To help avoid this, I make meals for the freezer whenever I’m feeling energetic. I just prep a bunch of food on a Sunday afternoon, and then I have plenty to choose from when I'm feeling uninspired.
Many meals (and side dishes) can be made in big batches, then wrapped properly and stored in the freezer until ready to use. I just grab something out of the freezer in the morning (or night before) and place it in the fridge to thaw. When I get home that night, I just cook and serve.
The following are my go-to freezer meals:
(the ones with the * should not be baked before freezing)
- *Enchiladas: a meal on its own, but you can add a salad, corn cake, etc.
- Taco meat: all you need are shells, veggies, cheese, etc.
- Sloppy Joes: all you need are buns and a salad!
- Pasta sauce: just boil the noodles, warm up the sauce, and enjoy!
- *Chicken Strips: see the recipe in the October 14 post.
- Soup: the cream-based don’t re-heat as well; Italian wedding is my fave to freeze.
- Meatballs (Italian, Swedish, or Sweet & Sour): just add sauce and serve with a side!
- Quiche: see the recipe in the November 4 post.
- Meatloaf: I sometimes make mini loaves or muffin sized for individual lunches.
- *Lasagna: great for when I want comfort food!
- Chicken a la King: another great comfort food (I'll post the recipe tomorrow).
- *Twice-Baked Potatoes: more fun and much faster than regular baked potatoes.
I always try to double-wrap to avoid freezer burn. I use plastic wrap and then foil, and then put into zipper freezer bags. Use a permanent marker to label the bag with the food item and date.
For the super-organized, you can make a master list of everything you’ve prepared, the serving sizes, and the dates so that you can scratch each meal off as you use it and know when you’re getting low and need to re-stock.