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Healthy Freezer Meals- For busy nights

Posted Sep 23 2010 7:12am

DSC_0694 Donna from WI asked

I am looking for some healthy recipes that I can put in the freezer to save time and money.  I saw that you made some and would like to know how to freeze them?

Freezer meals can be a great thing.  Now that the growing season is coming to an end, its prudent to get all the veggies you can, and prep them for eating all year round.  Making your own freezer meals have several advantages over a store bought version:

  • Less sodium in your own meals.  Manufacturers saturate their meals with salt to preserve the meal and increase the flavor.  At home, you do not need to do this.
  • More vegetables.  Is it just me, or when you buy a stir fry package in the freezer section there is NEVER enough vegetables! 

Tips on freezing vegetables:

  • Potatoes do not freeze well unless they are cubed small, or in soup.  Frozen hash browns and other shredded potato products in the freezer section is usually prepared with a special preserving process to remove excess water.  This is not realistic to do at home.
  • Freezing softens vegetables, but should be fine if you are using the veggies in a cooked meal, which we generally do.  If you prefer your vegetables crunchy, add them the day of cooking.
  • Most vegetables should be slightly blanched before you freeze.

Some meals freeze very well.  Soups and casseroles are generally best.  Some meals can be frozen prior to cooking (we call these assembled meals), and some meals should be cooked entirely and then frozen.  Over the next few weeks I’ll share some of each.  This first one is cooked completely and reheated for future meals.

This stir fry I cook ALMOST entirely. 

  • I cooked the chicken and blanched the vegetables.
  • Spread out on freezer paper, and frozen till it could be bagged without the insides become stuck together in one huge lump.

DSC_0552

  • Put chicken and vegetables into gallon freezer bag to be reheated later.

DSC_0554

  • Mixed a small bowl of soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar.  Put in small baggie inside, to be poured over vegetables when re-heating.

stirfry

On busy days, take stir fry out of freezer and heat up over the stove. Don’t forget to put some rice in a rice cooker 40 minutes before serving.

The best part of freezer meals: Cook and mess up kitchen ONCE!! You can make several bags of stir fry with the same effort as you expend for one bag.

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