With a my due date looming, it’s time to really start preparing for the post-baby stress and lack of time that I know is coming. I’ve been reading tons about freezer meals and prepping them (and I did a batch of crockpot freezer meals not too long ago which turned out great.), so I’m putting together my list of what I’m making including my shopping list here. Recipes will be linked for references. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, something that I never skip out on. For lunch, I usually like to have a salad or some leftovers. Dinner I like to be adventurous, and for right now I need to concentrate on time-saving!
Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bread – Hubby doesn’t like Pumpkin, so even though I’m going to double this recipe, I’ll be making sure to freeze it sliced so that I don’t have to pull out the whole loaf at once.
Breakfast Burritos – This is more for Hubby, but something quick and easy that we can both appreciate.
Spinach and Cheese Strata – This looks so fabulous, and would be a perfect weekend meal for hubby and me.
Italian bake – Recipe is linked for a gluten free version, but just trade out for regular rotini pasta and it works just the same. I used vegetable pasta, and doubled the recipe to make 2. Just something that my mom has thrown together. But I will bake it into a tin pan so that it’s easy cleanup and can go straight from freezer to oven.
French Dip Sandwiches – This looks so simple and easy. Just need hoagie rolls fresh and probably some cheese. SO easy!
Pineapple BBQ Chicken – I love things that are so few ingredients. Not only cost efficient, but easy for me or hubby to get together.
Mexican Stuffed Shells – This looks so fabulous. I love Mexican food and to put it in such an easy and portable shell will be super convenient.
Chicken Tortilla Soup – This is something that I’ve made before and I know how delicious it is. Never put it in a freezer meal before, but I can imagine it’ll freeze super well.
shopping list : this includes the basic pantry staples that you likely have, such as salt and some basic spices.
Normally I like to do about 15 of these at once… but when I’m 9 months pregnant, I get much more tired, much more quickly. I think starting with these recipes will make for a busy afternoon, give me some starting food, and leave me with enough energy to still get some other stuff done during the day…. hopefully.
Update at the end of the day… I made 5 of these 7 recipes before my feet and back screamed at me to stop. I’ll finish the last two tomorrow, and update with more info in general.
Total shopping cost: $140. Total time in kitchen today: 2 hours. Yield: 2 Italian bakes, the strata, the BBQ chicken, chicken tortilla soup, Mexican stuffed shells and french dip.
Update the next day after everything is done:
This was great. I think grand total I spent 3 active hours in the kitchen. My freezer is pretty well stocked, and I’m really happy with everything. Here’s my schedule of how I went through these recipes:
First thing, I did the dump-recipes… you know, the ones that you thaw, throw in the crock pot and then leave all day. This includes the french dip, the chicken tortilla soup, and the bbq chicken. Then I tackled the italian bakes and the strata. The italian bake is an easy recipe to double, so I made two of them, and the strata was nice and easy as well. It did involve some sauteing, but this went quick. I put these 3 things in a tin pan and covered with foil to freeze. Finally, I got to work on the stuffing for the mexican stuffed shells. I decided to freeze the stuffing on its own, knowing that I can thaw this to stuff the shells anytime.
Today, I tackled the parts that I knew were going to take awhile. I started the pumpkin bread first and ended up baking it in a bundt pan. This is still cooling on the stove, but I cannot wait to try it! I also did the breakfast burritos. I knew that wrapping and freezing individually would take me awhile, and wanted to get everything done at once. They didn’t take as long as I had expected, although the recipe did not yield as many burritos as the recipe had said. (I got 9 and it claims to give 16…. These are mostly for hubby so maybe I stuffed them a little more than I should have?)
For all of these recipes, we’ll get several meals from them (the half-pans should each yield at least 5 servings, and the stuffed shells looks like it’ll be a huge amount of food), which makes me think we’ll be fairly set for food for a couple of weeks! not including any generosity from family and friends. I’m super pleased with everything, including the cost! Hubby even said good job 😉