Karrie Truman, author of Seriously Good Freezer Meals, responds to freezer meal myths armed and ready to debunk them.
Freezer food doesn’t taste fresh. FALSE! I used to think all freezer food meals tasted terrible because I was used to the heavily processed frozen meals at the supermarket. But once I started making my own recipes I discovered the secrets to making seriously good freezer meals at home.
Freezer meals make too much food for my family of two. The majority of recipes in my book make six servings. You could freeze all of those servings or could get creative and downsize the recipes. If, for example, you want to make my Momma's Lasagna, make it in two 8-inch (20 cm) baking dishes, each of which will serve three people, instead of making one 13- by-9-inch (33 by 23 cm) baking dish.
It takes a whole day to do the cooking. You are in control of how much time you want to spend in the kitchen, whether it’s making one meal or fifty. If you don’t want to do a ton of freezer meals in a day, consider just making double or triple batches of the meals you make each day and freeze the others for another time. This is a great way to save some meals for later, but not have to spend a whole day cooking.
My family has special dietary needs, so freezer meals won’t work for us. Not a problem! There are recipes in this book for people who eat a vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free diet (see ‘how to use this book’ to get more information about the icons).
I don't know how to make freezer meals. I get it, making freezer meals for the first time can be a bit scary. However, anyone who can read a recipe can make more than one freezer meal in a day. It's so much easier than you think! Just make one recipe at a time, freezing as you go. Using my techniques and instructions in this book will help you to quickly become a confident freezer meal at home cook.
You must have more than one freezer. While it is nice to have more than one freezer, it is certainly not necessary. In fact, for the first five years I made freezer meals I used a standard freezer above the refrigerator. It held a month's worth of meals as long as I had everything else cleaned out. I used stacks of plastic freezer bags that froze flat to save space.
Freezer containers are bad for the environment. There are numerous options to choose from for your freezer containers: glass, metal and ceramic containers as well as mason jars can be washed and reused several times. If you use glass, make sure you get a heavy-duty glass, such as Pyrex, so the glass will withstand the freezing process and not crack. There are also reusable bag options available, too.
Stocking up on freezer containers costs more than I will save. Let's be honest, not everyone can afford to go out and buy ten environmentally safe reusable glass baking dishes just to get started. While it is nice to use these reusable containers, the good news is that most of my recipes can be placed into freezer-safe bags or wrapped in casserole dishes you already own. If you have these options available you can begin making freezer meals. Eventually you can slowly add some reusable containers to your freezer meal process as your budget allows. Just remember that by making these freezer meals, you are avoiding any last-minute food outings, saving both time and money!
My family won’t eat casseroles. The days of freezer meals only being cream-based casseroles are long gone. In this cookbook you will find all sorts of recipes from different cuisines using fresh ingredients like fajitas, lettuce wraps, fried rice, muffins and more.
Courtesy of Karrie Truman, author of Seriously Good Freezer Meals: 150 Easy Recipes to Save Your Time, Money & Sanity, © 2017 www.robertrose.ca Available where books are sold.