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The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making
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The Homemade Pantry > Aisle 7 (Frozen Foods) & Aisle 8 (Pasta & Sauce)

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message 1: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (last edited Nov 05, 2012 07:29AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 109 comments Mod
Hello once again!

Fall is well underway, the holidays are looming around the corner and our schedules are filling up, yes? And who among us hasn't relied on frozen food at one point in our lives? Guilty as charged!

Chapter 7 demystifies the ubiquitous fish sticks and frozen pizzas of the center grocery store aisles. With a little preparation, we can actually make from scratch some of those frozen food staples that are often brought out during this hectic season. Similarly, we can add a homemade twist to the weeknight staple of pasta and sauce by trying out a few recipes in Chapter 8.


Your assignments:

First, tell us about the frozen foods or pasta staples you rely on for busy weeknight dinners. Me? I always have storebought veggie burgers in my freezer. How much nicer would it be to have homemade versions in there instead? They taste better and I think are actually cheaper than the storebought processed versions. Maybe it's not something I can have on hand all the time, but it would sure be nice to have a mix of homemade and storebought at least!

The second assignment is to pick a recipe to try, but don't just make it for immediate consumption that night. Make it and then freeze, can or otherwise store it for another hectic night. I mean, definitely try out these delicious recipes, but then take an hour to make another batch to save for later. Make a pizza and freeze it. Show me your canned tomato sauce. Try out homemade pasta and package it up for a night later in the week.

As always, post photos of your creations (show us your newly stocked homemade freezer and pasta shelf!) here on Goodreads, over on Facebook, on Twitter or on Instagram. We may feature your FSC Book Club check-in on the From Scratch Club blog!



FSC BOOK CLUB EVENT!

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making author Alana Chernila will be visiting the Troy Farmers Market in Troy, NY on Saturday, December 8! Alana will be signing books at the From Scratch Club table from 9-10:45am and will then give a brief talk and lead an in-person book club discussion at 11am. After that, she'll be back at the table to sign books until 12:15pm and meet you all!

Books will be sold for $21 + tax.

And! Alana will be teaching "Your Homemade Pantry-- a Kitchen Inspiration Class" at the Oakwood Community Center in Troy the same day- December 8! There are only 15 spots, so sign up SOON if you'd like to hang out and learn some tips for creating a homemade kitchen.
Buy your ticket here.

I've also posted this information to the Goodreads event & FB pages! Hope to see some of you local folks there!


Amy | 89 comments I don't really have a "go-to" frozen food item in my freezer, but I do rely a lot on making double batches of pizza dough, tomato sauce, pitas/other bread items, sliders, meatballs, etc to be pulled out and used in the future. I guess I'd say tomato sauce is the one I most frequently pull out of the freezer.

I made the fish sticks to freeze earlier this summer and they were divine! My husband just finished up the last of that batch last month. I have some frozen tomatoes in my freezer... I will try to can a jar of tomato sauce from those. Never tried canning before, as I usually just freeze sauce.


Tamara Smith | 14 comments Hi! This is Tamara and this is my first book club post. I have a family of 7, and I think the freezer is where I fail most often. We put things in it as a last resort when it's about to spoil- meats, whey, fruits and vegetables. The only things I regularly buy from the frozen food section are vegetables in the winter time, and waffles or bagels for the kids. The freezer has a lot of mystery items in it, and it's definitely a neglected part of my kitchen. We use pasta at least 2-3 times a week... we eat many meals that feed a crowd and pasta works well for that. We use it mostly as a main dish base, and as a topping for soups.


Kate Hayner | 19 comments I've always got some kind of pasta sauce and soup in the freezer for quick meals. My "from the freezer" pasta dish we had for dinner tonight. It's penne with garlic, sundried tomatoes, cannellini beans and frozen spinach, topped with parmesan cheese. I always have the ingredients on hand and it can be thrown together in the time it takes to cook the pasta.


