Lisa’s Top 5 Freezer Staples: Chicken, Veggie Burgers, and More

May 29 2019
Question@2x Hi Lisa,

I loved your fridge staples email from a few weeks ago. (It inspired me to actually make a grocery list instead of just winging it at the store!) But now I have to know… What foods are always in your FREEZER?

Main Freeze
Answer@2x Hey Main Freeze,

Glad that email inspired you! I always feel better knowing my fridge and freezer are packed with healthy mix & match ingredients. It makes it SO much easier to eat smart when I’m too busy to grocery shop and cook from scratch. Here are my top five freezer must-haves…

Veggies: Riced, Spiralized, and Stir-Fry

Frozen veggies are such a lifesaver. And since they’re frozen at peak freshness, they’re just as nutritious as veggies straight from the produce aisle. I love the ready-to-use riced cauliflower and spiralized zucchini by Green Giant -- the Carrot Veggie Spirals also ROCK. And stir-fry mixes are really versatile. I use those for quick skillet meals, soups, omelettes… You name it!

Shrimp

Myth: Shrimp at the fish counter is fresher because it’s not frozen. Fact: That shrimp was probably frozen on its way to the supermarket. Stock up on bags of frozen shrimp for maximum convenience. I’m a protein fiend, and shrimp is loaded with protein and low in calories. I like to get it already deveined with the tails removed so it’s less work to prepare. It thaws quickly, too, which is great. Perfect for recipes like these Pineapple Shrimp Fajitas!

Meatless Crumbles & Burger Patties

These two are total timesavers. The crumbles -- like the kind by MorningStar Farms -- are a great swap for ground beef. They cook up in minutes, and it’s easy to just scoop out what you need rather than prepare an entire pound of ground meat. I’ll add these to egg scrambles, salads, tacos, etc. As for meatless burgers, my favorites these days are made by Boca, MorningStar Farms, and Yves. This 4-ingredient Saucy Eggplant Patty Tower is one of the most satisfying ways to eat ‘em!

Skinless Chicken Breast

I probably eat chicken more than any other protein. So keeping a bag of chicken breast in my freezer is a no-brainer. For easy thawing, just set it in the fridge overnight… or try this awesome Amazon find I just discovered! It’s a countertop tray that thaws frozen food in less than an hour -- no electricity, no hot water, no chemicals. I tried it with frozen chicken breast, and it was totally thawed in about 50 minutes! You can also cook frozen chicken right in your Instant Pot… Click here for a how-to.

Fruit

Like veggies, frozen fruit is a must. I never have to worry about what’s in season or wonder if the fruit in my fridge has gone bad. My top picks are mixed berries, peach slices, dark sweet cherries, and mango chunks. I sometimes eat the cherries and mango without even thawing them! Frozen fruit is also excellent for smoothies and frozen cocktails -- the texture is perfect. And you can easily thaw frozen fruit overnight in the fridge and then use it in yogurt bowls, oatmeal, and more.
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Chew on this:

May is National Mediterranean Diet Month. Grab your bag of frozen shrimp, and make this Mediterranean Shrimp ‘n Veggies.

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