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How to properly refrigerate, freeze and reheat food

Taza makes fresh food. Our entire concept revolves around fresh food that is custom prepared, with fresh ingredients, never canned or full of preservatives.

Let’s talk about preservatives for a minute. Ever wonder why a can of green beans, for example, can sit in your pantry for months on end without ever spoiling? Not to pick on canned beans, I mean, they come in handy around Thanksgiving when you remember last minute that you were on Green Bean Casserole duty. I’m using this as an example.

The answer is simple: preservatives. Now, to be fair, we wouldn’t have been able to survive as a civilization without preservatives. They are the reason we can keep food in our fridges and cupboards longer without having food spoil before you have time to consume it.

What I’m trying to say is, when you pay for a meal, you are paying for the experience, the taste and of course the freshness. So why eat something that came out of a can?

I was at an event a few months ago, and a food truck owner who made burgers in the truck next to us came by and chatted with us for a bit, and recommended I add a dish made of canned corn, that I fry up on the griddle and serve up with melted cheese. I was appalled by the recommendation! That is in no way the Taza concept!

Ok, I’m done ranting about canned food and preservatives. Now, on to what this blog is really about: how to keep your fresh meals fresh until it’s time to eat them. I want to make this a go-to for all our customers who buy from us.

How to properly refrigerate, freeze and reheat Taza meals

Our meals come in two container sizes. Several customers have asked me how to make sure to avoid freezer burns or that weird aftertaste you notice when food sat for several days in the fridge. You know what I’m talking about. That’s not because it’s a bad Taza dish! That’s typically an indicator that the fridge needs to be cleaned out from this one item that was shoved way in the back, past its expiration date. No judging!

What we do to each dish, is we wrap it completely in foil inside the container. This preserves freshness while the dish is in your fridge or freezer, waiting to be eaten.

Now on to how to freeze your meals.

Protein rice bowls

All the rice bowls come in the same container. If you are planning to eat them within 4-5 days, you can keep them in the fridge (heating instructions are in the next section). If you are going to wait to eat them past 5 days, I recommend freezing them. In that case, here’s what to do. Put the container directly in the freezer. That’s it! We have already wrapped them tightly in foil to preserve freshness and keep any odor from the fridge or freezer out.

When you need to reheat, simply remove the foil and place the microwave-safe container in the microwave, heat for 2-3 minutes as needed and enjoy.

Pasta dishes

Pasta has a tendency to dry out in the fridge and even more so in the freezer. It’s very important to cover the food up and tightly tuck in the sides with foil. You got the point: foil is the secret ingredient to fresh food. It has a tendency to keep in flavor and moisture without drying out the food. That’s especially important when it comes to pasta.

We put the pasta in the container, over a piece of foil, we the place a piece of foil above the food to cover it completely, we tuck in the sides (as you would tuck in a kid into bed), tightly pressing the sides to prevent any air pockets.

All you have to do is reheat in the microwave after removing the foil cover, and keeping the dish in the microwave-safe container that it came in.

Salmon dishes

Salmon is best consumed within 2-3 days from your order being delivered. Salmon is finicky like that. But to preserve the flavor and the moistness, it’s best consumed without a lot of reheating. And if you can avoid it, reheat in a toaster oven or a conventional oven. Never, never, ever, reheat in the microwave! I know sometimes it’s the only option but if you can, just don’t do it! Not to mention that “fishy” smell that happens when you microwave any sort of fish, your co-workers (or house mates) will thank you.

If you have to microwave any of the dishes, please don’t forget to remove the foil before you place in the microwave. That’s a hazard waiting to happen.

Paninis and wraps

We all know that bread and microwave don’t mix. That’s a number one rule. You put bread in the microwave and it becomes a rubbery-hardened inedible substance. Anything that should be toasted, belongs in a toaster oven or regular oven.

I have become such a big fan of the toaster oven over the years that I can’t imagine life without it. It’s basically a mini-oven. But consumes less energy and doesn’t make the whole kitchen too hot to stand, especially during those hot summer months. Being from Arizona, you know what I’m talking about.

Paninis are a delicious crusted toasted cheese sandwich with different toppings. We make a mean toasted smoked turkey panini with pesto and provolone cheese. It’s best eaten immediately when we make it.

For best results, we pre-wrap wraps (no pun intended) and paninis in foil when you order them. Simply place them into the fridge or freezer as they are. Don’t exceed 2 days in the fridge before putting them in the freezer. When you are ready to reheat, put them in the toaster oven, or regular oven. The toaster oven has a toasting setting. In the regular oven, put it on “bake” at 375 (the magic number) for 5 minutes. If that’s not enough, let it warm up for 5 more minutes.

In summary

All of our meals are packaged in a way to allow for easy refrigeration and freezing. We know you’re busy and your orders are meant to last you all week.

And, if you have any questions or need help packaging any of your meals, just tell us when you order. After all, we are here for YOU! Now, did you order your next meal?

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