I will be the first to admit that I am all about convenience. I have a lot going on so after a long day at work, yoga class, feeding the cats, and cleaning up the house the last thing I want to do is cook. The end result is a lot of Panera and Wawa subs; neither healthy or inexpensive. This month I decided to prepare all of my work lunches for a month and then freeze them. For $90 I bought all of the ingredients for the lunches and some extra items for dinners. This month I cooked wild rice patties, black bean/quinoa/sweet potato chili, vegetable chili, bean soup and veggie soup. I did some research and talked to my mom (basically the most amazing woman in the world who holds answers to all of life’s questions) and learned that some things do not freeze well. For example: white potatoes, zucchini, or any other veggie with a high water content. In addition, I did not add any spices because those will be added during the defrost process because freezing tends to alter them slightly. (Added bonus: You can change the flavor of each meal by adding different spices. If I am craving something spicy I will add hot sauce to my veggie soup, or if I want an Italian flare I add garlic salt.) After 6 hours of veggie chopping, scrubbing, simmering, and stirring I had separated the 4 soup dishes into 16 Rubbermaid freezer safe bowls and the patties went into a freezer safe bag. (Make sure to let the items cool before sealing them and putting them in the freezer). I was totally worth all of the work because for the past week I have brought my lunch to work everyday, and saved money and calories. I have enough food to last me another 3 weeks and I am already down 3 more pounds! In addition to the frozen meals I picked up 3 apples and after rinsing them in vinegar I sliced them, squeezed some lemon juice over them and put them in baggies in the fridge for a quick healthy snack.
For anyone living a hectic lifestyle I would highly recommend they try making their own healthy freezer meals 🙂