I have always been interested in learning about how to cook and freeze food for the week. I’d love to be able to cook on Sunday, freeze my food and have all my food ready for the upcoming week. With a busy schedule, this seems ideal! I’ve always been overwhelemed when trying to learn about what can be frozen and how to freeze food. Luckily for me, Melissa C. offered to write a guest post for us today!!! Thanks Melissa!!
“Easy Dinner Recipes: Making Your Leftovers Last
After working all day, putting in rigorous workout, and withstanding rush hour traffic, you’re just about ready to collapse. The last thing you want to do is throw yourself in the kitchen, boil water, heat up the skillet, and cook up a storm only to brave the tower of dirty dishes after dinner is finally prepared. You can save a lot of time and effort by simply freezing your meals for the week, then defrosting the morning before consumption. These easy dinner recipes and freezer-worthy meals will have you only cooking once a week.
First off, pick a day of the week where you’re free to spend some time in the kitchen. For most people, this is Sunday. Set aside a couple of hours to grill up some honey-mustard chicken or cook some lean, turkey meatballs. You can also prepare soup, which is a freezer-friendly, low calorie, high-density food (perfect for the gal who’s watching her figure). You can easily store soup in small Ziploc bags. For a bit of veggies, cook up some green beans. I prefer blanched green beans, plunged in boiling water, salted, then drizzled with olive oil. Peas and squash are also good candidates for freezing. You can prepare a side of carbs, like whole-wheat pasta or rice, with a sauce on the side. Try a marinara sauce to compliment your pasta and meatballs.
Vacuum Sealing and Freezing
Vacuum sealing is arguably the most efficient way to preserve your food. Invest in a vacuum sealer to keep your vegetables, fruits, and meats fresh before putting them in the freezer. You can get a standard vacuum sealer for under a hundred bucks. You’ll also want to buy some high-quality freezer bags, just to keep your food as fresh and juicy as possible. There are very few foods that cannot be frozen. That being said, never try to freeze salad greens, eggs, sour cream, potatoes, soft cheese with high water content, mayonnaise, or fried foods. These foods will turn out to be frozen disasters. Also, as a general rule of thumb, always date your packages before throwing them in the freezer!
The safest way to defrost your baggies is to just let those suckers thaw for a couple of hours. Before you head out the door in the morning, transport your meal from freezer to fridge. In your refrigerator, the food will thaw at a constant temperature, about 40 °F or cooler. If you completely forgot to thaw your food ahead of time (it happens to the best of us), thaw your meal in cold water. Submerge freezer bags in cool tap water, changing the water every 30 minutes. Small packages should thaw in an hour or less, while bigger packages make take a few hours.
Now that you know how to adequately prepare and freeze weeks worth of meals, you’ll cut back on food waste and save time and energy during the week. Enjoying delicious, already-prepared meals after a hard day’s work? There’s nothing more delicious than that.”
Thanks again Melissa C for your fabulous post. I’ll have to try your techniques out soon!