Jackie (AuburnMeadowFarm) | 58 comments Tamara wrote: "Hi! This is Tamara and this is my first book club post. I have a family of 7, and I think the freezer is where I fail most often. We put things in it as a last resort when it's about to spoil- me..."

I wouldn't be too hard on yourself Tamara. If I had seven people eating, nothing would ever make it to the freezer.


Kathleen Ryan johnson | 45 comments Pasta and veggie burgers are my quick dinners. I made a baked ziti today. Since I was home with the boys today I made the homemade ricotta to use in it. Yum. I can't wait to make homemade veggie burgers and I although I've made fish sticks, I never thought about making them to freeze. The kids love fish so I think that will be a great idea to try this week.


Jackie (AuburnMeadowFarm) | 58 comments I wish there was a like button for everyone's great ideas.

Freezer is one area I'm actually pretty on top of.

i garden a lot, and have been putting things up in the freezer all summer. Roasted beets, prepared beet greens & chard, lard, ratatouille, pureed cantaloupe & pumpkin, zucchini, stuffed hot peppers in tomato sauce, home made soft pretzels, empanadas, pie crust, rhubarb, stock, beef stew and tomato sauce.

I like to keep a big batch of cooked polenta in the freezer: I cook it, let it set up in a bowl, cut it into quarters, wrap each quarter in plastic wrap & freeze in a gallon zip-lock freezer bag. It makes a great quickie breakfast sliced, fried and drizzled with maple syrup or dinner topped with tomato sauce & parm. Each quarter feeds 2.

Another big help is the gallon bags I fill with roasted, peeled bell and pablano peppers. I wrap each pepper individually in plastic wrap & put in a gallon freezer bag to use as needed. Those pablanos make the best winter soups ever.

And now, I can add beans to my freezer inventory thanks to Alana's easy recipe : )


Katie Vorwald (ktvorwald) | 2 comments I never really got into freezing meals ahead of time, but I do freeze home made stock and we use it in place of water in various recipes. I also have frozen green beans, basil, and parsley from our CSA, celery that I never use (does anyone ever use an entire bunch of celery when they buy it??) and whatever meat I can grab on sale at the market.

I've also got an ice cream machine that I use now and again.. but I'm not sure that counts as an easy dinner meal. (But it should.)

Pizza is on the menu for tomorrow, but I was just thinking about how my husband is going to whine that it takes too long to make (he makes dinners during the week since I get home from work/the gym much later than he does). In the spirit of compromise, I'll make the pizza tonight and freeze it for tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes!


Casey (kcrose210) | 74 comments I try to keep the freezer pretty stocked. We always have a bag of peas to add to dishes as well as other veggies frozen in the hudson valley thanks to a local csa. I also make pizza dough once a month and freeze it so we can have an easy meal every Monday to start the week. Anytime I make a bakes pasta dish (macaroni, lasagna etc) I make the whole recipe even though there are only 2 of us then I portion and freeze. Much better than super market frozen meals for quick dinners and bringing to work for lunch.

Other staples usually include trader joe's veggie gyoza but over the weekend we made our own from scratch filled with seitan from the freezer and veggies and froze them. They were excellent, and I will be do that regularly.

I like to make veggie stock from vegetable remanents so I store those in the freezer until I have enough.

As a vegetarian child, pasta was my main food group, and while it takes up a much smaller percentage of my eating now I still always have some on hand, usually in a variety of shapes and sizes. It is extremely versitle and filling. I've attempted to make my own once before so I think I will give Alana's recipe a shot. I also want to make the veggie burgers but I will probably half the recipe because 20 burgers maybe more than I would eat in a year.


Susan M | 42 comments Our freezer is always full with herbs, chicken stock, tomato sauce, gravies from leftover meat meals. I make stock and sauce frequently in large enough batches to last us at least for a month. Pasta making is done for that day's dinner. I don't freeze because it doesn't take much time to make noodles, gnocchi when wanted and it saves on space that I need in the freezer. The only pasta that I do freeze a couple of weeks ahead of time is homemade ravioli when it is planned for a certain occasion, such as, Christmas.


