The Freezer is Your Friend

At least once a week, I find myself with less than a half-hour window to make and eat dinner. I guess I could just grab a sandwich or some Chinese takeout or something, but I have this annoying insistence that most of what I eat taste delicious and have recognizable ingredients. Yeah, I know, I’m a tough customer.

Since there’s no way I’d have time on those days to do more than punch a few buttons on the microwave or set the dial on the oven, I rely on three staple dinners that I can freeze and pop out of the freezer whenever I want. I usually make giant batches of each and then separate them into single portions that I can easily grab from the icicles.

1. Tamales. I don’t want to lie; tamales are a lot of work to make, but it’s worth it when you can spend half a day making them, eat a few fresh, then freeze all the rest to enjoy in minutes whenever you feel like it. Plus, if you use this great recipe, you won’t have to boil the meat as long as they recommend if you halve or quarter the total amounts of everything.

2. Pizza dough. True, pizza dough by itself isn’t much of a meal. But the things you can do with it are wondrous. If I’m crunched for time, I thaw out a single portion of dough and bake a mini-pizza or wrap it around ingredients to form a calzone:

Until you’ve tried it, you won’t know just how awesome it is. Try making a big batch of dough using this recipe from Epicurious.

3. Veggie burgers. You can always buy a package of Boca burgers and snatch one from the freezer when you’re running late, but it’s so much more delicious and worthwhile to make your own. This recipe for black bean burgers is fabulous, and they pack an amazing amount of nutrition and texture.

Got any other simple ideas that can sit in the freezer and make the perfect meal? Share your yummy knowledge with the world!

Carmelized Brown-Butter Rice Krispies Treats
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