With a little planning and some freezer space, you can create great meals for yourself in no time.
Buy in bulk. Breads, meats, vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds all store well in the freezer. Purchasing these ingredients in bulk and freezing them in small quantities will allow you to grab and thaw what you need, when you need it.
Batch cook. Cooking several options at once is a great way to save time throughout the week. Spend a weekend afternoon cooking, then divide food into single-serving portions and freeze. Write the date and contents on each package.
Buy versatile ingredients. Sometimes all you need for a week's worth of great food are a few key items. Chicken and other lean meats store great in the freezer, and frozen mixed vegetables can be included in pot pies, stews and as a side dish.
Plan for spontaneity. Having a well-stocked freezer and pantry lets you create a delicious recipe whenever the mood strikes. Keep a variety of pastas and rice on hand, along with canned tomatoes, beans, broth, cheeses, herbs and spices. You'll become a weeknight gourmet cook in no time.
-- Family Features