Use your freezer:

Don’t eat the same boring leftover meals day after day. Freeze what you make in smaller batches so you won’t get tired of that same pot of chili five days in a row. Then rotate! You'll loose a little nutrients with freezing, but probably not as much as if you left it in the fridge for days on end. It's a wonderful boon on those rushed days when you don't have time to make a whole meal. It helps bring back the variety, and doesn't feel like a lot of work when you keep on top of it when you have a little more time to cook.

Recently I had to prepare for two back-to-back major surgeries. Over a two-week period, I made and froze many different homemade meal dishes and soups. I doubled the recipes, when necessary, served it as one meal, and then froze the leftovers, sometimes having enough to share with my adult children. I froze: all kinds of soup -- lentil, chili, and several different vegetable variations; vegan enchiladas; vegan lasagna, green smoothie kits, cooked beans, and some frozen lemon salad dressing cubes. What a wonderful thing they've been to help me recover from my first surgery! One more surgery to go! The nice thing is we only need some fresh produce for the next month or so.

· Make one meal, but feast twice (or more).

o Making a large pot of soup? Serve for one meal and then, after it’s cooled, divide leftovers into meal-sized glass jars (leaving space for expansion) or Zip-loc bags. Freeze to serve later. Defrost, reheat, and serve with a large salad.

o Making a casserole? Divide the recipe into smaller pans. (Double the recipe, if necessary.) Cook one for your meal and then tuck the rest in the freezer to bake up at a later date, accompanied with a lovely fresh salad.

o Got leftover cooked lasagna or enchilada casserole? Don't cover and stick in the fridge to graze off of day after day. Divide into individual- or meal-sized portions and freeze for an easy lunch or dinner meal. (Beware, as teenagers like to mow through these individual or dinner-size meals for their snacks! There goes your lunch or dinner!)

o Got leftover potatoes, rice, or pasta? Drain them of any liquid, pat dry, and freeze to use at another meal.

· Make frozen green smoothie kits. (See forum discussion on this subject.)

· Freeze applicable salad dressings. (See Meal Tips: Simplify for more on this subject.)

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