ISO lower-carb veggie recipes that freeze well.
October 6, 2011 8:24 AM   Subscribe

Looking for recommendations for freezer-friendly recipes with lots of vegetables and less grains/carbs.

So, I love to have a freezer full of quick meals I can grab and take to work or heat up at the end of a long day. But I find that a lot of the vegetarian recipes I freeze (e.g. lasagna, burritos, stuffed peppers) tend to be light on the actual veggies and/or heavy on the carbs, which I'd just as soon minimize.

I'm not strictly low-carb/anti-grain, so I don't care if there's some of that in the recipe. I am also not a vegetarian, so recipes with a little bacon, chorizo, chicken broth, or whatever are fine, I just prefer to let a little meat go a long way and have vegetables (and usually legumes) play a larger role in the recipe. Cheese and other dairy are also A-OK, assuming everything freezes well. Soy is not a problem.

Some things I'm already doing:
  • Lentil soup with carrots, onions, and tomato
  • Bean-based chili with tomato
  • Tomato soup
  • So much soup
Some things I would especially love to have more of:
  • Recipes where the veggies dominate and taste awesome
  • Recipes that are not too complicated and/or can easily be made in big batches
  • Dishes that are hearty enough to serve as lunch on their own
  • But I'd also love less-filling vegetable-centric dishes that could be paired up with something heartier
  • Things that can be heated up at work in the microwave (easiest) or toaster oven (still doable) are best
Lay it on me! What are the curries, gratins, casseroles and stews I'm missing?
posted by mskyle to Food & Drink (13 answers total) 77 users marked this as a favorite
This ratatouille came out great, freezes perfectly

I have had good meals from -- check out the veg stews -- used this berbere recipe

I like tortellini with cauliflower in a cream sauce, with parmigiano reggiano, parsley, and pine nuts -- a bit of starch, but you can really pack in the cauliflower and it's tasty. Pasta primavera is a similar deal; shoot for more veg than pasta...

Golden carrot soup is a nice fall dish -- er, so much soup, yes, sorry

Do not overlook just vegetables, bought fresh and cooked lightly and buttered. A meal of boiled cabbage, boiled carrots, roasted parsnips, roasted onions, butter and salt? Great. Undercook it all and just portion it in different corners of your take-to-work containers.

Veg quiche? Easy to freeze.
posted by kmennie at 8:51 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

This white bean & bacon stew skirts the soup/stew line, but I find it warming, cozy, and stick-to-your-ribs kind of fare. This makes about 5-6 cups, and the measurements are rough estimates, I basically just chuck things in a pot:

- 1 onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can (540mL -- I think this is ~18oz?) of white navy beans or white kidney beans, drained
- 1 or 2 cups baby spinach, chopped. (Kale or swiss chard would be an awesome substitute here if you like those greens.)
- 6 oz of cremini mushrooms, sliced.
- 3-4 slices bacon
- 2 - 3 cups sodium-free broth (depends on how thick you want the stew. I used chicken broth, but any kind will work.)
- 2 TBS tahini
- 1 TBS butter
- 1 TBS olive oil
- splash (~1/8 cup) white vermouth
- 1-2 TBS lemon juice
- a few dashes of smoked paprika (~1/8 - 1/4 tsp) (you can do it with regular, but smoked is so much better!)
- salt and pepper to taste.

- Lay about bacon out on a foil-lined baking sheet. Put it into a COLD oven, and turn the heat up to 350F.
- Melt about butter & olive oil in a medium-sized pot, over medium heat.
- Add onions & garlic in to pot, add a pinch of salt, and saute a few minutes.
- Add mushrooms. Saute until mushrooms are soft and onions are translucent and taking on a bit of blonde colour.
- Add vermouth, continue cooking for about a minute.
- Add navy beans & broth. Increase heat to high, bring to boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- Stir in tahini and smoked paprika.
- Continue to simmer for about 15-20 mins.
- By now, your bacon should be just about cooked. Take it out of the oven, blot with paper towels, then crumble/chop and throw it in the pot.
- Stir in the lemon juice, toss in the baby spinach and let it wilt.
- S&P to taste. After you defrost it, you can drizzle with a bit of olive oil to serve. Some fresh parsley or cilantro would be a nice garnish.
posted by miss_kitty_fantastico at 9:00 AM on October 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

My go to freezable veggie dish is Armenian Nevick- a chickpea and garbanzo stew. Unfortunately, my super delicious recipe is elsewhere but the one below is similar- I'd suggest adding more flavor with some chicken stock, fresh parsley, lemon and sumac or smoked paprika. It's very simple but hearty and delicious:

 1 1/2cups dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans) OR 3-4 15oz cans cooked
1 large onion, chopped
1/4cup olive oil
1/4 cup tomato paste
black pepper
1tsp sugar
750g (1 1/2lb) spinach, roughly chopped (stems removed)

