Last week I talked about how important it is to have a meal plan and some of the things that might stop you from creating one.
But what do you do when all your careful planning falls through? When you can't make what you planned for the night because life happened.
Maybe you had to work overtime. Or traffic sucked. Or you got sick. And now you simply don't have the time, energy or willpower to cook what you wanted.
You need an Emergency Meal. And your freezer is your best friend yet again.
In my house, our emergency meal was mac n cheese. It's a meal my husband and I could make with our eyes closed no matter what. I even made some over a propane camping heater during a power out once. Not that I expect you to do that; it was storming and we didn't want to drive anywhere.
But now it's more likely that we pull something from the freezer than from the pantry when we need an emergency meal.
As you use your freezer more and start meal planning every week, pick some meals that you can double and freeze for days off from dinner and for emergencies.
You can work up to having two Emergency meals in the freezer. One for when you're short on time and one for when you'll be home and have time but just can't bring yourself to cook.
When you're short on time you want something you can reheat fast. Like something pre-cooked in a single portion that you could reheat in the microwave in minutes. Here's 5 examples:
2) Burritos (For example: chicken, beef, black bean and rice)
3) Slices of quiche
4) Prebaked Calzones (pizza or bread dough stuff with cheese and meat or veggies)
5) Soup, stew or chili
When time isn't really a factor because you'll be home but just can't cook because you're not feeling well you can heat up something that takes longer to cook.
1) A frozen casserole (Sheppard's Pie, Enchiladas)
2) A pasta dish (stuffed shells, cannelloni, lasagna)
3) Meatloaf or meatballs
4) Homemade pizza or unbaked calzones
5) Beef or pork roast
Pro tip: You can bake a frozen beef or pork roast without thawing it first.
Emergency meals are great for nights you can't follow your meal plan so you don't have to resort to take out or delivery. It's one more way freezer cooking helps you eat healthier and saves you money.
P. S. I'm thinking of hosting a webinar on meal planning to walk you through the process that I use. Hit reply and let me know if that is something you are interested in.