If you love the convenience of frozen dinners but you hate the fact that they’re loaded with fat, calories, and artificial ingredients, rest assured that you can make your own frozen dinners instead. In this way, you’ll know exactly what’s in your meal and you can save a lot of time after a busy day at work when you just want to come home, relax, and enjoy a delicious homemade dinner.
Keep reading to learn more about how to go about making your frozen dinners at home. Then give these dinners a try and see how your family likes them.
Know What Ingredients and Meals Freeze Well
Not all foods will freeze well, so if you want to make your own frozen dinners and be successful at it, you will need to know what foods to stick with and which ones to avoid.
Generally, uncooked burgers (even veggie burgers), burritos, casseroles, calzones, cooked grains and beans, enchiladas, baked goods, quiche, manicotti, lasagna, mashed potatoes, pancakes, stuffed shells, tofu, chili, stew, spaghetti sauce, soup, taco fillings, waffles, and even French toast will freeze well. This means that you can definitely have frozen meals ready for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and even dessert.
You will want to avoid making meals that include ingredients that do not freeze well, such as cream sauces, egg based sauces, salad, hard-cooked eggs, stuffed poultry, fried foods, and instant rice.
Prevent Bacterial Growth
Before you make your own frozen dinners, consider the food safety issues that you may run into.
The key is to avoid keeping the food at a temperature that’s not too cold and not too hot. This in-between stage is when bacteria can flourish. Skip this stage completely whenever you thaw your food, and move through the stage as fast as you can whenever you cool your food.
For example, you should always thaw the food in your refrigerator, but if you have to thaw it quickly, you should hold it under cold running water or put it in your microwave on the defrost setting.
You should also cool your food as quickly as possible prior to putting it in the freezer. Place the food in a shallow container without a lid in order to disperse the heat more quickly. You can also quickly cool off hot foods by placing the container in a sink that’s been filled with ice.
With the above tips in mind, you can start making your own healthy frozen meals right at home.