Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Day 11 | My Freezer, My Friend

Can you believe it's day 11 already?!  Crazy.

By this time I'm sure you've gathered that the Hubster and I are kind of foodies.  We love good, simple, fresh food, and we're hoping to raise our son to love good food as well.  But I know not everyone is a foodie.

Our situation might not be yours.  You might like to cook, but have a spouse who likes to help from, say, the couch.  Maybe you cook just for yourself and don't like to bother with a messy kitchen just for you {which, by the way can I just say you are worth the mess and should pamper yourself...but I hate cleaning too, so I hear you}.  Or you might have 5 kids running in and out of the kitchen while you make attempts at pulling together a meal.

I know I've said my pantry is like a pair of basic black pants.  Well, my freezer is like my fairy-godmother who turns my basics into a ballgown.

5 days out of 7, I dine with the Kiddo and the Pooch.  No Hubster anywhere in sight.  And though he loves to come home to leftovers, the reality is I cook for myself primarily.

Handsome dinner date. :)

Waiting for those peas to drop. 

This is starting to change now that the Kiddo has more teeth and really only wants to eat what's on my plate.  But still, I don't need to cook huge meals every single day.

What I love about frozen food is that it enables you to make wonderful, nutritious, fresh food in exactly the quantity you need, when you need it.  I keep a wide variety of frozen, organic fruits and vegetables on hand.  Sometimes I use entire bags, sometimes I just use a handful and seal up the rest in a freezer bag.

I'm not sure why frozen food gets a bad rap.  Frozen fruits and vegetables are picked and frozen when they are at their freshest.  Except for strawberries, the color, texture, and flavor is almost identical to what you'd get with a fresh version.  They tend to be more nutrient rich than their canned friends, and they are incredibly convenient.  You don't have to worry about them spoiling {maybe about frost, but not going rotten} and often times you can find them on sale and stock up.

Not seeing how frozen veggies are time savers?  Thinking you could just have a frozen dinner instead?

Well how about this: instead of making a frozen dinner, I might make pasta and toss in some frozen artichokes, Parmesan, a can of diced tomatoes, salt and pepper and red pepper flakes.  Or if I'm making cornbread, I might toss in a handful of frozen corn.  For a stew, when my fridge is running low or I'm short on time, I might use a package of frozen pre-cut veggies that includes carrots, onions, and celery.  Frozen lima beans in a succotash taste way better than canned.  Frozen green beans taste like fresh green beans and take no more time that it would take you to heat up canned green beans.  Want a berry smoothie in January?  Frozen berries!  Want pizza?  Freezing your own pizza dough is a huge time-saver and tastes immensely better than pizza from a box.  

We don't just keep fruits and veggies in our freezer though.  All that butcher paper?  Beef.

We have a friend whose grandfather raises pastured cattle on his ranch.  We split a cow with him every year and have it butchered the way we want.  This means we have grass-fed beef on hand year round.  Not only is it the best beef ever, but it's convenient.

I know not everyone wants to buy half a cow, but the underlying idea of keeping meat in your freezer is what I'm getting at.  I also keep a small supply of organic chicken in my freezer.  And wild Alaskan salmon.  So there is variety in our diet and our protein isn't all beef, lentils, and beans.

The only pre-made food you will find in my freezer is sweet potato fries.  Because I love them.  And there is nothing like a huge, juicy hamburger with a side of sweet potato fries on the quick.  Oh wait!  And frozen yogurt.  Does frozen yogurt need an explanation?  I think not.  :)

So there you have it.  My freezer is my friend.

What about you?  Do you prefer to cook with fresh ingredients or do you also supplement with frozen?

Check out all the other 31 Dayers here.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous of your beef source. I just stumbled on one at a new farmers market last week. I'm going to call them tomorrow - hopefully it'll work out. We usually keep chicken stock, frozen green beans, peas, cauliflower, spinach and blueberries. And some proteins too - salmon, turkey meatballs (my one prepared luxury) and anything else that I buy when it's at a good price.