When I first decided to try eating more whole foods, it seemed overwhelming. I came across the book Better Than a Box: How to Transform Processed Food Recipes into Whole Foods Favorites by Katie Kimball, author of Kitchen Stewardship blog, and it inspired me not only with its recipes but with its philosophy of using the food and resources you have to their fullest.
One of the tips she gives in her book is to essentially use your freezer as a second pantry. If you store things in easy to use portions, then dishes that could take hours only take an hour or less instead. This is especially true of frozen veggies and meats that can easily be incorporated into stews and casseroles. She also suggests freezing liquids that you need in many recipes, like homemade chicken broth, lemon and lime juices, and buttermilk, in ice cube trays for small servings or measured in the typical amount a recipe would call for (like 2 cups chicken broth or 1/2 cup buttermilk).
The other tip that she gives that was at first intimidating and then liberating is consecutive meal planning. I have always hated meal planning for an entire week. But no one wants to meal plan at 5:00 pm when you’re hungry and your toddler is cranky, so of course you throw together something fast that isn’t particularly healthy or you send someone on a fast food run which is pricey and usually unhealthy. Meal planning a week at a time helps you avoid settling for something unhealthy and goes hand in hand with developing a freezer pantry.
I’ll be posting some recipes that help to develop and use your “freezer pantry” to make meals that are healthy and fairly quick.