Freezer Food: Make Your Own Frozen Dinners

It can be very tempting to buy frozen dinners for their extreme convenience, but it’s rarely a good choice. While convenient, frozen dinners are costly and tend to contain ingredients that are simply not that healthy. By making your own food and freezing it in handy individual sized portions, you can have healthy, delicious food fast whenever you need it.

Choosing Recipes

It’s best to stick to a handful of recipes that you really enjoy. There’s nothing worse than looking into the freezer and seeing a bunch of dinners you really have no interest in eating. A few ideas include:

Chicken Curry
Beef Stew
Chicken or Veggie Soup
Corn Chowder
Beef and Broccoli with Cheese Sauce
Recipes that call for pasta or rice tend not to freeze well, so you may wish to make the sauce and then just cook the pasta separately. Not as instant, but better than mushy food!

Cooking the Freezer Dinners

When you cook to freeze, you might as well go whole hog. Triple or quadruple the recipe you plan to use. It takes very little extra time to do this and you’ll end up with plenty of food to add to your freezer.

Most people find it easiest to do all the shopping on one day and all the cooking the next. This means you will be cooking several different recipes all in one day and it works well if you just want to do everything all at once. However, you can also build up your frozen meals gradually by simply doubling a batch of anything you are making for dinner and freezing the extra portions. Do this every night of the week and you will have another week or two of meals in the freezer.

Storing Food for Freezing

You have two options for freezing your dinners. You can freeze them in Ziploc bags or in containers. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Ziploc bags can hold up to a gallon of food, but for individual portions, you’ll want to look at smaller bags. The great thing about these is that they can be pressed flat once you have sealed them and they can stack in flat piles in the freezer, which makes for better use of space. However, you cannot reheat the food in the bag, so you’ll have to put it on a plate or in a bowl first.

Microwaveable, freezable containers can be used very easily to keep your dinners, then reheat and eat them right out of the container. Most come with snap on or screw on lids and are available in a variety of sizes. They are also stackable, but tend to take up more room.

Making your own frozen dinners is a great way to save time, money and ensure that you get fast, healthy meals every day. If you are willing to do it yourself, you’ll be amazed at the difference.