Friday, June 6, 2008

My turn to ask for help

Ok, last time Cass asked for a good cold pasta recipe and you guys were all so great in giving good advice. This time, I need help.

In mere weeks, I will be delivering our second child. My daughter just turned two. So, yes, that is TWO children two and under in my house. Oh. My. Dog. (Did I mention I'll be going back to work full time (three days working from home) when the new baby is 8-10 weeks old?)

Here's my plea: I need meal ideas that I can make now, freeze, and store for the times when we are too tired to remember underwear let alone ingredients would rather lie in the fetal position with a bottle of vodka I think I may run out into traffic if I have to do one more thing things get too busy and no one has time to prepare and cook meals.

The catch: They have to be kinda, sorta healthy. I am currently eating from the Fuckit Bucket so I don't mind extra fat or cheese here and there, but as soon as this kid pops out, Operation: Get Some Semblance of My Body Back starts. I have a good friends' wedding in October, and though I realize it will take some time to lose the 1783 pounds I've gained, I'd at least like to make some headway by Christmas.

To recap: 1) Can make now and freeze for later. 2) Pretty healthy or can be made so.

Ready? GO!


Robyn said...

Light 'n Luscious Lasagna is one of our favorites - I make it up to the point where it needs to be baked, freeze it, and when we're ready to eat it, I thaw it (usually a couple of days in the fridge does it, or all day on the counter), cook it, add the mozzarella, and cook it ten minutes longer. We usually eat it for two meals and then my husband gets several lunches out of it. Served with a salad, it's really good!

Also, chicken and rice casserole. You can lessen the fat and calories by using boneless, skinless chicken breasts and using Pam butter spray on the bread crumbs rather than mixing them with butter. It's another one I make up to the point where it needs to be baked, then freeze it (without the bread crumbs). When we're ready to have it, I thaw it, put the bread crumbs on top, and bake. It's another one we eat for at least a couple of meals.

(Sorry, didn't mean to write a novel. :) )

noble pig said...

Ugh. I have to think about this one. It seems everything I freeze is fattening. I like the idea the lasagna. Make it up in 8 x 8 pans so you have a few.

What about healthy burritos with ground turkey and black beans and low fat cheese. Wrap them up individually and freeze.

Kathy said...

I am going to be of no help with the question you asked cause I can't stop thinking of the "Fuckit Bucket" and all the people I want to forward that description to! Funny beyond words! And good luck!

Kristin.... said...

Chicken Divan. Do you like that? I'll email you the recipe.

Rebecca said...

What about turkey chili, or some healthy, hearty soups? You can freeze them flat in gallon-size ziplocks so they don't take up too much room.

Alexis & Brian said...

Healthy is hard when freezing and most of what I make to freeze is italian food:
I usually make a big pot of spaghetti sauce & divide it into smaller containers to have on hand - I use ground turkey to make the meatballs & use turkey sausage.

Also, sausage & peppers (again turkey) - can be used for sandwiches or over rice or pasta

Chicken Parm - bake the chicken instead of frying it and use lowfate cheese.

Soups are good to have on hand too - I find that creamy soups don't freeze well, bt I stay away from them cuz they're not healthy.

Weight watchers has a good recipe for veggie lasagna too (again italian...what can I say, I'm half italian?)

Hope this helps!

Michelle Smiles said...

Most of the freezer stuff that comes to mind doesn't fit the healthy mold. I will say that my fav lentil soup freezes well and can be made healthier with turkey sausage instead of regular.

Otherwise, I think some enchiladas made with ground turkey or marinating some raw chicken breasts or turkey tenderloins to throw in the oven at a later date might work. I'm awful at planning ahead.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

Casseroles like mac and cheese, chicken divine, ham and potato, spaghetti pie, lasagna....etc.

Soups--lentil, beef and barley, minestrone, carrot potato, chili....etc.

You can precook and season taco beef and all you have to do is put it in the skillet to warm up.

Precook and season chicken or beef for fajitas.

If you want any recipes...just email me!

That Nora Girl said...

This is one of my favorite things to eat and because of the quantity the ingredients come in and the fact that my husband won't touch a lot of what I like to eat the most, there are always leftovers good for freezing.

1 can black beans, rinsed well, heated in a skillet
1 can pinto beans, rinsed well, heated in a skillet
1 can refried beans, heated in a skillet (You can heat all of the beans at the same time in the same pan.)
1 large sweet potato, cooked (baked or microwaved) and mashed
1 cup dry brown rice, cooked
fresh spinach
spinach wraps

This is all I use but you can also add the typical burrito stuff: salsa, sour cream, cheese, etc.

You can prepare the warm ingredients in advance and freeze them for later use, then thaw them and use the fresh spinach when you wrap 'em up- or just stuff them all at once, wait for them to cool and wrap them in foil for the freezer. If you freeze them whole you just need to microwave them for a few minutes.

That Nora Girl said...

Also, you could prepare French bread pizza loaded with sauce and veggies and a little cheese (you know, for health) and freeze it- then bake when you're ready. It's a quick and easy meal anyway but this way you can get all of that veggie-chopping out of the way before your hands get too full.

That Nora Girl said...

Ok, one more, then I am done with the compulsive commenting.

1 box pasta (rotini or penne works best) big enough for your family
garlic powder
butter or olive oil
veggies- your choice- green and orange peppers, carrots, peas, green beans, broccoli, zucchini, asparagus- all chopped or sliced
kidney beans

Boil pasta.

While it's boiling, cook your veggies on a skillet in olive oil until they're tender. Add the kidney beans 'til they're warm.

When pasta's done, drain it and return it to pot. Add a little butter OR olive oil- just enough to lightly coat the pasta, and mix well. Add garlic powder to taste. I use a lot.

Top with veggie/bean mix and enjoy!

I also bake a skinless, boneless chicken breast for my husband for his pasta because he doesn't like all the veggies. I imagine for someone who likes it all, the veggies and beans PLUS chicken would be yummy too.

This can be frozen and enjoyed later as well! My boss had made something similar for me to freeze while I was on maternity leave but hers was more Mediterranean, with olives and artichokes.

caleyadams said...

Before we had our second, our freezer was full of lasagnas, baked (except that at this point, they were unbaked, that would come later) zitis, meatballs, and chicken tortilla soup. I also had my husband wash, cut up and freeze like 6 packages of raw chicken, so that on a night when we weren't eating a previously frozen meal, we wouldn't have to take the time to prepare chicken. (We eat a lot of chicken.)

And while it isn't a meal that you can freeze (well, maybe you could, I haven't), and I know that's what you asked for, my favorite really quick meal to eat (prep made even quicker thanks to the prepared chicken) is pasta with pesto, chicken and tomatoes. I think the pesto is on the fatty side, but whole grain pasta, boneless skinless chicken, and tomatoes are all healthy for you!

Also, those recipes from Nora look YUMMY.