Wedding Woes

Favorite Freezer Meals?

kwiksilverkwiksilver
500 Love Its Third Anniversary 100 Comments Name Dropper
member
edited April 16 in Wedding Woes
Hey Ladies!

I know I haven't been around much.  Shortly after we found out we were expecting, life went extremely sideways, and simply existing from one day to the next became a Herculean challenge.  I know I mentioned my H had a very serious accident at work in early September (we are STILL dealing with that as the fractured area hasn't healed properly).  That was followed by my 13 year old going through a host of intense mental health issues that resulted in 3 separate hospitalizations (the longest being 10 days).  It's truly been the longest and most difficult 6 months of my life.

Things are a tiny bit calmer now, even if it's only temporary, and we are 2 weeks out from Baby Day!  Because I have GD the OB probably won't let me go past 40 weeks, so we are anticipating either an induction or a c-section around May 1 (baby keeps flipping from head-down to breech, so who knows).

I'm trying to get as prepared as possible, because H has to go for a fairly serious surgery basically immediately after the baby is born (his surgeon is literally calling him May 2 to book it).  I've made and frozen some meals, and stocked up on things like frozen lasagna, because he's going to be bed-ridden for probably a week, and after that there is a long recovery period in which he will only have proper use of one arm (the surgery is a bone graft, hip to left forearm, so his helpfulness to me with a newborn will be extremely limited for some time).

Do you guys have any favorite freezer or even "dump meals" (freeze all the ingredients together and then dump in crock pot).  I made some from Pinterest once and I was kind of underwhelmed, so I am interested in what people have tried and liked.  So far I have things like pulled pork, shepherds pie, soups, and a couple of beef roasts.  I just feel like I am drawing a blank and I don't want to spend a bunch of $$ making meals that won't taste good.  I have officially started maternity leave, so now that I don't have to work full time, I want to double down on my efforts to make life easier for future-me.  Even if you just have a secret for freezing rice or potatoes really well (seriously?  Is there a way?) lay it on me.  I don't even need full recipes, just things you know freeze and reheat nicely.  Desserts too, because we will probably have quite a bit of company.  I've made and frozen a couple of pound cakes that I can at least pull out if people stop by for coffee.  My chickens are laying lots of eggs, so things that use up those are extra points, LOL.

Thanks so much for any advice or tips!

ETA some missed punctuation LOL

Re: Favorite Freezer Meals?

  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK
    Sixth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    member
    edited April 16
    Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. Hugs!

    Breakfast burritos freeze nicely which is a good use of the eggs. Wrap them up individually so you can just microwave them in the morning. 

    I love I’ve slow cookers. These are some of my favourites:

    -Chilli is always easy- I like to throw chorizo in mine for extra flavour. 

    -Chicken tikka masala- easy and flavourful!

    -pulled pork (you can have the leftovers as sandwiches)

    I would also try to get some frozen broccoli and frozen spinach chopped fine and throw it into everything. It’s a good and easy way to eat more veggies.
    STARMOON44kwiksilver
  • I’m so sorry to hear about all you’ve been dealing with @kwiksilver *sending virtual hug* I hope the end of your pregnancy and delivery are healthy (and uneventful!).

    I don’t have much experience with freezer meals- you already mentioned lasagna, that and stuffed shells are my big ones.  I’ve also made a large pot of chili or sauce (a whole Sunday sauce with meatballs and sausage) and poured leftovers into a gallon ziplock bag, frozen into laying down, and then had a big filling family meal when I needed it. Just put the gallon bag into the fridge to thaw the night before, and cook stovetop at dinner time.

    I don’t have any tips for freezing rice or potatoes but those Uncle Ben’s microwaveable rice pouches have helped me out in a pinch.  (I think they also sell microwaveable potatoes now too, though I haven’t tried them.) 
    kwiksilver
  • My favourite is taco soup.

    2 cans of different beans (I usually do black and mixed)
    1 can corn
    1 can chickpeas
    1 can olives
    1 can Heinz chili style beans
    1 can diced tomatoes
    1 package of taco seasoning
    1 500-800gram package of ground beef - browned and drained (you may season during cooking or leave as is)

    Put all can contents into giant ziplock (to make more soupy include all canned liquid, less soupy only include liquid from chili style beans and tomatoes). Add in browned ground beef and taco seasoning pouch. Freeze. 

    Dump the contents into slow cooker and cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours. Serve with tortilla chips and sour cream. 

    Leftovers freeze well and also can be put into wraps if less soupy/more chili consistency.  
    kwiksilver
  • MRDCleMRDCle
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    https://newleafwellness.biz/2015/08/06/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-back-to-school/

    I've made a bunch of these on this site.  All super duper easy.  My absolute fave is the chicken curry. I often add more veggies (some glazed carrots for example) and some rice or naan (store bought obviously) to make it more of a meal.


    kwiksilvershort+sassy
  • kvrunskvruns
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
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    @ernursej that soup sounds good but you don't add any broth? The liquid just comes from the beans and tomatoes? 
  • Sorry to hear you’re having a tough time. Hugs!

    Breakfast burritos freeze nicely which is a good use of the eggs. Wrap them up individually so you can just microwave them in the morning. 

    I love I’ve slow cookers. These are some of my favourites:

    -Chilli is always easy- I like to throw chorizo in mine for extra flavour. 

    -Chicken tikka masala- easy and flavourful!

