To say we have a few tomatoes in our garden would be an understatement. We have bushels of tomatoes in our garden. This year we grew organic Cherry, Beefsteak, Heirloom, and Roma tomatoes. Some of them were bigger than a softball. I waited until I had ridiculous amount of them, and then went about freezing meals for the fall and winter: Marinara sauce, lasagnas, and chili.
The first thing I did was remove the skins from all the tomatoes by cutting an X in the top and bottom of each one. Then I dropped them into a pot of boiling water until the skin started to pull away. The skins slip right off once the tomatoes cool, then I set them (and the juices) aside in a bowl. Or, as was the case, three bowls.
Next, I sauteed two whole onions and 10 cloves of garlic in a little olive oil. I added two of the three bowls of tomatoes that I'd peeled (I saved one for the chili), and then I added salt, pepper, and lots and lots of herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, and oregano). I also add a small can of tomato paste to thicken it, but this step isn't necessary and doesn't change the flavor at all. I let the sauce simmer until all the tomatoes and onions had broken down, which usually takes about an hour.
Next I decided to freeze two containers of marinara for spaghetti, and then I used the rest to make up (and freeze) three lasagnas. I cooked up three pounds of extra lean ground turkey, and set aside half for my pot of chili. You can find my lasagna recipe here. For the chili I used approximately 1 1/2 lbs of ground turkey, 6 cups of tomatoes, 2 cans of kidney beans, 3 cans of chili beans, 1 can of sweet corn, 1 can of tomato sauce, and chili seasonings. Then I let it simmer for about 2 hours. This made enough for dinner, and 2 containers for the freezer.
So now our freezer is full of not only tomatoes, but actual meals for those days that I don't want to cook. I've also frozen bags of sliced zucchini for stir fry, shredded zucchini for zucchini bread, and lots (and lots!) of blueberries. We still have a great deal of green tomatoes, so I'm sure I'll be freezing more sauce. It takes a few hours, but knowing all those meals are in the freezer is completely worth it.