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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:44 pm 
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Yes to soup in heavy duty freezer bags... I freeze leftover soup pretty often and have never had a problem. Baggies are nice because you can freeze them flat and stack them up to maximize freezer space.

I can't remember at all when I started cooking last time, but I think it was pretty close to the end. Like end of August? When the Emperor was born at the end of September. I'm just worried if I leave it that long this time, it's not going to get done.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:52 pm 
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Anyone have high protein easy-freezy suggestions for someone who sucks at cooking?

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:07 pm 
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Thanks, annak and coldandsleepy! Freezer bags it is!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 7:23 pm 
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Tofulish wrote:
Anyone have high protein easy-freezy suggestions for someone who sucks at cooking?


Tempeh bolognese. Chili with tempeh and many beans (use canned tomatoes, super easy).


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 8:27 am 
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This is always my freezer food suggestion, but lasagna. Use whole wheat noodles, tofu-cashew (or just plain tofu) ricotta, whatever sliced veggies you have on hand and jarred sauce... the only thing you really have to make there is the ricotta, the rest of the work is just layering really. Between the noodles and the tofu, you pack a lot of protein in there.

I really want to make freezer burritos this time around, and that seems like a good protein fix too... especially using a higher protein tortilla like a whole wheat one, and including some sort of bean. Burritos are easy for non-cooks, you can always just mix refried beans with a "taco spice" packet from the grocery store et voila. Not super exciting, but edible and protein-y.

Last time I froze individual servings of brown rice and lentils, too. That's nice because then you always have some protein-y healthy sides on hand. You can dress them up with spices, vegetables, etc, when you reheat, as plain or as fancy as you like.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:04 am 
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Semen Strong
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Thanks! I'm going to get cracking on these! Do you assemble the lasagna and then freeze or bake and then freeze?

I'm also freezing a few loaves of TJs quinoa bread. It has 7gs of protein for 2 slices.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:11 am 
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I've baked first and then frozen in the past. (Though the challenge then is not to eat the lasagna right away and to actually get it into the freezer.) If you can spare the casserole dishes being out of commission, you can just cover with heavy foil and pop the whole thing in the freezer, then back in the oven when you want to reheat.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 9:13 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
This is always my freezer food suggestion, but lasagna. Use whole wheat noodles, tofu-cashew (or just plain tofu) ricotta, whatever sliced veggies you have on hand and jarred sauce... the only thing you really have to make there is the ricotta, the rest of the work is just layering really. Between the noodles and the tofu, you pack a lot of protein in there.

I really want to make freezer burritos this time around, and that seems like a good protein fix too... especially using a higher protein tortilla like a whole wheat one, and including some sort of bean. Burritos are easy for non-cooks, you can always just mix refried beans with a "taco spice" packet from the grocery store et voila. Not super exciting, but edible and protein-y.

Last time I froze individual servings of brown rice and lentils, too. That's nice because then you always have some protein-y healthy sides on hand. You can dress them up with spices, vegetables, etc, when you reheat, as plain or as fancy as you like.


YESS!

T-Lishy, I bake my lasagna and freeze it. I also make large quantities of mujadara-(rice, lentils, cumin, cardamom, cinnamon, and topped with caramelized onions). The black bean corn chowder from VOTC is easy, awesome, and makes a ton--freeze. If you make the Red and White Bean Seitanic Jambalaya from VCon using store bought seitan and already cooked rice, that's pretty easy, makes a large amount, and freezes well.

Can you have someone have a pre-baby cooking party? Do you have someone organizing meals for you and yours? If I were in Jersey, I'd do this for you.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:07 am 
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Semen Strong
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You're so lovely! I already feel so crazy blessed by all the nice things people are doing for us, I couldn't even imagine getting food too! Plus honestly its me and my partner, not like we have other kids to feed, so I think this is going to be easier to manage. Plus we have a ton of vegan or veggie friendly options near us, and Brett can cook so I highly doubt I'll go hungry ;)

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 10:08 am 
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I was on a lasagna kick for a while, and I discovered that baked ziti is even easier, because there is no layering. I just stir the noodles up with the tofu ricotta and a bag or two of thawed spinach, put n a baking dish, pour sauce over the top, and bake for 30 minutes. Then freeze it. Easy easy easy and the best thing ever when you and hungry and have a new baby.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:36 am 
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Tofulish wrote:
You're so lovely! I already feel so crazy blessed by all the nice things people are doing for us, I couldn't even imagine getting food too! Plus honestly its me and my partner, not like we have other kids to feed, so I think this is going to be easier to manage. Plus we have a ton of vegan or veggie friendly options near us, and Brett can cook so I highly doubt I'll go hungry ;)


