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Need ideas for meals to freeze. I'm about to give birth and want a full freezer.

  • t

I've made tomato sauce for pasta, vegetable curry, lamb chops, paella.

I know this is a broad question, but I'd love to hear peoples favorite cook-in-advance meals.


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  1. How big is your freezer?

    1 Reply
    1. re: ld
      trudie cardella

      Not that big.

    2. Stuffed cabbage freezes really well.

      1. Lasagne freezes wonderfully. So does the cooked/seasoned meat for tacos (either chicken or beef) then all you have to do is defrost and roll into a soft shell with toppings you want. Roasts are easy to do, if you want to stock up on chicken, pork, etc. (Although if your freezer isn't that large, you'll have to decide what takes the space...) Whoever is helping you out (hopefully!) can throw it into a pan with potatoes and vegetables.
        There was a similar post about this pretty recently - maybe someone can remember what it was titled?

        1. I'm certainly no expert on the subject, but a good friend recently had twins & was instructed not to eat anything w/ tomatoes while she was nursing b/c the acidity was very upsetting to the babies. Granted, there are clearly generations of Italians & others who would disagree, but you might want to check . . .

          2 Replies
          1. re: elissa

            Nah, you can basically eat/drink anything when you are nursing. Somethings may bother the baby, but you'll find out soon enough if that is the case. Chocolate, things that make you gassy like cabbage or beans. But whatever the situation its on an individual baby basis.

            1. re: elissa

              Well, my babies thrived on tomatoes, and I'm not even Italian. They also developed quite a taste for garlic. Neither of them would eat jarred baby food, but loved pureed boeuf a la mode. But has anyone suggested meatloaf? It can be frozen cooked or uncooked and after a meal or two (make a big one)one can have lovely meatloaf sandwiches.
              And best wishes for you and your baby. Do try to get lots of rest - it is wonderful that you are planning ahead.

            2. Chili, meatballs in gravy, chicken-noodle casserole, lentil stew, sausages.

              1. Potato leek soup freezes nicely.
                Pesto freezes like a dream under a thin coating of olive oil and will liven up a lot of different meals. For instance, we mix it into frozen sweet corn.

                1. I second the lasagne recommendation. I made a double batch of it a few weeks before I had my son and froze most of it. Used the recipe in Bon Appetit from early 1999 (January or February) with spinach and turkey sausage. It is delicious and continues to be my favorite lasagne recipe, made all the more special of course due to my memories of making it right before Sam's birth and having it as our first meal upon returning home from the hospital. Believe me, after a few days of hospital food you will really appreciate pulling something delicious out of your freezer!

                  1. It's about the season for chili and beef stew and pork stew with a bit of tart apple and seasoned with fresh sage.

                    Try to find some freezer containers that can go from freezer to microwave to minimize dirty dishes. A few weeks ago on this board I mentioned some glass ones with green plastic lids at K-Mart that can go either in the oven (without the lid) or the microwave. They're not extremely stylish, but for a family dinner I wouldn't mind at all serving out of the same bowl too. Being single I also eat out of that bowl, but guess that wouldn't work for a family. ;-) Good luck, and congrats on the baby.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Sarnie

                      recipe for the pork stew with apple and sage please?

                    2. Let me first say that I hope you are showered with blessings, and an easy safe delivery for all involved. What an exciting time -- I wish you the best of luck.

                      Smart Mamma, you, for thinking ahead.

                      If, while you are nursing, you find that your baby can tolerate tomato products (I've known some babies who do and some who don't), below is a new Martha Stewart recipe for baked ravioli that is fantastic frozen and reheated. You could go so far as baking it (with a shorter baking time) in 1- or 2-serving baking dishes, so that would be a true freezer-to-oven-to-table dinner experience. I made it and divded it into two 3-4 serving dishes (this makes a lot of food), and it froze and reheated beautifully. This is comforting, good food, and it's packed with calicium, protein, and calories -- all of which, of course, you're going to need!

                      Link: http://www.marthastewart.com/page.jht...

                      1. I'm in law school and deal with the same issue for my husband and myself...Try making a big tray of lasgna, baking it and then slicing it into portions. Wrap in foil (seperately) and heat in the micro or oven before serving. Also, right now you can make a bunch of apple pie filling and freeze in in individual portions to make pies throughout the winter - if you have a sweet tooth, this is amazing. Good luck and congrats!

                        1. 1) Mashed (Irish) potatoes; mashed sweet potatoes with crushed pineapple. Freeze either in a size just right for dinner. 2) Moussaka 3) Lasagna 4) Baked beans with ham 5) Meatloaf mixed and ready to put in oven 6) Meatloaf mixture in halves of raw peppers ready to bake with a jar of tomato sauce for stuffed green peppers. 7)Picadillo (ground beef sauteed with onion, green olives, raisins, tomato sauce, and cumin; serve with rice. 8) Rice: cook a huge potful using parboiled (golden) rice because it freezes well. Freeze individual portions in plastic sandwich bags and microwave for use. 9) Sliced roast beef, chicken, meatloaf, or turkey in gravy. 10) Eggplant Parmesan. 11) Hearty soups like goulash soup, split pea, vegetable-beef. 12) Chili. 13) Chicken a king. 14)Seafood Newburgh. 15) Fruit cobblers. 16) A variety of baked goods: rolls, bread, cake, pie, coffeecake. None of these suggestions is hypothetical as I routinely freeze all this stuff.

                          As for packaging, if you chill moussaka or lasagna you can cut it into squares, wrap each in plastic wrap and label, and put each square in a plastic bag and tape or twist shut. The little plastic dishes that come with frozen entrees can be reused. You can buy portion-size plastic or foil containers wholesale from a catering supply store. Cover baking dishes with plastic wrap, label, and secure in a plastic bag. Double-wrap baked goods. Soup and chili do well in plastic freezer containers holding a pint or quart. Plastic margarine tubs are good for the corn cut from a couple of leftover ears, some leftover cranberry sauce or homemade applesauce, sauteed mushrooms, leftover gravy or curry sauce, or extra cake icing (powdered sugar type). Make a lot of white sauce, add shredded cheese so it becomes cheese sauce, and freeze in 8-oz. margarine tubs for use on broccoli, cabbage, boiled potatoes, seafood etc. for a quick au gratin.

                          You DON'T have to prepare every meal entirely from scratch during times when your life is busy. If Stouffer's freezes it, you can freeze it. Just be sure to seal securely, label clearly, and rotate regularly. Let your mantra be "Mr. Freezer is Our Friend."

                          1. Meatballs in various (non-tomato) sauces freeze well. They can also be made in large batches and frozen in seving size containers. Two favorites of mine for this purpose are swedish meatballs and koenigsberger klops. But I am sure you can find many kinds.

                            1. Just remembered a freezer favorite - chicken pies. If you don't like to make pie dough, use frozen puff pastry. Make them in the smaller throw-away pans, so that they serve two. Have the filling cooked, but leave the dough raw. Make sure you wrap them well.

                              There are really two basic styles of chicken pies: those made "dry" and then served with a sauce, and those made with sufficient sauce incorporated into the sauce. I like both styles. In either case, put in some veggies so that they constitute a one-dish meal.

                              Pat G.