Make Ahead Meals
I was asked by a reader recently to recommend some meals that would be good to freeze ahead for a self-catering holiday. I though it was such a good question, I decide to write an article on the subject.
When you go on holiday, you are generally thinking about fully enjoying your break and whether your idea of a great holiday is relaxing with a book, walking in the countryside or going round historical monuments you don’t want to have to think about shopping and cooking.
Of course one way of ignoring the cooking is to eat out every night. This is lovely if you can afford it but it does put up the price of your holiday by some considerable amount.
Freedom – From The Kitchen
I often do self-catering holidays as I love the freedom of it and but like most other people I don’t want to spend too long in the kitchen – but nor so I want to spend a fortune on eating out every night. With a bit of forward preparation I can avoid eating out but also minimise time spent in the kitchen. The two main methods I will use is to take some home cooked frozen meals with me that just need heating up. I also take some easy bases such as pasta and rice that can easily be put with some local meat and vegetables to make a quick meal.
Condiments To Liven Up Your Meals
I also pack a small box of herbs, sauces and dressings as this can otherwise be something that can be greatly missed when cooking on holiday and it doesn’t take much space. Mixed herbs deals with most herb requirements and if you want a spicy meal you can make up your own curry paste or spice mix to take with you. Black pepper is also an essential for me and may be some homemade – or bought – salad dressing.
Cooking In Advance
So below I will recommend some of meals that I think are best for preparing and reheating. And you don’t have to have a separate cooking session. Just in the 2 or 3 weeks before, make twice as much as you cook it for your dinner and freeze half and keep it in a plastic container.
Take the frozen meals in an ice box with some frozen ice blogs to keep them frozen. If you are travelling for more than a couple of hours you may need to allow them to defrost and keep them in the fridge but they will still be good for 3-4 days. You can save your meal out until the end of the week, when you know you have some budget left – or eat in instead a with a special bottle of wine.
Eating Out With Less Expense
When we go on holiday we will often stop and have a coffee out with may be a snack or cake. This is still a special treat but without the expense of a full meal. It is still chance to sit down, enjoy some good food and drink and best of all relaxed time with the person or people who are with you on holiday. Another wonderful way to eat out in my opinion is to buy some takeaway fish and chips and eat them out of paper sitting by the beach! But that may not be for everyone!
Recommendations For Make Ahead Meals
Meals that will be reheated on the hob could be put in a plastic container. Dishes such as shepherd pir could be kept and frozen in the contianer it is cooked in (provided it is freezer proof)
Spaghetti bolognese (just take the pasta and some cheese) Reheat in the microwave, oven or hob
Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie Reheat in the oven
Spicy Chickpea Stew – serve with rice Reheat in the oven or hob
Savoury Beef mince
Chilli con carne heat on the hob and serve with rice and baked potatoes
Shepherd’s Pie Reheat in the oven
When you arrive a your holiday home you want to celebrate and relax and not cook. However going out for a meal on the first night might feel like making too big a dent in your holiday budget, before you have even really started on your leisure time! I would recommend making a quiche in advance. Take some of your favourite salad leaves and dressing in a small bottle – then throw some baked potatoes in the oven on arrival, open a bottle of wine and in an hour or so supper will be ready with minimum effort!
Easy Meals To Make On Holiday
Pasta and rice both make a great base for easy meals and you can use them to make a meal from some local vegetables and cheese. See Quick And Easy Pasta Recipes
See Also What To Cook When You Don’t Know What To Cook for more quick and easy ideas.
Brie And Tomato Tart – Made with ready made puff pastry and tomato and brie placed on top. Prepared in 5 minutes. Serve with local vegetables or salad.
I hope this has given you some ideas for your holiday time. Do please add your own recipes and ideas in the comments section below!
Any meat or chicken dish in sauce keeps well in the freezer. I partularly like meat, chicken or veg curries, as they taste even better after freezing. All you need is to boil rice!