Eating From Your Freezer OR The Freezer- Friend not Foe
We’ve all been there – you come home from a long day at work or an equally challenging long day of child care and you realize you have nothing planned for dinner. You really don’t want to have to run to the store because that would involve pants. So you consider ordering out again but even the best of us burn out on pizza. Is there a way to avoid this? Sometimes! And it involves that magical appliance connected to your fridge.
Eating freezer food gets a bad wrap. Immediately I think of freezer burn and Lean Cuisine – NOT appealing. And the only way to actually amass a store of freezer food would be to spend an entire 12 hour day making 500 freezer crockpot meals right? Wrong- but I saw that Pinterest board too! 😉
Creating an emergency store of delicious freezer meals just takes the tiny, tinest bit of preplanning.
First – Cooking once eat twice (or thrice!)
If you’re already cooking a meal that you know your family loves (or if you’re a risk taker and just want to go big with a new recipe) double the batch and place the extra crockpot meals, lasagna, etc in the freezer. It’s just that easy.
I usually make dinner 3-4 nights a week and I double 2 of those meals to eat at a later date. We usually eat leftovers one night (anyone else have “clean-out-the-fridge night” at their house?), take-out pizza on Friday and eat 2 of these freezer meals throughout the week. 7 nights of yummy dinners (and often times yummy lunches of leftovers) for 3 nights of cooking? I’ll take it.
Even Grandma’s secret pasta sauce can taste like poop if it wasn’t stored correctly. Make sure whatever dish you’ve made has cooled completely. Condensation is the enemy! Then store with care. I store sauces, soups and chilis in zip top freezer bags. I use 2 bags – 1 with the actual food and 1 as a second layer of defense. I reuse the 2nd bag over and over so it’s not as wasteful as it sounds. I make sure the 1st bag is placed zip top down into the 2nd bag so that the seal is best protected from the harsh freezer environment. For lasagnas, enchiladas and other assorted casseroles I assemble them in glass containers and then wrap them first in plastic wrap and then in tinfoil. I wrap the ENTIRE container like a present in the plastic wrap and then wrap the top in tinfoil (I’ll often use this tinfoil again when baking). Plastic wrap offers a tighter seal but can often come off when moved and bumped in the freezer. The tinfoil helps hold everything together. I know some glass containers come with a reusable plastic lid. Don’t trust this lid. This lid is made of lies. Cover your casserole with an entire layer of plastic wrap and then put the lid on.
It’s just that easy folks. Hopefully your freezer will soon be filled with time saving meals (and also ice cream – you should totes reward yourself for being so resourceful)!