`weatherly | 2 comments I have always cooked and frozen foods for later, but tended to "lose" stuff and not remember what I had in my black hole of a freezer way down in my basement. My solution was ome of those grocery list apps. There are a lot of them but we use Out of Milk (free version)which not only keeps various grocery lists on it but also has pantry lists. I do most of my entering on the computer since it is much easier than the phone. We created a Downstairs Freezer list. I can create categories such as poultry or homecooked foods and see what I have easily. Plus, it makes my dash to the basement (the place where murderers reside) much quicker :)


Tamara Smith | 14 comments Last night, I read the entirety of the cookbook- couldn't put it down. By the end, I felt like Alanna was a close friend of mine. :) Today, I was so inspired that I went out and bought a pasta machine. I suffer from over-eager zeal that bursts about midway through a project, and that happened today. I had a few 'tense' moments with the pasta machine, but was well on my way to making homemade ravioli. I made a pumpkin farmers cheese filling, and planned to make a fall feast. I was cutting it into circles and was feeling quite proud, quite accomplished, when I suddenly realized that I had made oh, maybe 12 ravioli. It was a 'should I even finish this or just go on to dinner?' moment. So, I paused, went to pick up my highschooler and then my middle schooler. You may know both of them from swaps- Tommy, my middle schooler is autistic. For him, food is a perfect symphony of measures and beats in the rhyme of flavor. He came inside, finished the pasta for me, and then assembled the same chicken and bacon wraps that he did for the swap. My heart is so happy right now and I love that boy. The ravioli are long gone- we decided to have it as an afternoon snack. Lesson learned- my child is no longer a child- he's a real kitchen helper and saved my day today. <3


Kate Hayner | 19 comments Tamara wrote: "Last night, I read the entirety of the cookbook- couldn't put it down. By the end, I felt like Alanna was a close friend of mine. :) Today, I was so inspired that I went out and bought a pasta ma..."

Tammy, from one parent of an autistic kid to another, they have some pretty amazing and surprising talents. After 27 years my daughter continues to astound me. I loved his plum jam so maybe he'll make ravioli for the next swap.


message 14: by Meg (last edited Nov 10, 2012 12:46PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments I'm not super great about freezing things, but I do have a few servings of lentils and a few servings of chili in there at the moment. We usually freeze food when there is too much leftover for us to get through in a few days.

I made Alana's lasagne recipe this week with great success! We chose to add some veggie sausage to the sauce and spinach to the ricotta mixture. It was delicious! The lasagne noodles were probably a bit thicker than 1/16" thick, but I didn't mind their slight chewiness. Since there are only two of us in this household, we'll be freezing the second half of it. (One can only eat the same leftovers so many nights in a row!)

I blogged about it over at Small World Supper Club, so take a peak!


Amy | 89 comments Amy wrote: "I made the fish sticks to freeze earlier this summer and they were divine! My husband just finished up the last of that batch last month. I have some frozen tomatoes in my freezer... I will try to can a jar of tomato sauce from those. Never tried canning before, as I usually just freeze sauce. ..."

Plans changed... I realized I need my refrigerator relatively free of food so I can thaw my Friendsgiving turkey this week and all of the pre-prepped food prior to Saturday's celebration. I also realized that this week there are 3 nights I will be out and about, so not around to make dinner. This combination means my hubby needs freezer items to pull out for dinner. So I added a batch of chicken nuggets to the freezer and uploaded a picture to this Group. I decided to make the macaroni and cheese recipe for dinner. I made some garlic breadcrumbs Friday with stale homemade bread ends to use on the mac and cheese. I cooked half of it in am 8 x 8 glass dish and froze the rest in an 8 x 8 aluminum pan for some other time - between the two of us we can only eat the same leftovers so many times! It was quite tasty, but one thing I would do different next time is mix the 3/4 lb of cheese in with the noodles and cream sauce. As is, the cheese just melted with the bread crumbs and made a crisp garlic cheese crust. I would have prefered gooey-cheesiness instead (but that is just my preference). I also uploaded a picture of this to the Group.


message 16: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 109 comments Mod
Jackie wrote: "I wish there was a like button for everyone's great ideas.

