Plan ahead to save the day

Yesterday I found myself in this situation: dinner time, with plenty of slow-carb approved food in the house, but nothing that could be prepared in the time available. I had 30 minutes to prepare and eat my dinner before leaving for work, and the meat and veggies that I could have eaten were in the freezer. Not enough time to thaw, cook, and eat before work.

I ate a grilled cheese sandwich.

Well, there’s a better solution than going for the quick and easy, carby dinner. And as usual, it involved planning ahead…but I’m not talking about simply remembering to take the meat out of the freezer earlier. I mean making sure that you have slow-carb meals prepared well in advance, and preferably frozen in individual portions. Like a Lean Cuisine that you cooked yourself.

I’ve always been an advocate of preparing meals in big batches and freezing them individually, so that you never find yourself in a tight spot like I did yesterday. Sure, it’s nice to have plenty of ingredients in the freezer, but if you don’t have time to prepare them, what good is it? Last summer, when I did my “No Convenience-Food Challenge,” the only reason it was possible was because every once in a while, I’d spend a little more time than usual cooking, and then I’d freeze the whole thing in individual-sized portions. Preparing meals this way means that when it’s time to eat, you can have a hot meal on your plate in less than 5 minutes. Faster than a grilled cheese sandwich.

And, lucky for us Slow-Carbers, it just so happens that a lot of easy-to-cook slow-carb meals are also easy to double (or triple, or quadruple), and they freeze really well. I’m thinking stir-fries, Indian cuisine, and Mexican cuisine.

So, next time you’re craving a tasty Asian stir-fry, substitute chickpeas for the more traditional rice, and double the recipe. The only other thing you’ll need is a large number of single-serving storage containers.

I’ll see you all at the Tupperware party. ;)

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