Meal Planning Tips

Are you super busy and find yourself struggling to prepare healthy-delicious meals? I got simple tip for you which I also practice and I found it really effective. If you are a working mom and trying to balance work and being a homemaker, then this tip might save you from going gaga when you get home from work. Especially, if you are a hands on mom in the kitchen.

Even how busy you are, it’s still possible to cook for your family. It’s all about planning your meal for a week or so.

DSC_4745
Pasta sauce I cooked – chilled – frozen. I will just reheat it when I need to and cook the pasta at the same time.

You probably got an idea already based on this photo. Yes, you are correct! It’s as simple as COOK – CHILL – FREEZE – REHEAT.

Cooking batches of meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, or sauces at once, then quick-chilling, and freezing them for later use means that dinner can be ready right away when you arrived home tired and hungry.

Here’s few things you need to consider:

1) Container: Cooked food or sauces need to store in the best-fitting shallow containers. Transparent container is the best choice as you can easily see what’s inside, yet you can also label the container if it isn’t transparent. You can use a microwavable or non-microwavable, it depends on your preference. Although glass container is more eco-friendly, you can still use container made of plastic or freezer zip-lock bag. Just make sure you check the marked BPA-free on the box itself, but others you can just look at the plastic recycling code on the container. Anything with BPA in it likely has a symbol “7”, which may be hazardous to your family, especially to your kids. Remember the liquid expands by 10 percent when frozen, so do not over-fill the containers. Leave some space according to the amount of liquid. If you don’t do this, soups, sauces and fruits in liquid will push off their lids, once frozen.

2) Frozen Food Duration: As a general rule of thumb, frozen food will keep for three months in a standard home freezer functioning normally before starting to show signs of freezer burn. Freezer burn is the foe of any frozen food and it’s inevitable, even in a well-packaged food. That’s why, It’s important to press as much air out of your package as possible. In this regard, freezer bags are convenient to use. Vacuum is also useful. By removing much air from the container, it will prevent from freezer burn. But technically, you can still eat the food that developed freezer burn but it lacks flavor and texture already. Here’s what I do, since I don’t have a vacuum and I prefer container more than zip-lock bag. I just prepare food for a week consumption or two. This is the safest for me. Containers are more organized and it won’t get any hole at all to compare with zip-lock bag. While, if you intend to keep the food longer, it is advisable to label the container with production date.

3) Don’t: Never re-freeze anything that’s been frozen. Storing the food in a proper size container is essential. You need to decide the amount of food you want to take out from the freezer. Once you remove food from the freezer and reheated, you need to consume it or dispose off the remaining. It’s not advisable to refrigerate again.

I hope these tips help you manage your time in preparing healthy meals for your family and even for yourself. I would love to hear your feedback and experience. Drop a comment below.

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