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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time To Double Up

This is the time of year that I make double batches of many dishes so I can freeze some for later.  Last night I made red beans and rice, an easy dish, and froze half for another meal.  This is such a simple dinner solution for all those busy nights when you really don't have time to cook. 

Here is my list of favorite foods that freeze well.
1.  Chili
2.  Spaghetti*
3.  Chicken spaghetti (I don't add the spaghetti before freezing.)
4.  Red beans and Rice (add rice later too)
5.  Beef Soup*
6.  Zydeco Soup*
7.  Minestrone (add pasta later)*
8.  Meatballs*
9.  Grilled or Smoked Pork Tenderloin
10.  White Chili (made with chicken and white beans)

Of course there are many casseroles and soups that freeze well.  I usually don't freeze the rice or pasta and while I have frozen chicken and dumplings, it just isn't as good as when made fresh.  I find it isn't much harder to make a double batch when I am already cooking.  I have had good luck freezing many things in gallon Ziploc bags but I also use those disposable plastic dishes with lids that go from the freezer to the oven.  Remember to label and date your food so you don't have to guess what it is later.    

Just think how nice it would be not to worry about dinner when you know your schedule is tight.  You simply pull out your meal and let it thaw in the refrigerator all day and heat it up that night.  Add a simple side dish or salad and you are done without relying on fast food.  I have a friend who regularly makes extra to freeze.  She likes to make baked goods such as muffins to freeze as well.  Give this a try and see if it doesn't make your life easier.

Thursday, I'll post a recipe for Red Beans and Rice.  Until then, you may want to check out these ideas for keeping track of the calories you consume each day.  Use apps on your iPhone such as  or Lose It!  Many restaurants have their nutrition information online so you can see just what you are ordering.  You can print these out and keep them in your car for reference.   The USDA has two websites you may find helpful; and 

*Recipes for these are on my blog, see the list on the side.

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