Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Planning Freezer Meals


Freezer meals can be a lifesaver! I try to freeze almost everything from leftovers, to marinated meat to key ingredients to our favourite dishes. They can help save you time and money and help to improve your health.
Freezer meals can help you serve a healthy meal on busy nights or nights you just don't feel like cooking - saving you from a drive-thru window.


You can prepare and cook food from your freezer in a couple of ways...let me explain.

#1 The obvious way is to make meals and freeze them. Take an evening or afternoon to make 4-10 different dishes with the intention of freezing them for another time.

#2 Making dinner tonight? Why not double or triple the recipe and make extra for your freezer.

#3 Buy in bulk (preferably when on sale), prep and freezer.
  • For example ground meat, cook with some sauteed onion and freeze in smaller portions for tacos, sloppy joes, pasta sauce, or chili. Or use it to make meat balls or hamburger patties. 
  • Or just marinate and freeze - works well with any type of meat.
There are quite a few benefits to cooking ahead and freezing meals.

  1. Saving money by reducing food waste, eating out less and preparing inexpensive meals.
  2. Saving time by combining shopping and preparation tasks.
  3. Improving your health by eating meals prepared a home. Meals cooked at home tend to have more vegetables and fibre and less fat, sugar and salt when compared to restaurant meals.  
  4. Improving food safety by using the freezer to preserve foods.
  5. Enhancing family meal time by spending time together at enjoyable family meals
  6. Saves decision making and time by already knowing what is for dinner. 
  7. Shares work load by having the family join in the fun and prepare the dishes together. 
 Here are a few of our favourite recipes to make and freeze. 



Breakfast



Big Batch Cooking





Similar Ingredients: Ground turkey/chicken




Marinating meat


 

When cooking at home be sure to keep these food safety tips in mind - especially when cooking in big batches or multiple dishes at once. Cooking times might be longer when cooking more food at once. It's important to be mindful to prevent cross-contamination when making multiple dishes at once.  It's also important to properly cool the food before placing it in the freezer. 

What is your favourite meal to make and freeze for another time?

And a good reminder is to label everything you put in the freezer. Trust me from personal experience you either won't remember what that container is fulled with or you won't be able to tell.

Shannon RD
Registered Dietitian
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