1. If using dried peas, wash well and soak in 4 1/2 cups cold water overnight, preferably in a cool place. Next day simmer peas (in soaking water) for two hours or until tender. Otherwise, pour cooked peas with about 1/2 cup of their liquid into a large saucepan and heat on low.
2. In a separate pan gently fry onion in oil until transparent. Add tomato paste, about 2 teaspoons salt, a generous grinding of black pepper and the sugar.  Add mixture to cooked chickpeas.
3.  Add spinach and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until spinach is wilted and tender. Add additional water only if necessary. Nivik should be moist, but not liquidy. 
4. Season with salt and pepper
posted by Lisitasan at 9:29 AM on October 6, 2011

Also, I love roasting or broiling eggplant, zucchini garlic and summer squash and freezing them for quick meals.
posted by Lisitasan at 9:31 AM on October 6, 2011

Any curry will freeze well- you can make big batches of Thai curry, or your favorite Indian curry and freeze it in one meal batches. Curries can be involved and you tipilate that the dish should be simple, so I'll just say that any curry you feel up to making should freeze just fine.
posted by Lisitasan at 9:36 AM on October 6, 2011

Keep your burritos but instead of rice as filler (I presume that's why you said they were carb-heavy?) use grated sauteed summer squash or zucchini. Added cooked kale optional.
posted by aimedwander at 9:50 AM on October 6, 2011

Smitten Kitchen's Chana Masala
posted by skwm at 10:29 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

I don't have a recipe for this, per se, but I have a go-to lunch option for cooler weather. I roast a bunch of vegetables (whatever you prefer, but I love squash, red onion, beets plus a few others, as I desire) and I make a good serving of quinoa (great source of protein), which I boil with stock, either vegetable or chicken to give it a savory taste. I then incorporate the veg and the quinoa, to portion out and flavor as I choose. Sometimes I love it straight, sometimes I like a dressing of tahini/lemon juice/miso, or just a little flax oil and coconut aminos. Really, it's such a neutral base, and there are so many options, that I just don't get tired of it. I also like to add a bit of chicken or chickpeas to further up the protein.
posted by zombiebunny at 10:31 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

I am all about not-too-complicated freezer meals, and am also trying to do the low carb thing. I use my slow cooker/crockpot a ton, but I'm sure you could make any of these in the oven/stovetop.

This crockpot thai curry (sweet potato, eggplant, chicken, etc.) gets rave reviews from my family, and freezes well.

I made a bunch of freezer dinners/lunches for my sister in law when she was expecting her baby;
This italian lentil soup (with meatballs and parmesan) was her all-time favorite (I liked it too).

I love this weight watcher's pumpkin based chili recipe; if I am a bit cash-poor, I use TVP in place of the ground beef, works fine!

I make and freeze this when I have too much zucchini, it is yummy:
Zucchini Hot Dish (for crockpot, but could make in casserole dish in the oven)
1 lb. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 zucchini, sliced
can of cream of mushroom soup
1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1. brown ground beef with onions and salt and pepper in skillet until crumbly; drain.
2. layer zucchini and beef mixture alternately in slow cooker
3. top with soup, sprinkle with cheese
4. cover and cook on low 2-3 hours, or until the zucchini is done to your liking.
posted by Acer_saccharum at 10:43 AM on October 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Lots of good stuff here. I'm picking up my CSA share this afternoon and I think a lot of it is going to make it into the freezer over the next couple of days.
posted by mskyle at 11:57 AM on October 6, 2011

beans can for the base as a way to cut out carbs/grains. then just add whatever veggies and spices you like
posted by cupcake1337 at 4:38 PM on October 6, 2011

I find this recipe freezes and reheats quite well. You may choose to freeze it before adding the fresh cilantro, or after. It's mostly veggies and hopefully not too carb heavy.

Fiery Squash Chili

28oz (796 mL) can diced tomatoes
398 mL can tomato sauce
1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) each cinnamon and dried oregano leaves
1/2 tsp (2 mL) each cayenne and allspice
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 cups (1 L) coarsely chopped squash
2 yellow or green peppers, chopped
19 oz (540 mL) can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup (250 mL) frozen corn or peas
1 cup (250 mL) chopped fresh cilantro
Sour cream (optional - to add when serving)

In a large, wide saucepan, stir diced tomatoes with tomato sauce, spices and garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat, then stir in squash. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered and stirring occasionally, until squash is tender, about 30 min. Stir in peppers, beans and frozen corn. Boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring often, until peppers are soft, 10 to 15 min more. Stir in cilantro and spoon into bowls. Top with sour cream if you're so inclined.
posted by Juniper Toast at 7:47 AM on October 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

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