Preparing for Baby: Freezer Meal Edition

When I was pregnant with Ranger, something that really helped was having freezer meals made! I was able to make them in the couple of weeks before he was due and it helped so much! I printed off all of my recipes, made my shopping list and organized them to make.  It’s great to use Pintrest to find recipes.  Look for freezer meals or meals you can make, freeze and then put in the Crock Pot.

Here’s the list of recipes I did this time… which are all Vegan and GF, but I’m also including some that I’ve used in the past that were also amazing!

It’s also great to freeze in individual servings or smaller servings to make them stretch longer. Also, you’ll need breakfasts and lunches… which are prefect when you individualize them.

 

Quinoa Stuffed Poblano Peppers

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via: The Live-In Kitchen

**Note: I made the filling for the peppers and then I will fill the peppers when it’s time… and if you’re breast feeding it might be a little spicy with the poblano peppers so you can use regular peppers**

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Ingredients
  • 4 poblano peppers
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil divided, plus more for the peppers
  • 3/4 cup red quinoa
  • 1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove chopped
  • 1/2 cup cooked corn thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup low sodium canned black beans rinsed and drained
  • 1 4 ounce can mild diced green chiles
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons cotija cheese
  • Chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • Plain 0% fat Greek yogurt optional
Instructions
  1. Preheat the broiler to high and place an oven rack in the second from the top position.
  2. Rub poblanos with olive oil and place in a well seasoned cast iron skillet or oiled oven safe baking dish. Broil until the skin of the pepper is blistered and beginning to brown, 5-10 minutes per side. Remove the peppers from the oven and place them in a bowl. Cover the top tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes. Move the oven rack down to the middle position and heat the oven to 375ºF.
  3. While the peppers are broiling, place quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and rinse under cold water for 2 minutes. In a medium sized pot, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat. Once hot, add the quinoa and toast, stirring, for 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to medium low. Allow the quinoa to cook undisturbed until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the quinoa to sit, covered, another 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onions and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until softened and just beginning to brown, 5-7 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, combine quinoa, onions, garlic, corn, beans, green chiles, chili powder, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Remove the peppers from the bowl and remove skins. They should peel off easily, but don’t worry about getting every last bit off. Carefully cut each pepper in half and remove the seeds. Arrange peppers cut side up in the same dish you broiled them in. Fill them evenly with the quinoa mixture and sprinkle with the cotija cheese.
  7. Bake the stuffed peppers in the oven until heated through, about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and drizzle with yogurt if desired and serve.

 

Slow Cooker Three Bean Chili

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via: Aberdeen’s Kitchen

** Note: I mixed all of the ingredients together and froze in 2 ziplock bags so we can eat it at 2 different times,,, I’ll add 1 1/4c. of vegetable stock each time I make it**

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INGREDIENTS
    • 30 oz can kidney beans, drained
    • 15 oz can black beans, drained
    • 15 oz can pinto beans (vegetarian), drained
    • 15 oz can diced tomato
    • 2 large green bell peppers, diced
    • 1½ cups corn kernels
    • 1 small onion, diced
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2½ cups vegetable stock
    • 1 cup mild to medium red salsa
    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • Salt and pepper to taste
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Turn a 5 quart slow cooker on high (for a smaller slow cooker, use about half this recipe). Add the onion and garlic, kidney beans, black beans, pinto beans, tomato, bell pepper and corn. Pour in vegetable stock, salsa, cumin and cayenne pepper. Stir gently to combine.
  2. Cook in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on high, 7 on low (depending on your stock pot).
  3. Add salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with green onion, cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream (skip sour cream and cheddar cheese for vegan version).

 

Chili Quinoa-Bean Bites (with Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes)

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via: Coconut and Berries

**Note: I made the quinoa-bean part and then I will thaw it, make into bite balls and make the mashed sweet potatoes)

Ingredients

    • 1 C Tricolore/Red/White quinoa
    • 2 C Vegetable broth
    • 1-1/2 C Cooked kidney beans (1 Can)
    • 1/3 C Cooked corn (canned or frozen and defrosted are also fine)
    • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
    • 1 Tbsp Paprika
    • 1 tsp Dried oregano
    • 1/2 tsp Chili powder
    • 1 tsp Salt
Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  • 2 Medium Sweet Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
  • 1 Tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 tsp Chipotle chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt

Instructions

For the Quinoa-Bean Bites
    1. Rinse the quinoa well then add to a pot with the vegetable broth. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for approx 15 minutes, until all the water is absorbed. Leave covered for at least 10 minutes or longer then fluff with a fork.
    2. Meanwhile, mash the beans with a strong fork or whizz in a food processor until fairly well mashed but with some texture.
    3. Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
    4. In a large bowl, mix the quinoa, beans and all the remaining ingredients together until well combined.
    5. Using moistened hands, shape the mixture into walnut-sized balls and place on baking trays lined with parchment paper.
    6. Bake the quinoa-bean bites for approx 20-25 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time, or until crispy on the outside.
For the Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes
  1. Steam the sweet potatoes for approx 15-20 minutes, until very soft.
  2. Add the olive oil, chipotle chili powder and salt and mash well with a fork.
  3. Serve alongside the Chili-Quinoa Bites or spread on tortillas and top with the bites and your favourite taco fixings.

Freezer Baked Ziti 

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via: The Macheesmo

** Note: You can easily make this GF and/or Dairy Free if you use GF pasta and/or Vegan Cheese**

Yield: 8 3×3 dishes

Prep Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min.

INGREDIENTS

1 1/2 – 2 pounds ground beef
1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 large onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 28-oz. cans diced tomatoes
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 pound mozzarella cheese, grated
8 oz. provolone cheese, grated
24 oz. cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1 lemon, zest only
2 pounds ziti pasta
Salt and pepper

Directions

1) For cheese mixes, combine cottage cheese, eggs, and lemon zest in a bowl. Set aside for later. Also grate mozzarella and Provolone cheeses.

2) For sauce, add a drizzle of oil to a large pot or skillet over medium high heat. Add ground beef and brown well for 6-8 minutes, breaking up the beef as it browns.

3) Add mushrooms, onions, and garlic after beef browns. Turn heat down to medium and season with salt and pepper. Cook until veggies soften, another 6-7 minutes.

4) Add tomatoes to the skillet along with oregano and red pepper flakes. Bring to a simmer and turn heat down to medium-low. Let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and breaking up tomatoes. If the sauce gets too thick, thin with a little water.

5) Cook ziti according to package. When ziti is boiled, drain and stir in all the meat sauce. Stir to combine.

6) Lay out three 8×8 freezable baking dishes. Add 1/6 of the pasta mixture to each pan. Top with 1/6 of the cottage cheese mixture in each pan and sprinkle with a tiny bit of mozzarella and Provolone. Repeat with a second layer of pasta mixture, cottage cheese mix, and more grated cheese.

If baking immediately: Cover dish with foil and bake at 350 degrees For 20 minutes. Then uncover and bake for 10-15 more minutes.

For freezing: Let dishes cool completely, then cover with a double layer of foil and freeze for up to three months.

To reheat: Move ziti straight from freeze to oven at 350 degrees F. Let bake for an hour, covered, to thaw completely and warm through. Then remove foil and let bake for an additional 15 minutes or so until ziti is bubbling in the center and warmed through.

 

Vegan Lentil Soup

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via: Cookie and Kate

**Note: I just make a batch and freeze it… you can even divide it up into 2 different meals or into individual servings for lunches**

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, more to taste
  • Pinch red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup chopped fresh collard greens or kale, tough ribs removed
  • Juice of ½ to 1 medium lemon, to taste
  1. Warm the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or pot over medium heat. One-fourth cup olive oil may seem like a lot, but it adds a lovely richness and heartiness to this nutritious soup.
  2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the chopped onion and carrot and cook, stirring often, until the onion has softened and is turning translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, curry powder and thyme. Cook until fragrant while stirring constantly, about 30 seconds. Pour in the drained diced tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, stirring often, in order to enhance their flavor.
  3. Pour in the lentils, broth and the water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. Raise heat and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot and reduce heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender but still hold their shape.
  4. Transfer 2 cups of the soup to a blender. Protect your hand from steam with a tea towel placed over the lid and purée the soup until smooth. Pour the puréed soup back into the pot and add the chopped greens. Cook for 5 more minutes, or until the greens have softened to your liking.
  5. Remove the pot from heat and stir in the juice of half of a lemon. Taste and season with more salt, pepper and/or lemon juice until the flavors really sing. Serve immediately. Leftovers will keep well for about 4 days in the refrigerator, or can be frozen for several months (just defrost before serving).

