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Before we talk about how to reduce your rubbish clearance and make you healthier at the same time, we first ask that you pause to reflect on a philosophical question:
Why is the world racing by so fast these days and how does this affect your rubbish clearance and your own personal health?
It seems no one has enough time any more as everyone seems to be in a constant never ending rush. Businesses and their marketing departments know this and they use this knowledge to press your psychological buying buttons and sell their products to you. They market the concept of “convenience” to you in the form of products that are supposed to save you time. The perfect example of this are frozen foods.
If you’re old enough, you may remember when the frozen food department was relegated to a single freezer unit, maybe half an isle in a big supermarket. Today, supermarkets have at least two frozen food isles, if not three, four, or more! In other words, the frozen food business has grown by leaps and bounds because the companies that produce these frozen foods press our psychological buttons and promise to free up more time. They know that in our minds we consider time as a limited commodity in our busy lives. They also cater to our inner desire to be lazy after working hard all day!
However, if you really think about it, frozen foods aren’t the time saving godsend they are marketed to be! In fact, they are a BIG DOUBLE WHAMMY to those of us who care about reducing our harmful impact on the environment and to our own bodies!
What’s wrong with frozen foods? Why are they a big double whammy?
Here’s the first big whammy. Frozen foods come with an exceptional amount of packaging that gets thrown into your rubbish clearance bin which then goes into our landfills more often than not! There’s usually a paper box on the outside with all the colorful marketing. Once you open that, there’s usually some sort of inner plastic that must be peeled off or otherwise removed. Next, you have some sort of plastic container holding the food or another cardboard container lined with plastic! It would be fair to say in many cases that there’s more packaging than actual food!
Here’s the second big whammy. The frozen food you buy at the supermarket, wrapped in all that packaging, is never the healthiest choice for you and your family to eat, regardless of what the brightly colored packaging may claim. In fact, frozen foods are often outright unhealthy! They have subpar ingredients and all kinds of mysterious additives that don’t do our bodies any good.
When you ask people why they buy frozen food, they invariably say it’s because of convenience. Some people may also add they can’t cook or they don’t have time to cook.
Here’s how you can solve these common problems (excuses?) that prompt people to buy harmful frozen food:
When you DO have some time to cook, for example on the weekend or another day you may have some free time, you can cook in bulk and then freeze individual portion sizes in glass reusable containers. This way, you’ll have super fast and super healthy frozen food any time you need it. Further, there are some simple meals that anyone can make regardless of their cooking abilities. Plus these foods freeze really easily.
Here are two examples:
- Easy Soup
You can’t go wrong with soup! You add meat and bones to a big soup pot. Cover with water and cook this a while (at least an hour but usually two or three). This will make a nice rich stock and will make your meat tender. Beef and other red meats will need to cook longer than chicken. Take the meat off the bone, remove the bones, and then start adding vegetables.
You can never go wrong with the classic French combinations of onions, carrots, and celery. To make your soup even more nutritious and delicious, try adding some kale or cabbage! You can also add mushrooms, potatoes, rice noodles, herbs, spices, or any other fresh vegetable in season, etc, to make it “your own!” Let this simmer until the vegetables are cooked and the flavors fully blended. Turn off the heat and let your soup cool down before freezing.
No matter how bad a cook you are, you’ll end up with a dozen or more servings of wholesome and delicious food you can easily freeze for later (and eat a bowl immediately!). Freeze in individual serving sizes (or enough for you and your family at mealtime) and you’ll have “convenient” fast food on those nights you don’t have time or you’re just too tired to cook from scratch. You’ll also have the joy of knowing you have saved a great deal of packaging from going into the landfill.
- Easy Goulash
This is a quick “goulash” that is fool proof for any cooking level, tastes great, and freezes really well. Put on a pot of rice using one cup of dried rice and two and three-quarters cups of water plus some salt. Cook this on low until all the water is gone. This will give you slightly undercooked rice that will get fully cooked with the other ingredients of your goulash.
While your rice is cooking, brown about a pound of ground beef in a large skillet in about a tablespoon of coconut oil as if you were making hash. Add salt and pepper as you cook it. After the beef is brown, add several whole buds of garlic, smashed a bit to release their juices. If the buds are really big, you can cut them in half but don’t mince them. Cook these until you smell the aroma of the garlic. Immediately add a can of chopped tomatoes and stir this in. It’s important not to allow the garlic to burn. Once you add the tomatoes, the garlic will not burn.
The next step is to add one bunch of kale (any variety), de-ribbed and torn into small to medium pieces. Cover with the lid to let it steam the kale a bit to wilt it down and reduce its volume. You may have to do this in two or three batches but it only takes a minute of so for each pile of kale to cook down. Once the kale has cooked down, mix it with the rest of the ingredients.
Next, add the cooked rice and blend it in. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and allow your goulash flavors to blend for about fifteen to thirty minutes, checking to make sure it isn’t sticking. At this point, all the ingredients are fully cooked so you’re just cooking it a little more to meld everything together and get the rice fully cooked. You don’t want to over cook it at this stage so just taste test until you are happy with the flavor (you will be… YUM!).
Let the mixture cool and freeze in individual serving sizes (or family sizes) in reusable glass containers. This is tastier than anything you’ll find in the frozen food department. Serve it to your family and friends and hear them rave over your culinary skills!
Send Clearabee Your Homemade Frozen Food Recipes
Cooking ahead and freezing into individual servings instead of buying prepackaged frozen food is a DOUBLE POSITIVE. First, you’ll greatly reduce your rubbish clearance! Second, you’ll have healthy meals even on nights you don’t feel like cooking and need to whip up something fast! While we’ve given you two great ideas for homemade frozen meals, we’re sure you and your friends have some great ones to share too. Please post these to the Clearabee Facebook page and encourage others to keep all that frozen food packaging out of our landfills!