Preparation is KEY to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, so today I’m sharing three easy freezer meal ideas so you’ll always have a quick and healthy option on hand.
What I love about these freezer ideas is that you only have to do the prep work once, while making enough food for two or more meals. It’s a win-win situation! Vegetable-based meals are a little trickier to freeze than more traditional meals, so these are the three options I defer to the most often– because I know they work.
I hope you enjoy the video below:
You may have noticed that I’ve been experimenting with some non-toxic food freezer containers. Zippered plastic bags make an easy non-breakable choice for storing food in the freezer, but I try to avoid plastic as much as possible and I love finding reusable alternatives that save money while also reducing waste. My latest find has been these silicone bags, which are reusable and hold about 4 cups of food (or one large serving of a veggie-based meal). I used them to freeze both the Cauliflower Fried Rice and the Sweet Potato Noodles with success! To release the frozen veggies from the bag, simply run warm water over the sealed bag until you feel the vegetables loosen in the bag. (You can also thaw them in the fridge overnight if you’re planning ahead of time.)
Here are the details for the three freezer meals I mention in the video:
1. Sweet Potato Noodles with Roasted Red Pepper Cream Sauce
To Freeze: Use a spiral slicer to create spaghetti-like noodles out of a peeled sweet potato. I usually aim for one large sweet potato per person, and store each portion of noodles in an individual bag in the freezer for an easy single-serving dinner. To prepare the sauce, simply blend the ingredients together and pour the creamy sauce into an ice cube tray for easy portioning. Once frozen solid, you can pop the cubes out of the tray and store them in an airtight container to maintain their fresh flavor.
To Cook: In a large saucepan over medium heat, add in one bag of the frozen noodles and 4 to 5 frozen sauce cubes, along with any additional frozen veggies you like. (You may need to run the bag of frozen noodles under hot tap water to help loosen the contents first.) Cover the pot and allow the frozen items to thaw for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the frozen noodles. Remove the lid and stir, making sure that all the vegetables are warm throughout. Adjust the seasoning to taste, and serve piping hot.
To Freeze: Use a food processor to quickly shred all of the vegetables you’ll need for this recipe, including the cauliflower, onion, carrots, and celery. Stir the mixture to distribute the veggies evenly, then divide them into individual freezer bags. (One full bag = one serving.) Place the sealed bag in the freezer until ready to use.
To Cook: Melt a teaspoon of coconut oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and sauté a clove of minced garlic and a teaspoon of minced ginger for one minute, just until fragrant. Add in the bag of frozen shredded vegetables, and use a wooden spoon or spatula to break them up as they thaw in the pan. (My veggies usually freeze into a solid mass, so it can take about 5 minutes for them to thaw in the pan and completely break apart again.) Add in a generous splash of soy sauce or tamari and stir until the veggies are completely heated through. If you’d like to add scrambled egg to the dish, make a well in the middle of the pan and crack two eggs in the center of the pan. Scramble the eggs until they’re soft and fluffy, then incorporate them into the rest of the veggie mixture. Season to taste with salt and/or soy sauce and serve warm.
3. Easy Coconut Curry over Quinoa
To Freeze: Prepare the quinoa according to package directions and store it in individual jars for each serving. Prepare the sauce using this recipe and allow the sauce to cool. Pour the cooled sauce into ice cube trays for easy portioning. Once the cubes are solid, dip the bottom of the tray in a sink full of hot water to help them loosen, then store the cubes in a large airtight bag or container in the freezer until ready to use.
To Cook: To remove the frozen quinoa from the glass jars, run them under hot tap water until you feel the sides loosen. Transfer the frozen quinoa to a large saucepan over medium heat and add in 4 to 5 frozen curry sauce cubes, along with any frozen vegetables you like. Cover the saucepan with a lid and allow the frozen items to thaw for 10 minutes, using a wooden spoon or spatula to occasionally break up the frozen quinoa and vegetables. Remove the lid and stir the ingredients until heated throughout, then season with additional salt and pepper, if needed, and serve warm.
I hope these ideas come in handy the next time you’re pressed for time and need a quick meal!
Reader Feedback: What are your favorite freezer meals? Feel free to share them in the comments below!
Questions and Reviews
Great ideas! Thanks for putting these ideas all together, this will help me a lot..especially during the winter months!
so glad that your doing videos now!!! i hope you’ll have more for us! you look great on camera by the way 🙂
Thanks! There’s definitely a little bit of a learning curve with the videos for me, but I do plan on doing more in the future. 🙂
Just wanted to say how much I love your site! I bought your cookbook and am really enjoying it. I live in China and it’s difficult to find ingredients here that a lot of health food blogs call for, but your recipes are so simple and easily adapted that I can make a lot of them with no problems.
I’m always excited about new freezer options. I just find that when I’m sick or the kids are sick or I’m just plain exhausted that I need a meal from the freezer to get dinner going quicker. Then I can just make a salad/fruit salad and be all set. Best of all? I don’t end up ordering yet another pizza that I don’t need to eat!
I’m pretty good with making leftovers to have for lunch the next day, but I need to get into having a couple freezer meals available so that takeout doesn’t become the only option on busy days!
These are some great ideas for some make ahead meals. I love the idea of making coconut curry sauce and freezing it in ice cube trays. You can never go wrong with a good curry! Thanks for sharing.
Do you offer ideas for meal planning? That’s my struggle. Planning ahead.
Just wondering your opinion- is it best to forget about starcher carbs if one wishes to drop body fat? My nutritionist believes that focusing on fruits/veggies/raw nuts/good fats/lean protein is all i need for now, even though I am very athletic. What could I substitute for recipes you have featuring quinoa? I esp love the idea of the vegetable curry…Also- please bring back “What I ate Wednesday’s”- I wanna be you when I grow up! Lol
Great video & thanks for the tips for quick make-ahead healthy meals! Love your recipes!!!
Mmm… The sweet potato noodles look amazing!
Congrats – you did a great job on the hallmark channel !!!! Love that you have video too now !!! Be blessed, Lyn :]
Just watched your video and enjoyed it very much! Especially the sweet potato noodles. Neat idea!
Where can I buy a machine like that?
I love all your recipes!
Glad you liked it! I bought my spiral slicer to make the noodles on Amazon: http://amzn.to/1QbV3wl
I think this is a great idea. Personally, I eat meat, but I could just throw chicken into some of these dishes and freeze. Thanks for the tips.
oops, totally gave the wrong website.
I love all your recipes. Thanks!
These are really great ideas! I’m really glad to find meat-free and gluten free recipes, and these are also great ideas for saving time. Thanks 🙂
For another freezer idea, I always make a triple recipe of your sweet potato lentil curry, which my family loves. It takes a big pot, but I freeze two meals that can bail us out later in the month. It works very well for us, but we aren’t fussy about a dente lentils. 😉