Freezer is one area I'm actually pretty on top of.

i garden a lot, and have been putting things up in the freezer all summer. Roasted ..."


I wish there were a LIKE button too! You guys are great, I so enjoy reading through everyone's posts.


message 17: by Christine, FSC BOOK CLUB MODERATOR (new) - rated it 5 stars

Christine | 109 comments Mod
Tamara wrote: "Last night, I read the entirety of the cookbook- couldn't put it down. By the end, I felt like Alanna was a close friend of mine. :) Today, I was so inspired that I went out and bought a pasta ma..."

If you can make it to the Albany/Troy, NY area on December 8, you can meet & chat with Alana and she WILL be a close friend of yours :)


Jodie I use to live off of Amy's Burritos in college and they still make their way to my freezer from time to time. These days my freezer staples are edamame and Central Market pizzas. I love to make my own pizza but I take short cuts like using the pre made dough, I never really thought of making an extra to freeze. As far as pasta goes I love linguine with clam sauce. I sauté some onions and throw in some canned clam sauce and I'm good to go.

I'm going to try out the tomato sauce tonight with eggplant rollitini,and of course I'll make some extra to freeze.


KitchenNinja | 37 comments I made the chicken nuggets from Aisle 7 but turned them into patties (a la Chic-Fil-A) rather than nuggets. I have been looking for a while now for a recipe for a good version of a frozen chicken patty that I can keep in the freezer for quick lunches. I used to buy the frozen kind until I started READING INGREDIENT LABELS a few years ago -- scary. I pounded chicken breasts until they were a uniform thickness, then just followed the recipe for the nuggets. THEY ARE AWESOME!!! It's gotta be the mayo -- they have just the right amount of flavor and tang. I now have a whole bag of them in my freeezer. I probably will blog about them another time since, this time, I didn't get very good pictures of the process, but I will post a pic of my yummy burger.


Casey (kcrose210) | 74 comments As we get closer to the holidays and I finalize my thanksgiving menu (we go all out despite there only being 2 of us) I am trying to make room in my freezer for prep before and too many leftovers after. I will probably make a lasagna this weekend to eat leading up to thanksgiving although I'm not sure this is the week to tackle pasta again. I am thinking I will make the ricotta from scratch though and use up some pureed butternut squash I have in freezer. Also planning a big batch of stock to use for the holiday and freeze for through the end of the year.


Marilyn  (goodreadscommarilyn_zembo_day) | 25 comments We have a small upright freezer in our garage, plus a bottom-based freezer takes up a fairly large portion of our refrigerator - but it still doesn't make for as much freezer space as we had when the kids were small and we had a huge upright. I miss that space when I'm trying to freeze, say, Christmas cookies or some cupcakes ahead of time! And forget it when I want to freeze fresh fruit individually on a cookie sheet to package for later. It seems what little space we have gets filled quickly... or stays filled, that is. (My husband has a penchant for buying a few convenience items that I won't, Like fiery wings, extra ice cream, etc.!)

What's in there that's store-bought, pre-prepped or pre-made by some manufacturer? Frozen vegetables and fruits, for convenience and for when there aren't any fresh at the Farmers Market (but none of those pre-cooked in sauces, etc.). Also always have pre-diced onions and peppers, just in case I run out of fresh or am in a big hurry. I love frozen fruit with my fruit smoothies (with a banana, some Greek yogurt, fresh lemon juice, etc.). I buy pre-made pierogi and ravioli. Made pierogi from scratch many years ago, once. Too time-consuming, even though they were great. And Mrs. T's brand tastes great in my recipes (see pierogi casserole entry on my blog, www.kitchencauldron.wordpress.com, posted around Christmastime last year, for a sample). Guess I'd better check the ingredients in them again though. As for the ravioli, I've never made pasta from scratch, even though I bought a pasta attachment for my KitchenAid when we got it a few years ago. Always wanted to try making it but haven't gotten around to it. Maybe soon.

