How to Make Healthy Frozen Dinners

Overview

Save time and your health by preparing your own frozen dinners, ready to pop in the microwave for a fast dinner any night of the week. Many commercial frozen meals contain high amounts of fat, sodium and calories, according to Kathleen Zelman, R.D. Make your own meals to customize the ingredients, and reheat the frozen dinners whenever you need a fast meal.

Step 1

Prepare your favorite healthy recipe, opting for lean meats, whole grains and vegetables without added sauce, butter or salt. Avoid using leafy vegetables, watermelon, cucumbers, cream-based puddings or custards, uncooked egg yolks, gelatin and cheese, as these ingredients do not freeze well.

Step 2

Slightly undercook the food, because it will cook when you reheat it, advises the Kansas State University Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service.

Step 3

Divide the food into individual portions in sealable freezer containers.

Step 4

Fill a baking pan halfway with ice water and place the unlidded, filled freezer containers in the pan to quickly cool the food.

Step 5

Remove the freezer containers from the ice-water bath, and cover the containers with their lids.

Step 6

Attach a label to each container, and write the ingredients and the date packaged on the label, using a marker.

Step 7

Freeze the frozen meals for up to one month.

Step 8

Uncover the freezer container you want, and lay a piece of wax paper over the container.

Step 9

Microwave on 30 percent power (low power) until the ice crystals in the food disappear. Increase the power to high, and continue to cook until a food thermometer registers 160 degrees Fahrenheit when placed in the middle of the dish.

Things You'll Need

  • Healthy recipes
  • Resealable, microwave- and freezer-safe containers
  • Baking pan
  • Ice water
  • Labels
  • Marker
  • Wax paper
  • Food thermometer

References

  • WebMD: The Best Frozen Dinners
  • Kansas State University: Human Nutrition
  • Food Network: Homemade TV Dinners Recipes
  • Good Housekeeping: Thawing and Reheating Frozen Meals

Who Can Help

  • Eating Well: Quick and Healty Dinner Recipes
Keywords: healthy frozen dinner, homemade tv dinner, freezer meals

About this Author

Athena Hessong began her freelance writing career in 2004. She draws upon experiences and knowledge gained from teaching all high school subjects for seven years. Hessong earned a Bachelor in Arts in history from the University of Houston.

Article provided by eHow Home & Garden | How to Make Healthy Frozen Dinners