Freezer-Friendly Recipes!

These meals, once prepped then frozen, make a great a grab-and-go lunch or simply enjoyed as a quick and easy supper after a long day. Tofu & Bean Burritos: This is half of a bulk recipe I adapted from The Vegan Lady Chef on YouTube.To start, crumble 1 lb extra firm or sprouted tofu into a bowl using hands or pulse in a food processor (until crumbly but not smooth). Marinate in 2 TBS tamari, 2 TBS nooch, 3/4 TBS chili powder, 1 tsp cumin, 3/4 TBS onion flakes, + 3/4 TBS garlic powder.  While the tofu marinates… In a large deep-sided, lightly oiled skillet, saute on med-low heat: 1/2 red onion chopped small + 1 green or red bell pepper diced small, + 1/2 jalapeno minced (optional). Add a splash of water if sticking. 

After 7 min, add 4-6 cloves minced garlic then cook 2 min more before adding the marinated tofu stirring until warmed through. 

Next add 2 cups chopped spinach. Turn heat to low, cover until spinach is just wilted then add 1 14.5-oz can drained and rinsed black beans (any bean will work, such as white, pinto or kidney).

Toppings to add when serving can include sliced avocado, chopped scallions, mild salsa or diced tomatoes, freshly ground black pepper.

To freeze: After cooled, form into burritos, wrap individually in parchment paper, and store in freezer bags. Pop in microwave when ready to eat or in oven on low heat until warmed through.

Black Bean Sundried Tomato Soup 

Serve this soup over white rice topping with fresh tomatoes or guacamole made with avocado, diced tomato, squirt of fresh lime, pinch of salt & pepper + a splash of salsa. Add steamed plantains for a nice sweet flavor contrast & toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch.

For the soup: 

Soak 6 sundried tomatoes (not oil-packed) in 2 cups of boiling water for 30 minutes. Reserve the soaking water. Set aside.In a soup pot add 1 onion, 2 celery ribs, and 2 peeled carrots–all chopped small (this trio is known as a “mirepoix”)–sauteeing for 8-10 minutes on medium heat. Note: I use about 2-3 TBS of vegetable broth to saute but olive oil or water works, adding 2-3 TBS more water if sticking occurs.

Next add desired amount of minced garlic (2-6 cloves) + 3 tsp cumin powder and cook 1-2 more minutes. 

Next add the 2 cups of sundried tomato water + 1-2 cups more of water or vegetable broth to thin soup as desired, 1 can of black beans with the liquid + 2 more cans of drained and rinsed black beans (soup will contain 4 14.5-oz cans total). Allow soup to cook on a low boil until veggies are soft then…

…Using a handheld blender or standard blender blend the following: 1 cup of the soup along with 1 15-oz can of black beans with the bean liquid + the pre-soaked sundried tomatoes. The blending can be done in batches. Add the pureed mix into the soup.

Bring soup to a low boil then simmer for 30 minutes or longer to allow flavors to meld.  Note: For a creamier texture add one of the following after serving:

  • Drizzle of non-dairy yogurt (unsweetened)
  • Dollop of cashew cream or brazil nut cream (equal parts pre-soaked nuts + water blended or processed until smooth) 
  • Tofu sour cream (blend 1 box silken tofu, 1 fresh lemon juiced + salt to taste)
  • Drizzle of any leftover canned coconut milk

For the plantains: Peel and dice 2 over-ripe (black) plantains and steam them on medium-low heat in a skillet with a little broth or water, lid on, for 6 minutes or until bright yellow. 

To freeze: Allow soup to cool completely before placing in freezer-safe, portion-sized storage bags, allowing all air to escape. Freeze for up to 3 months. 

When time to use remove the frozen soup and heat stovetop or microwave, adding water or broth to thin if desired. For take-out, store warm soup in a stainless steel container. 

Recipe inspired by The Plantpower Way, by Rich Roll & Julie Piatt.

Veggie Burgers! My favorite burger recipes:   Beet Burgers from Isa Does It (Note: I prefer sticky white rice to brown for binding) or try the Quarter Pounder Beet Burger recipe from Isa’s Post Punk Kitchen blog.  

