Suggestions for freezer meals - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey mamas,

I'm starting to think about making some freezer meals for when baby comes. My mw suggested making some now. Don't ask my why, but I can't come up with ANYTHING to make. I know some mamas here have already made some up so I was wondering what you've made..or if you have any good ideas.

TIA!
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#2 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 05:32 PM
 
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I love to make big bags of chinese dumplings, with cabbage, waterchestnuts, ginger, carrots, and chicken. food network probably has some good recipes -- I have used different ones. You can take out as many as you want and you can cook them from frozen, which is great.

I also like to make and freeze sweet potato/ spinach quesadillas. Also good from freezer to pan. I just tried to duplicate the Whole Foods recipe.

I am trying to think of something other than the usual lasagna, although I love a "Mexican Lasagna" that Rachael Ray makes (also on the food network website).

Oh! If you like fried chicken -- that is yummy to make and freeze. Just bake in the oven from frozen... Or chicken strips breaded and pan fried and then frozen. I will try to think of more favorites. Great idea for a thread! Another thought is to think of what you'd like and then if anyone asks your family, they can give a list of favorites...

Jean

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#3 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 05:41 PM
 
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My freezer is FULL to the brim! Hubbie thinks I'm nuts, but I've been there, done that, and I know it will be helpful

Here's what I've found freezes well:

Lasagna (I made two kinds, traditional, and a black bean/spinach lasagna)
Chicken noodle soup
Veggie gumbo with rice
Roasted chicken with rice
Miso soup with chickpeas and potatoes
Vegetable stew
Fried chicken and tater tots
Veggie jumbalaya
Chicken enchiladas
Chicken sausage and cous-cous casserole
24 Blueberry pancakes
4 loaves of Banana bread
1 gallon spaghetti sauce
3 qts. homemade salsa

Most of this stuff I made in the crock. The roasted chicken and rice is the easiest. I just put a whole, cut up chicken (minus the gibblets) in the crock, spray with Pam, shake on a bunch of lemon pepper seasoning, and let it sit on low for 8 hrs. Then I pull it out at the end of the day and put it in a bunch of single-serving tupperware containers with rice (I like Rice-a-Roni or Zatarain's roasted vegetable rice). DH loves taking it for lunches!

The lasagna, enchiladas and casseroles can be baked and then put in single-serving containers, or just frozen in the casserole dish with foil on top, ready to go in the oven for dinner some time.

I got the cooking bug in April, and good thing too because I ended up on bed rest for most of May!

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#4 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 07:06 PM
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I feel terrible.... The whole time I'm reading this I'm thinking... man I want a big bowl of strawberry ice cream with a whole liter of coke....

There is NO point in me trying to come up with something to freeze... I'd have nothing but fat junk food stored in my freezer!!
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#5 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 07:58 PM
 
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i think I"m going to spend some quality time at Trader Joes freezer section... get some enchiladas, and other easy to re-heat stuff. I just don't feel like cooking!

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#6 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 08:04 PM
 
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I keep telling DH that he needs to call Sears and find out if they are going to warrenty our freezer or not. I want to get it filled with meals NOW so I don't have to worry about it. Last thing I was to be doing is cooking a bunch of meals 38+ weeks pregnant or WORST doing it at post-partum. :

Lots of easy "sauces" that you just have to cook some noodles, mashed potatoes or rice and spread it over.

Spagetti sauce
Beef stroganoff
Chili
Stir-fry
Jambalaya
Red Beans & Rice
Pinto Beans & Rice
Black Bean Soup
White Beans & Ham Soup
Taco Meat (for quick tacos or nachos)

Casseroles
Chili mac
Tuna casserole (if you like it )
Hamburger Helper types of casseroles for ideas
Lasagna

I also like to buy a large bag of frozen chicken breast. Defrost them and cook them all up, especially on the grill. Seasoned different ways and then re-freeze them in packs of 2-3. Only take about 5 mintues to defrost a couple and we can have chicken breast sandwiches or slice it up and serve it on pasta. HUGE time saver.

