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 Post subject: Re: Books, blogs, recipe sites, etc. Freezer Meals before ba
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 10:40 am 
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Cranky
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I'm going to merge this with the main thread for this topic.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 3:53 pm 
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i'm officially adding the forty-clove chickpeas and broccoli from AFR to my easy meals list. i used a bag of frozen broc so the prep was about all of 5 minutes. it was so delicious. sure hope this next baby is as down with stereotypically gassy foods as my last one was!!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:05 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
i'm officially adding the forty-clove chickpeas and broccoli from AFR to my easy meals list. i used a bag of frozen broc so the prep was about all of 5 minutes. it was so delicious. sure hope this next baby is as down with stereotypically gassy foods as my last one was!!


Ha! I was thinking the same thing. "Ooh! So easy! Wait... it's basically a big plate of gas waiting to happen." It's worth a shot, though, because man! SO EASY.

I have a feeling I'll be using that book a lot regardless. There are so many awesome and quick recipes!


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 4:48 pm 
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That sounds tasty. I don't know how well Walt's tummy handles it (How much gas is normal? Don't ask me.), but I love broccoli.

I also recommend The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson. There are lots of less than 20 minute meals, which is all I can handle right now. The index tells you which are high in iron, calcium, and protein, and there's an icon that tells you which freeze well. I like her cheezy nooch sauce and her bean and nut loaf.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:13 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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here's my much adapted recipe for "mix and match " muffins from the frozen assets cookbook i mentioned earlier

makes 24 muffins or 2 large loaves of quickbread

Mix dry:
3 c/ flour (any combo of WW and AP work well, i also will sub up to 1 c oatmeal, bran, etc)
1 tsp salt
3 tsp spices- cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, etc
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 c sugar (or generous 1/2 c wet sweetner added to wet mix)

Mix wet:
subs for 2 eggs- i use 1/2 c pureed fruit- mashed banana, applesauce or 2 oz jar of baby food with extra 1/2 tsp baking powder added to dry mix or 2 tbsp ground flax and 6 tbsp water or other liquid
1/2 c oil
1/2 c milk of your choice (i add up to 1/2 c more if my add-in are dry)
2 c of add-ins (see list below for some ideas, but basically go crazy)
3 tsp of vanilla or other extracts/flavorings
1 c chopped nuts or seeds

fold the wet mix into the dry gently, add extra milk if needed to create a thick batter and pour into well greased muffin pans or loaf pans. Bake in a preheated 375 oven for muffins for 15-20 mins or 325 oven for 1 hour- 1 hr, 10 mins for loaves.

Add-ins (should measure 2 cups total, ideally with no more then 1/2 c being juice, so if you are using something very wet, drain it)

apples- grated or chopped
applesauce
bananas- chopped or mashed
any berries- chop larger ones (strawberries, cranberries, blueberries- frozen or fresh)
carrots- grated or cooked and mashed
coconut
any dried fruits, chop larger ones


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Jan 05, 2011 9:25 pm 
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Making Threats to Punks Again
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that totally got interrupted earlier today when the babe awoke, but you get the idea- i have even done muffins with clementines (whole) chopped in my food processor and dried cherries. its adaptable.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 9:02 pm 
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My favorite thing to eat after having Woo was, make a large pot of brown rice in the rice cooker and a large pot of lentils on the stove. Saute some garlic, onion, sea salt and your favorite green (kale or spinach were mine). Mix all three together with a bit of EB and tons of nutritional yeast. I would just scoop some out all week long and add more nooch and occasionally shred some vegan cheese. into it before nuking.
I've always thought I need to pre make a good vegan cheezy sauce dry mix and keep in the fridge so i could add water and just add that to the greens and when it gets bubbly add it to the rice and lentils.
look....it even looks comforting and perfect!
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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2011 11:48 am 
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mujadara is way easy to make: lentils, rice, pinch of cumin, cardamom, and cinnamon. salt to taste. top with sauteed onions. granola on hand is also awesome, and oats are good for milk production.

we were lucky to have someone coordinate food delivery when the baby came, so the first couple weeks was easier. anytime i make a meal, i automatically freeze half so i have grab n' heat dinners.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:02 pm 
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I plan on making copiuos amounts of the AFR lasagna to freeze, I could eat that forever!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 6:18 am 
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I dislike reheated frozen dinners. I am planning on making pizza dough to freeze and I am not sure what else. Maybe muffin mixes and whatnot without the wet part added so I can add the wet, mix and bake.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 12:57 pm 
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This isn't for a new baby, but it is a freezing question so I figured I might as well ask for help here.

