My friend Erinn from Embracing Everything asked for a list of the freezer meals that I used after this pregnancy, so I thought it might be helpful to a few other people as well. Why kill two birds with one stone when there are eggs in your bush that you shouldn’t count?
I started too late preparing for Eli Benjamin. I felt like doo-doo for most of the pregnancy, so I blame it on that. In all honesty, you should start prepping freezer meals in the middle of your second trimester. Most meals and foods will be fine for 6 months in the freezer. Even starting late, I managed to get quite a bit put away. I used a lot of meal components this time so I would be able to throw a meal together quickly instead of making a vast amount of fully cooked meals.
Also, 4 weeks before my due date, I made a HUGE shopping trip and stocked up on everything I might need: snacks, condiments, nuts, butter, etc. After my babies are born, I don’t get out much…I usually take a 2 month hiatus from shopping and gallivanting around the countryside. My mom went with me on this trip and I literally filled the car up with supplies and groceries.
PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Don’t use all your freezer meals at first. Do. Not. Panic. Please, for the love of all that is holy, cook if you are able after the baby is born. Honestly, for the first month the baby sleeps most of the time. Yes, you should sleep too…but, let me tell ya – when the baby is awake more often, THAT’S when you’re gonna need your freezer meals…because when you have a minute you’ll be taking a shower, not worrying about dinner. Take that to the bank.
Now, for the nitty gritty. I have written about freezer meals several times and a good majority of my recipes are freezer friendly. Here is how I freeze stuff:
- Breads, muffins, etc. are frozen double-bagged with Ziploc freezer bags.
- Baked Oatmeal is frozen in serving sized pieces. I wrap in plastic wrap and then put a bunch of them into a Ziploc.
- I use empty yogurt containers for a lot of items. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Hug a tree.
- If I am freezing a casserole, I use disposable pans or line my baking dish with parchment before cooking. Then I put the whole dish in the freezer once it cools down. After it is frozen, I can pull the whole thing out and freeze it in a Ziploc, freeing up my dish again. Also, this means it will fit right back down in the dish later.
Below are the freezer meals I used this time. Most of them are repeats because I knew they’d freeze well and I’d made multiple batches of most of them. I’ve included links for almost all of them…except for things like hot dogs. I’ve never made my own hot dogs – I’ve never kissed a chipmunk – and I’ve never painted daisies on a big red rubber ball (finish that tune!).
- Baked Oatmeal
- Muffins of all sorts (especially these Bran Muffins)
- Breakfast Cake
- Pancakes and Waffles (including Peanut Butter and Banana Pancakes)
- Breakfast Burritos
- French Toast Casserole
- Granola – frozen double bagged (we love this Chocolate Peanut Butter recipe)
- Pancake Muffins
- Spaghetti Sauce
- Taco meat
- Hot dogs and hot dog chili
- Vegetable Beef Soup
- Cincinnati Chili
- Fish Sticks (keepin’ it real – I didn’t make these….Thank you, Sam’s Club.)
- Bean and Cheese Burritos
- Freezer Quesadillas
- Chicken Fajita meat
- Freschetta Pizzas….because sometimes the bottom falls out at 5pm.
- Cooked hamburger patties
- Salisbury Steak
- Chicken Taco Casserole
- Cheesy Ground Beef Rice
- Sloppy Joes
- Pulled Pork BBQ