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Ideas for freezing healthy meals ahead of time?



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SUNNYBEACHGIRL
Posts: 2,252
7/27/13 3:29 P

use google to find tried and true freezer recipes. Pasta, rice and corn tortillas work well. Buy some Trader Joe sauces. Poach up some chicken breasts, brown some ground turkey, brown lean ground beef or just add some cooked vegetables. Buy aluminum pans the size you need and then just layer everything. Double wrap in aluminum foil. Plan an afternoon and you can have a lot of great healthy meals.



TERRIGEER
Posts: 4
7/27/13 3:21 P

I eat sandwiches. Is it possible to make up tuna salad, use an ice cream scoop and freeze it for future sandwich use? My tuna salad is a bit more than what the menu's call for. I use canned (in water) tuna (4oz cans), mayo, hard boiled egg (chopped), and diced celery. I know that the tuna can be frozen, but what about the mayo?



KENDILYNN
SparkPoints: (9,917)
Fitness Minutes: (13,078)
Posts: 659
5/28/13 10:22 P

I don't really use my microwave much, but I do make a double batch on a regular dinner night and use the extra for freezer meals like lasagna, enchiladas (would prob work on any type of casserole) in those disposable aluminum loaf pans and seal it up with my FoodSaver. The smallest (mini) ones are good 1-2 serving size. If I remember, I take it out of the freezer into the fridge the night before and pop it straight in the oven 45 minutes before dinnertime. Still not "instant" but it takes all the prep/clean up out of the cooking equation. Plus, I much prefer the taste/texture of food cooked in the oven to micro re-heated.



SPRINGBREEZI
Posts: 94
5/28/13 10:06 P





Edited by: SPRINGBREEZI at: 5/29/2013 (09:49)


EMILY0724
SparkPoints: (46,127)
Fitness Minutes: (20,411)
Posts: 1,970
5/14/13 9:47 A

tomato based pasta sauce, soups and chili freeze well. I cook for one--myself. when I make a recipe, I at least half it. I cook meat in bulk--grill or pan fry several chicken breasts. have one with veggies as a hot meal. I use the rest on salad or in chicken chili (which freezes). left-over cold grilled salmon becomes salmon salad with a tablespoon of low-calorie mayo and a little pickle relish. when I buy a beef roast, I cut it in half and freeze one portion. I make traditional pot roast. with the leftovers, I can make a shredded beef sandwich or have the base for a great veggie soup. You get the idea. Cook one day and have left-overs become quick, easy meals or frozen meals without eating the same old thing.



DIDS70
Posts: 5,070
5/13/13 4:26 P

In a manner of speaking i do what Rachel Ray does in her show- 5 meals in a day. She prepares 5 meals and either has you freeze them or put them in the fridge. The day you want to eat them, you heat them up. Though I don't mind frozen veggies, I would rather prepare those fresh the day i have the meal. Same with rice, potatoes or pasta. you are going to have to warm up your meal anyway, so while that is warming up, prepare your veggies.
You can always cut up and do a stir fry for dinner. Lots of veggies to incorporate there
You can put your veggies into serving containers in your fridge and prepare them while the rest of your meal is heating up. (i despise the flavor/texture of microwaved veggies)

As for one person? Most of the meals serve 4. I understand that you want a variety, so make the 5 meals and split into the appropriate amount of servings. You probably won't go through all the meals in a week and they should keep ok in your freezer. The next week instead of making 5 meals, maybe make 3. Stagger your prep days. By the end of the month you should have a nice stash of ready to eat meals.
This worked well for me when I was on the SAD diet, but now that I changed my lifestyle, I have recipe books that only make 1-2 servings (plant based meals). And I only buy what i need. Most from the farmers markets or bulk bins.

Hopefully some of this helps.



DIETITIANBECKY
Posts: 26,573
5/13/13 1:09 P

Take out the guess work and start using recipes that have already been tested and contain all the safety steps. Check out cookbooks (at library or bookstore) or websites using these terms:
batch cooking
big batch cooking
cooking in bulk
cook and freeze meals

Becky
SP Registered Dietitian Nutritionist



JAMIE68117
SparkPoints: (3,735)
Fitness Minutes: (4,971)
Posts: 58
5/13/13 1:03 P

I'm about to graduate college and I know my daily schedule is going to be changing soon. I don't want all the added stress to lead to a decline in my eating habits, so I'm thinking about preparing more meals ahead and then freezing them. In the past I have separated things out into separate freezer bags for portion control- but I've never done it with complete meals- like including portioned out veggies and everything. These past few weeks I know I haven't been eating nearly enough vegetables, so I would like to buy a bunch of frozen veggies and portion them out into freezer bags and make myself eat vegetables with each meal!

Anyway- sometimes I find it difficult to buy food and not have it go to waste because I buy just for myself. It's really hard to get a variety, and still be able to eat everything before it goes bad.

I was looking on this personaltrainerfood.com website, and it was appealing to me the way you could choose from soooo many different meals, and have a huge variety! Then they only took like 3 minutes to cook! Unfortunately even with the amazon coupon it's still just a little bit out of my price range (not to mention the fact that my small fridge/freezer wouldn't even fit all that food!)

I'd like to come up with some meals similar to what they have on that site- clean & quick.

What have you guys had success with freezing AFTER cooking, and then just reheating right up from frozen, without thawing it out?

This morning I cooked up a 100 calorie patty of turkey sausage and a slice of bacon- and had them on a mini bagel with a thin slice of cheese and a teaspoon of pancake syrup. It was under 300 calories and SO delicious and satisfying!

I'm kind of wondering if that sort of thing can be pre-cooked, and then frozen together as a sandwich and just microwaved? Brands like Jimmy Dean seem to make it work- but I'm not sure if they add extra crap to make it heat more evenly?

I'm also wondering if I could grill some chicken breasts- and then freeze them? And if they would be able to be microwaved straight from frozen?

Or if I could pre-cook my frozen salmon patties and then freeze them and warm them up without thawing them out?

Some of this is just going to take some experimentation- but any time-saving advice anyone has would be great!

I don't plan on doing 100% of my meals this way but just having simple stuff to warm up for meals when I don't have the time or energy to cook would be so helpful!





 
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