With our fast-paced lifestyle, more and more dual-income families are eating out at hawker centres and fast food restaurants rather than cooking at home. Trendy cookbooks on this subject can be found in bookstores, and online websites like this and this have helped anyone from stay-at-home mums and working parents perfect their methodology. Making freezer meals can be as simple as cooking an extra portion of food every time you cook and then freezing them for future consumption. Soups, stews, curries and noodles do especially well even after being frozen for a long time.
In general, most meals start to lose their texture and flavour after three to six months in the freezer. To maximise space, package meals according to your family size before storing them in freezer bags (not storage bags).
Another alternative is to store your meals in freezer-safe glass containers such as those from Pyrex, Rubbermaid and CorningWare. Casual lunchtime joint Grain Traders in Market Street and protein-centric salad bar, Snatch in Shenton Way, both opened earlier this month.
Despite the higher price tags of these healthy fast-food offerings, customers are enjoying the options. Public relations director Andrea Seifert, 32, who has dined at Grain Traders three times, notes that the food offerings taste home-made. Grain TradersWhat: Taking a leaf from economical rice stalls' book, this 46-seat restaurant allows diners to construct their meals from a choice of more than 30 ingredients. YoloWhat: The 50-seat fast food restaurant serves more than 20 popular dishes from cuisines including Singapore, Mexican and Italian, grouped according to five health goals such as muscle-building.
DosirakWhat: Owner Edward Chia, 27, who is half-Korean, gives his childhood dish of bibimbap (Korean mixed rice dish) a modern update at his 11-month-old shop.
While these dining options may be fuss-free, they are probably not the healthiest, especially for children. In the United States where domestic help is scarce and dining out can burn a hole in your pocket, many Americans have resorted to frozen meals to save time and money.
For a fee, some websites even provide you with a monthly meal plan, shopping list, and recipes.
This site has can customize a monthly menu for making your own toddler-friendly food for your 12 to 18-month-old child. Alternatively, you can designate a cooking day where you create a meal plan, do some bulk shopping, cooking and then freezing your food. The first is to cook and freeze; the second is to prepare your ingredients (chopping and marinating your raw meat) and freezing them so that all you need to do at mealtime is to cook or bake them. When frozen properly, most dishes will not only retain their flavour but they will remain fresh even for a few months. Although they may still be safe to eat, they may not be as tasty as when you first prepared them. Although this takes up more space in the fridge, they can be easily and safely heated up in the oven or the microwave. To ensure that they stay fresh and tasty, always double wrap them—first with plastic wrap, and then in a plastic bag. This is important not only because it helps you to keep track of your arsenal of home-cooked meals, but because nobody likes a “mystery” meal! Yolo in Icon Village, a fast-food style restaurant serving healthy meals, started last month.
For $16, diners get a bowl with one grain, one hot vegetable, two servings of cold vegetables, one sauce and one topping. Try healthier versions of local dishes such as chicken rice, with steamed chicken breast and basmati brown rice. Diners can customise their lunchbox with 20 ingredients including sous vide meats, such as beef bulgogi, vegetables such as beansprouts and lotus roots, and rice. Before serving, baked breads and muffins should be brought to room temperature or defrosted in a microwave.
And do have a constant rotation of meals going in and out of your freezer, with enough variety to keep everyone happy.
Choose from grains such as Japanese rice and quinoa, and pair it with food from an eclectic range of cuisines such as Korean, Italian and Mediterranean. It comprises a main such as lamb vindaloo, butter chicken or palak paneer (spinach cooked with cottage cheese), a daal, salad and naan.
Chicken curry may be your family’s favourite dish, but having this three days in a row is guaranteed to cause a mutiny. Meats include grilled striploin steak and greens include mixed bean pico de callo and apple kimchi.
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