    -pulled pork (you can have the leftovers as sandwiches)

    I would also try to get some frozen broccoli and frozen spinach chopped fine and throw it into everything. It’s a good and easy way to eat more veggies.
    Thank you! Chilli seems so obvious now that you’ve mentioned it LOL and I think I have all the stuff. Great tip on the veggies as well :)
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    mod

    Twice bake potatoes freeze well.

    Also, I've never done this myself, but an old friend used to freeze mashed potatoes on ice cube trays or muffin tins, then pop 'em out and store in a plastic bag in the freezer. She said it worked well and you could just throw as many as you need in the microwave.

    image
    kwiksilver
  • I've made an enchilada "lasagna" for the past few meal trains for post-baby friends that freezes well. Basically: 

    -start with enchilada sauce on the bottom of a pan (9x13 or some kind of rectangle-ish)
    -one layer of corn tortillas
    -then layer whatever vegetables you want (corn, olives, mushrooms...), any meat or beans, then cheese
    -more sauce
    -more tortillas
    -repeat until you're at the top of your pan

    I add a can or two of green chiles to the enchilada sauce. You could also use salsa for one of the layers or on the bottom of the pan. 


    If you have time now, I'll take a day every few months and make a shit ton of soups, then freeze them. I freeze one-portion sizes in pint jars, then throw one in the fridge at night or the counter in the morning for lunch. 
    kwiksilvercharlotte989875
  • Thank you so much everyone. I was drawing such a blank. I think I’m just a bit overwhelmed right now. I super appreciate the suggestions and the support!
  • I don't have much right now, but on the forum I'm on The Bump we are starting to talk about freezer meals so I can keep you updated on suggestions.

    So far suggested

    - grillers {bugers, sausages, etc}
    - anything with eggs freezes well
    - casseroles
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  • I don't have much right now, but on the forum I'm on The Bump we are starting to talk about freezer meals so I can keep you updated on suggestions.

    So far suggested

    - grillers {bugers, sausages, etc}
    - anything with eggs freezes well
    - casseroles
    Oh yeah this! When I worked night shift, I'd make those egg-cup things in a muffin tin. Scramble some eggs (I think I used one egg per hole in a regular size muffin tin), spray the pan, pour in the eggs and then add whatever you'd put in an omelette. You can microwave them to heat them up or use a toaster oven if you want to get fancy.
    charlotte989875
  • MRDCle said:
    https://newleafwellness.biz/2015/08/06/31-crockpot-freezer-meals-for-back-to-school/

    I've made a bunch of these on this site.  All super duper easy.  My absolute fave is the chicken curry. I often add more veggies (some glazed carrots for example) and some rice or naan (store bought obviously) to make it more of a meal.



    I'm also a fan of New Leaf Wellness.  It's a website with a bunch of recipes that are specifically designed to put in the freezer and then thaw and throw in a crockpot.

    I'm so sorry to hear about all the challenges you and your family has been facing!  I wish you all the best and healthy, good recoveries.  Congrats on the soon-to-be new member of the family :).

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • MRDCleMRDCle
    250 Love Its 100 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
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    https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/autumn-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup.html

    I'm also a big fan of freezing soup in different portion sizes - this is one of my absolute favorites and it's super easy to make and freezes really well!
  • kvrunskvruns
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    member
    I like the idea of the mini egg muffin cups. Baby B loves egg bake (egg casserole) and it would be nice to make him some individual cups like that to just pull out and cook for his dinner. 
  • One other word of advice:  If you have smaller stoneware containers and can portion into those vs. a 9x13 go with that!   You can cook them in a toaster oven AND if it's just you and your H you won't run the risk of getting stuck feeling like you hate that dish your'e stuck eating days on end.  

    Pasta casseroles are a big "duh" as far as what freezes well.   Also shephard's pie is a big favorite that isn't a noodle that freezes and reheats well.

    I'm also a big fan of chicken pot pie and again, if you can make them smaller you're then not stuck feeling like you are on the all chicken all the time channel. 
    kwiksilver
  • kvruns said:
    @ernursej that soup sounds good but you don't add any broth? The liquid just comes from the beans and tomatoes? 
    Yup! It is great. 
  • ShesSoColdShesSoCold bend over and I'll show ya
    Moderator 5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary
    mod

    Wow, how exciting! And good luck! :)

    I also make a giant batch of meatballs and freeze them cooked. Then I can just throw them in the pot of sauce to warm them through and we've got homemade spaghetti and meatballs in like 20 minutes.

    Another thing that might be nice, is to look at colleges with culinary programs in your area for days when even a crock pot is too much. One of the ones around here has a weekly meal for 4 you can order and pick up or they will drop off. Someone got them for my mom and stepdad when she was sick and they were awesome.

    image
    charlotte989875kwiksilverernursej
  • @kwiksilver ; so exciting! Good luck!!
    <a href="https://babysizer.com/geeky"><img src="https://babysizer.com/geeky-2018-06-08.jpg" alt="Babysizer Geeky Pregnancy Tracker"></a>
    kwiksilver
  • @kwiksilver best wishes for a smooth delivery and a healthy baby and mom!!


    kwiksilver
  • Ro041Ro041
    Fifth Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    @kwiksilver this is my favorite egg recipe and it freezes well.  Congrats!  I am sending you good vibes for smooth sailing, so to speak. :) 

    https://www.skinnytaste.com/loaded-baked-omelet-muffins/


    kwiksilver
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