Episode 40: What to Freeze (and Not to Freeze) for Easy Weeknight Cooking
Growing up, freezer meals had a negative connotation and were synonymous with TV dinners, so it’s taken us some time to embrace the freezer as an extension of our pantries. But now that we have, our freezers house the most useful stock in our kitchens.
In this episode, we go over what to freeze and what not to freeze to make weeknight cooking fast and easy. With our freezer list and tips on how to avoid freezer burn, too, you’ll always be able to whip up a simple, delicious family dinner. Yes, even without a meal plan. Even without having gone grocery shopping. Your freezer is that good.
Spiral veggies! Veggie rice! Veggie pizza crusts! All great ideas, but who has the time?!
If you want to experiment with the look, flavor, and texture of veggies, but are too busy for the prep and don’t want to put money towards the pricey fresh prepped versions found in your produce aisle, check out the new line of Veggie Swap-Ins from our sponsor Green Giant. They make getting kids excited about veggies fast and simple.
— READ ON FOR HOW TO SAVE BIG ON THE ALREADY AFFORDABLE LINE OF GENIUS KITCHEN SHORTCUTS —
More Than the Place Where Foods Goes To Die
Used right, your freezer can give you life
This episode gets down to brass tacks, and quickly! There was just so much to say about what a lifesaver the freezer is — so long as you stock it with the right things that are prepped and stored the right way. Because, yes, it matters. Unless, of course, you're comfortable with freezer burned steak.
We didn’t think so.
While we’re always loath to tell you what you should or should not have or do in your kitchen, we do go over what we consider a comprehensive list of items that store well in the freezer and can improve your kitchen life.
Of course, if you’ll never make homemade stock, no big deal! Just skip that suggestion and keep cartons of stock on a shelf in your pantry. But if you’re looking to save money while also making sure that you always have what you need to whip up a family meal — even if you haven’t had time to grocery shop in two weeks — this episode has you covered.
Want to dig deeper? If you’re looking to learn more about the things referenced in this episode, here’s your one-stop shop:
Meghan’s easy Peach Freezer Jam recipe
Blueberry Cinnamon Freezer Jam recipe at Food In Jars
Freezer inventory list printable (labels too!) at The Homes I Have Made
Anylist (Meghan mentioned knowing folks who use this to make their freezer inventory list)
How to make vegetable broth with kitchen scraps at Little Broken
How to freeze rice at Budget Bytes
Tips for storing cooked pasta at Better Homes & Gardens
How to cook dry beans and freeze them for later at Kitchen Treaty
How to freeze cookie dough (and baked cookies too!) at Sally’s Baking Addiction
How to freeze whole tomatoes! at The Kitchn
What is Freezer Burn and How to Prevent It at The Kitchn
How to Thaw (Almost) Everything in the Microwave at Epicurious
Other Didn’t I Just Feed You episodes mentioned in this one — these are all great, relevant listens if you haven’t already listened to them. Or maybe if you just want a refresher!
The Busy Parents Guide to Instant Pot Cooking (where you’ll find recipes for both chicken and vegetable stock that you can make in an Instant Pot using cuts saved in your freezer)
Why Pasta is A Family Cook’s Best Friend (where you’ll find tips on how to cook pasta ahead to that you can freeze/defrost it without getting soggy)
And of course, the two articles we used for our game (which we want to continue with you on social, so be sure
About Our Sponsor
A huge thank you to Green Giant for sponsoring this week's episode
We admit it! We sometimes roll our eyes when experts suggest prepping veggies in fun, novel ways — even though we’re among those experts and have suggested that very thing (more than once!) on this very podcast. LIKE… IN THIS EPISODE!
The thing is, it works! But it also takes time and energy than a lot of busy parents don’t have.
That’s why we’re so incredibly excited about the new Green Giant Veggie Swap-Ins. Their frozen riced veggies, veggie spirals, veggie tots, and cauliflower pizza crusts are a busy cook’s dream by making it dead easy for us to switch up the flavor, look, and texture of veggies.
Made with nutritious vegetables like cauliflower, sweet potato, beets, and so much more, these affordable shortcuts make serving veggies easy, fast, and fun — without any pressure to cook them before they go bad, like the pricey prepped veggies you get in the produce aisle!
Follow us on Instagram
More tips, tricks, and good conversation
Whether you love to cook or loath the responsibility, whether you’re a single parent or raising your kid(s) with a partner, follow us on Instagram to join our community, get more tips, and keep the conversation going.
Everyone is welcome!
We want to hear from you!
We’re also talking on Facebook, if that’s where you like to be. We got personal in this episode and want to get personal with you, too, so tell us:
WHEN WOUD YOU FREEZE YOURSELF IN TIME?!