I am not usually one who will spend a whole day in the kitchen and cook and bake heaps of meals to throw in the freezer for another day. But on Monday this past week that is exactly what I did! I am 35 weeks pregnant with my first child, and anyone who knows me knows I like to be organised and prepared for things (well in this case, as much as I can be prepared for this life changing step). And no I’m not ‘nesting’ – as some of my friends say – I don’t consider carefully planned and thought through cooking as nesting – at least not yet anyways. So after spending hours on Pinterest and reading all the books – one of the big things that popped out at me was make meals for the freezer to make life just a little bit easier when the time comes.
Off to the grocery store I went – purchased some of my ingredients, the rest I picked out of my own garden (more to come on that later) and spent a long day in the kitchen.
My best advice for getting this done – is have a plan! And make it organised chaos -what meals does your partner and family like? What meals can be in the oven cooking away while you are cooking others on the stove top? Do you have your favourite recipes which you know will freeze well? Once you have an idea of what you are going to cook and in what order it makes life so much easier. The other thing I cannot stress enough is have all your recipes readily available (if you need them) saves so much time looking on the Internet or your phone, or back in the recipe book you thought you tagged with a sticky note. And of course make sure you have all of the ingredients you will need in order to make each meal. There is nothing worse than getting half way through a recipe and realising you are missing a key element. Have more than you need on hand to ensure this doesn’t happen to you, especially milk and eggs. I had 3 dozen on the go for that day and went through 2 1/2 dozen.
Now I won’t take credit for all of these recipes as they are not mine – but they are amazing!!! I have listed them below and included links to ones I found on the Internet. If you would like any of the other recipes please feel free to contact me and I will get them to you ASAP.
- Creamy Chicken and Quinoa Casserole -I used brown rice and quinoa, and mine has a bit more liquid at the moment but after being frozen and recooked this should turn into a nice thick casserole. (See Pinch of Yum Blog for more recipes)
- Spinach Lasagna -I used fresh spinach from my garden and added corn to give more veggie and colour to it. (See Pinch of Yum Blog for more recipes)
- Bacon and Egg Pies -super easy to make – need a savoury pastry base – you can buy or make your own -I like making individual ones as it is easy for lunches and only need to take one out at time. Tomato relish or a relish of your liking on the base, line with bacon, add to whole eggs, sliced tomatoes and cracked pepper. All done! Now into the oven, about 35 minutes (less if you have the luxury of a fan bake oven – oh to dream)Be sure to grease the pans well so they pop out easily.
- Corn Fritters – take a lot of time to make especially when using a cafe sized recipe! Haha. Made 40 fritters but so yummy served with bacon and sour cream and a side salad.
- Pasta Bakes – also super easy – always pre-cook your meat – no need to pre-cook pasta as it will cook in the sauce just make sure they are completely covered, add a vege if you choose, and your favourite sauce and into the oven for about 35 minutes or until pasta is cooked. Top with cheese and I like to add bread crumbs for a bit of crispiness on the top.
Be sure to let everything cool completely before wrapping up and putting it in the freezer. Might I also suggest labeling your meals as well just in case ‘hubby’ decides he is cooking one night. Adding instructions as to defrosting and re-heating might also be helpful. Enjoy!