and put it in the fridge while packing up the rest in one serving packets to freeze. It tasted good the whole week after but next time I think I’ll freeze more because I got sick of lasagna after about three days in a row.

Finally I made chicken noodle soup, based off the recipe of Tyler Florence’s recipe. The recipe calls for you to make your own broth but since I don’t have the patience, time, or funds to do so I just used Trader Joe’s chicken broth and that worked fine. A few adjustments I would make: the two carrots wasn’t really enough for me so I would definitely double the amount; I didn’t add the noodles because I wanted to refrigerate and freeze the soup so instead I will just make egg noodles when I want the soup and then add them, but this means that you need less broth (1 1/2 quarts instead of 2). After I made it I just froze two portions and put the rest of the fridge.

Let me know what your favorite dishes are to make ahead of time! 

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