A couple of weeks ago I had the privilege of being asked to take a look at Tiffany McCauley’s new cookbook Clean Eating Freezer Meals. I have been a follower of Tiffany’s blog, The Gracious Pantry for a while now. I love the idea of a clean eating freezer meal book because freezer cooking is such a lifesaver. Having a well stocked freezer means you will never be put in that “oh crap” position of having nothing for dinner. This is usually the scenario that forces people to dine out or order in, which are the quickest ways to kill a clean eating diet.
After a quick peruse of the books contents I became extremely excited…the recipes looked fantastic! I don’t just mean a couple of the recipes looked good, but rather every single one was something I wanted to try.
The book starts out with a very detailed introduction that includes Tips on Finding Clean Ingredients, Tips For Clean Eating on a Budget, How Your Freezer Can Help You Eat Clean and How to Freeze Almost Anything. I especially liked the tips and information in the last part, because while I dabble in freezer cooking, I would never call myself an expert. I still have questions regarding the best way to freeze certain foods and dishes.
In addition to the detailed introduction on clean eating freezer cooking, Clean Eating Freezer Mealshas tons of easy and delicious freezer recipes. The recipes in the book are broken down into the following sections:
- Skillet and Grill
- Soups, Stews, and Chilis
- Slow-Cooker Meals
I have to admit that I tested out quite a few recipes (and I have plans to make several more) and by far my favorite is the Orange Chicken and Brown Rice. It is surprisingly easy to make and cooks in no time. As someone who tends to spend way too much time making dinner, (hey, when you love to cook it happens!) it was great to discover – a really flavorful recipe I can make in less than 20 minutes. All I had to do was mix up a couple of ingredients for the sauce, brown some diced up chicken, pour in the sauce and viola Orange Chicken that is tastier and quicker than takeout! Since the chicken was so easy, I made a couple of batches and threw them in the freezer, along with some brown rice. I have to admit I was impressed by how well the chicken reheated. Tiffany’s freezing and reheating directions were easy to follow and made the whole process extremely simple!
In addition to the Orange Chicken and Brown Rice I have also made the Mexican Tortilla Lasagna and the Broccoli and Cheddar Egg-White Breakfast Burrito for Two. The lasagna was delicious and makes so much food that Robocop and I got to eat it two nights in a row. Believe me we were not complaining about the leftovers! The breakfast burritos are great for having in the freezer and grabbing a quick breakfast on busy mornings.
If you are just getting started with clean eating or have been at it a while, this book will be helpful. Planning ahead makes a busy home cooks life so much easier. Tiffany’s book provides a framework as well as recipes to get you going. The “make ahead” or “make and freeze” guidelines she has are simple to follow. Her recipes are well thought out, tested and healthy. Plain and simple, the book has everything you need to pack your freezer full of delicious, healthy meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Whether you need a quick meal on a busy night or want to serve a sit down dinner for your family, you’ll find it here. No take out menu required.