Sunday Thoughts (magic box)
What if I told you your kitchen has a magic box?
One that can save you time.
Help you lose weight.
Keep you healthy and strong.
Save you money.
And help you avoid the pitfalls that sabotage us when we try to stick to a healthy meal plan?
Since I’m looking at a pretty slow Sunday afternoon today, I’m going to tap into this magic box. (I miss football season…)
And I’ll use it to help Karen and I enjoy delicious meals for the next week or more.
Have you guessed what it is yet?
I’m talking about your freezer.
Your freezer is a bit of an unsung hero in your kitchen.
And when you have a slow day ahead like I do, you can use it to set yourself up for delicious meals that are quick to prepare during a busy week ahead.
Today I’m going to be doing a little shopping. And then, I’ll get to work prepping at least 3-4 meals that we can put on the table quickly sometime down the road.
In individual portions, in case one of us is out and about.
In almost every case, a “home-cooked” meal is going to be healthier for you than the one you pick up in a pinch at a restaurant or store.
And cheaper too.
All it takes is a little pre-planning, and you’ll look forward to dipping into that magic box all week long.
Nearly everything can be frozen and brought back to life. Most of the nutrients are preserved, and if you bring things back to temperature slowly instead of nuking them in the microwave, the taste won’t suffer either.
If you commit to a few hours of batch cooking, you’re probably going to want to clear the deck fast when you’re done. But don’t rush the cooling process.
Let things cool down first before you pop them in the icebox. You don’t want hot foods lowering the temp of the foods around them.
It’s important to freeze things in portions. The last thing you want to encounter when you’re looking for a quick meal is a giant brick of soup or chili.
One way to portion things is by using a muffin tin. Freeze soups and stews in small portions, then pop them out and put them in bags once frozen.
Your best bet for defrosting is always in the fridge. Leaving something out on the counter, especially meats and chicken, is an invitation for spoiling.
And if you store your frozen bounty in a glass dish, be careful not to pop a cold dish right in the oven.
Or you could be looking at a shrapnel-filled mess if your dish shatters from the temperature swing.
Freezer meals don’t have to be just dinners either. A breakfast casserole with eggs, meaty protein and veggies like spinach and peppers freeze well too. And of course, they don’t have to be just a morning meal.
When I’m looking for a quick and easy burger fix, sometimes I’ll freeze up a batch of turkey/bacon burgers.
I like a regular burger, but when I’m craving something different, ground turkey breast, bacon and some shredded veggies like zucchini add some great moistness and nutrition.
I cook the bacon first, then add onion, garlic and other veggies. Once it’s all sautéed, I add that to my ground turkey.
A little salt & pepper, form the patties, and brown the burgers off. Pop them in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes… and perfection.
Sunday dinner is served, and I’ve got extras waiting for me later in the week, for a quick & healthy lunch or dinner.
Ok, got to get cooking. Enjoy the rest of your weekend.