June 2017 Moms

Freezer Food

I don't think we have had a thread on this, at least not recently. Is anybody else working on stocking your freezer with premade meals or snacks for after the baby is born? I thought it might be helpful to have a place to share ideas/recipes if other people are like me and are primarily focusing on having delicious food to eat post partum instead of, say, exercising or finding nursery furniture. I'll post my list below if there is interest! 
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Re: Freezer Food

  • lmudralmudra member
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    I plan on doing this and would love to see y'alls recipes!!!
  • Wearmi1Wearmi1 member
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    A lasagna baked and proportioned into containers.  I also make breakfast burritos and freeze those too.  Things like banana bread and muffins can be frozen as well.  
    tmrussellemail2ash
  • My DH does a lot of cooking now, and we assumed he would help out with the cooking when we have our girl. I'm a FTM though. Is it unrealistic to think he would cook/run out and get dinner? Would everyone be too tired to be bothered? 
  • Whoops! I thought I was in my on BMB. Sorry for the dirty lurking. :)
  • One thing I've been doing is making extra of something I know will freeze well. For example, when I made a pot pie last week, I made double the filing and froze half of it. It seems easier to me that doing a whole separate prep just to freeze. 
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    berg
  • So far we have about 10 crock pot meals. I like the smoothie packet ideas too!  An easy crock pot meal we both like is Italian beef.   Get a 3 pound cheap beef roast, chop up about 5 banana peppers, one large onion, and a can of beef broth, and voila! 
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    tmrussell
  • One thing I've been doing is making extra of something I know will freeze well. For example, when I made a pot pie last week, I made double the filing and froze half of it. It seems easier to me that doing a whole separate prep just to freeze. 
    This is what I do! It takes longer to fill the freezer, but seems like a lot less overall work to me. 
    WorkingOnMyNightCheesetmrussell
  • sejicasejica member
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    My gaming friends are having a freezer meals party in lieu of a shower, we plan to make a variety of 'burritos' (breakfast burrito, Thai burrito etc, basically yummy things but wrapped in a tortilla so they're one handed) aiming for around 200 cal to use as snacks while breastfeeding​. Also some lactation cookies. I'm fortunate that my mom has volunteered to be our maid/cook for the first 5 weeks, but I want to help reduce the burden on her as much as I can ahead of time. I rely on 'Parents Need to Eat Too' and 'Smitten Kitchen' cookbooks for many recipes. SK has never let me down, and Parents is a great crock/batch/one handed/toddler-friendly recipes cookbook. SK is slightly more tasty, but also more work, which I can thankfully still manage.
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  • I've also just started doubling and freezing. I just finally got a new crockpot so I'm going to freeze a bunch of those too and during may I plan on making extra freezer meals each weekend. I plan on doing breakfast burritos, bean and cheese burritos, enchiladas, pancake poppers, and lots of soups. I've been making lists on Pinterest. 
  • We lived off pre-made lasagna, meatloaf, and bean+cheese burritos for the first 2-3 weeks. It was wonderful to just pop something in the toaster oven (foil, single-use baking pans mean no dishes either!!) and have dinner done. Breakfast was cereal and fresh fruit. Lunch was Costco salad kits. Snacks were string cheese and another piece on fresh fruit or hummus and pita. MEALS DONE. 

    This is the plan for this time around, too. 
     I'm all for the lazy meals, even when we're not adjusting to life with a newborn



    tmrussellmamaelle27
  • For ladies with experience can you share the best way to freeze items? Do you put them in freezer bags or another way? Also are the things that do not freeze well? 

    I think the idea of single serve meals is great very easy for lunches or you can heat up two for dinner. 
  • @tmrussell I flash freeze a lot of stuff by laying individual items (lasagna rolls, enchiladas, etc) out on a cookie sheet, putting them in the freezer for a couple hours until they are solid, then taking them off the tray and putting them in bags. That way I can take out just the amount I want, throw it in a casserole dish, put canned sauce over it, and bake it. I do that with cookie dough and fruits and vegetables, too.

    Soups I usually freeze in quart mason jars because then i can just microwave the whole thing instead of getting a pot dirty, but they can go in freezer bags and then be reheated on the stove, too. 

    Lots of casseroles can go in disposable aluminum pans, but I have occasionally had the acid in tomato sauce break the metal down somewhat and ruin the food, so I don't do tomato-heavy casseroles like lasagna in them anymore (hence the lasagna rolls that get jarred marinera at the last minute). Same thing with smoothie ingredients.

    I don't have a ton of experience with this, but you can also put the raw ingredients for a crock pot dinner together in a freezer bag so they are ready to just thaw and throw in the crock pot.

    Things that don't reheat well: obviously fresh vegetable will have a different consistently and be gross. Sometimes stuff with potatoes in it gets kind of a mealy texture to it, but sometimes it seems fine. Soups with cream or milk in them can sometimes be weird, too. I'm not sure what causes that. I can't think of anything else off the top of my head.
    tmrussellemail2ashlizerspitz
  • My mom came in and helped me make a bunch of freezer meals before DD was born. We made pizza casserole, chicken cordon bleu casserole, chicken spaghetti and chicken pesto shells. The shells were my favorite because I heat up individual servings. 

     

     

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  • I regret not doing this last time. I'm already planning a big batch of chili and cornbread!
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    tmrussell
  • Definitely following this! I did it last time and ended up having a bunch of people bring us food as well. It was glorious. I'm all for new ideas. We don't have a big freezer this time so I need to be smart about how/when I start building my stash. 

    Mom to Madison- 5 and Lillian 2....and now surprise baby #3!
    tmrussell
  • Some great ideas in here! I will have to start thinking. Lately we have been good about meal planning at least 4-5 meals out which has helped us save money and not waste food but I don't have much in the freezer besides smoothie stuff.

