- Pick your meals wisely: Not all meals freeze well. Don't freeze salad, for instance (yes, this should be obvious. Yes, people still ask). Same goes for meals that come with a slaw. Steer clear of freezing fish, shrimp, and rice noodles, too - freezing and reheating can do funny things to the texture of those meals. Otherwise, though, the freezer is your best friend! Our chilis and soups freeze amazingly well, as do our ground and stewed meat meals.
- Freeze meals as soon as you can: If you know you won't eat a meal by the expiration date, freeze it right away - the sooner, the better to keep the freshness. I do this if I know I'm going to have a super-busy weekend, and I want to make sure I have some meals on-hand. Or whenever the Grass Fed Beef and Kale Chili is on the menu (my fave!!); I stock up on it to last me until the next time it comes around.
- Stick the container in a Ziploc or plastic bag: Before you put your meal in the freezer, put the whole thing (sleeve and all) in a Ziploc or plastic bag. This helps keep freezer burn out, and prevents other freezer-smells from getting in your meal.
- Defrost meal before reheating: About 12-24 hours before you want to eat the meal, let it defrost in the fridge. I usually take mine out before I head to work in the morning, and by dinnertime, it's fully thawed.
- Reheat in a sauté pan: If you remember one tip, I hope it's this one. I promise, your meal will be SO MUCH better after freezing if you sauté it. No matter what the chef-recommended reheating instructions are, just trust me. Put a little cooking oil in a pan and heat it over medium-high heat. When the pan is warm, add the meal (it should sizzle a little when you add it). Sauté the meal for 5ish minutes, uncovered. When it's thoroughly heated, crank up the heat for about half a minute or a minutes - just to get a little crisp around the edges. Perfection!
Confession: sometimes, I don't eat all my Kitchfix meals before the expiration date. I always mean to - I have the best intentions for a healthy week when I grab my bag of meals on Mondays (thanks for the weekly staff discount, Kitchfix!). But inevitably, I get invited out to dinner, Chipotle sends me a BOGO coupon, or I decide that pizza really is the only way to celebrate Friday...or Tuesday. And now I have delicious Paleo Sloppy Joes languishing in my fridge, all but forgotten except for a twinge of guilt when I reach past them to grab the leftover pizza. What to do? Freeze them, of course! After working here for two years, I finally have it down to a science. I know which meals can be frozen, how to store them, and the best ways to reheat them so that they're as tasty as if Chef Jesse had just finished cooking them. Especially during this time of year, I like to keep my freezer stocked so there's no reason for me to leave my cozy apartment to brave the cold - and no excuse to break my Whole30. Check out some of my favorite tips for those meals you just don't get to in time!