on my to-do list: clean out freezer and stock with ready-to-go meals for after the birth
so, ladies, what's your favorite freezer meal? looking for some healthy faves from y'all :)
I tend to eat lots of protein with fresh veggies, so most of my pre-cooked ideas for the freezer are meat... chicken breasts, steak, etc.
I used to make meatloaf "muffins" - basically your favorite meatloaf (or veggie loaf) recipe cooked in a muffin tin for individual serving sizes - pop one or two out for a perfect protein portion, add some sides, and voila!
I have no idea how much time/energy I'll REALLY have for putting together food after the wee one is here, so healthy caseroles, slow cooker dealies, and one-pot meals are probably a fantastic idea - I look forward to hearing your ideas!
One of our favorite one-dish meals, which would probably freeze just fine as well, is a homemade macaroni and cheese, laid out in a 12x9 inch glass Pyrex. In there, add tuna (or cooked chicken, or I suppose ground meat would work too, though I've never tried it), a small (14.5 oz?) can of diced and stewed tomatoes, maybe italian flavor seasonings, and some frozen peas and onions diced. You could add breadcrumbs on top right before you cook it. We love it around here! Yum!
Wife to , mama to , , , and - bonus mommy to !
well they aren't necessarily primal (not all of them) but i like these recipes for the freezer
my favorite pot roast recipe
yummy beef curry
you can portion this out then top with cheese when you want to serve and put under broiler. no bread necessary.
it has beans and corn and is a bit bland, but i spice it up with chilies and it's a solid freezer staple. we make it lots and my kid loves it.
OMG this soup is teh best!
i put in extra onion and eliminate the breadcrumbs (i am gluten intolerant) and i usually use beef rather than turkey, bc ground turkey is much more expensive. this recipe is enough to feed an army!
Chili freezes well(although it will be may, so not sure if you want a hot soup for then)
Last pregnancy I made a big batch of pork fried rice and it froze pretty well.
You could also prep meat(braised ribs, smoked brisket, marinated chicken breasts, etc) for a quick meal
cooking a chuck roast in the crock pot all day, then shredding the meat, then freeze. Mix up a quick gravy and freeze that as well.
I'm having a hard time coming up with good freezer meals this pregnancy since I'm mostly grain free and alot of popular freezer/casserole dishes are grain based. I'd take suggestions too!
DH(9/04) DS(12/08) and DD(5/11)
also got some good suggestions from the PregnantAtkids yahoo group (posted a thread there too)
I need to check out some of the OAMC (once a month cooking) sites too...
I think I mentioned it in a different thread (that geekgolightly also read), but I do tend to stay low-carb/primal (travel, cravings and hunger have derailed me during this pregnancy), but DP is definitely a grain eater (he thinks I'm INSANE for not liking rice, and it really is that I don't LIKE it, not that I'm trying to avoid it to lose weight).
some of the suggestions I've gotten elsewhere since I posted:
savingdinner.com (haven't checked it out, but I'm told it's good)
Lasagna (made with zucchini instead of noodles)
Spaghetti Squash + sauce
pre-cut veggies (onions, peppers, carrots, garlic etc.)
trail mix (not necessarily for the freezer, but good to pre-make)
chicken or tuna salad
egg salad (texture will change slightly)
cauliflower pizza crusts (never tried these, have to look up recipe)
freeze chicken w/marinade, cook in crockpot or oven (it's called "dump chicken")
portioned chicken, beef, pork, turkey, etc.
stock up on:
trail mix (I make my own, so I'll make a HUGE batch and put into quart-sized containers)
organic dark chocolate
jerky (beef/turkey/soy - choose your protein)
I am planning on putting together a couple soups and probably shepherd's pie.
I don't think I will do a ton though b/c with summer right around the corner we grill a ton and eat fresh veggies out of the garden.
Busy Mom raising 5 kiddos, 7, 6, 5, 2 and a brand new bundle!! (5/15/11)
Last time I cooked for a whole week before labor and my water broke after dinner on the last night of cooking- it was perfect. I made a bunch of food that sounded good at the time and it was mid July so the fresh food was flowing.
Roasted veg soup (i did corn, pepper & tomato w/blue cheese)
mac & cheese casserole w/local unprocessed ham & veggies
enchiladas- these were awesome!
muffins- frozen in bags of 4 and great for everyone in labor
gazpacho- awesome right after the birth for my whole birth team
oatmeal banana cookie dough frozen in 1/2 recipe bags for quick cooking- made my boobs overflow
sloppy joe type casserole w/free range local beef, shredded vegs, cheese- just buy buns to freeze
rice & beans
frittata- doesn't freeze well but you can freeze the roasted vegs and just throw in the egg mix on top
chicken sausages- just bought local ones to freeze but they are an easy meal
don't remember what else...
Mum to DS1 7/09 and DS2 5/11
I don't know how healthy this all is necessarily, but they're all easily adjusted for just about any diet (though we are not fans of non-dairy cheese, and don't use it) freeze and bake well and we all like to eat them! And they all go into 9x13 pans.
