Healthy Cooks: You Need to Stock Your Freezer With This One Thing

This freezer trick makes dinnertime way easier.

The only thing I appreciate more than a trick to make it look like I washed my hair without actually washing my hair (praise you, dry shampoo) is a trick that helps me get a delicious, healthy, veggie-filled dinner on the table for myself after a long day without — and this is KEY — taking up too much energy. Because come 8 p.m. on a weeknight, I generally only have enough energy left to watch Orange Is the New Black.

A few months ago, we told you guys about this dinner-simplifying trick, where you prepackage ready-to-cook Crock-Pot meals, and you all went bananas. So we figure you, too, enjoy a good trick to make dinnertime easier. That’s where this genius trick, which I spotted over on the New York Times comes in: Make, then freeze sauces — for stir-frys and pastas and quinoa bowls — in … wait for it … ice cube trays. That way, when you get home from work, all you have to do is a chop up a few veggies, throw them in a pan along with some rice or leftover quinoa or zucchini noodles or whatever else you have in your fridge, and stir-fry them with a cube or two of made-ahead flavor for an easy — and delicious! — dinner.

Brilliant, right?

The New York Times featured a recipe from vegetable-cooking pro Amanda Cohen of New York City’s Dirt Candy, dubbed her Secret-Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce. It involves just six ingredients — cilantro, parsley, basil, spinach, garlic and ginger — and Cohen, a chef who wants to do anything but slave away in a kitchen on her day off, keeps her freezer stocked with cubes of the sauce to throw into easy-to-make dishes like fried rice for instant flavor.

I went on the hunt for more of these heavenly frozen “flavor bomb” creations on the internet and found that, while there are tons of recipes for freezing herbs in olive oil in ice trays (another way to quickly boost the flavor in a meal), there aren’t a ton of ice-cube-sauce recipes out there. That said, I figure you can do employ this trick with just about any sauce (I made a coconut curry sauce last night that I’m now wishing I’d done this with), and I did come across a few recipes to help you get the ball rolling with your flavor-bomb addiction.

First off, there’s Amanda Cohen’s Secret-Weapon Stir-Fry Sauce. Then there’s this Thai Green Curry Ice Cube recipe that would go OH so well with just about any veggie combo out there, along with this recipe for ginger sauce ice cubes (hellooooo, inflammation fighter). For those who veer toward Italian-inspired dinners, you’ll find recipes to make pesto ice cubes here, and homemade tomato paste (it is tomato season, after all) here.

Now, go, make a tray of one of these today and watch your after-work Orange Is the New Black addiction become SO much easier to maintain throughout the week.

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