Reality check for busy newlyweds! As you settle into daily life in your first home, keeping happily, healthily and yummily fed can pose quite a challenge. With most modern couples pulling a 40-hour work week and a daily commute, who has the time and energy to cook a meal from scratch every evening? The solution: make-ahead meals for two! See how this can work for you, with our recipe choices from some great food sites and our product picks for freezer and storage containers.
Recipes You Can Make-ahead and Freeze
Thank goodness that cooking sites today have entire sections on freezer meals! These are just the thing for whipping up all in one go on the weekend, dividing into portions for two, then freezing to be served at the end of a workday.
These recipes have ingredients and procedures specifically chosen for preserving flavors and textures all the way to thawing and reheating. And final steps like adding vegetables, seasonings, sauces, breads or freshly-boiled pasta are recommended for “just cooked” enjoyment come serving time!
1 – Minty Tomato Soup from My Recipes
2 – Late-Summer Vegetable Minestrone from Martha Stewart (photography by Anna Williams)
3 – Paleo Beef and Broccoli Freezer Meal from Happy Money Saver
4 – Fontina Chicken and Pasta Bake from Taste of Home
5 – Italian Five Cheese Chicken Roll-ups from Kraft Recipes
6 – Beefy Baked Ravioli: Easy Fake-out Lasagna from Thriving Home Blog
7 – Asian Lettuce Wraps from Happy Money Saver
Meal Freezing + Storage Products
A huge part of the success of the make-ahead approach for meals is proper freezer containers and kitchen accessories.
Glass containers are highly recommended since they preserve the flavors and aromas in the stored food itself, rather than having these absorbed by the container. Just be sure to choose products that say freezer-safe and have air-tight, spill-free lids. Plastic storage pieces are another handy option, as well as specially-designed freezer bags.
Stock up on a practical assortment, like this 24-piece set of glass containers in varied sizes with BPA-free lids (2). For large or oddly-shaped food items, have tall round glass containers with silicone-lined seals (3), and for soups and saucy dishes, choose glass weck jars with removable rubber ring and spring clamps (4).
If you like the versatility of plastic containers, consider these collapsible silicone containers (5) that save space by collapsing to ⅓ of their full height when needed, and have adjustable valve lids for freezing and microwaving. Even greater space-savers are these freezer quart bags (6) that you can flatten and stack neatly in your freezer, or these stand-up reusable storage bags (7).
And to be sure you know what you’ve packed away in your freezer, how handy are these self-adhesive, non-porous freezer labels (1). The starter kit comes with a marker and eraser, so you can relabel your containers as the contents change!
Where to buy these great products? Here are our suggested products (*contains affiliate links):
1 – Erasable Food Storage Labels via Container Store
2 – Snapware 24-Piece Total Solution Food Storage Set, Glass – Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
3 – Anchor Hocking Tall Round Glass Food Storage Containers via Container Store
4 – 1/2 Liter Glass Weck Jar via World Market
5 – Premium 3-Piece Collapsible Silicone Food Containers with Clever Valve Lids – from Clever Home Basics, Sold by HaveSomeGoods and Fulfilled by Amazon
6 – Ziploc Freezer Quart Bags, 75 Count – Ships from and sold by Amazon.com
7 – Rezip Stand Up 1 Cup Reusable Storage Bags (2 Pack) via World Market
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