Another favorite meal is Sticky Chicken. Its done in the crockpot and takes about 5-10 minutes of prep. Take a whole chicken (3-5 pounds). Rinse it out. Season it inside & out with your favorite spices (garlic, salt & pepper, chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc) whatever you like. Stuff the cavity with one chopped onion (must have!) and any aromatics that you like (garlic cloves, herbs- basil, sage, tarragon, thyme whatever, lemons) and turn the crockpot on low (takes about 6+ hours depending on the size of your chicken) or on high (takes about 3+ hours again depending on how big your chicken is). Don't add any liquid, the onion and the chicken will create the moisture needs. The chicken will be falling off the bone!
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#7 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 09:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladybugamber
I feel terrible.... The whole time I'm reading this I'm thinking... man I want a big bowl of strawberry ice cream with a whole liter of coke....

There is NO point in me trying to come up with something to freeze... I'd have nothing but fat junk food stored in my freezer!!
First of all....: That's just TOO funny!!

But, I think I'm at the same point. I just am feeling really lazy about cooking up stuff. For awhile I was doing nothing BUT cooking but now, I just don't wanna think about it. I mean, I still cook dinners and stuff but nothing majorly crafty or anything. And I guess considering the main way to heat anything back up after it's been frozen is the microwave which is totally out of the question for me. I WILL not use it. *sigh* Maybe I'll just skip the freezer meals and stock up on a bunch of 'easy' dinners for DH or his MIL (she's coming to help after the baby comes) to fix. But thanks for all the ideas mamas!
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#8 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 09:49 PM
 
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I did these the last two months: www.maindishkitchen.com

no creativity at all required on my part and I went with girlfriends both times so it was like a night out. They are my gift to dh b/c I don't cook at all, don't enjoy it, don't like it, I'm over it...but somehow this makes it easier and I can do this out cooking...

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#9 of 19 Old 05-22-2006, 10:14 PM
 
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I plan on making turkey meatballs, maybe 2 pounds worth. I'm also just going to have easy grill food on hand to toss on, well, the grill and keep it simple with side dishes like cous cous and caesar salad. Not too much chopping required.

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#10 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 12:39 AM
 
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I'm making spaghetti meat/sauce, taco meat, and beef stew. We've also got a few lasagnas in there, a ham, and a couple of whole chickens (that can just be thrown in the slow cooker).

Holly, eternally in love partners.gif with Kolby, Raising Juelie Anise (10y), Behnjamin Shen (6y), and Coen Syaoran (4y). Expecting June 2013 2ndtri.gif

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#11 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 04:36 AM
 
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Your freezers must be HUGE...I can hardly fit anything in there! Dh does 99.9% of the cooking around here so the meals I made are basically as a favor to him and to help him out postpartum as he tries to wrangle our 3 older kids. He made a turkey meatloaf to freeze, while I made spagetti pie, a chicken and rice casserole (so good, but requires tons of chopping) and some stuffed potato shells (stuffed with cheese, potato, onion, spinach). Also picked up some freezer stuff that just needs to be cooked. Since dh does almost all of our cooking, I was basically just looking for a few meals to choose from for right after the birth.

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#12 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 07:38 AM
 
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Wow, I posted about this over on the nutrition board the other day because I could not think of ONE thing to freeze - my brain is on major overload

In the next week I am going to try and make:

pan of creamy enchiladas
breakfast casserole (eggs, chuncks of bread, cheese, maybe some veggies)
fried rice with tofu
and sweet potato enchiladas
some ww pancakes

I am also stocking up on veggie burgers, veggie sausage, and I made an extra dozen muffins and threw 'em in the freezer yesterday.

my mom has lasagne duty

We have a relatively small freezer as well!

here is my question, do you thaw the meals out in the fridge and then heat in the oven, or just throw in the oven frozen?????

  homeschooling, earth loving Mama to 3 crazy, wonderful boys, ages 10 & 7, & 3 mos.,3 spirit babies                                Inch by inch, row by row.  Gonna make this garden grow  
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#13 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 03:31 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doulanichole
Your freezers must be HUGE...I can hardly fit anything in there!