I want to make a double batch of the vcon black bean burgers tonight, and freeze some for grilling later. Does anyone know, can I freeze them uncooked, or do I have to cook them first, then freeze?

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed May 25, 2011 3:37 pm 
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I always freeze homemade veggie burgers shaped and uncooked.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 3:07 pm 
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i've been making the vcon chickpea quinoa pilaf a lot because it comes together SUPER fast and is delicious. definitely worth adding to the easy dinners list if you hate freezer food.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 2:51 pm 
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JENNA wrote:
I always freeze homemade veggie burgers shaped and uncooked.


Thanks! I did this and it worked perfectly. Even my omni mom loved the burgers - at 1st she didn't want one, then had one taste and scarfed the whole thing down. :-)

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 11:12 am 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
i've been making the vcon chickpea quinoa pilaf a lot because it comes together SUPER fast and is delicious. definitely worth adding to the easy dinners list if you hate freezer food.


Thanks for the reminder! I always forget about this until I'm out of almost everything, have no idea what to cook, and start thumbing aimlessly through Vcon. And I don't know why, because this is something everyone likes and I generally have the ingredients for at any given time.

Well, this solves my dinner dilemma for this evening...


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 17, 2011 11:03 pm 
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i love mac and cheese, and i've made and froze the one on vegandad blog which turned out fine.
I'm sure some of this is mentioned on p1 but
smoothie ingredients
if you can afford it, you may want to try the green goblin frozen food delivery? I've not been overly impressed (we got a weeks worth trial with a groupon, so maybe it's not as good as usual or something?
We pretty much double anything made in a casserole and stick one in the freezer, and everything seems to turn out ok..


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:28 pm 
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I froze the chana masala from the PPK blog (minus a couple of portions) it serves 10 so it was great to freeze. This weekend I am making a double batch of portobello feijoada from Viva Vegan, it is stew-like and was a big hit last time I made it and I'd love to make it again. I am also making a regular batch of Bacon Cheeseburgers from The Best Veggie Burgers cookbook, but I am making the patties smaller. Because really, they are enormous and over 600 calories each normally. They freeze really well, I've already done it before. Me and my boyfriend think they are the best veggie burgers ever. So I should have plenty of stuff made by the time he gets back and the baby is born and my parents are here to visit.

I just wish I had a bigger freezer I can probably only do a weeks worth of meals ahead.

Oh I want to make a good soup (pumpkin of some sort, I made it for my dad once and it was amazing), and freeze some waffles. I am also looking into the breakfast pockets idea.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2011 4:52 pm 
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Here's some of the stuff I made:

not pre-baked/fried:
- stuffed shells (pasta shells stuffed with cashew ricotta from Vcon + spinach + daiya, with a little pasta sauce over them)
- big pot pies - vegan meat & potatoes cookbook recipe
- tortilla strata (from vegan on the cheap)
- black bean burgers (from ann gentry's "vegan family meals")
- sesame-hijiki croquettes (from ann gentry's "vegan family meals")
- shortbread dough (orange-almond! yumm), that I could just slice off and bake for when we had guests or whatever. Martha Stewart recipe, I think.

