Friday, September 7, 2007

Frozen Meal Swaps

Several friends and I have been swapping meals semi-regularly. Here is how we do it:

The basic idea:

Each participant prepares a single meal in bulk, freezes it in two-person portions, and then swaps the frozen meals for everyone else's, so each participant ends up with a wide variety of frozen meals for the month.
For example, if there are 5 of us participating with 2 people in each family who eat much, we would each cook one meal that served 20 people, freeze it in 10 containers, and then come with our coolers full of meals and swap with the other 4 people on a designated day, ending up with 10 frozen dinners (2 of each).

The benefits:

Easy preparation at dinner time
Easier than bulk cooking a variety of meals by yourself
Healthier and cheaper than eating convenience foods
Fun to eat other people's cooking

The details:

We make complete, simple, healthful (low-fat, low-sodium, low-sugar) meals. Complete, so that if your meal is all someone ate one night for dinner, it would be sufficient. Simple, so that one person isn't making Stuffed Crab Soufflé, while someone else makes beans and rice. And healthful, well, to maintain our womanly (and manly) figures. ;)
We designate one person to a main ingredient (beans, potatoes, pasta, etc.) so we don't end up eating 10 lasagnas.
We can do this on a monthly (or semi-monthly) basis, rotating hosts for the swap party, and varying the type of foods we prepare.

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