Big batch cooking is one of the most useful cooking trends to hit food lovers in a long time

 Although many of us have had frozen leftovers many times before, batch cooking is a definite game-changer. Imagine cooking for just one day and having meals stocked up for the whole week or even the whole month?

Get your freezer meal stash started with these great meal ideas and recipe suggestions your family will love.

 A wholesome vegetarian casserole

Whether you unexpectedly have a vegetarian guest, forgot about meat-free Monday or just feel like a hearty and balanced vegetable meal, a lentil casserole ticks all the boxes.

The best thing about cooking casseroles for freezer meals is that it doesn’t have to be time-consuming or labour intensive.

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Cool your casserole before storing in freezer-safe containers in portions or as a family meal.

Try this warming vegetarian lentil casserole 

Lentil Casserole recipe
Image and recipe courtesy of Daily Dish

Stews are a must-have

You can dip bread in them, drown your rice in them or indulge with stew and pap. Stews are very versatile and will make a great accompaniment to just about anything; from quinoa to mashed potatoes.

Re-heating a stew is really easy, you can just decant into a pot and defrost and warm on medium heat or put it in the oven (in an oven-safe container) and heat it that way. If you separated your stew into portions you can even warm up a stew for one in the microwave.  

This is perfect for someone who lives alone. 

Try this spicy paprika, beef , tomato and mushroom stew 

Paprika Beef, Tomato and Mushroom Stew recipe
Image and recipe courtesy of Anina’s Recipes

What is winter without soup?

One of the best things about winter is sitting down to a steaming bowl of soup and feeling it warm your body from the inside.

Depending on your recipe, soups can take a long time to cook, and if you come home after a long day, that is the last thing you need. Making soup when you have time, then eating whenever you like is a wonderful gift you can give yourself.

Marry all the flavours of salsa with the comfort of soup with this roast sweet pepper soup with corn and chorizo salsa recipe 

Roast Sweet Pepper Soup with Corn and Chorizo Salsa recipe
Image and recipe courtesy of Bibby’s Kitchen @ 36

Have pizza Friday any day

Pizza is a favourite for many families, but choosing healthy toppings on store-bought pizzas can be tricky.

Make and semi bake (baking for only half the time) your own pizza basses to your own specifications. Make small pizzas, gluten-free bases or even low carb pizza bases depending on what you like. Then freeze without toppings for a fun pizza-making activity with the kids or freeze with a selection of healthy toppings.

Keep water vegetables like tomatoes for when your pizza is ready to be reheated/cooked to avoid sogginess.

Try this homemade pizza recipe and change it up to add your favourite toppings 

Homemade Pizza recipe
Image and recipe courtesy of Stuffed

 Sweet treat on the go

Breakfast on the run? A frozen muffin can thaw out in your bag without getting soggy. You can literally just grab a muffin from your freezer and take it with you, letting it defrost on its own.

Freeze your muffins in properly sealed containers making sure to trap as little air as possible in it. Make sure the muffins are cooled down properly before putting them in your freezer containers to avoid steaming-up, which will make your muffin soggy when you defrost it.

Try these healthy chai banana muffins for breakfast, teatime and an anytime sweet treat.

Healthy Chai Banana Muffins recipe
Image and recipe courtesy of Jessica Sepel