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Dec 12, 2007 10:24 AM

Easy New Mom Dinners

About to be a mom and am going to need some really easy throw together at the last minute meals. I am in need of some inspiration. Also - are there any good pre-made products out there? Haven't really ventured into that area before but I'm thinking it could be a time saver. Thank you.

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  1. Congratulations akp! A new baby does mean time in the kitchen is harder to come by... I'd suggest making some meals ahead now that can be frozen and reheated, especially if you'd rather avoid premade food. Winter dishes like chili, canneloni, stews, soups(most), pot pies, quiches(not a winter dish but an easy meal at any rate), all freeze well. It also wouldn't hurt to encourage your SO to take over some of the kitchen duties (if possible) at least for the first little while.

    2 Replies
    1. re: maplesugar

      What maplesugar said. Freeze lasagne, quiche, etc now. There won't be much time for cooking in the first few weeks.

      The other technique, don't allow people to come to the house to see the baby unless they bring food! We didn't suggest this when our baby was born, but I would for the next one.

      About half the people who came over after our son was born brought food. They were *very* welcome to come. Other folks? Not as much...

      1. re: greglor

        I'm not a mom, but I've organized "feeding circles" for new moms at work and for friends. We came up with schedule where every other night someone would bring over a nutritious meal in a dishwasher safe/disposable container to the new mom and dad (every night and people's kitchens would overflow with food!). I know that my mommies really appreciated it, and all her friends were more than glad to visit and be helpful at the same time.

        You should mention it to a good friend/family member, and have them get to work!

    2. Something I like to do is make a big batch of spaghetti sauce, divide and freeze. The you can do so many things with it. Like, duh, spaghetti, or spaghetti pie, or a spaghetti pasta skillet. If you get the Butoni noodles at the store, it makes it quick and easy.

      I have only used a few of the jarred pasta sauces, and can't really give a recommendation, but I will say that they are a good base to start with, and you can add whatever you want to please your tastes.

      Tyson roasted chickens from the grocery store are a real time saver, as well, and the leftover can be used for tacos, chicken salad, in soups, etc.

      1. Do up a big batch of chicken soup and freeze, but leave the noodles out. Buy fresh pasta (I usually get linguine) in the refrigerated section of the store and chop into 1.5" lengths and you can freeze separately -- this is so noodles don't get mushy -- and then you can heat up as needed. This is good because it isn't too spicy (troublesome to the babe if you're breastfeeding), and you can eat it one handed, if necessary.

        1. Do you have a crockpot? You can make some decent meals (chicken, beef, crockpot lasagna) in that. If you keep frozen veggies in the freezer, you can have a balanced meal with little effort.

          If you have a Costco around, both their refrigerated pre-made meals (meatloaf, pasta bolognese) and the frozen foods (beef tips, short ribs, mashed potatoes, etc) are very good if you have no energy to cook and just want to heat food up. You can also get an idea of what kinds of meals you can make and freeze for later.

          2 Replies
          1. re: leanneabe

            Agreed. A crockpot can be your new best friend. How easy is this??? Place country ribs or spare ribs in the bottom of a crockpot. Cover with sliced mushrooms and onions. Pour barbecue sauce over all and turn it on in the morning.......dinner's ready at night. I absolutely LOVE Costco. What did we ever do without them? I buy the mesquite grilled chicken breasts (already cooked, then frozen) and they are so simple to turn into a meal. Heat in the oven or fry pan, serve with smashed potatoes or eat on a sandwich. Dinner's ready in 10 minutes! They have so many frozen convenience foods. I also love the egg rolls. Nuke two minutes and I have lunch or a dinner if I'm cooking just for me. Hubby doesn't like Chinese.......silly boy. Another low-cal, easy meal: Cut boneless, skinless chicken breasts into bite sized pieces. Pour Kraft Free Italian Salad Dressing about 1/4- to 1/2-inch deep in a 10-inch skillet. Add chicken and saute until all the dressing has evaporated and the chicken is covered in all the remaining yummy herbs and spices. Be sure it is Kraft Free as it is water-, not oil-based. Talk about quick and easy! Treasure the new addition to your family. They don't stay babies long......unfortunately!!

            1. re: leanneabe

              Costco also now has chicken noodle soup that's pretty amazing. They use the roasted chicken they have over at the end of the day. It's pretty thick....I think it with some broth. But it has great flavor. And, in the Costco tradition, there's plenty say it lasts a while. It's in the refrigerated section with the prepared foods.

            2. Best convenience food ever: eggs. So many options ready in 5-15 minutes.

              Precooked brown rice (NOT instant rice, but frozen cooked rice) is a great time-saver. Also, premade pizza crusts, no-boil lasagna noodles and couscous make quick meals.

              You can make your own biscuit mix ahead of time, so you can use it for dumplings or pancakes or whatever when you're in a rush.