Stock Your Freezer in a Snap

Ever feel a 5pm wave of angst when you realize you have no idea what’s for dinner?

I do. It’s a lousy feeling.

Batch cooking and freezing is one of the best ways to replace that wave of angst with a wave of relief. Having a set of freezer-friendly recipes and expert instructions helps an awful lot.

Eila Johnson, blogger at The Full Plate Blog, created her “Stock Your Freezer in a Snap” coaching program after her years as a personal chef. She specialized in making meals that her clients could pull out of the freezer when that dreaded 5pm feeling came over them.

As a mom of two kids, Eila now cooks for her own family the same way: She spends a few hours here and there batch cooking and tucking meals away in the freezer. Then she takes days off of cooking at a time–creating what she calls the magical “Bonus Hour”. That’s the hour when dinner goes straight from the freezer to the oven or stovetop and she can get in a workout, check her email, play a board game with her kids, or just sit down after a long day and have a glass of wine.

The program, which comes as a downloadable e-book, includes 12 of Eila’s recipes. For each one, she includes photos, tips and kitchen shortcuts, weekly shopping lists, recommendations for packaging, and thawing and reheating instructions.

Stock Your Freezer in a Snap

Here are the recipes the program includes:

  • Baked Zucchini-Carrot Fritters (veg)
  • Cheesy Baked Taquitos (veg or chicken)
  • Creamy Pot Pies (chicken or root veggie)
  • Easy Comforting Lasagna (beef, sausage, turkey, or veg)
  • Simple Layered Butternut Squash-Black Bean Enchilada Casserole (veg or add meat of choice)
  • Mediterranean Beef Stew (a flavorful take on traditional beef stew)
  • Go-To Chili {That Always Gets Rave Reviews} (beef, turkey or veg)
  • Oven-Baked Meatballs (beef or turkey)
  • Power Green Pesto (veg)
  • Everyone’s Favorite Sloppy Joe’s (a modern take made with beef, turkey or veg)
  • Super Fast Mexican Posole Stew (chicken or veg)
  • Tahini-Flax Crusted Chicken Parmesan (chicken or eggplant)

Eila sent me a copy of the program to try, and I spent a few Sundays cooking with my husband. I loved how flexible the recipes were (I could tailor them to my family’s preference) and I loved having options for thawing the meals or putting them straight from the freezer to the oven/stovetop. I loved finding new family favorites (the pot pie was hands-down the winner and it’s become tradition to adorn it with our initials in puff pastry, see photo below). But most of all, I love that 5pm feeling of relief when I remember those freezer meals tucked away–and know that all I have to do is make a quick side or salad and then figure out how to spend my Bonus Hour.

I’m hosting a giveaway of Eila’s “Stock Your Freezer in a Snap” e-book for one reader. To enter, leave a comment telling me how you would spend a Bonus Hour. For one additional entry, “like” The Full Plate on Facebook then leave me a comment telling me that you did. Giveaway ends Friday April 18th at noon Eastern Time. 

This month only, Eila is also offering the program at 50% off ($24.99). Read more about the program here and go here to purchase. 

Disclaimer: I received a copy of Eila’s program to try for free. All opinions are my own.

Stock Your Freezer in a Snap


{Giveaway} It’s Not About the Broccoli

by Sally on January 8, 2014

It's Not About the Broccoli

Three years ago when Sam was a toddler, he went on a strike. A dinner strike to be exact. It went on for months, with Sam sometimes eating no more for dinner than a lick of ketchup or a couple bites of fruit. I nearly lost my mind. (read: “Dinner Drama“).

So I got in contact with “food sociologist” Dr. Dina Rose because I was a big fan of her blog It’s Not About Nutrition and because her advice seemed different from what I’d already tried. And by that time, I felt like I’d tried everything.

In my phone conversations with Dr. Rose, this was the typical pattern: She’d give me a strategy to try. I’d say “Really?” and be doubtful. I’d try it anyway. Then it would work.

Like the time she suggested putting just a couple bites of food on Sam’s plate. But I want him to eat more than just a couple of bites, I thought. Then he ate the two bites and asked for more.

