Friday, January 15, 2010

Manage Your Time; Make Double Batches!

What family these days isn't busy? With children being involved in extracurricular activities and parents working, it is very easy to just pick up take out or fast food for dinner on your way home from work! However, if you want a healthy alternative that will save you time and money, make double batches of dinners and FREEZE them! It is easy to take out something from the freezer to thaw before you go to work or to take it out to thaw when you get home. My mom used to have me take out the meat out of the freezer when I got home from school. That way it was thawed when she got home from work. As I got older, I would do much of prep work in preparing the dinners making it even easier for her when she got home.

How much would it take to make a double batch of your family's favorite dinners? My answer...very little! If you are making it already, it would only take a few extra minutes of prep work and a few minutes to place into freezer bags, label, and freeze! I keep freezer bags of different sizes and a Sharpie marker stocked in my kitchen to make it easy. Be sure to label what is in the bag, it may not be recognizable after it is frozen, and the date!

Here are some ideas of foods that I make double batches of and freeze:
  • soups (cream based and broth based)
  • stews
  • chili
  • chicken pot pie filling (use a prepared frozen pie crust to finish)
  • manicotti pasta stuffing
  • lasagna
  • mashed potatoes (they make excellent potato pancakes or hashbrowns for breakfast)
  • bean dishes
  • squash dishes
  • casseroles
  • spaghetti sauce
  • meatloaf
  • meatballs
  • homemade hamburger patties

Make and freeze your family's favorites. It will make your life easier on those busy nights while giving your family a healthy meal!

2 comments:

  1. When boiling potatoes for mashed potatoes, boil some extras (preferably whole). Pull them out so they are still solid in the middle. Boil too much and they will get soggy when you grate them. Let them cool while you are finishing dinner and cleaning up the kitchen after dinner. Grate them onto a cookie sheet. Fill the cookie sheet completely to the sides and as high as the sides. Carefully cut them into squares; trying not to move them. Cover with plastic wrap and put them in the freezer. The next morning, break the squares apart and put them in the freezer bags and back into the freezer. When you want to prepare them for a meal, just pull them out of the freezer, let them thaw slightly and fry them in the fry pan with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil. Tastes great. Be careful if they have a little frost on them or they are still frozen when you fry them because the hot oil will spatter the water back at you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great idea! Thanks for posting!

    ReplyDelete