Welcome to the Favorite Freezer Foods Ezine Issue #7: Cook Once Eat Twice

February 4, 2010

What’s New This Month?
Cook Once Eat Twice
Fresh Or Frozen Veggies

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What‘s New This Month?

On the home front: Lat month I wrote about mindful eating. This month I'd like to tell you we mindfully eat more frozen store bough pizza and potato chips in a January than we did in all of 2009. It was like the diet I had in college but with less Pepsi and Snickers.

Cooking is much harder with no sink, faucet, cabinets or countertops. For awhile I didn't even have an electric line to plug in my stove. The microwave and slow cooker in the bedroom have been my crutches.

On www.FavoriteFreezerFoods.com: Despite the kitchen renovation madness I've been testing some new recipes for the freezer. Chicken Cannelloni is almost ready and the Stuffed Acorn Squash was a watery bland disaster. In the meantime there are also some new cook book reviews published.

Cook Once Eat Twice

Since I started cooking for the freezer I rarely make only one meal at a time. After you've done the planning, shopping and prep work, let alone the cooking, you've invested a lot of time into a meal. Doubling it is simply a matter of making up your mind before you shop.

You're already shopping for the same ingredients, often you can save money because your buying larger quantities. You don't have to dirty any more dishes while you prep because the knife and cutting board are already being used and you can just use larger pots, pans and bowls.

Most meals make great leftovers and can be reheated for breakfast or lunch the next day even if they aren't frozen. But doubling or tripling up and freezing some gives you more variety.

How can you get started doubling up meals for the freezer? Simply make a double or triple batch of your favorite freezer friendly meal. If your not sure if it will freeze you can ask me or test a single serving and reheat it.

As for flavor I don't adjust much when cooking for the freezer. Acidic flavors will get stronger and you might want to go light on them but I don't worry about quantities of garlic, onion or herbs. Texture change is the biggest factor but you can read up on foods that can freeze well to get started.

My spinach artichoke dip is a great appetizer/side recipe to get started with. Make some for your Superbowl party and freeze the rest for a Valentine's Day appetizer or a side later in the month.

This is also a good time to make Carrot Cake ahead for Easter. Double the recipe and use two 9X13 pans or leave the recipe the same and use two 9 inch square pans and a little less time in the oven.

Come join me on Facebook. You’ll get a sneak peak of what I’m preparing for the site and links to recipes from other bloggers I’ve seen on the web and loved along with tips on how to freeze, thaw and cook them.

Fresh Or Frozen Veggies

It drives me mad when people talk about how good a dish way even though it was made with frozen vegetables. Seriously, the quality control on frozen veggies these days means that they are often better and fresher than the stuff in the produce section.

Fresh vegetables have their time and place. I love the crunch of fresh cucumber and the firmness of a fresh from the garden sun ripened tomato. Fresh Vegetables are the only option for fresh salads, are great on sandwiches and burgers and make more authentic stir fries than their frozen friends.

Frozen vegetables however last longer helping reduce waste and save money. They are already washed and cut saving time. And frozen vegetables can be healthier than the fresh veggies in grocery store because every day after a fruit or vegetable is picked it looses nutrients but freezing prevents that nutrient lose.

Considering that most vegetable get shipped half way around the world, sit at the store a few days and sit longer in your kitchen they have a long time to loose nutrients where as vegetables are processed to be frozen the day they are picked.

So how do I choose between fresh and frozen veggies? If I don't need my veggies fresh, for salad, sandwiches or just to snack on I buy frozen. Every time. Read more about why The Healthiest Produce is in the Freezer Aisle.

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Eat Well!
Michelle (and Trent) Zack


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