August 27, 2013

make dinner quicker

I hate cutting up onions. The eye watering thing drives me nuts. It really is a miracle that I haven't chopped off a finger from not being able to see clearly through the tears. But onions are in almost every dinner I cook, so I thought that it was just something I'd have to deal with.

Until one day a few years ago, I had a revelation. A dinner-making revelation. I could chop up all my onions at one time, toss them in a zipbag and put them in the freezer, and then just pull out whatever I needed while I was cooking. 

(angels singing)

So I did. I chopped up 3 large onions and put them in a gallon sized zipbag in the freezer. I just got the bag out when I was cooking sloppy joes or whatever and shake a bunch into the skillet. AND turns out that they cook faster after they've been frozen. Double win.

And then I thought, "Hey, if I can do this with onions, why not with bell peppers? And celery? And green onions?" Because frankly, who uses the whole package of green onions before they go bad? Unless you're making enchiladas, followed by egg drop soup, and then a potato casserole bake, and then... I can't think of anymore dishes that need green onions. But you get the picture.  Now I have a bag of them chopped up and ready to go when I need them (like once every 2 months...).

Same thing goes with celery. Who actually uses a whole bunch of celery before it starts to go limp?

 

Dinner gets made faster, and you save money because veggies actually get used instead of rotting in your crisper drawer, and then having to re-buy them .

So I've had this tip on my "to blog about" list for awhile, and then last night, I went to Walmart and saw these in the frozen veggies section:



Imagine my satisfaction of knowing I thought of something BEFORE BirdsEye.  And I get the same convenience for cheaper. Ahh...

20 comments:

  1. This is such a great tip. We eat a lot of veggies at our house but things still manage to go bad so this is perfect for me. Thanks for sharing!

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  2. What a great idea! Because I NEVER use the entire bag of green onions before they go bad... nor celery for that matter! I would have never thought to do this. Thanks for the tip!

    Yvonne @ TriedandTasty.com

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  3. What a great idea, thank you for sharing!

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  4. I totally do this. I almost always have onions in my freezer & always have celery for soups in the fall stocked up in my freezer. Great tip!

    ~Amber @ Dessert Now, Dinner Later!
    www.dessertnowdinnerlater.com

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  5. Awesome post!! Awesome tip. Pinned!

    Alli
    cupcakediariesblog.com

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  6. Great idea! Wonderful post.

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  7. Never thought of doing celery... what a great idea! Thanks for this timely post, especially now that we're headed into soup and chili weather. Yayee!

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  8. This is something I do for survival at dinner time. Also brown extra ground beef and use quickly for tacos, sloppy joes, taco soup, etc.
    iIn the summer grate up all the extra zucchini from the garden and store in 2 cup measurements for all of the autumn zucchini bread you will want to make.

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  9. I do this, my problem is they stick together in a huge-ish ball so I have to bang the bag on the counter to "break off" smaller pieces. any ideas how to make them easier to manage?

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    1. I bang mine on the counter sometimes too. I wonder if its the extra water content? Maybe if you let them dry a bit on a towel (or paper towels) they won't clump up as much?

      I actually enjoy banging them on the counter. A bit of a stress reliever! haha

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    2. This is what I do when I freeze blueberries & I imagine the same method would work well for the veges ...

      Line cookie sheets with paper towels then spread the berries in a single layer on top. Once they are good and dry, remove the paper towel and rearrange the berries in a single layer. Pop the trays in the freezer until they are good and frozen. Remove the trays from the freezer; place the berries in a gallon size Ziploc bag and put the bag in the freezer. Repeat as necessary until all berries are frozen. Lastly, I measure out 1 or 2 cups and put them in individual bags. For long term storage in my deep freeze I use the vacuum sealer. No more frozen clumps!

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    3. Phyllis MaeAugust 30, 2014

      Flash freezing is great for a lot of different foods!

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    4. I do mine in the freezer but I only put enough in a qt size freezer bag to then lay flat to freeze. Easier to break off what you need then. I also do same with browned hamburger and raw for that matter, it's faster to thaw that way

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  10. Do you think this would work for garlic also?

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    1. Hmm, I would assume so, but I haven't tried it. I usually just buy the jarred garlic bc I hate how when I mince it myself, it makes my hands smell for days!

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  11. If you rub a stainless steel spoon between your hands under warm running water, it will remove the garlic and onion smell. I actually run my hands along the blunt edge of my knife while rinsing it off. Try it, you'll be amazed how it totally removes the garlic smell!

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    1. Oh I'll have to try that! Thanks!

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  12. I also started cutting & freezing my onions & peppers a while back, but did not know that celery would freeze well! :) I freeze my green onions in an empty-clean water bottle & that makes it sooo easy just to shake out what i need! :)

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  13. Genius! I freeze my green onions that I get from my mom's garden but never thought of freezing the others. I'll need to start. Thanks for the tip!

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