I am fortunate enough to belong to an amazing church and MOPS group, who will provide me with some meals post-baby, as well as the on-hand help I'll have from relatives who will cook for me, I'm sure, but I figured there could never be too much preparation! Eventually the help from others will run out and it will all be on my shoulders again.
So in August my sister came to visit, and we sat down and planned out easy meals to keep in the freezer. We then went to Costco and bought lots of food in bulk to make multiples of everything. The result is that my deep freezer is quite packed with goodies.
My sister helped by making 4 lasagnas, all in smaller tins so it isn't an overwhelming amount of food at one time for us.
I actually never liked meatloaf, but last year a friend and I decided to modify her mom's meatloaf recipe to create what we thought was "the perfect meatloaf". The result is very tasty, and something my husband and I both love. I'll post the recipe at the bottom of this post if you are interested :)
The next day we made breakfast burritos. This is the only freezer meal I made for Victoria's birth, and it was a lifesaver. When you are a busy new mom who is still getting it all figured out, having a quick, high-protein food at your fingertips is so helpful!
A quick recipe for yummy breakfast burritos:
Eggs (budget 1 egg minimum per burrito), breakfast sausage (this provides a lot of flavor, so make sure the one you choose is well seasoned), finely chopped onion and sweet peppers, and 1 large package of shredded hash browns. Cook it all and mix it together. Spread into soft tortillas (Costco has amazing super soft tortillas that fold well without cracking), top with some shredded cheese, and roll. When we eat them we sometimes add salsa or guacamole to them to add some variety.
After that, we made Kielbasa and Pepper Hash. This is Victoria's favorite meal, and one of mine too, but it can take some time to make because of all the cutting and chopping prep-work. So my sister and I made 3 meals of this, all pre-chopped, and ready to be thrown into skillets for cooking. We separated the sweet potatoes from the rest of the ingredients because I like to cook them separately, as they tend to take a little longer to become fully tender.
-a dozen tenderized pork chops from my mother-in-law
-2 dozen banana and zucchini muffins
-2 packs of stir-fry veggies and pre-cut steak (with bags of steamable rice to make quickly).
-3 pints of soup, which were all "extra" from soups I made in the last few months
I am also planning to make some smoothie packs this week with fruit, spinach, protein powder, and greek yogurt :)
As we are just about out of room for freezer food, I am going to have to call it good at this point, but I am feeling much better prepared than I was for Victoria. And I am nearly confident that the 5 of us won't starve after the twins arrive!
What are some of your favorite freezer meals? Honestly, I am not a huge fan of most freezer meals, but I am happy to have stored away many of my favorites.
-2 lbs low fat ground beef (90% or higher)
-3/4 cup Italian bread crumbs
-1/2 tsp Oregano
-1/4 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp pepper
-1 tsp Onion powder or flakes
-1 clove minced garlic
-1/2 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese
-8 slices of mozzarella cheese
-1/4-1/2 cup finely shredded carrots
-In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except mozzarella
-Flatten mixture onto a piece of wax paper into a roughly 12x12 square
-Cover the surface of the square with mozzarella, and roll it up until it looks like this
You can choose to make the traditional sauce for it or not, but either way I add it after it is baked: 3 Tbsp brown sugar, 1/2 cup ketchup, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 2 tsp mustard