M.3. asks from Morgan, UT on August 04, 2011
Make Ahead Meals - Morgan,UT
I'm getting ready to have a baby at the end of this month and wanted to prepare dinners in advance so I don't have to take a lot of time preparing dinners. I've thought of lasagna, enchiladas but can't come up with anything else. If you have any great receipes feel free to share. Thanks for your help!!
1 mom found this helpful
So What Happened?™
Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your responses. I can't wait to get started preparing meals. You all gave me some great advise!
K.D. answers from Denver on August 05, 2011
www.onceamonthmom.com has some great recipes. Searching I just found www.frugalmom.net too. www.heavenlyhomemakers.com and www.passionatehomemaking.com each have a section, I think. The mom on passionatehomemaking.com is having her third so has been posting a lot about preparing for that, so she may have lots of other ideas for you, too. Congrats!
S.B. answers from Dallas on August 04, 2011
Some things I did and still do (It's nice to have home made stuff on hand when I don't want to cook)
-Stromboli - will fill ours with meat and cheese. Cook for about 10 minutes to harden up the dough and then let it cool completely. When you want to eat it, let it thaw and then bake until golden
- slice up pizza - we make pizza on our grill. We take the left overs and slice them and then freeze them in baggies. THen we have easy microwaveable lunches
- Soups freeze great - chicken noodle, spinach sausage and chicken corn choweder are some of our faves. I cook them and then put a zip lock bag in a pitcher. Let them cool and then freeze in the bag. That way I don't have to worry about spills. Once it's frozen I remove it from the pitcher and zip it shut.
- Pot pies. I easily make one dozen at a time. I use already made pie crusts, so I simply made the filling, fill the pies and then freeze. You don't have to cook them at all before freezing, just pull out to thaw in the morning you want to eat them (I have cooked them frozen in a pinch, it works, but takes a LOONNG time!)
- Random meats. I had the hubby grill up a bunch of chicken breasts and burger patties. They are definitely better fresh, but great when you are in a rush. I usually bake or microwave these with a little broth to keep them from drying out. I keep Sam's or Costco veggies on hand for side dishes,
- Chicken and rice, red beans and rice, jambalaya, cajum rice and fried rice all freeze well. When I reheat rice, I add a bit of broth or water to help it come back without being too dried out. With fried rice, I don't add seafood until the day of ( I don't want the whole batch to taste like old shrimp)
-Garlic bread, bread bowls and rolls all do well. Cook them half time, cool completely and then freeze.
- Egg rolls and lumpia also freeze great, but I ususally have to wrap them in wax paper so they don't fall apart when I go to use them. I don't precook them, I just do all the assembly.
- I have also been known to freeze beef and chicken taco/nacho fillings.
-Baked ziti,mac and cheese, meatballs and red sauces all do great in the freezer.
- I have had no luck with quiches, They seem to get grainy. Even if the recipe specifically says you can freeze it.
HTH! Good luck!
2 moms found this helpful
S.C. answers from Des Moines on August 05, 2011
The BEST thing I had in my freezer was mini meat loaves (your favorite recipe baked in muffin tins) One of those,a microwave baked potato and some green beans or salad was a quick meal that satisfied even new nirsing mom hunger. (I have NEVER been so HUNGRY in my life!)
H.W. answers from Provo on August 05, 2011
I clicked on your question because I wanted the answers too. :) Best thing I've done is cooking lots of rice ahead of time and freezing it. Then you can do different sauces in different bags and choose which topping you want to fit your mood.
R.L. answers from Denver on August 05, 2011
M.M. answers from Denver on August 05, 2011
I make this a lot - (http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/catherines-spicy-chicken-sou....
I also add extra veg like peppers, broccoli. It always turns out so now I'm really lazy. I just thrown chicken breasts on the bottom of the crockpot, cover with chicken stock (instead of cube + water). Thrown in all the beans, corn, tomatoes, raw veg etc then cook for 4hrs on high (or 6hrs low whatever setting you have). Then add grated Mexican four cheese and the sour cream last. Freezes well (without sour cream). Can also change e.g add cumin or cinnamon, or omit a can of chili beans etc. So easy, makes a tonne. Can have salad and or bread or rice to stretch it further. Very high fiber, high protein and with added veg very nutritious post partum food.
try this too - freeze in slices : http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/blueberry-zucchini-bread/det...
see apple sauce ans wholewheat changes. Very moist and tasty.
Search Mamapedia for other recipe/freeze well related posts.
Congratulations ! and don't forget that a good breakfast cereal can still be a nutritious dinner so can cheese on toast ;-)
Keep taking your pre-natals and drink more water then you think you need.
E.C. answers from San Francisco on August 04, 2011
freeze pork chops or chicken legs in marinade - easy to defrost overnight in fridge and pop into oven to cook. I also slice meats and freeze in stir-fry seasonings (soy sauce, powdered ginger and garlic, cornstarch, cooking wine) - again defrost in fridge and then stir fry with frozen stir fry veggies.
I went to one of those make-and-freeze meal places once as a baby shower activity for a friend and it gave me ideas of things I can do at home.
F.H. answers from Phoenix on August 04, 2011
Congrats! I brown about 5/6 pounds of hamburger with onions at once and then put in quart size freezer zip baggies. Then I use a needed for pastas, tacos, enchiladas, salads, soups, sandwiches, etc. Same thing for putting a bunch of boneless skinless chicken breasts in the crock pot with some taco seasoning and cooking on low all day. then I chop it up and put in baggies in the freezer and use for the same things. I also chop lettuce, cabbage and carrots and keep in the fridge at all times. I'm lucky I have big salad eaters. Also google easy crock pot recipes since you can throw everything in there in the morning and its done for dinner. Good luck!!
A.B. answers from Colorado Springs on August 10, 2011
You've gotten some great answers already - I think I'll have to try making rice and freezing it for sure! Anyway, I used recipes from the book "Fix, Freeze, Feast" - you prep the meals the same way you do at one of those make ahead places. It is great for bulk shopping and for making large meals ahead of time. Some of my favs are the burritos and the flank steak recipes. Congrats!