We all have days where there are a million and one things to get done. We have to drive the kids to school/sport/social events; pick up dry-cleaning; work late; feed unexpected visitors; the list goes on.
To reduce the stress of days like this, it’s a great idea to have a couple of healthy meals ready to go in your freezer that you can just heat and eat.
Now I’m not talking about processed foods or ready meals that are loaded with calories, fat and additives. I’m talking good quality, healthy meals that you normally cook from scratch each night as part of your weight loss plan.
To achieve this, you can cook extra when you are making a meal and freeze it for another night. So double up on your chicken curry and pop half of it in the freezer for another time. Or triple your pasta sauce and freeze two portions for another night when you can only manage to boil some pasta.
Or what I find works well is to set aside an afternoon or evening when you can chuck on an apron and get a big batch of cooking done.
There is an oddly satisfying feeling when you see a freezer filled with food that you know is healthy and so quick to prepare.
So why freeze? It’s simple: it saves time, money and stress.
Ideas for meals that freeze well
- Rissoles: freeze raw; then defrost to serve with veggies or salad; or to make a healthy burger
- Fritatta: freeze cooked; then simply defrost, heat and serve with salad
- Spicy Bolognese: freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with pasta, on top of a baked potato, as a taco or burrito.
- Curry: freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with rice or salad.
- Fish cakes: freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with salad.
- Soup: freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with salad or crusty bread rolls
- Pasta Sauce: freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with your favourite pasta and salad
- Lasagna: slice into portions and freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with salad.
- Casseroles: anything goes here, simply freeze cooked; then defrost and heat to serve with rice, pasta or salad.
- Before freezing, allow the food to cool right down.
- Use freezer bags or good quality plastic containers to avoid freezer burn
- Leave as little air as possible in the freezer bags; and a little expansion room for liquids in plastic containers
- Label the food with the contents and date
Recommended times for freezing can vary, but as a guide
- Pasta sauces – 6 months
- Meatloaf – 6 months
- Meat Casseroles – 6 months
- Soups – 3 months
- Cooked meats – 3 months