Some days, it’s difficult to find time to eat a healthy meal. However with a little bit of organization and motivation, it’s possible to have a cooked meal without lots of time. The trick is to prepare a bigger quantity of a recipe when you do have the time and then freeze the extra in portioned plates or freezer bags. This way, after a busy work day, all you have to do is take your meal out of the freezer! Isn’t that great? Now, not all recipes will freeze well. Here’s a list of ideas of recipes that are great for cooking in batches and will taste delicious when reheated.
Stews and Simmered meals
Meals that are cooked in a sauce have the advantage of staying moist once reheated. Frozen in individual portions, they become your best friends for busy mornings, when all you have to do is slide the meal into your lunch box. For example, try this Eggplant Sweet Potato Coconut Curry makes for a great lunch with some chicken and rice.
Soup is a perfect example of a meal that freezers and heats up great. For example this Roasted Fennel and Parsnip Soup is a wonderful side to a meal that has less veggies. Double or triple this recipe depending on the space in your freezer.
On a really busy night, all you have to do is boil some pasta, heat up sauce that you already had frozen and your dinner is served. Have you tried spiralizing your veggies? For something different, try spiralizing your zucchini. It’s a neat way to fill half your plate.
Snacks freeze really well. Make muffins, breads or granola bars for an army and keep them in your freezer to have healthy snacks to grab at any time. To add some nutritious value to your snacks, add pureed fruits, a banana or dried fruit to the recipe.
Smoothies are a perfect snack or portable breakfast. I would suggest this green smoothie to add colour to your menu. Given the price of fruits in the cold season, forget about ice cubes and use frozen mango to save some money.
As well as these 5 menu ideas, you could also freeze any of your fresh veggies. All you have to do is blanch them (put them in boiling water for a few minutes) right before you freeze them. This process inactivates the enzymes in veggies which will stop them from changing their colour, texture or taste. This way, if you get low on fresh veggies you won’t have to run to the groceries store, the freezer is there for the rescue!
In short form, by preparing in advance it is possible to eat fruits and veggies even when you’re short on time. What are your favourite freezer meals to have?
Written by Marie-Ève Caplette, Registered Dietitian and Half Your Plate ambassador