Yeah, you know what we had to do? We bought one of those small (7 cu ft) chest freezers and stuffed it in our bedroom closet.

Holly, eternally in love partners.gif with Kolby, Raising Juelie Anise (10y), Behnjamin Shen (6y), and Coen Syaoran (4y). Expecting June 2013 2ndtri.gif

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#14 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 04:50 PM
 
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I have been stocking up from our organic co-op. We have a delivery on June 2nd. I'm stocking up on waffles, bread, pasta and pasta sauce for a quick meal. I have an on-line organic grocery delivery service that has prepared meals and I may buy a few of those to put in the freezer. They also deliver fresh fruit and veggies each week so I can cut them up and make hummus or yogurt with honey for quick dips. I guess I should be more worried, but DH will be here more than he was with DD so I know he will here to help. Although, he doesn't know how to cook and it takes him an hour to make toast and eggs . I guess we'll muddle through!

I may try and freeze some red beans and rice, baked pasta with veggies and maybe some enchilladas. My freezer is small and I will already have lots of things from the co-op so I may have to be careful how much I make!
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#15 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 05:27 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EcoMama7
And I guess considering the main way to heat anything back up after it's been frozen is the microwave which is totally out of the question for me. I WILL not use it. *sigh*
Actually no, the microwave isn't the only way to re-heat something. I'll often pull out a "frozen dinner' the night before and put it into the fridge. It's usually pretty "soft" by mid-afternoon the next day. Then I just heat it up in the oven or the stovetop depending on what it is.
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#16 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 06:19 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum2tori
Actually no, the microwave isn't the only way to re-heat something. I'll often pull out a "frozen dinner' the night before and put it into the fridge. It's usually pretty "soft" by mid-afternoon the next day. Then I just heat it up in the oven or the stovetop depending on what it is.
ITA

And I've made lasagna or cassarole in a regular cassarole dish and cooked it directly from frozen in the oven. I don't wait for the oven to heat up and I cook it for about 20-30 min. or until the middle-top is bubbling (cheese or sauce). I've also made it without actually cooking it the first time, it just cooks for a little longer then you would regularly.

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#17 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mum2tori
Actually no, the microwave isn't the only way to re-heat something. I'll often pull out a "frozen dinner' the night before and put it into the fridge. It's usually pretty "soft" by mid-afternoon the next day. Then I just heat it up in the oven or the stovetop depending on what it is.

Yeah, totally. Most of what we have just needs to sit out and thaw and then goes into the oven or gets heated on the stove top (like soups and lasagna and such).

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#18 of 19 Old 05-23-2006, 09:30 PM
 
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I seriously and not wanting to turn my oven on! It's cool this week, but in a few weeks it will be over 80, and I'm not turing the oven on! Pasta, salad, quick and easy...

Mamato Ruby Violet joy.gif(6 with autism) and someone 1sttri.gif who should make him/herself known sometime in the next month.

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#19 of 19 Old 05-25-2006, 07:43 PM
 
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Since I am a big time cook and so is dh, we always have at least 5-7 meals frozen at all times. It came in handy those early days w Maggie and now it is too.

I freeze:
chicken/dumplings. Chicken part and whip up a quick batch of dumplings
meatballs- made up and then defrost and fry up. I usually have italian, swedish, turkey etc
lasagnas
chicken strogenoff
pulled pork (dh had for lunch today)
beef chili
eggplant or chicken parmagiana
mannicottis
enchilada bean and meat style
thai garlic beef

also on hand in freezer, shredded cheeses for pizza, chopped up veggies from our garden last year now almost finished in time for this years, canned sauce from last year in pantry,

We eat at least once a week out of the freezer and try to "feed" it at least once a week. If its overloaded, we eat a few meals from it. Also its real easy to bring a friend a meal when she has a new baby etc.

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