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Old 06-02-2016, 03:06 PM   #1
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: Lake Tahoe, CA
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Make Ahead Frozen Meal Ideas?

In the summer I work 4 10 hour days and have a 45 minute commute 1 way so I don't have as much time to cook as I would like. I am also on a tight budget but don't really care for premade meals or too many casseroles that use condensed soup or flavor packets for flavor and nutritional reasons. Also my boyfriend works as a wildland firefighter for the forest service in the summer and lives in the barracks. I worry about him eating well because I already have to sneak veggies and things into most meals as he would be happy just eating McDonalds or nothing but meat and potatoes for every meal.

I'm not necessarily looking for health food but healthier options that I can make ahead and freeze well or can be good for about a week in the fridge so that I can send food for the week that takes minimal cooking or reheating for my boyfriend and isn't completely bad for you for me.

I know that chili and stews work well but I'm looking for anything else. Of course I can always make a salad on the side


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Old 06-02-2016, 03:17 PM   #2
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Make Ahead Frozen Meal Ideas?

Welcome to DC!

Lasagna freezes nicely, you can freeze it in two-person portions. Spaghetti sauce, maybe with Italian sausage also freezes well, cook the pasta separately, it only takes a few minutes. Any kind of soup: split pea with ham bone, bean, vegetable, pasta e fagioli, will keep in the fridge for a week, then you can freeze the rest when you get sick of it. Pseudo Egg McMuffins are awesome, they take just a minute in the nuker.

Make up a large batch of something on your time off.

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Old 06-02-2016, 03:43 PM   #3
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Anything with a sauce freezes well. I freeze everything to eat later. I just put a batch of oyster stew in the freezer. Try Beef Stroganoff. It's great from the freezer. I've even frozen Jambalaya which doesn't have a sauce. Of course if your fella likes three separate things on a plate rather than a bunch of stuff mixed together you're in trouble.

You may want to consider buying a good pressure cooker. They save a ton of time.
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Old 06-02-2016, 05:29 PM   #4
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Premade salad put in a jar or flavor sealed. Individually from the dressings.

BBQ pulled pork or beef. Let the crockpot do the work. Buns can be bought when needed.

Meatloaf with a twice baked potato and a veggie all freeze well together.

Banana nut bread.
Trail mixes.

Mini pizzas. You can use English muffins for the crust.Instead of making or buying the dough.

Mini pot pies.

Chicken pocket sammiches. Easy to make. Premade frozen bread dough can be used.

Cabbage rolls.

If you have a Costco near you they have a premade dinner in foil packs 6, heats in 1 minute "Madra's Lentils" Lentils, red beans in a creamy tomato sauce.I've bought a box, haven't had the time to try them yet. It says you can serve it over rice, make your own.Rice like batteries are NOT included.The box says you can make Taco's with it to.Add your own sides.

If your with me that's great. If not. Get out of my way.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:01 PM   #5
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Twice baked potatoes. You can add chopped veggies or chopped cooked bacon, ham, or pulled pork to the taters, Freeze. Nuke or oven to heat.

Swedish or Italian meatballs in gravy/ sauce freeze and reheat well.

Corn on the cob. Nuke in the husks. The silks release when you pull back the husks.

Sweet potatoes. Seem to be available year round. Nuke. slather with butter.

Bush's baked beans. They have about a bazillion flavors these days. they also come in about 4 inch tall cans as well as family size. Presumably the small size feeds 2(?), but I could eat the whole can for a meal. Serve as is or heat.
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Old 06-02-2016, 08:48 PM   #6
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Eggplant parm freezes well too.
What I like about it, is Ill have eggplant part for dinner, then in a few days make eggplant part hero/sub for lunch, and can even toss it on top of pasta for another dish.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:30 AM   #7
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Most things you can make in a slow cooker are good as leftovers, and should freeze well. I usually try to eat leftovers within a week. My new mom daughter makes big batches in her slow cooker so they have enough for one or two leftover meals. She's also found that a rice cooker is indispensable - add the rice and water, press the start button, and it will automatically switch over to keep warm mode when done. I bought a rice cooker a little over a year ago and wish I would have bought one when I was working.

A pressure cooker is the opposite of a slow cooker - same idea regarding the ingredients, but cooks in a fraction of the time. I recently bought a pressure cooker, and I'm getting used to the concept of 10 to 30 minute cook times, which just doesn't seem right after years of conventional cooking.

One of my common sides is to add some nuked veggies to cooked penne pasta and tossing with a bit of marinara. I make my own marinara and freeze it in small containers (so, so easy to do), but jarred marinara will work just fine. Leftovers are good as well.

It's good that you are looking at healthier options, and your boyfriend should appreciate your concern. When you make it yourself you can control what you eat. Shop the perimeter of the store for a healthier diet (processed foods are usually found in the aisles).

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