Prepare yourselves for a long, photo-heavy blog post. 😉 So many of you have been asking what I made in advance for after the baby is born. It’s true — I love a good freezer meal and prepping my freezer is my FAVORITE part of nesting for sure! If I am being honest, I must prefer making freezer meals than setting up a nursery and folding all those little clothes. When I was pregnant with Grayson, we got a deep freezer because our normal freezer just wasn’t going to cut it. Turns out, that was literally the best purchase ever and I’ve had that puppy stocked ever since.
Since this isn’t my first rodeo, I know afternoons are probably going to be our hardest time of day. Adam usually gets home from work around 6:30-6:45pm so I am on my own until then with the kids (I’m not complaining at all here – it’s just the way it is and the way it’s always been for us). And as much as I love to cook, popping a homemade frozen meal into either the oven, crock pot or Instant Pot is going to save me many evenings as we get used to our new routine as a family of five.
Anyway – here go you! Here’s everything I made minus two things that I totally blanked and forgot to photograph, which are these enchiladas verdes (I froze them “naked” without the sauce and froze the sauce separate so it wouldn’t break) and a creamy kabocha squash and red lentil soup. Many of the soups I made are from the book The First 40 Days, which I HIGHLY recommend if you’re pregnant. I pretty much made myself a week of very nutrient dense soups and stews to cover that first postpartum bit (my mom will be here to cook for the rest of the family). The chicken, red date and ginger soup, kabocha squash and red lentil soup, hearty sausage stew and vegetable recovery stew are all from that book and are optimal for the initial week postpartum while you’re recovering from birth. I’ll let you guys know how it all goes! 🙂
GRAINS / SNACKS
Multigrain waffles from The Sprouted Kitchen
Carrot and date muffins from The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook
*Really want to bake lactation cookies but still searching for hemp seeds
CROCK POT / INSTANT POT DUMP MEALS
Chicken and dumplings! This is a tried and true favorite. Recipe can be found here but I have tweaked this over the years. I use organic condensed soup (Pacific brand), organic chicken and add potatoes. Just make sure the potatoes are covered with the soup when you go to freeze or else they will turn a funky color. I also add a cornstarch slurry at the end of cooking to thicken everything up a bit…the refrigerated biscuits from Trader Joe’s are great here!
This white chicken chili was one of my favorite “dump meals” last time. It’s really good and nice and thick. Don’t try to freeze my white chicken chili because freezing sour cream in a recipe usually isn’t the best idea and will cause the soup to break.
I really loved Pinch of Yum’s freezer post and got inspired by it! I made her Instant Pot wild rice soup, sweet potato peanut stew and beef stew. You can literally just toss these right out of the bag and into the Instant Pot!
Also by Pinch of Yum – her cauliflower walnut taco mix! This is SO GOOD.
CASSEROLES / SAUCE
Italian Flag Baked Pasta from the Now and Again Cookbook.
Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Tetrazinni. This is such a delicious, rich splurge meal!!! OMG it is so delightful. I used a rotisserie chicken here to make it super easy.
And last but definitely not least, my spaghetti sauce. I made two large freezer meals of this because it’s amazing and always our favorite dinner.
So there you go, friends! Like I said, my mom will be here for a bit after the birth so she’ll be cooking for us for awhile…and I’ll never (ever!) turn down a meal brought over by a friend or neighbor. 😉 I’m really hoping to make these freezer meals last so I don’t have to feel stressed out about dinner those first six weeks or so.