I went to Costco yesterday.
I love Costco. I wasn’t sure how much a household of two would benefit from buying in bulk, but it turns out buying large quantities of the stuff you use all the time is great. This is especially true if you take the time to plan for the week ahead and freeze what you know you can’t use fast enough. That’s what I did today.
I began the day by starting this Chicken Wild Rice Soup in the crockpot. Eight hours later, it looked like this.
This soup is one of the best soups I’ve ever made, probably because there’s a whole stick of butter in it. I tend to like recipes involving whole sticks of butter. I rarely cook things this rich, but occasionally I think the extra calories are worth the flavor you get.
While the soup was crocking away I washed and blanched the majority of the asparagus, green beans, and kale/swiss chard/spinach blend. (Even I can’t eat 1.5 pounds of leaves in a week.)
Blanching is new to me, but when I googled “how do I freeze green beans?” the consensus seemed to be blanching them first is how you make sure the color and nutrients are locked in. So blanch I did.
The idea behind blanching is you cook the veggies at a very high temp (boiling water) for a few minutes, then immediately immerse the veggies in very cold water (I used ice water) so the cooking process comes to an abrupt halt. Then you dry them and freeze them for cooking another time.
I’d resisted blanching in the past because it seemed like a real pain in the ass, but it’s not so bad if you’re doing a lot of veggies. I came up with a little assembly line.
I froze the kale/swiss chard/spinach mix in ice cube trays. The main reason I did this was to use them in smoothies, but I may also try to cook them. I don’t see why they’d cook any differently than frozen blocks of spinach.
While I was working with the kale I had the green beans in the freezer on a rack (I did the asparagus first–not pictured).
Then I gathered all the bags together before putting them in larger freezer bags in the freezer.
Finally, I made salads with what was left of the kale mix.
Between the soup and salads, plus Greek yogurt, blackberries, and apples I already had, my lunches (and by lunch I mean extended eating from 10am-4pm) are set for the week.