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Old 08-16-2007, 05:57 PM   #1
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Frozen meal ideas?

Hi,

We're thinking to get a small freezer to freeze meals in (and stock and some vegies) because I am going to give birth in 2 months to our first baby. I thought freezing meals would be a good idea to start doing as the last month approaches (and I'm finding it hard to move) and also I can freeze meals before I give birth so the weeks after are easier when I'm tired.

Anyways I was wondering if people could help me out with what kind of meals freeze well and what to avoid freezing as I've never frozen meals before. How long can a meal last frozen before not tasting as good?

Any tips/etc would be great!

Thankyou!

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Old 08-16-2007, 06:03 PM   #2
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Chili, lasagna, pasta sauce, most soups, stews, enchiladas, casseroles.

The list could go on forever. Wrap or package the prepared food as tightly as possilbe and freeze.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:07 PM   #3
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Thanks Andy. Are there any vegies that don't freeze well after cooking?
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:10 PM   #4
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First, Turando, congratulations on the impending arrival of your baby. Enjoy every exciting moment. I know what it's like to be tired near the end and exhausted afterward because a newborn is quite a lot of work. It's all worth it, though.

As for your meals, most casseroles freeze well, as do soups, stews and chili. You can also cook a whole chicken and remove the meat and store the chopped meat for things like chicken dishes requiring cooked chicken. I always have some of that in my freezer. It's great to make salads, enchiladas, tacos, white chili, etc.

One thing I did when I was preparing my "nest" for the new baby confusion was to make extra batches of my meals beforehand. In other words, when I cooked my dinnertime meals, I would do a double batch. We ate half and I froze the other half.

Most of your meals will last at least a couple of months if wrapped securely. If you can, you might want to purchase a FoodSaver device to vacuum-seal your meals. Also, don't forget to label as to what's inside and the date it was put into the freezer.

I keep a list, on the outside of my freezer, on a wipe-off memo board. That way I don't have to open the freezer to remind myself what's inside. As we eat the frozen meals, I mark through the entry on the memo board.

That's all I can think of right now. There will be plenty of other replies from other members.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:11 PM   #5
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Do you mean in a casserole or on their own?
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:16 PM   #6
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Congrats, Turando! You're really smart to be doing this ahead of time. I almost starved after my kids were born. lol Be sure and stock up on plenty of juices, teas and whatever you like to drink because if you're nursing, you'll be thirsty all the time. Good luck.
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Old 08-16-2007, 06:17 PM   #7
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You can freeze any kind of meals you want just take a look at the frozen dinners in the freezer section at the store you might get a few more ideas there as well.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:38 PM   #8
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Here are a few ideas:

*Roast a boneless pork loin, chill, then slice thick or thin, however you like it. Freeze in several packages, adding a little of the pan juices to each batch. All you have to do is bake a potato and heat up a can of vegetables for a good balanced meal. Use for sandwiches, wraps, or mixed the thin sliced meat with BBQ sauce and let it simmer for a while...makes a great BBQ.
*Make Italian beef from a couple of chuck roasts, and freeze in packages large enough for one meal.
*Buy a couple of big packages of ground beef. Prepare part of it into a meatloaf, wrap with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil, and freeze. All you'll have to do is pop it in the oven. Shape some more of it into patties, and freeze with pieces of waxed paper between them. Use the rest to make spaghetti sauce. It will be simple to cook some pasta to go with. Or go ahead and cook your pasta and mix with sauce...it will freeze just fine. Often, when I have extra burger, I crumble it, cook in the microwave, drain, and freeze in bags for use in assorted dishes.
*Right before you have the baby, buy and bake a spiral cut ham. You can get a lot of meals out of that. I don't know how you feel about box mixes, but the scalloped potatoes are pretty good, especially if you cook them with slices of ham in them. You could also freeze your own cooked scalloped potatoes or a hash brown potato casserole, and pull that out to go with your ham. (Or any thing else, for that matter.)
*Cook a turkey, bone and slice it, and freeze in small packages. It will make great sandwiches and turkey salad, or use it in casseroles. You can make the casseroles in advance if you want, and freeze that way. One thing I like to do is mix turkey, sliced black olives, diced pimentoes,drained canned mushroom slices and a jar of Alfredo sauce with cooked spaghetti or other pasta.

I remember 5 days after my youngest was born, I got to craving vegetable beef soup, so I got busy chopping, slicing and peeling. I got about half way there, and had to call my mother to help me finish because I couldn't stand up any longer. No matter how young and strong you are, having a child takes a lot of the strength out of you for a while. So please, keep that in mind, and make things as easy for yourself as possible.

Oh...one more thing: Breast feeding your baby takes 2000 extra calories a day. If you've gained a lot of weight, nursing will help you lose it. If not, you get to chow down! It's also good for your baby, of course.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:51 PM   #9
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Hi,

Thankyou for the well wishes :) I am very excited!

And thanks for all the great ideas. Got lots to go on now.

Katie - I'll check out the foodsaver machine. The extra batches whilst cooking sound great idea as does the memoboard idea. I always seem to forget what's in the back of the fridge.

Constance - thanks for those ideas. I think I'll do a bunch of pasta sauces, burgers. I need to try to cook a meatloaf as I've never had one before :) Can't do the ham ideas (as we don't eat it) but I could substitute other meats for similar ideas.

Andy - I remember someone telling me ages ago that potatoes that are cooked don't freeze well in casseroles/stews? Is that a myth?

Terry - luckily my husband isn't bad at cooking or we probably would starve :) I am definitely stocking up on drinks because I am thirsty all the time even now.

jpmcgrew - looking at the freezer section is a great idea. I remembered that we like chicken schnitzels a lot for various dishes and they are expensive to buy frozen. I can get my husband to make a big bunch of them (he is good at them) and freeze them.
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Old 08-16-2007, 07:53 PM   #10
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Oops I forgot - Constance - what is Italian beef?
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