That's the way I thought too when Vin and I had Blasto. You're gonna be so busy nursing and holding Tofetus, you'll want someone to feed you at the same time!-(smiley face) I recall in the beginning when Blasto was wee little, Vin spoon fed me while I was couch locked nursing Blasto!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 6:05 pm 
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I don't think I ever posted what I froze so here goes:
-Double recipes of chickpea cutlets, black bean burgers, and spinach lasagna from Veganomicon
-pesto sauce (then just cooked some sort of pasta and added white beans for more protein)
-peanut passion sauce from Eat, Drink and Be Vegan (we like to put it on soba noodles with edamame and whatever other veggies)
-batter for protein power muffins from Vegan Dad
-potato spinach curry from Appetite for Reduction
-that recipe for spaghetti-nos with lentil balls that Isa posted, but the whole thing together didn't freeze so well

Other than that we just made sure we were well stocked on the basics like grains, pasta, beans, frozen veggies, etc. It was so nice to have at least two full weeks where we didn't have to worry about what to make between things we had here and ordering food when people came over. I think that Andy pretty much fed me as I was feeding Ada for the first couple of weeks until I didn't need both hands to nurse.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:40 pm 
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I just remembered I also froze sweet potato, spinach, and regular knishes.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 7:57 pm 
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That sounds like a good sized stash!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2011 7:18 am 
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My freezer is mostly already full of vegetables (it really needs a good clear out but it's uncomfortable for me to bend for any length of time at this stage), but I think I'm going to make Vegan Dad's lunch meat seitan recipe and slice it up so I can make easy high-protein sandwiches. Not sure how it freezes though, anyone know?

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:42 am 
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I'm going to second making the food before your belly gets too big to manoeuvre near the stove!

I am making a vegan version of this (subbing EB, almond milk and Better than Chik'n bouillon) http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/reci ... oup-156693, because melted Daiya on toast and tomato soup sounds so good. And soups tend to freeze nicely.

I also found oat bran pasta, and given that oats are glactagogues (as is quinoa), I thought it might be good to have as much as I can to aid milk production. I am making tomato sauce to go over (and get bulked up by veggies). And for more galactagogery: these oatmeal muffins (http://vegandietguy.com/vegan-oatmeal-b ... y-muffins/)

The other big standby is chickpea curry because its so easy and I could eat it every day. Plus it freezes so easily.

I'd read that sage, oregano, basil and soy (phytoestrogen) can suppress milk production, so I'm trying to use recipes that don't include those...

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:52 pm 
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I'm thinking about making several different kind of tamales from Terry's Viva Vegan. They freeze so well and I hear one handed food is good. My freezer has drawers instead of a large compartment, so I can't fit a whole casserole in there. I think I will look for mini-casserole dishes?

I'm getting so tired of eating quinoa. I feel like I have to eat it (instead of rice, millet, bread, etc) because of the protein. Now I have to eat it because it is good for milk production? Damn.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 7:57 am 
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Quote:
My freezer is mostly already full of vegetables (it really needs a good clear out but it's uncomfortable for me to bend for any length of time at this stage), but I think I'm going to make Vegan Dad's lunch meat seitan recipe and slice it up so I can make easy high-protein sandwiches. Not sure how it freezes though, anyone know?


I've made Vegan Dad's veggie deli and it freezes great! Just be sure to slice before freezing, and either portion everything out so that all the slices don't stick together, or lay slices out on parchment paper to "flash freeze" so that it can all be thrown in the same bag without sticking later. Of course, if your freezer is already full, I'd go with the first option because you probably won't have the room to lay out a cookie sheet with parchment paper! Although I hate using so much plastic, I've found that portioning out the slices in sandwich bags and then putting all the sandwiches bags inside a larger freezer safe bag is the best method for this.

I'm not a mom-to-be just yet, but let's just i'm starting to prep mentally for the possibility in the not-terribly-distant future. Either way, I'm a big fan of freezing food! I'm also a huge fan of crock pots. Lately I've been making a ton of stuff with that and then portioning everything out to stick in the freezer. Another great tool is an immersion blender. You can blend soups right in the crock pot instead of dealing with the mess of transferring to a blender. I could also see how immersion/stick blenders (especially ones with the mini food processing attachment) coud be great for making homemade baby food. But that's probably a different thread...


