So here I am, 1 day shy of 39 weeks pregnant and my delicious little boy is still chilling in my belly. I didn’t officially start maternity leave until I was 38 weeks. So i’m super grateful that he held on until now. That gave me the opportunity to get EVERYTHING done! I mean everything is set and ready for whenever my son makes his appearance. I have a few little projects to do to keep me busy until he arrives. But it’s all more busy work than anything else.
One of the big things that I wanted to get done was meal prep with freezer meals. Honestly the idea of shopping for a ton of food and spending a ton of time in the kitchen prepping multiple meals did NOT sound appealing to my tired feet and back. But I knew that we would really appreciate having a full freezer once Baby G is here.
I looked on Pinterest for ideas. It seems like freezer meals mostly fall into two categories. slow cooker meals or casseroles. I do enjoy the ease of using a slow cooker. But I don’t like that I would have to plan ahead to make sure that they were cooked by the time I needed them. Also some of those meals required me to add something to the meal after it was done in the slow cooker. I wanted something that would be easy for my husband to throw together. So I chose to lean more towards casserole type dishes.
Anyway let’s get into the meals!
I took a little drive around Costco. Oh yeah, I totally used one of those motorized scooters to maneuver through the aisles. Hey I had 3 stores to go to, and a whole afternoon of cooking ahead of me. So I had to preserve these legs! I decided that I would make 5 different things: Baked Ziti, Chicken Pot Pie, Chicken Enchilada Casserole, Chicken Burritos, and Quiche. To make things easier on myself, I got as many pre-made items as possible. For example I bought 3 rotisserie chickens, frozen pie crusts, and cheese slices. I’m sure that for some of the things, making them myself would have been cheaper. But saving time was more important to me. Plus I will save money in the long run when we are not eating out as much once the baby is here. So it will balance out.
Here is my Freezer Meal shopping list.
- 3 Rotisserie Chickens (I really only needed 2 for the meal prep. But I used one of the other ones for dinner the next day)
- Organic Spinach
- Ground Chicken
- 1 package of Tillamook Mild Cheddar Cheese Slices
Smart and Final
- Metal Tins for packing meals
- 1 package Whole Wheat Pasta
- Half a dozen Organic Eggs
- 1 pint Half and Half
- 1 package Frozen Mixed Vegetables
- Whole Wheat Flour
- 2 cans of Marinara Sauce
- 2 packages of frozen Pie Crust
- 1 package of Mozzarella cheese
Things I already had on hand
- Mild Enchilada Sauce
- Turkey Bacon
(Of course, I purchased a lot more at all of these stores. But this is what I bought for the meals that I made.)
Here are the Recipes:
CHICKEN BEAN AND CHEESE BURRITOS
- 10 Flour Tortillas
- Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
- Can of Refried Beans
- 5 cheese slices cut in half
Layer 10 pieces of foil on top of each other. (Make sure they are big enough to wrap the burritos. Then put a little beans, a handful of chicken, and half a slice of cheese in the tortillas. Wrap the burrito up, wrap with foil and you’re done. Lester likes to take these for work. They can be popped in the microwave (without the foil of course) or oven. I would suggest letting them thaw overnight in the fridge to warm up more quickly.
BAKED ZITI WITH GROUND TURKEY AND SPINACH
- 1 package of Ground Turkey
- 1 Package of Whole Wheat Pasta
- 2 big handfuls of spinach
- 2 28 oz Cans of Low Fat Marinara Sauce
- Low Fat Mozzarella
Brown turkey in a pan. Add marinara sauce once cooked. Season to taste. (I added some salt, dried basil, and garlic powder). In another skillet (yep you can cook pasta in a skillet. It uses less water and cooks more quickly too!) cook your pasta. Combine everything adding the 1/2 a package of mozzarella cubed. (You can of course use shredded mozzarella too) Top with some thin slices of mozzarella and you’re done!
TURKEY BACON and SPINACH QUICHE
- 6 large Organic Eggs
- 5 slices of Cheddar Cheese cut up into little pieces
- 8 slices of Turkey Bacon
- 2 big handfuls of Spinach
- 2 Pie Crusts
I have posted this recipe before, so here are the directions. I added the ingredients above because this is for 2 smaller quiche rather than one that was slightly bigger. I fully cooked the quiche. Feel free to play around with the types of cheese and meat that you use.
CHICKEN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE
- 6-8 corn tortillas
- Shredded Rotisserie Chicken
- 6 slices of Cheddar Cheese
- 1 can of Enchilada Sauce
Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan. Put tortillas on that layer (break tortillas to fit the pan). Add a layer of cheese, then a layer or chicken. Spread some sauce on top of that. Repeat until you get to the top of the pan. The top layer should just be sauce then cheese.
CHICKEN POT PIE
This is the first time that I made this recipe. I haven’t had a chance to eat it myself since the meals have been frozen. The filling inside tasted amazing! But since I haven’t eaten it all together, I will share the recipe that I based my version on.
For my version, I basically just made a thick gravy using chicken broth, whole wheat flour, and half and half. Then I seasoned it a bit to taste. I added rotisserie chicken and a frozen veggie mix to finish it off.
The pot pie should be cooked for 30 minutes uncovered, 30 minutes covered in foil, and then another 20-30 minutes to brown the crust.
Here’s the finished product!
As you can see, I added the date and cooking instructions to the lids of each meal. This will make it easy for whoever happens to be cooking them to get them ready. For most, you will just cook at 350 or 375 degrees for 30-45 minutes. I would NOT use the lids that come with them while cooking them since they are made of paper. Covering with foil before cooking is probably the best choice.