Low-starch recipes for the freezer?
March 14, 2007 2:01 PM   Subscribe

Got any easily-frozen-and-reheated recipes with no starch?

I'm on a low-starch diet for medical reasons (no potatoes, rice, pasta, bread, or other starchy foods, but sugar is OK), and I'd like to get some ideas for whole-meal recipes I can freeze and reheat weeks later. I have this book, but the recipes are boring.

I like spicy and sauceish foods -- my current freeze-and-reheat staples are homemade chili con carne, pork vindaloo, and stroganoff. I'm mainly looking for the sort of food where you can make extra, throw it in a tupperware and freeze it, then heat it up three weeks later when you're feeling too lazy to cook. But with no starch! Any ideas?
posted by vorfeed to Food & Drink (8 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Can you eat spaghetti squash? I make spaghetti squash and top with spaghetti sauce doctored with onions, mushrooms, garlic, olives and some wine, then bake at 350 for about 25-30 mins. You can top with cheese and/or add meat to the sauce if you like. This freezes really, really well.
posted by birdlady at 2:39 PM on March 14, 2007 [3 favorites]

Many braised/stew dishes work well for this. Google recipes for beef short ribs or oxtails; lamb, veal or pork shanks; duck legs; chicken thighs, etc. Cook per the recipe, cool in cooking liquid, refrigerate in individual tupperware containers (liquid usually turns to Jello at this point), then freeze. Reheat in microwave or a 400 degree oven.

If you aren't dead set on freezing things, your best bet really is a big hunk of meat (e.g. a steak, pork chop, duck breast, etc.) cooked fresh. Make a big batch of homemade dark chicken or veal stock in advance (that goes in the freezer in individual portions), and use that to make a quick pan sauce after cooking. I'm on Atkins and this is what I do almost every night. Admittedly I enjoy cooking, but this has become so routine that I don't mind doing it even on my laziest days - throw meat in hot pan, flip and put in oven, remove meat, deglaze pan with stock and/or wine, add sauce flavorings (whatever herbs or spices you feel like and have on hand), serve. Other than buying the meat, no advance planning or prep is necessary and it usually takes less than a half hour start to finish.
posted by hihowareyou at 2:58 PM on March 14, 2007

Response by poster: Cooked squash is probably safe, thanks for the idea!

For reference, here's a list of foods and their starch content. The general rule is that dairy, meat, eggs, fruit, and veg (with the exception of beans and taters) are OK, but other foods can be iffy.
posted by vorfeed at 2:58 PM on March 14, 2007

Best answer: This is one of my favorite freeze-and-reheat recipes:
Slice eggplants into 1/2" slices and bake them on a Pam'ed baking sheet for about 15 minutes at 350 degrees. Spray them with more Pam, flip, and bake 15 minutes more. Then layer the slices in a casserole dish with whatever vaguely-italian ingredients are around. I try to get some tomatoes in there (chopped fresh, from a can, in the form of spaghetti sauce, whatever), some basil (fresh or dried), and plenty of cheese (shredded mozzarella and/or parmesan). Bake it until the cheese is bubbly (maybe 15-20 minutes more). Yum.
posted by vytae at 3:09 PM on March 14, 2007

Best answer: Apologize for the self link here, but this white chicken chili is very good-ommitting the corn and beans and adding extra chicken would be no problem at all. This honey mustard chicken is also very good, it's insanely simple and freezes well.

A classic spaghetti bolognese sauce can be amazingly good and easy. I like the Cooks Illustrated version in their Best Recipe cookbook. It freezes very well. The meat is simmered with milk to make it very tender. It has chopped tomatoes, but no tomato sauce. It, of course, can be served over something like spaghetti squash, or chicken breasts, not just pasta.
posted by purenitrous at 3:11 PM on March 14, 2007

Here are two: Lentil dal & vegetarian chili. Also any soup.

The Dal:
1.5 c yellow lentils
4 c water
1 T oil
1 small onion
.5 in ginger
1 garlic clove
.25 t turmeric
.5 t red chili poweder
.5 t coriander powder
3 t salt
2 tomatoes
1 t roasted cumin powder
cilantro leaves for garnishing

In a pressure cooker add yellow lentils, water, salt, and cook until you hear 2 whistles. Or, without a pressure cooker, simmer the lentils in a pot until they soften (about 30 minutes).

Chop the onions, mince the garlic and ginger.

Heat the oil ina a pan. Add the chopped onion and cook until it becomes goldern brown. Add garlic and ginger, cook for a couple minutes. Add the boiled lentils and sprinkle the turmeric, red chili powder, coriander powder and mix. Add the chopped tomatoes and water if needed. Stir and bring to a boil, then turn the heat to low and cover. Let the dal simmer for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle the roasted cumin powder at the very end and stir.

Garnish with cilantro and serve.


The Chili:
Prep time: 20 min.
Cook time: 45 min.
Yield: 6 bigguns

2 tbs olive oil
4 medium onions, chopped
2 large green bell peppers, seeded & chopped
2 stalks celery, minced
4 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
15 oz can tomato sauce
16 oz can stewed tomatoes (or whole peeled)
2 tbs red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf
1 cup cashew pieces
1/3 cup raisins--yup, raisins
3 cups cooked dark red kidney beans (2 15 oz cans)

1) In large pot, heat olive oil. Add onions, bell peppers, and celery and cook over medium heat 10 min. (onions translucent).
2) Stir in garlic, basil, oregano, chili powder, cumin, black pepper.
3) Add tomato sauce, stewed tomatoes (w/ juice), vinegar, bay leaf. Reduce heat to low. Cook 2 or 3 more min.
4) Stir in cashews, raisins, and cook over low heat for another 16-17 min.
5) Add beans and cook for another 25 min., stirring frequently.

Chili is done when all ingredients are blended and soft, sauce thick and bubbly. .
posted by croutonsupafreak at 3:40 PM on March 14, 2007

Take a bunch of mustard greens or what ever kind of greens you like (turnup, collard, beet greens).
Wash them and put them in boiling water for about 3 minutes, in another pan fry 2 or 3 slices of bacon , or salt pork. Chop a small onion fine, and two cloves of garlic. Pull the greens off the stove and drain in a colander when cool enough to handle chop up into bite size pieces. Remove the bacon and hold for later, add the chopped up onion to about 2 tablespoons worth of bacon grease and sweat for a few minutes then add the garlic and sweat for a few minutes more. In a big pot add the chopped greens the onions and garlic and the bacon (chopped up) if you like. You may need to add water how ever you like 'em.

I like to make this and freeze what i don't use in zip lock bags for future meals, it keeps real well. Makes a good side dish.
posted by nola at 3:40 PM on March 14, 2007

Chicken Chile
posted by Green Eyed Monster at 3:57 PM on March 14, 2007

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