A full freezer is only useful if it’s stocked with foods that can help you put a meal on the table quickly on a busy weeknight — unfortunately, Ben & Jerry’s doesn’t count. I have a tiny freezer, so it’s even more important for me to use the space wisely and freeze things that I know will make mealtime easier when time is of the essence. If you’ve been staying up-to-date with me on Instagram, you might have noticed that I’ve been obsessed with meal prepping lately. I’ve gotten into such a good routine when it comes to planning my meals in advance, and it’s helped me stay accountable and on track even with the new job and moving apartments.
Probably one of the most overused excuses for not eating healthy that I hear is “I don’t have time”. But honestly, with the help of a few staples, it’s incredibly easy to throw a variety of dishes together quickly and with little effort. Here’s a list of my top 6 frozen foods, meals, recipe ideas and tips on how to stay on track when you’re in a rush:
- Sometimes when you really have zero time or energy to stand in the kitchen, a pre-made frozen meal can be a lifesaver. I’m not talking about the highly processed salami pizza, but something that is a bit more nutritious like the new frozen meal range from Weight Watchers that you can get from your local Coles and Woolworths. They are a massive improvement on a lot of the frozen meals that are available in most supermarkets today, and the recipes are modern, flavoursome and filling. They have brought out some new recipes, including a Light Menu range with beautiful dishes such as Quinoa and Vegetables. It’s a combo of eggplant, pumpkin, carrots, capsicum & spinach flavoured with apricots, lemon juice, cumin & roasted garlic served with quinoa. How good does that sound? This dish and the others that I have tried, like the Thai Green Chicken Curry (pictured below) make for a filling, tasty and healthy lunch or dinner for yourself or the entire family. I’ve also given the Pumpkin and Ricotta Cannelloni a try (also pictured below). It totally reminded me of the frozen cannelloni I’d make myself when my mum was too busy to cook, this is just a much healthier version. All in all, these healthy frozen meals are convenient, tasty, won’t break your piggy bank and require minimal prep time. For the most part I’m all for cooking from scratch, but this is definitely a hell of a lot better than opting for fat, greasy takeaway when there’s no time to prep dinner.
- Frozen veggies – This way you never have an excuse to not get your daily greens in. Simply cook your favorites like broccoli, green beans, peas, zucchini— they hold well in the freezing process and can be tossed into stir fries, soups and even smoothies.
- Cooked rice, grains and beans – Preparing these things can be time-consuming, so why not make a double batch and freeze what you don’t eat on that day? You already have frozen veggies in the freezer anyways, and together with some rice or grains you basically have yourself a meal. Easy!
- Frozen fruit – for your morning and post workout green smoothie, duh! Breakfast couldn’t get any more easy; simply toss fresh some frozen bananas and berries in the freezer together with some fresh spinach, a liquid base like almond or soy milk, add your favourite super foods, and you’re ready to go for the day. When I’m feeling a little bit more adventurous, I’ll use the frozen bananas to whip up an acai bowl or vegan ice-cream like this rosewater berry #nanabowl.
- Gluten-free sprouted bread – I rarely eat bread, but if I do, I choose bread with grains, nuts and seeds that have been sprouted and activated. Another option is Ezekiel bread; although there’s still gluten in this bread, it’s still easier to digest than traditional bread. As this type of bread doesn’t last for very long, I cut off one or two pieces and put the rest in the freezer. It becomes super handy when I crave avo on toast on the weekend!
- Dark chocolate – How could I possibly risk running out? I always buy an organic bar with at least 70% of cacao content.
Next time you catch yourself thinking “I just don’t have the time to eat healthy”, remind yourself of this list and hopefully it will help you in being prepared a little better. Also, I invite you to reframe your way of thinking and instead of saying “I don’t have the time”, see how it feels to say “I choose not to make the time.” Because, at the end of the day, it’s a lifestyle choice. You are in control. Sacrificing a couple minutes every day might seem like a big sacrifice in the moment, but in a couple years down the line you will thank yourself for having made your health a priority.
* This post is sponsored by Weight Watchers but all thoughts and opinions including meal suggestions are my own. You can pick them up in the freezer section at Coles and Woolworths, and independent grocery stores. For more info, head to www.wowfrozenmeals.com.au