Kitchen Tip: Make ahead and freeze portions

I know….I’m behind….and I’m going to blame it on the dogs.

I just wanted to tell you a quick kitchen tip, that seems like it would be a no-brainer, but maybe it’s so easy that sometimes we forget about it.

I’ve been on a weight-loss journey the last year or so. It’s been rough, cause we’ve been living off of food storage and so I couldn’t buy any special foods to help me out, so I’ve had to be creative. One thing I love is making portions of foods that I eat that my family doesn’t necessarily love, so I can pull some out and eat it while they eat what I’ve fixed for dinner.

For example, I love brown rice. Both for health reasons and for the nutty taste, I prefer it to white. But my hubby prefers his white rice, which stores better than brown, so we have lots of it.

TEH_KT1I’ve gotten into a habit of cooking a big batch of brown rice every couple of weeks in the rice cooker, and then portioning it into 1/2 cup portions (you could do 1 cup portions, if you want) and freezing it. Then when I want some brown rice, and everyone else is eating white rice, I pull a bag out and zap it for a minute in the microwave and ba-da-bing….I have yummy brown rice.

TEH_KT2

 

Another example is zucchini and spaghetti squash. I don’t really eat much pasta any more. The family loves it, we store it, and cook it regularly…but it’s not worth the calories to me. Courtesy of the Pizza Factory (where my sisters and mom and I frequently choose to have our birthday luncheons at) I discovered that yellow squash and zucchini make fabulous noodle substitutes. Just julienne them in the mandolin and freeze in one cup portions. Then when I cook the family’s pasta, I just stick my frozen zucchini into a metal steamer basket and insert it into the top of the pasta-cooking water for (barely) the last minute of boiling. Put whatever sauce the family is having on top and you’ve got a yummy lower calorie meal.

Spaghetti squash can be cooked up and scooped out of the shell and portioned into one cup bags and frozen. Then just use as you would pasta, with a yummy sauce.

Be sure to label your bags with the date and amount of your portions….I forgot once and ended up counting calories for a whole cup of rice instead of a 1/2 a cup…..I guess that’s better than the other way around, but still……

There you go….just a couple of ideas to make your weight-loss journey a little easier and save you a little time in the kitchen.

What kinds of things do YOU do to make choosing healthy easier??

5 thoughts on “Kitchen Tip: Make ahead and freeze portions

  1. I replace a lot of cheese in recipes with cottage cheese. Yes, it changes the texture a bit but it’s still very satisfying. For instance, pizza (say it…”gross”…not!), nachos, in place of dressing on salads, etc.

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  2. Love brown rice – I agree it’s way better than white!! Freezing portions is a great idea, especially for a single person!! You’ll need to post how you cook the spaghetti squash – microwave, oven, or a combination of both? Maybe starting with how the heck do you cut it up – a hacksaw or something??

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    1. Sorry Mel….just seeing this. I throw the whole thing in the oven on 350ºF and bake until it is easily pierced with a fork….45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the squash. After that, it slices open easily and you can scoop out the seeds and then use a fork to remove the squash.

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  3. Thanks for the tips. I am also changing my eating habits and have discovered that I really like spaghetti squash in place of pasta. I didn’t think about freezing it that makes so much sense.

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