Customizing Your Freezer Meals

Did you know you can tailor your freezer meals to meet your needs? Maybe you have dietary restrictions and want meals on hand you can readily eat. Maybe you are cooking for only one or two. Or maybe you want to create frozen diet meals. By customizing your freezer meals, you put your freezer to work for you.

Single-Serving Sizes

Single-serving-sized freezer meals are perfect for single people and for lunch at work. Lasagna is a great example of a dish that is easily made into single-serving sizes. Make the lasagna according to the recipe but instead of freezing it as an entire meal let it cool then cut into single portions for freezing. Single portions mean less waste and have the advantage of controlling your portions.

Homemade TV Dinners

Buy a variety of plastic containers shaped like traditional TV dinner trays. Make an entire dinner including main dish, sides, and dessert and then portion it out so each tray contains main dish, side dish, and dessert portion. Cover tightly and freeze. When you need something quick for dinner or would like to bring a hot lunch to work, heat it up in the microwave and enjoy a homemade TV dinner.

Diet Meals

You've no doubt seen the frozen diet meals in the grocery store. They look appetizing on the package, but the finished meal never seems to match the picture. What if you could create your own frozen diet meals that look delicious even after cooking?

When you put together your own low-fat and low-calorie meals, you help yourself lose weight and eat healthy. You control the portions as well as the ingredients that go into the meal. Each recipe in this book includes nutritional information per serving so you can choose recipes based on calories or fat content.

Can leftover rice be frozen?

Yes, leftover rice can be frozen as long as it isn't instant rice. A great idea for leftover rice is to start a rice bag in your freezer. Every time you have any left over, add it to the bag. When you gather enough for a meal, defrost, heat, and serve!

Freezing Leftovers

How many times have you thrown away leftovers gone bad and felt guilty by the amount of wasted food? Instead of putting the leftovers into the refrigerator, next time label and freeze them. Get creative with your leftovers. Some cooks have containers in the freezer where they add leftover vegetables. When the container becomes full, they add broth and seasoning and have vegetable soup!

How to Turn Your Recipe into a Freezer Meal

Turning your favorite recipe into a freezer meal is easy:

  • Look through all ingredients and make sure everything can be frozen.

  • Decide if it is better to cook the meat before freezing or freeze it raw. Freezing meat raw allows it to soak up the flavors of marinades and sauces, making it more moist and flavorful. Generally speaking, meat cooked with a sauce is frozen raw, and meats cooked within a casserole should be cooked first.

  • Write out the recipe noting what is to be done on freezing day and what is to be done on reheating day. Check that you haven't missed any steps or ingredients.

  • Test your recipe and make changes as needed.

You'll learn what works and what doesn't as you convert your own recipes. With a little practice, you will become a pro at making freezer meals.

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  3. Introduction to Freezer Cooking
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