We all have those days when we either run out of time to cook, or just don’t have the energy at the end of the day. Storing meals allows you to have a homemade meal with essentially no work, on the day you need it. It is also a money-saver, because you can buy meat and other ingredients in the economy size. You spend a little more up front, but save overall!
Sometimes when you wrap food to put it in the freezer, the aesthetic value is lost. Things don’t come out of the freezer looking like they did when you put them in. They get mashed up in the freezer bag and often won’t come apart without looking horrid!
I’m sure I am not the first person to think of this, but I have discovered if I flash freeze the items FIRST, then wrap them; they look a lot better the day I want to thaw and cook them!
Here’s the idea: Spray some wax paper with non-stick spray, place the wax paper in a dish , and place the food on the wax paper covered dish. Pop them in the freezer, uncovered, for 20-45 minutes depending on whether it is a wet or dry food item. Then remove the dish from the freezer, wrap and date the food, and return to the freezer! Voila! This keeps your food looking like it was made on the day you decide to use it!
We recently made meatloaf in cooking class. This is a great recipe for flash freezing because it makes 8 individual meatloaves–that’s 2 meals for my family. I bake 4 on the day I make them, and flash freeze 4 for later.
As I told the girls, I’m not much of a meatloaf eater, but my husband and kids love it! I came up with this recipe, using half ground turkey (instead of pork or veal) and tons of pureed veggies. It really lightens the meatloaf and suits my taste buds much more than heavy traditional meatloaf. I decided to make individually sized meatloaves, because they cook much faster than a large loaf. I serve this with Mashed Cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes. Nothing against mashed potatoes, but I figure as long as we are lightening thing up… Mashed Cauliflower has only 30% of the carbs mashed potatoes have, AND about half the fat–you just don’t seem to need as much butter! You’d be surprised how delightful it tastes! If you didn’t know better, you’d think you were eating potatoes! My kids (who happen to have well-trained palettes for 5 and 7) are fooled every time!
(This Meatloaf recipe has moved to THIS PAGE.)