With a little creativity, grain-free, sugar-free Halloween treats come alive! From creepy apple fangs to spooky bloodshot eyeballs, we have your SCD legal Halloween covered!
Freezer Meals Made Easy
It’s no secret- premade freezer meals are what makes some weeknight meals possible! Who has time for a freshly prepared meal after school pickups, helping with homework and walking the dog all before you run out the door again for soccer practice. I like to call myself a logistical wizard and most nights I am winning at all of the above AND cooking a healthy homemade meal from scratch. (It’s all about the planning!)
For the SCD diet, easy freezer meals are a must
If you are following the SCD diet, a quick weekday meal does not equal zipping through the drive thru. And while we have found a couple restaurants that we trust to provide clean meals in a super pinch, you still cannot be 100% sure what is in the food unless you prepare it yourself. Homemade fresh is best and freshly frozen is a close second! Pulling out a frozen piece of Spaghetti Squash Lasagna or refried black beans for a quick side has saved me many times.
If you are living the SCD or any clean eating lifestyle, main dishes are just the beginning of what should be stored in your freezer.
What should I store in my freezer?
The answer: the possibilities are endless! I keep main dishes and sides that freeze well, usually individual portions for easy reheating; breads, muffins, cookies (and cookie dough!); any staple ingredients that I use often for cooking. In my freezer you will find these seemingly random but SO helpful staple items:
- Presoaked and cooked lentils portioned out to make Red Lentil Hummus
- Homemade bone broth (a superfood powerhouse and a must for the SCD diet)
- Cooked chicken bones from whole chickens we’ve eaten (the base for making my bone broth)
- Homemade almond milk or coconut milk
- Bananas, ripened to the proper spotty brownness to make them SCD legal
- Homemade spaghetti sauce and pizza sauce
- Bags of riced cauliflower and other veggies for a quick side dish (like THIS) or meal base
How should I store my frozen food?
There is nothing more frustrating than after all of your careful cooking and planning ahead, you pull out a dried out, white looking, freezer burnt dish. UGH! Storing in plastic containers or bags is ok for a short time. But I’ve noticed the food stored in Tupperware or Ziplock starts to taste ‘plasticy’ or freezer burnt if frozen for too long. Glass jars and a vacuum sealer are the solution to that problem! I have a collection of glass containers and a Food Saver that has paid for itself many times over. I vacuum seal meat, chicken or fish that we have bought in bulk. I seal individual portions of SCD legal lasagna or shepherd’s pie (kind of like a microwave dinner!) My favorite creation though was vacuum sealing ‘family packs’ of premade but uncooked burgers- these Chicken Avocado Burgers to be exact!
These juicy, flavorful patties are wildly popular among my family and neighbors. I have literally made and packaged hundreds of these burgers for a quick meal after soccer practice.
The steps to a perfectly frozen burger
Step 1: Grab your supplies
- Vacuum Sealer
- Vacuum Seal bag about 15″ long
- 4″x4″ parchment paper squares (You can buy these precut on Amazon. I use them often.)
Step 2: Form 4-5 oz patties and place them on a parchment square.
Step 3: Place a second parchment square on top. This will avoid the burgers from sticking to the bag.
Step 4: Seal the vacuum bag on the gentle setting.
Step 5: Heat a skillet, coat with oil, butter or ghee and pop those frozen burgers right on. Cook 6-8 minutes per side and you will have a delicious juicy burger just as if you made them fresh that night.
Cooking and reheating Easy Freezer Meals
Now that a freezer meal has saved our weekday dinner, let’s make sure it still tastes delicious! For the most ‘made fresh’ taste, try to avoid the microwave if you have time. Try reheating like this:
- Meatballs or any ground, uncooked, frozen ball/patty– heat in an oven or skillet directly from frozen.
- Cooked main dishes (lasagna, chicken breasts, casseroles, etc)– place frozen meal in a baking dish, cover and reheat in a 350-degree oven. Covering the dish prevents the food from drying out in the oven.
- Soups, broth or sauces– soak in a hot water bath for a couple minutes to loosen the liquid from the side of the jar. Then reheat for a few minutes in a pot on the stove.
- Breads, muffins, cookies– set them out on the counter for a few hours or in the fridge overnight. For cookies, you can even pop them in a 350-degree oven (after they have thawed) for a couple minutes to give them a freshly baked taste.
Do you have an ingenious method for quick freezer meals? Please share your ideas in the comments section below!