The only pre-made items we do stock up on are usually Lean Cuisines because our adult son, who currently lives with us, wants something he can just grab and microwave if there are no leftovers he's interested in (picky eater who hates most veggies, is not big on soups, etc.). I too will grab a LC dinner when in a hurry since I find they're less likely to be sodium-filled and at least use a few herbs to flavor them. And then there's phyllo dough, Pillsbury pie crusts, and ice cream. I've made ice cream from scratch but it'll never be a regular thing around here.

I'll also buy bread and freeze it for up to a month (I've made that from scratch too, but that's a rare event too). Meat and chicken purchases get frozen, but usually not fish.

What do we freeze that's homemade? I've been making my own chicken and vegetable stock since earlier this year & freezing it. Even made some lamb stock and turkey stock (latter will help flavor Thanksgiving gravy). Rarely get beef w/bone-in so buy low-or-no sodium beef stock. Fish stock? Don't do much fish but there's a box of it in the cupboard, just in case. I freeze homemade soups, as well as tomato sauce (sauce made with last of heirloom grape tomatoes from our deck is in there now). Sometimes there's enough of a casserole that I can set aside an additional dish to freeze for later on. And lately, since baking a ton of cupcakes for a poetry reading at Caffe Lena last April, I googled how best to freeze cupcakes and did so with about five different kinds of them, taking them out the day before the WomanWords 15-Year Birthday Reading and frosting them for the event-- worked out great!

I'm probably utilizing the freezers as much, and as best as possible in this house right now. Since I'm not the only occupant, things get jumbled around in both places - leading to "lost" foods which eventually get tossed when I get around to reorganizing and eliminating goods obviously way past suggested expiration dates. That's my biggest issue!


Marilyn  (goodreadscommarilyn_zembo_day) | 25 comments Christine wrote: "Tamara wrote: "Last night, I read the entirety of the cookbook- couldn't put it down. By the end, I felt like Alanna was a close friend of mine. :) Today, I was so inspired that I went out and bo..."

I felt the same way about Alana, back when I read it in Spring! I hope to meet her at her appearance in this area too!


Kathleen Ryan johnson | 45 comments Ok, so I made fish sticks for the freezer. What a great idea. Tonight is bowl-a-thon for the cub scouts so I was able to throw the frozen fish sticks in the oven as soon as I got home so the little man could have something to eat before! Great idea and super easy and quick!


Suzanne | 5 comments Kathleen wrote: "Ok, so I made fish sticks for the freezer. What a great idea. Tonight is bowl-a-thon for the cub scouts so I was able to throw the frozen fish sticks in the oven as soon as I got home so the litt..."

Kathleen- the Pack 253 Bowl-thon? We may know each other? Brayden didn't make it, but maybe your son could pass on a good recommendation for your fish sticks- if I make them!


Katie Vorwald (ktvorwald) | 2 comments Well, I ended up doing the chicken nuggets in stead of the pizza. I used almond meal and seasonings instead of bread crumbs. Except for some reason I stopped reading the recipe and put the nuggets in the freezer uncooked. My husband pointed out the error of my ways when he asked what's for dinner (he cooks most nights during the week) and I said oh just reheat the -- oh, crap.

After some defrosting I was able to pull them apart and bake them in the oven for about an hour. They were alright. Probably much better and easier already cooked. :)


Jodie I made the pasta sauce and tried to upload photos, but was unsuccessful. The sauce was delicious, I kept the onion and garlic in the sauce and put it through the food processor. I froze half and used the other half for eggplant rollatini. Making two batches required almost two sticks of butter! Did anyone try it with less butter or with olive oil?


