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Make-Your-Own-Frozen Dinners
Frozen meals are a staple of convenience cuisine, but almost any leftover can be arranged on a plate, frozen, and popped into a microwave to heat up for a quick meal. All you need is a plate (high-grade plastic works well), plastic wrap, and foil. The food must be fully cooked and cooled, and everything needs to be coated with something to protect them from freezer burn.

The following formula is for a standard main dish with two side dishes.
  • 4 oz fully cooked ready-to-eat main dish of meat, fish or poultry
  • 1/2 cup sauce (unless meat is breaded)
  • 3/4 cup cooked and seasoned vegetable, such as green beans, carrots, peas, roasted peppers, etc.
  • 1 tsp oil, any type
  • 3/4 cup cooked and seasoned starch, such as noodles, potatoes, rice, or other grains
  • 1 tsp melted butter or oil
  1. Place meat on one side of plate (if sliced slightly overlap slices). Cover with sauce.
  2. Toss vegetable with oil and place on plate next to meat. Make a mound of the starch in remaining open space. Drizzle with butter or oil.
  3. Cover plate with plastic wrap and seal edges. Wrap tightly with foil and label with contents and date. Freeze for up to 4 months.
To reheat: Remove foil and plastic wrap. Cover with microwave-safe plastic wrap. Puncture in two places and heat in a microwave set on Defrost cycle for 5 minutes, then change to High and cook until heated through and steaming, 4 to 6 minutes. Remove plastic wrap and serve.

Makes 1 serving

© 2008 David Joachim and Andrew Schloss, from The Science of Good Food

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