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:39 pm 
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Thanks lindserina!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 2:26 pm 
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Tofulish, I wouldn't worry too much about avoiding those foods for milk production.. I've eaten tons of tofu and pesto with no problems, even though I don't tend to overproduce milk.

This isn't so much a freeze-ahead tip, but I've been cooking out of Vegan Slow Cooker by Kathy Hester a lot the last couple weeks, and I think it's great for when you get past the first few weeks and have a little bit of time again to shop and cook, but can't spend an hour making a meal and need the flexibility of being able to start it when you finally get that free moment. And since V has been taking a nice late morning nap more reliably now, it's a perfect time to get a 6-8 hr slow cooker meal started. I have Robin Robertson's slow cooker book as well, and made a bunch out of that when I first got it, and they complement each other well with surprisingly little overlap..Vegan Slow Cooker has more Asian, Mexican, and tempeh/tofu recipes, whereas Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker is more traditional European stuff, chilis, and bean dishes.

Best meal so far from it: the tempeh with figs and port wine in my 4qt cooker, with the cauliflower-parsnip "faux mashed potatoes" in my 1.5qt one. Gourmet-tasting, but really super quick.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 3:47 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
I've baked first and then frozen in the past. (Though the challenge then is not to eat the lasagna right away and to actually get it into the freezer.) If you can spare the casserole dishes being out of commission, you can just cover with heavy foil and pop the whole thing in the freezer, then back in the oven when you want to reheat.


Pregan when I did once a month cooking a few times, the trick I found was to line the casserole with either foil or plastic wrap, then pop your entree out once frozen, wrap it well. When the time to thaw and or cook comes, just take off the wrap and put it back into the dish it was frozen in.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 4:16 pm 
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Definitely make a couple batches of different muffins and freeze them. Mine come out perfect when I defrost them in the microwave. I just made the lower fat banana bread from VCON into muffins last night to freeze. Also cut up vegetables and fruit ready to eat in the fridge so you can have healthy snacks and not have to do anything... not that scarfing a dark chocolate ritter sport is always a bad thing...

make it easier on yourself to eat the right things


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 16, 2011 5:36 pm 
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We just made our list... we decided to skip soups, because we can throw everything in the slow cooker easily enough in the morning and opted for more time-intensive foods. Here goes:

Burgers-- thought these would be easy to heat and eat one-handed.
Jalapeno Cornbread Burgers (100BVB)
Chipotle Lentil Burgers (AFR)
Egg and Bacon Breakfast Burgers (100BVB)
some sort of black bean burger, undecided

Misc--
Chickpea Cutlets (Vcon)
Big Stick Pepperoni (Vegan on the Cheap)
Falafel (AFR)
Seitan Lite (VotC)
Wheatballs (VotC)
Taco-ish meat, undecided

Meals--
Roasted Cauliflower Lasagna (AFR)
Pumpkin Baked Ziti (Vcon)
Enchiladas, undecided

I'd like to make more, but I think this is already going to over-fill our freezer!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2011 1:17 am 
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Thanks to my MIL I have 2 big batches of crispy cajun chickpea cakes, 16 cups of roasted cauliflower soup, muffins and I think I'm going to make some mac n cheese or lasagna this week.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:55 pm 
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I got such great ideas from this thread. Thank you all for sharing!

Here's what I have stocked up in the freezer:
Spicy black bean soup (also good for tacos)
Garlicky lentil soup (also good on quinoa)
Veggie chili
Ziti with roasted veg and tofu "ricotta"
Morning glory muffins
"Pepperoni" pita pizzas
Puff pastry scrable tofu/veg/"sausage" pockets
Tempeh bolognese sauce
A tofurky roast
Gardein chik'n strips

I have a couple of dry rice mixes and veggie proteins set aside that will be quick for the hubs to throw together. I plan (hope) to be able to grab fresh produce to supplement all the meals that we'll be warming up. I imagine having a giant bowl of salad in the fridge to pull from will be pretty handy.

We're going to have family visiting throughout my 3 months of maternity leave. The price they pay for seeing the baby is helping me restock the freezer. Muhahaha.


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