`weatherly | 2 comments I haven't made this sauce recipe but having made my own sauce recipe for years I know you just need enough fat to sautee the onions and or garlic. You can adjust most sauce recipes to however you like them. Sauce is hard to mess up :)


message 28: by Cynthia (last edited Nov 18, 2012 10:34AM) (new) - added it

Cynthia | 68 comments Well - I thoroughly enjoyed READING this 'assignment' but haven't had time to do the challenge cooking. So I thought I'd tell you about the 'making food matter' activity that has been occupying my time these past couple weeks.

10 years ago there was a significant plant closing in an area of our state where there is a very active labor council. As the holidays approached, the members wanted to do something to cheer the laid off workers, and they thought of putting together Thanksgiving "dinner baskets" that would include all the ingredients for a thanksgiving dinner for a family.

As they sat down to work out the logistics, and as they thought about where to get the ingredients, they decided that they did not want to purchase things from the big grocers in the area who did not treat their workers well. So they decided to approach local farmers and see if, by purchasing locally they could still afford to make the baskets. And, at the same time, they would be getting to know local farmers and could have conversations about the way the economy is affecting them - perhaps building common ground and alliances.

So they put together baskets using ingredients mostly from local organic farms and local small businesses. Although several of the farmers and businesses offered and made donations, the practice is to purchase the goods since part of the goal is to strengthen the local economy. So donations aren't asked for but are made only if it is initiated by the farmer or business. The funds are raised from council members through their unions, plant gate collections, and affiliated organizations.

Washing, sorting and packing the vegetables, then assembling and trucking the baskets is a big work party at the labor hall. You can see pictures I took in 2009 here http://starleft.smugmug.com/Happening....

I don't know how many baskets were distributed the first year. But in 2010 it was 300, last year was 550, and this year we raised $32,000 and are putting out 1050 baskets.

So far we haven't made the fundraising leap to be able to buy local turkeys, and a coalition of daycare workers collect ready-made stuffing mix from their daycare clients, but most of the other ingredients (squash, carrots, potatoes, butter, apples, onions, rolls, pie ingredients) are locally produces and mostly organic.

This year half of the flour in the pie crust ingredients was from a new grist mill that opened in September in a former jail building in Skowhegan (about 1/2 hour from where I live - I was the connection for that) milling local organic grain http://www.mainegrains.com/ .

I have been heading up the committee for distribution in the western part of the state through my labor council, and was at the sorting and packing yesterday and today will help load our truck that will get the baskets to recipients.

You can read more about the Solidarity Harvest program here http://www.foodandmedicine.org/solida... - and that's how I've been making food matter during this period. Happy Thanksgiving to all!


Susan M | 42 comments Jodie wrote: "I made the pasta sauce and tried to upload photos, but was unsuccessful. The sauce was delicious, I kept the onion and garlic in the sauce and put it through the food processor. I froze half and us..."

Jodie, you can use any form of oil you want. I use nothing but olive oil and have been for years.


Tamara Smith | 14 comments Cynthia wrote: "Well - I thoroughly enjoyed READING this 'assignment' but haven't had time to do the challenge cooking. So I thought I'd tell you about the 'making food matter' activity that has been occupying my ..."

Wow, that is an amazing project. Thanks for sharing!


Tamara Smith | 14 comments Today we made the homemade Alana's homemade pasta again, this time simply shaping it into long lasagna noodles. I made one 9X13 and one 9X9 tray for dinner tonight, and we layered mini cupcake lasagnas in muffin tins for lunches throughout the week. Planning to freeze the individual sized lasagnas to just pop into the microwave. Hoping the 'cupcakes' come out well- fingers crossed!


Cynthia | 68 comments Tamara wrote: "...and we layered mini cupcake lasagnas in muffin tins for lunches throughout the week."

What a great idea!


Marilyn  (goodreadscommarilyn_zembo_day) | 25 comments Cynthia wrote: "Well - I thoroughly enjoyed READING this 'assignment' but haven't had time to do the challenge cooking. So I thought I'd tell you about the 'making food matter' activity that has been occupying my ..."

This is awesome work you're doing, Cynthia.


Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments Cynthia wrote: "Well - I thoroughly enjoyed READING this 'assignment' but haven't had time to do the challenge cooking. So I thought I'd tell you about the 'making food matter' activity that has been occupying my ..."

Cynthia - a truly inspiring way to build community, support the local economy, serve those in need, and raise awareness! Keep up the awesome work! : )


Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments After making some homemade veggie bacon this weekend, I realized that frozen, processed, soy "meats" are our downfall. It's a tough thing to tackle from-scratch, but tempeh bacon is a good start! We do cook with tofu and tempeh quite a bit and I'm interested in making my own seitan. But I don't know how well those kinds of things can be frozen for an easy meal. Any suggestions, vegetarian friends out there?


Corrina (corrinajane) | 15 comments Meg wrote: "After making some homemade veggie bacon this weekend, I realized that frozen, processed, soy "meats" are our downfall. It's a tough thing to tackle from-scratch, but tempeh bacon is a good start! ..."

Hey, I know a thing or two about making seitan, and it freezes great!

There are a couple different ways to make seitan. And, as cool and "from scratch" as the "washing the wheat" method sounds it is way faster to just buy some vital wheat gluten. I really like boiled seitan, for which recipes are abounding, but it can be hard for people to master. I highly recommend starting with steamed seitan sausages. It's the most fail proof way I've found to make seitan, and the results are delicious.

Here is a video about making it (http://www.everydaydish.tv/recipe/spi...). I also really like Isa's take on sausages(http://www.theppk.com/2012/01/vegan_s...), and Vegan Dad's breakfast sausages are SO good (http://vegandad.blogspot.com/2008/03/...).

If you do want to try a boiled seitan (good as a generic meat replacer and you can add any flavor to it), I'd recommend the recipe in Veganomicon. It's pretty straight forward.

When freezing, I just toss cooked sausages in a bag. For boiled seitan, sometimes I cut it into slices before freezing so it is easier to grab just as much as I need. Some people freeze it with the broth, but I never have.


Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments Corrina wrote: "Meg wrote: "After making some homemade veggie bacon this weekend, I realized that frozen, processed, soy "meats" are our downfall. It's a tough thing to tackle from-scratch, but tempeh bacon is a ..."

Corrina - you're awesome! Thanks so much for all of these links and tips. I've had my eye on Mark Bittman's recipe, but I'll definitely check out your suggestions. Yay! :)


Corrina (corrinajane) | 15 comments No problem.

I just looked at Bittman's recipe in HTCEV, and I think it is pretty solid. However, I think seitan has a superior texture if you cut it with a little flour (I usually do wheat, soy, or chickpea). He has flour listed as an optional "seasoning," but I think it is pretty essential.


message 39: by Cynthia (last edited Nov 19, 2012 04:27PM) (new) - added it

Cynthia | 68 comments Meg wrote: "I don't know how well those kinds of things can be frozen for an easy meal..."

I have no experience with seitan, but I have found that tempeh freezes very nicely.

Tofu becomes a different product when it freezes. It takes on a sponge-like texture and becomes very rugged. It can be crumbled into an excellent ground meat substitute (also makes great 'cutlets'). I LOVE to use it this way, and have often frozen spaghetti sauce or chili that was made with it.


Tamara Smith | 14 comments Kate wrote: "Tamara wrote: "Last night, I read the entirety of the cookbook- couldn't put it down. By the end, I felt like Alanna was a close friend of mine. :) Today, I was so inspired that I went out and bo..."

Kate, I just wanted to say thank you. From the bottom of my heart.


Tamara Smith | 14 comments So I have a question...I made the lasagna as per the recipe, and I'm wondering if boiling the noodles was necessary before putting them into the lasagna. They kind of melted into the cheese, and were not very noticeable. I am not sure if it was due to not boiling them first, or if homemade pasta is just different. Has anyone else had this happen?


Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments Cynthia wrote: "I have found that tempeh freezes nicely..."

