While life hustles and bustles by, most working women are looking for ways to simplify the work that they have at home and find ways to put a good hot meal on the table for dinner that doesn’t take all day to cook. Cooking ahead and freezing meals can be the answer to those busy days that they need a good meal on the table without a lot of effort. Knowing what foods can be frozen may be an issue when this solution is being thought about.
Soups are one of the most common foods that can be frozen and served in just a few minutes. The key to freezing these and storing them without possibly having a mess in your freezer is to freeze them in freezer bags laid flat on a cookie sheet and then you can actually line them up in a basket put into the freezer for use later. Freezing them flat will allow them to be stored easier and safer. Beef stews work the same way. Think of how many meals you could make if you were to freeze many soups ahead of time and freeze them. It would be possible to serve soup and sandwiches or use the soups as a base for many other foods that might be easy if you did not have to prepare the soup base for it. I have frozen beef broth and other broths to use at a later time. Most gravies will freeze well too.
Cooked rice, which can be a major part of a meal or can be a perfect side dish, can be frozen with little effort. It must be cooled first, but spread onto a lined baking sheet and coat with a small amount of vegetable oil so the grains will separate and then freeze. Once frozen, remove from the pan and transfer to a freezer bag. Once you remove it from the freezer, it will not take long to heat up and serve in a just a few minutes.
Lasagna is another quick meal that can be made ahead and frozen. You could prepare it, except for cooking and put into the freezer in a container or you could cook it except for about 15 minutes (this is my preferred method) and then freeze. Remove from the freezer and finish cooking; you will have a meal ready while toasting some garlic bread.
If you do some planning and cooking ahead, mealtime can be easy even on those days that you do not have the time to cook. Just take some time to get some ready to serve meals in the freezer and be sure to use them within a reasonable amount of time so that they do not get freezer burnt.
Other items that can be frozen easily are eggs, nuts, and cheese. For eggs, you will want to lightly beat them and freeze in lidded ice cube trays so that they are separated for use. One egg will fill two cubes. Nuts must be stored in airtight containers or freezer bags and can be kept for up to 6 weeks. There is no need to thaw these before adding to a recipe. Cheese will freeze well if you cut it into blocks and wrap each block in plastic and then put inside a freezer bag. If you need grated cheese, then it is best to do that while it is frozen, but for any other uses be sure to thaw in refrigerator.
It seems that many women are realizing that grocery costs can be lowered if food is frozen for later use and to keep the food fresher. I recommend that you keep your freezer organized by labeling everything and adding baskets in the freezer to hold certain items. Saving time and money when you need a quick nightly meal on a budget will be easier with these few tips.