Once a Month Freezer Meal Prep

Since I like my meals to be fresh, I don't freeze prepared meals, instead once a month I make a freezer meal prep plan.

Freezer Organized 5

I certainly don’t buy prepared frozen meals, and I rather have my meals freshly cooked.

So I use the freezer to store meal prep so I still cook fresh but save time using frozen meal preps. 

Different types of food can be stored for months and be there when you need them.

So here is what you’ll find in my freezer:

To the left is a chart of my usual storage system, but there are naturally some exceptions to it (though not as many as in French grammar!)

It refers to my first post: The Time-Saving Vegetables Rule

Whether cooked or uncooked, most proteins can be stored in the freezer: Meat, Fish, Cheeses, Eggs (not whole).

I always freeze meat and fish uncooked and into 4-person portions, so each time I will defrost only the quantity needed for our family meals.

The vegetables ruleIf you have egg whites leftover, freeze it. Once defrosted and at room temperature, you can make fantastic Meringues for a special occasion.

Picnic Sandwich 5_5_1_1

Bread also stores well in the freezer.

Even that fantastic Baguette “Tradition” I wrote about in the post:

4 Alternatives to the Beach Lunch Kiosk

If you let it defrost overnight on the kitchen counter, it will be like fresh the next morning.

If you warm it up for 2 minutes in the oven once completely defrosted, it will also have the same fragrance as newly baked ones. 

I usually only freeze vegetables that will be cooked or baked afterwards, in stews or quiches for example.

Most defrosted vegetables tend to be mushy, but that won’t matter for those types of recipes.

I do buy frozen peas and spinach because they freeze well and they are handy “back-up” vegetables to have on hand when you run out of fresh ones.

I also always freeze leftover meals...if there’s any left!

Basic Freezing for winter 3_2_1

Freezer Organized 4

When freezing and defrosting food, I follow these basic safety rules:

• If I want to freeze the meat or fish I’ve just bought at the store, I do it immediately, i.e. without letting it sit in my fridge for days.

• It’s best not to thaw food on the kitchen counter at room temperature, but I do. However I always make sure to put them in the fridge once they are completely defrosted.

• I never re-freeze thawed food.

• Food can be refrozen though if it has been gradually thawed in the refrigerator, but I never do this.

This is an additional safety precaution I always use:

We have a lot of lightning storms here in the region, especially during the end of the summer, and often the electricity gets cut off.

So this is what I do to make sure the food in the freezer is safe, especially if we are not at home or we are traveling.

I always leave a cup filled with ice cubes in the freezer.

If on our return I find a frozen cup of water instead of the ice cubes, then I know something happened.

The temperature was not maintained at freezing level, and so the food is no longer safe to eat.

 

Ice cubes for freezer

Basic Freezing for winter 2_1_1

In using the freezer, what really helps me to save time with the daily meal-making are the Base Ingredients and the Stocks that I prepare and freeze over a boring and rainy weekend.

Just 1 hour spent every second month makes me save hours on a weekly basis:

Mirepoix: Carrots, Onions and Celery
Grated parmesan
Breadcrumbs
Homemade Stocks

Basic Freezing for winter 31_2_1

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What do you keep in your freezer? Let me know in the comments below

  2 comments for “Once a Month Freezer Meal Prep

  1. Beth
    18th December 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Great tips, Laura! I will admit that I will leave some foods on the counter for a few hours to try to speed up their defrosting! I store just about the same things you do!

    • Laura
      18th December 2017 at 3:02 pm

      Yes, me too. I prefer to freeze prep food more than complete meals. I will do that occasionally only if I have leftover as I don’t like to throw away food

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