Perfect Veggie Burgers from the Oh She Glows cookbook or a similar version is on the blog
My Vegan Version of the Black Bean Burgers from Pioneer Woman Cooks:
Ingredients you will need:

2 cans black beans drained & rinsed then mashed leaving some bean texture

1 cup bread crumbs (I simply process 2 whole slices–usually the end slices of whole grain bread–in a food processor until finely crumbled)

1/2 white or red onion, diced small

1 tsp cumin powder

1 flax or chia egg (1 TBS ground flax or chia mixed with 3 TBS warm water & set aside 10 min to gel)

2 TBS salsa

Mix together all ingredients in a bowl with wet hands or olive-oiled hands.🌞Store in fridge until ready to form burgers.

Fry in a pre-heated pan set to medium-low–coat pan with olive oil or vegan butter (Earth Balance is widely available)–until crispy brown on each side. If freezing burgers, only lightly cook for about 3 min on each side.

To freeze: Place burgers that have cooled completely in parchment and in a freezer-safe bag (make sure to press out all air) or in a container. When time to fry or bake, defrost the burgers overnight in the fridge. Use the method above for frying or bake at 350 for about 10 minutes on each side (time may vary according to oven).  

🍔 Around the web:

For a bulk recipe, try these Veggie Burgers from The Vegan Lady Chef on YouTube. 

Chef Chloe’s (YouTube video with recipe) Double Double Drive-Thru Burgers–main ingredients include tempeh, canned lentils, walnuts & flour and include a delicious vegan thousand island dressing.

Yellow Split Pea & Red Lentil Soup

This soup’s simple, mild flavor is great for when you want a lighter meal.  A note on yellow split peas: I have found they cook best in a pressure cooker, turning out slightly crunchy when cooked in a standard soup pot. Pureeing the soup can help some. Alternatively just use 2 cups of red lentils and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Either way, the soup is even better the next day and will need water added as it thickens.

Soak 1 cup of yellow split peas (I buy mine in bulk at Fred Meyers) overnight. Drain the water and rinse in several changes of water. Alternatively, soak peas in boiling water (after rinsing) for at least an hour. For the red lentils, measure 1 cup, rinse thoroughly, and soak for at least 30 minutes. Split red lentils do not require soaking.

In a soup pot, add the peas and lentils + 8 cups of fresh water or vegetable broth. 

Bring to a boil then simmer on low for 1.5 hours, lid on. Skim off the froth that appears on the surface. 

For the garnish (known in India as “tempering”) choose one or both

1) In a small skillet, saute for 8 minutes 1/4 chopped red onion, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/2 tsp peeled fresh minced ginger using a sprinkle of oil or water, adding more water if sticking. Add to the simmering soup.  2) In a small dry pre-heated skillet turning the flame to medium heat, add 1 tsp mustard seeds + 1/2 tsp cumin seeds until their fragrance is released (about 2 minutes or until they pop), + an optional 1/8 tsp red chile flakes (added at the last 10 seconds) or 2 dried red chiles broken in 1/2. Add to the simmering soup.

Use a whisk or potato masher to blend or an immersion blender (remove chiles if using). The dal should appear mashed but not fully pureed. Add salt to taste. The dish pairs nicely with chopped steamed spinach + white rice or warm flatbread garnished with fresh lemon juice.

More Freezer-Friendly Recipes around the Web:  🌻🌻Photo recipe found on my Facebook page.🍋🍋

Mexican Seitan Veggie Stew:  🌽🌽Show Me Vegan’sMexican Vegetable Stew” was one of the first vegan stew recipes I made as a plant-based newbie in 2008 and still lists as one of my all-time faves. I use regular chili powder and oregano, a green bell pepper instead of red, skip the canned tomatoes, and use a mild tomato-based salsa (3/4 cup) instead of tomatillo salsa.🌶🌶

Lentil Potato Stew over Polenta:

🍲Another favorite winter stew recipe that will freeze well is from Post Punk Kitchen. Heart-healthy ingredients of lentils, potatoes, carrots, leeks, tomatoes, herbs, celery seed–all topped over warm polenta–Yum!🍅🍅

Cashew Cream Vegetable Soup:Oh She Glows blog has a popular freezer recipe known as 10-Spice Vegetable Soup.

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