 

Butternut Squash, Kale, and Sundried Tomato Quinoa Salad

**Note: I make this in big batches and freeze in individual servings for lunch and sit out to thaw or microwave to reheat**

 

Yield: 6 cups

Prep Time: 8 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 Butternut Squash or 3 cups pre-chopped
  • 4 cup Chopped Kale
  • 1 cup dry quinoa
  • 2/3 jar of Sun-dried Julianne Cut Sundried Tomatoes with oil
  • 4 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 cups of water

Instructions

  1. 1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop your Butternut Squash into cubes and toss in olive oil (about 2 TBSP or until coated). Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes.
  2. 2. Meanwhile, combine 1 cup of quinoa and 2 cups of water and follow instructions on box to cook
  3. 3. Pour 2 TBSP of olive oil into sautéing pan and add kale and sauté until bright green and wilted.
  4. 4. Once the butternut squash and quinoa are cooked, add to kale and stir. Then add in sundried tomatoes with oil to taste (I prefer about 2/3 of jar).
  5. Serve with parmesan cheese, feta or goat cheese. You can add sunflowers or pecans for some crunch. Use this as a base salad and make it all your own!

Mushroom Enchiladas

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via: Natural Comfort Kitchen

Ingredients
  • 3 T vegetable oil
  • Olive or vegetable oil cooking spray (or another tablespoon of oil)
  • 1 C finely chopped white onion (half of a large onion)
  • 2 t chopped garlic (slightly larger pieces than minced)
  • ½ t dried oregano
  • 1½ lbs. mushrooms, chopped with a few pulses in the food processor, or finely chopped
  • 2 15 oz. cans diced, unsalted tomatoes, drained
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 to 2 serrano chiles (or small jalapenos), seeded and finely chopped
  • 2 t dried epazote (optional; order it here)
  • ¼ C roughly chopped fresh cilantro
  • 14 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 C enchilada sauce
  • Optional: crumbled cotija or feta cheese, sour cream, extra chopped cilantro, lime wedges
Make It
  1. Heat oil over medium high in a 3 quart skillet or Dutch oven. Add onion and cook about 2 minutes, until starting to soften, then add garlic and oregano and cook another 2 minutes. Add mushroom pieces, tomatoes, and ½ teaspoon salt, and simmer as the mushrooms cook, first giving off their liquid, then as it reduces almost completely, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Turn off heat and stir in fresh chiles, epazote, cilantro, and more salt if needed. Set aside while you soften the tortillas.
  2. Heat oven to 300 and spray a 9 by 13 inch pan with cooking spray. If you made the sauce in advance, allow to come to room temperature or briefly warm it so it’s not cold from the refrigerator.
  3. Place 6 tortillas on a baking sheet in a single layer, and spray or brush both sides thinly with oil. Bake 3½ minutes in upper third of oven, until warm and pliable. Fill this batch of tortillas by rolling ¼ packed cup of mushroom filling in each and placing seam side down in the pan (don’t sauce the bottom of the pan). Repeat the baking/filling process with all the tortillas (you may only be able to fit 12 in your pan). Turn oven up to 375 degrees. Top the pan of enchiladas generously with sauce, then shake gently to allow it to work down into the cracks (I used all the sauce). Bake until hot and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Top enchiladas with sour cream, crumbled cheese, and cilantro, or serve those extras on the side.

Egg Muffin Recipes

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via: Two Peas and Their Pod

**Note: I froze these in 2’s and would pull them out the night before and put in the fridge to warm up in the morning for breakfast.  After they cool wrap in Saran Wrap and then foil to freeze. Made a world of difference**

yield: MAKES 8 MUFFINS

cook time: 20 MINUTES

prep time: 10 MINUTES

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 egg whites
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup skim milk or almond milk
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped green onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped kale
  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 8 muffin tin cups with cooking spray. Make sure you spray the cups well. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg whites and eggs. Whisk in skim milk and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in the green onion, kale, and roasted red peppers.
  3. Pour egg mixture evenly into the muffin cups. Distribute cheese equally between each muffin cup.
  4. Bake egg muffins for 20 minutes, or until the muffins are firm in the center. Remove from oven and gently go round each egg with a butter knife. Serve warm.

Note-you can store the egg muffins in the fridge for 3-4 days and reheat them in the microwave. They also freeze well!

Do you have any other recipes you would like to share!?! Please link them!

 

xo,

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