Or when she recommended nixing the “no thank you bite” policy I had at my table. Turns out, by calling it a “no thank you bite” I was sending my kids the message that it was something they wouldn’t like–and for Sam, it was creating even more resistance to new foods. The atmosphere at the dinner table immediately became lighter and more enjoyable.

The three habits that Dr. Rose writes about in her new book It’s Not About the Broccoli–proportion, variety, and balance–are certainly familiar, but it’s the way she suggests teaching them to kids that’s really different. In fact, some of her strategies may sound completely contrary to what you’ve heard before. For instance, she explains…

  • Why you should let your kids spit out food at the table.
  • Why a candy-and-treats drawer is a good thing.
  • Why you should let your child go on strike against certain foods.
  • Why sometimes it’s okay to tap into your inner “permissive parent” when it comes to food.

In a style that’s relatable and easy to read, Dr. Rose lays out a plan that’s doable for parents, will reduce the stress in your house surrounding food, and most importantly, will teach your kids how to make their own healthy choices–something that will serve them well for life. Her strategies have worked with my own kids and influenced how I feed them and how I talk to them about food. And they’re better eaters for it.

I’m hosting a giveaway for one copy of It’s Not About the Broccoli. To enter, leave a comment with your most frustrating feeding dilemma when it comes to your kids. For an additional entry, “like” It’s Not About Nutrition on Facebook, then leave me another comment telling me that you did.

This giveaway ends Monday January 13 at noon Eastern Time. U.S. residents only, please.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of It’s Not About the Broccoli.


{Giveaway} Best Lunch Box Ever

August 2, 2013

It’s the second day of August, which means there are only 19 days left of summer vacation for my kiddos. Which means only 19 days left until I have to start packing lunches every day. And this year, I’ll be packing two of them. I’m prone to geek out over lunch packing gear, namely adorable […]

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{Giveaway} Fearless Feeding: A Must-Have Handbook!

May 15, 2013

Like everyone else, I’m making up this parenting thing as I go along–occasionally getting it right, frequently stumbling. Feeding my kids is no exception. Even as a dietitian with a bunch of initials after my name, I wasn’t prepared for the curve-balls thrown at me by my kids when it came to food. And really, […]

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{Giveaway} KIND Bars

April 29, 2013

I was never a big fan of granola and energy bars. To me, they seemed too much like candy bars, and I never felt like I’d eaten anything substantial–even when the bars packed hundreds of calories. But KIND bars are definitely an exception. They’re made with whole nuts and fruit, many are low in sugar, […]

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Giveaway: My Favorite Green Cleaning Cloths

March 18, 2013

I used to have a collection of bottles and cans under my kitchen sink: sprays to clean the counters, blue stuff to clean the windows, stainless steel paste for the appliances, and a bleach powder for my white sink. That’s all gone. Now I have a stack of cloths. And instead of spraying toxic-smelling cleaners […]

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Giveaway: Two New Cookbooks I Love

March 11, 2013

{This giveaway is now closed. Thank you!} I recently received two new cookbooks from fellow dietitians who are as great in person as they are on page–and they’re giving away a copy of their books to one of you. The Food Lover’s Healthy Habits Cookbook by Janet Helm (author of the widely read blog Nutrition […]

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Giveaway: California Walnuts

February 6, 2013

We go through walnuts crazy-fast around here. I use them in granola, homemade energy bars, and smoothies, and sprinkle them on cereal to give it more staying-power. So I was happy when the California Walnuts folks sent me a burlap bag full of walnuts and offered to host a giveaway here in time for American Heart […]

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Giveaway: Applegate Organic & Natural Meats

February 4, 2013

I sometimes say that if it weren’t for bacon, I’d be a vegetarian. But that’s probably not true. There’s also sausage and chicken and cheeseburgers and and and. But I’m a conflicted carnivore: I like the taste of meat (and so does my family) but I have a lot of concerns about treatment of animals […]

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3 Days of Giveaways: “Light Bulb Moment” Books

June 12, 2012

I’ve read two books recently that made me want to stand up and yell, “Yes, exactly!” This week, I’m hosting a giveaway for both of them. I’ve had a screwy stomach since childhood. Like so many women, I was eventually given that maddeningly vague, we-can’t-really-figure-it-out diagnosis of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). So when I started reading IBS: […]

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