    When I had DS, a GF brought over a huge fruit salad and blueberry coffee cake and it was the best thing ever! My first sleepless week of trying to learn my way around BFing was made a lot easier snacking on those :)
  • I good friend of mine is due about 9 weeks before i am, so she's coming over Saturday and we're going to put together some freezer meals. I've had trouble with trying to do too much and starting to cramp yoo really bad, so I'm only making lasagna and a huge pot of soup. That should make about 5 dinners for us. I figured next week, I'll make a huge pot of baked beans, and several different marinades to freeze chicken in. It will be grilling season, so the hubs can cook therm for us.
    Married 8/29/09
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  • Last time I made several chicken pot pies (did the filling, put it in a pie tin with dough, wrapped and froze with instructions to reheat and cook dough from frozen.) I also doubled a couple of lasagnas and froze them.  I made a huge batch of blueberry banana muffins and froze those for easy breakfast.  I found a plan online that gave me instructions on putting together about 20 marinated meats for crockpot or grill.  I will likely do this again but may just do my own take on them.  The marinades were a bit underwhelming for us and I'd rather just have loads of meat frozen and ready for grill than soaking in a marinade I'm only so-so about.  But to answer any doubters, you will NOT regret putting together frozen meals, regardless of who does your meal prep typically.  
    silliegirlie143
  • krex-2krex-2 member
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    I'm planning to make a bunch of crock pot freezer meals, probably most will come from SkinnyTaste.  I love her stuff!!

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  • mezalune said:
    Last time I made several chicken pot pies (did the filling, put it in a pie tin with dough, wrapped and froze with instructions to reheat and cook dough from frozen.) I also doubled a couple of lasagnas and froze them.  I made a huge batch of blueberry banana muffins and froze those for easy breakfast.  I found a plan online that gave me instructions on putting together about 20 marinated meats for crockpot or grill.  I will likely do this again but may just do my own take on them.  The marinades were a bit underwhelming for us and I'd rather just have loads of meat frozen and ready for grill than soaking in a marinade I'm only so-so about.  But to answer any doubters, you will NOT regret putting together frozen meals, regardless of who does your meal prep typically.  
    I followed a similar blog a few years ago and felt the same way about her recipes. They all tasted too similar, and I began to dread dinner. That was such a huge bummer, considering all of the time and $$ I had spent putting everything together. This time, I'm using my own recipes that we know we like, and that we know freeze and thaw well.
    Married 8/29/09
    MC: 9/14
    Goober #1 born: 8/17/15
    MC: 9/16
    Goober # 2 EDD: 6/27/17
  • One thing I've been doing is making extra of something I know will freeze well. For example, when I made a pot pie last week, I made double the filing and froze half of it. It seems easier to me that doing a whole separate prep just to freeze. 
    This is how I'm planning to do it as well because I don't feel like cooking all day a few times. I'm thinking about starting now by H is complaining because he thinks the food will be stale by then. *eyeroll*  He also sideeyes when I cook a bunch of ground beef to use in recipes later and freeze it, but I've tested him by not telling him when I use it and he can't tell. 

    Recipes I can think of so far are different soups and stroganoff (just the sauce part, not the noodles). 
  • @ellie111227, I like your idea of using mason jars. Have you ever had trouble with them breaking due to expansion in the freezer?
    Married 8/29/09
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    Goober #1 born: 8/17/15
    MC: 9/16
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  • @shmarpler I have lost a few jars when freezing. I read somewhere that if you freeze them on their sides it helps. Also don't fill too full because of expansion. I lose a lot less doing that. 
    shmarpler
  • Oh, good idea. I left about two inches, but don't want to lose all of my soup, so I haven't put it in the freezer yet.
    Married 8/29/09
    MC: 9/14
    Goober #1 born: 8/17/15
    MC: 9/16
    Goober # 2 EDD: 6/27/17
  • mrtmrt member
    Long-Lasting Membership 500 Love Its 500 Comments Photogenic
    Besides lasagna/stuffed shells, any good ideas for vegetarian meals that freeze well?
  • I made a veggie/lentil soup. I've never frozen it before, but my mom said she does and it thaws well.
    Married 8/29/09
    MC: 9/14
    Goober #1 born: 8/17/15
    MC: 9/16
    Goober # 2 EDD: 6/27/17
  • @shmarpler Yeah, you definitely have to leave a good amount of space for expansion. I have lost a couple jars when i have tried to squeeze the last of something in and filled them more than I should. 
  • @ellie111227, is two inches enough room?
    Married 8/29/09
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    MC: 9/16
    Goober # 2 EDD: 6/27/17
  • @shmarpler Yeah, that's about what I do. If you want to be safe, you could always freeze one overnight to make sure it works and leave the rest in the fridge until tomorrow. Two inches should be good though.
    shmarpler
  • mrt said:
    Besides lasagna/stuffed shells, any good ideas for vegetarian meals that freeze well?
    My SIL is vegan and makes a delicious corn chowder. I bet that would freeze well, but don't know if soup would be appealing in the summer? 

     

     

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  • Any suggestions on what (if anything) can go straight from the freezer to the BBQ?

    We do frozen beef burgers and chicken burgers, anything else? Since it'll be summer, I'm hoping my hubby can just throw something on the grill most nights and keep the kitchen mess free. 
  • Steak, chicken drumsticks and pork steak (it's a Midwest thing,,, pork shoulder steaks) are our usual.  I get them prepped and husband throws them on the grill as soon as he gets home.  Pair with grilled asparagus and we have our meal!
    mamaelle27
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