Mexican Chicken Casserole - 1 can of cream of mushroom and 1 can of cream of chicken soup (health food stores have healthier options of these); small can of mild green chiles; 24 oz of cooked chicken (though you could probably go up to 36 oz if you wanted extra protein... and post-partum I plan to do just that - shredded or chopped up into bite-size pieces); 16 oz of grated cheese (whatever kind you like with your Mexican food, I typically mix colby and pepper jack, but may say no to peppers post-partum til I get a better idea of how sensitive Baby is); one-pound size bag of your favorite corn chips; optional medium onion - chopped; optional mushrooms - chopped and as much as you care or don't care to consume; optiona bag of baby spinach.
I saute the onions, mushrooms and spinach, then set them aside to let them drain as much as possible. Then I mix the soup, chiles, chicken, onion, mushrooms, and spinach in a good-sized mixing bowl. Get out the pan, use non-stick spray or wipe it down with olive oil, then put a layer of corn chips in the bottom. Add a layer (it won't be completely covered - I try to glob it on there evenly) of the soup mix. Then a layer of grated cheese. Repeat that, using the rest of the soup mix and cheese but not necessarily the chips. Cover with foil and freeze. Baking is 350 for 30-45 minutes depending on your oven, and you can uncover it the last 5 minutes or so to toast up the cheese. Since everything is cooked, you're just getting it good and melty. :) It's a lot like less-labor intensive chicken enchiladas, it's a great way to get my kids to eat spinach, and I usually eat it with sour cream and/or salsa. I think you could - but haven't tried it myself - easily substitute ground beef or turkey if you prefer.
My lasagna is nothing fancy, I follow a basic recipe off a pasta box, and this is just how I adjust it for us: We usually use ground turkey, we always use rice noodles (Tinkyada is a happy gluten free option we like - brown rice pasta that doesn't turn to mush) (my ds is mostly wheat free on a rotation diet so we avoid it when we can), and I add sauted spinach, onions and mushrooms to almost everything I eat, lol, so I mix it into the cheesy stuff, which in our family is half-cottage cheese, half-ricotta, a good half cup of parmesan and a couple of eggs. And I saute some fresh garlic too for this dish, and use my store-bought pasta sauce. It also freezes well, and cooks essentially the same as the Mexican Chicken, but it can take closer to an hour to get it cooked through... I'm still getting used to this oven, and I may be getting used to a different one by the time the baby comes.
Baked Spaghetti - I take a pound of rice spaghetti (Tinkyada again), cook it and blend it with 8 oz of ricotta cheese - sometimes more or less depending on what I have left from lasagna, (I usually make them both and freeze one for later because my local store only sells an enormous tub of ricotta!) half cup of parmesan and two eggs. Then I sort of smash it into the pan like a really thick pie crust. I saute the onion, mushroom, and spinach I add to everything. I brown a pound of ground beef or turkey, mix it with whatever ricotta, parmesan or cottage cheese I may have left - mozza if nothing else - add the veggies (you could so easily and happily use zucchini or squash or both instead) and put it in like the pasta "pie crust" filling. Then pour as much sauce as I feel like using (typically the whole jar) all over the top of that. Cover that with grated mozzarella, and again with 350 for about 45 minutes.
The spaghetti and lasagna are a bit repetitive if you're not into that kind of food, but happily my kids and dh are! I will definitely do at least one of each of these. REALLY hoping I'll find my slow cooker in storage before May. My dh is only home a couple of nights a week so these last us a couple of nights usually. And I'm hoping I can get dh to make us some soups when he's here. He's the soup maker around these parts.
I really like the zucchini instead of noodles idea for lasagna - I will definitely try that. Now I need to check out savingdinner.com, too. And simple things like tuna or chicken salad hadn't even occurred to me! I will definitely make some of that with and with out eggs (ds can't have them).
It's such a relief to finally trust yourself.
This thread has lit a little fire under me...today I froze 2 cups of leftover chicken that I will either throw in the crockpot with beans and veggies and tomatoes for chili (or maybe even tacos or something) after babe is born, or I might even cook something with it before then and then freeze most of whatever I make.
Also on my list is muffins, bread dough, a big batch of soup frozen in two lots, individually wrapped burritos, curry casserole (basically, cook rice in broth, brown some ground beef, onion and green pepper, and mix the two together with canned tomatoes and curry powder/paste. I usually wilt in spinach when reheating), pasta sauce, and chili (if I don't make it with that chicken!). I'm also going to plan a few crockpot meals and make sure to have to toss-in-the-pot ingredients on hand and organized - stuff like crockpot fajitas and beans and rice and dhal, since we'll eat up a good bit of frozen stuff in the first week, I think. We are travelling to a cottage an hour away for the birth and first week postpartum, so I feel more pressure to be on top of things in advance - when my parents follow us down there with our kids, their job will also be to pack up a cooler of pre-frozen meals so that we have something to eat in the cottage (our car will be full of birth supplies, linens and clothes and stuff :P).
We already kind of eat this way (except without the freezing). We make crock pot food every Sunday and then eat it for dinner all week long. Cheap, easy, and delicious.
I use this web site (and also bought her cookbook) http://crockpot365.blogspot.com Everything on there is GF. Some great ideas, and you can search by ingredient :) I am particularly partial to Obama's chili recipe. It's very mild and delish.
married to Mike Mama to my furry babies just gave birth to our first DS.