pre-baked/cooked:
- seitan-potato empanadas (brazillian whateversthey'recalled) (from "viva vegan")
- corn (humitas) empanadas (from "viva vegan")
- breakfast pockets: tofu scramble + apple-sage field roast sausage baked in empanada dough, which i got frozen from the el salvadorean grocery store and had leftovers from the empanada recipes, BUT puff pastry would've worked just as well. thanks for that idea!
- jumbo muffins - blueberry-lemon and banana-walnut-chocolate chip (both from "joy of vegan baking") - i think these may have been my favorite frozen thing of all
- chocolate-choclo tamales (from "the mititsam cafe" cookbook.. these are really good but for some reason at the restaurant they look very good but when i made them they look, like, um.. picture a dark brown chocolate tamale with big chunks of corn in it and what that might resemble, yeaaaaaah)

bought:
- lots of veggie burgers
- well-wrapped buns, to freeze
- entrees and hors d'oeuvres from trader joes, like burritos and whatnot
- those alexia frozen potato sides things: http://www.alexiafoods.com/products/pot ... able-sides
- rice pilaf, taco, and jambalaya kits, which are easy to make in the rice cooker and can be bulked up with fresh veggies and beans/fake meat


hardware:
- I am a big fan of these lidded pyrex things: http://www.amazon.com/Pyrex-6004023-6-Piece-Rectangular-Storage/dp/B0000BYEQS/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1313790303&sr=8-4 They can go in the freezer and the oven. What I did was put a casserole in them, press and seal wrap it, and then put the plastic lid on top. They stack well in the freezer.
- I got a small upright freezer.. I think it was about 7cuft and from sears.


Anyway it worked out really well to have so much stuff frozen. We've eaten through most of it, but the first couple weeks it was a *lifesaver* as my husband doesn't really cook much and this allowed him to keep us fed. I just had two of the last 3 breakfast sandwiches today and I'm a sad panda. I think I'll probably be continuing to make extras of casseroles and things for a while yet. The only downside has been running the oven so much in the july/august heat, but it's been worth it not to have to do extensive food prep every night. My only regret is that I bought stuff for a few more dishes that I never got to make because I went into labor earlier than I thought. I started cooking and bought the freezer at about...36 weeks, I think, and went into labor around 38.5 weeks. If I could do it over I'd have bought the freezer and started cooking at 32 weeks or so. Everything stayed very fresh with ziplock freezer backs and glad press & seal wrap (which I especially love for freezing things like burgers).


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Aug 22, 2011 11:32 am 
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Annak, I'm is awe of this preparation! Your planning is inspiring.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2011 1:51 pm 
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you guys are all so inspiring! not pregnant yet, but this time around, i am for sure cooking up a crazy storm to pack my freezer before the big day. last time we didn't really prep anything, and we didn't have anyone to help us cook. it was a little rough, so i'm excited to be more prepared this time!

anna k -your list is so thorough and helpful. thanks for sharing!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 02, 2011 6:13 pm 
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Hey! Happy Baby!! The chickpea broccoli casserole in V with a V freezes nicely, bake it, cool it and there ya go. Good luck!


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:43 am 
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they just posted this linkto freezer burritos on the kitchn. some great recs on storage and reheat. could VERY easily be veganized.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 11:35 am 
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How early is too early to start cooking? If I start making and freezing stuff at 21 weeks, will it still be edible when I pop (assuming I go somewhere between 40-42 weeks like last time)?

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 12:26 pm 
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Good question, coldandsleepy. I was just thinking the same thing!

Also, are heavy duty freezer bags sufficient for soups? I love soup, and during the winter, I make at least one big batch a week. Since I'm due in February, I'm hoping to make several different kinds (VCON's chickpea noodle and black bean recipes immediately spring to mind) to have ready.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 11:56 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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Everything I made stayed fine for at least 2 months - I started at 36 weeks and wished I'd started sooner (V was born a week and a half early). 21 weeks seems a bit soon to me, though.. if I could do it again I'd start around 30-32. Food does degrade in the freezer after a while, and there's always the risk of power outages, broken freezers, etc. You could use the time to try out recipes in smaller batches to see how well they freeze before making a whole bunch..

I haven't done it but the book I have (Fix, Freeze, Feast - not very vegan, haven't made anything out of it yet) seems to indicate that freezing soup in freezer bags works just fine. I would let the soup cool first in the fridge before transferring it.. the book does say "Bags full of sauce or soup tend to freeze into very hard packages, so it's best to move them very little once they're frozen."


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