One-Handed Freezer Meals for the Busy Vegetarian Mother 10/31/11
There is nothing simpler to make than what is already cooked! Prep these freezer meals in advance for a truly one-handed meal down the road.
Every so often, I get a free afternoon and the inspiration to cook. More often than not, cravings will give way and I will make some vegan brownies or something like that. But, when I’m thinking ahead, I will use that time to make up a few meals that can be put away for those days when I just can’t find the time to cook.
In an ideal world, I’d always have these stashed away for a day of freezer meals:
Breakfast From the Freezer
My kids are always ecstatic when we have pancakes, and I am a huge fan of blueberry waffles. There is just so little time to make them, though. If you get the time, make up a batch (or three), or make extra next time you have a special family breakfast.
Freeze them separately on a cookie sheet overnight, then throw them all in a bag. When you are on the go, pop a few in the toaster. If breakfast is especially hurried, mix some syrup into peanut butter and slather it between two pancakes or waffles for a breakfast sandwich to go.
Freezer Meal Lunch
Another big hit around here is burritos. If you keep some beans cooked and in your fridge, this isn’t so bad, but if you are packing lunch ahead of time or want something a bit more prepared, make some burritos for the freezer. Wrap each one in foil so that you can pull them out separately, but keep them all together in a bag so there is no fishing around the freezer when you’re pulling lunch out in advance.
Not all veggies freeze well for texture, but you can include lots of nutritional yeast in the refried beans, top with cheese or vegan cheese, and you can even bring along a small portion of fresh burrito toppings like homemade pico de gallo or some shredded veggies to add on when it’s time to chow down.
Cheap and Easy Frozen Vegetarian Dinner
Lasagna takes a lot of time from start to finish, and I’m not usually thinking about dinner that far in advance. If you have some time to take here and there with it, though, you can get a batch or two ready for the freezer over a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Check the directions for your specific recipe, but I like to just make a batch of regular lasagna cooked fully on a foil-lined pan, and then I can simply wrap it fully in foil and freeze as-is. When it’s time, the whole thing goes into that same pan and into the oven at 350 to thaw and reheat.
Brannan is a mother of three and has been striving for a whole foods, vegetarian diet through two pregnancies and several years of breastfeeding and mommyhood. You can find her at The Pregnant Vegetarian, blogging through cookbooks and life as a vegetarian mom.