Thanks, Cynthia! We just thawed and ate some tempeh black bean chili last night and it did just fine. Thanks for the tofu tips - we don't usually freeze it, but I have read that it completely changes texture.


Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments Corrina wrote: "I just looked at Bittman's recipe in HTCEV, and I think it is pretty solid. However, I think seitan has a superior texture if you cut it with a little flour (I usually do wheat, soy..."

Noted. Thanks so much! : )


Jennifer Wilkerson | 9 comments I've been a bit out of touch but I've been cooking! I try to keep stocks, sauces, diced veggies and quick meals in my freezer. Whenever I make a big meal (macaroni and cheese, lasagna, lentil soup, etc.)I double it and tuck some in the freezer. My daughter who will be visiting has put in a request for brisket. Knowing I would need beef broth I made a pot late Sunday. I used bones from my local grass-fed farmer and pretty much anything I had around--a couple of sad beets, onion tops, carrots, dried celery from my garden, parsley from the garden (still growing!), etc. I pulled off the fat today, strained it and put two one-quart containers away and 7 one-cup containers which are perfect for making sauce, throwing in stir fry, etc. It is such a feeling of relief knowing I've got backup on days that get crazy!


Alana Chernila | 17 comments Tamara wrote: "So I have a question...I made the lasagna as per the recipe, and I'm wondering if boiling the noodles was necessary before putting them into the lasagna. They kind of melted into the cheese, and w..."

Hi Tamara! I've found that when working with homemade pasta, I like to capitalize on the silkiness of it- my goal is that it does melt more into the cheese. Because fresh pasta cooks so much faster than dried, my experience was that it got a bit rubbery if boiled first. But if you're going for more of a separation between layers, definitely give boiling a try! I'd only put them in for about 60 seconds though- it's that quick.


Tina Jordan | 9 comments Ok, so I'm a little behind here but I thought it so appropriate that one of my end of year traditions involves both Pasta and the freezer. Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas I make a huge batch of Lasagnas that we give away as frozen Christmas Presents. The evolution of this over the last ten years came from losing my Grandmother and her ravioli recipe as well as the generous gift of a friend of their family recipe. The first few years of frozen raviolis didn't work out so well and we started making Lasagnas. Now its quite the honor to make the list and ton's of fun to see that expression on someone's face.

So this Black Friday I made 23 3-4 portion Lasagnas. I have found that homemade pasta makes all the difference and was happy to use The Homemade Pantry's version since each year I tweak the flour to egg proportions.

Parent's of newborns are always grateful but our biggest recipients are local business owners who become friends. During this busy holiday season our coffee roasters, bakers and cheesemongers end up at home late at night with no energy. Having something that goes straight from the freezer to the oven to the table means all the difference to them.

Biggest Lesson learned: With Batches this size I don't do everything the same day. A day for filling, A day for pasta, and a day for assembly. Perfect for my long Thanksgiving weekend. Happy Holidays.


Cynthia | 68 comments Tina wrote: "I make a huge batch of Lasagnas that we give away as frozen Christmas Presents."

Tina - I love this idea!


Amy | 89 comments Tina wrote: "Ok, so I'm a little behind here but I thought it so appropriate that one of my end of year traditions involves both Pasta and the freezer. Sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas I make a huge ..."

Love this!


message 49: by Meg (last edited Dec 03, 2012 06:26AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meg (megriffi) | 59 comments Corrina wrote: "Hey, I know a thing or two about making seitan, and it freezes great!"

I know this isn't an Alana recipe, but I made seitan sausages last week and I do believe that they'd freeze really easily. If you're curious, I blogged about frozen pantry staples and the sausages over at Small World Supper Club.

Thanks again, Corrina!


Tamara Smith | 14 comments Okay I'm a little star struck and while I've taken a little break for the past few weeks, I'm thrilled to come back and have a comment from Alana. :) Sorry I've been spelling your name wrong :/ but I love that in every Barnes and Noble I'm going into, your book is getting mega shelf space! Woohoo!


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making (other topics)

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Alana Chernila (other topics)