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 Post subject: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Tofu Pup

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I wanted to keep some homemade (and frozen) dinners in the freezers of my family's and my houses for easy access after the baby is born. (I get the feeling I might not feel like doing a lot of cooking right after he's born...)

Has anyone done something like this? I'd love some Ideas for food to fix!

Thanks :)


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:56 pm 
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you're right! it is hard to find the time to cook meals after the baby comes.

some stuff to freeze: pot pie, premade burritos/wraps (i like sauted veg and cashew ricotta in a folded tortilla. bake when you take out of the freezer), chickpea broccoli casserole from vwav, soups, sauces (so you just have to heat up pasta), some kind of seitan/protein (veggie burgers, seitan, chickpea cutlets, etc).

i also think it would be wise to make a list of favorite 30 minute or less meals that you can make when you don't feel like eating what's in your freezer or run out. even if it's really obvious stuff you make all the time it's good to write it down (your post-baby brain will appreciate it).

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 2:03 pm 
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I've got lots of soup frozen, and washed, chopped vegetables for making soup in under 30 minutes. I'm planning to freeze tofu pot pie and tempeh shepherd's pie this week. Maybe some lasagna, too. You can also freeze muffin batter in the paper liners and then bake them as you need them (they'll just take an extra 10-15 minutes).


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:14 pm 
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do you have someone coordinating a food drop off for you? look into it. otherwise, i found seitan is nice to have frozen for easy sammich prep, the aforementioned wash/chopped veggies, quiches, and my butternut squash lasagna-(see blog, day 6) freezes really, really well.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:37 pm 
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Tofu Pup

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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
i also think it would be wise to make a list of favorite 30 minute or less meals that you can make when you don't feel like eating what's in your freezer or run out. even if it's really obvious stuff you make all the time it's good to write it down (your post-baby brain will appreciate it).


I'm doing that right away! I'm freezing some mini pot pies that I'm going to make in my over sized muffin pan! pot pie was a good idea! so were your others but I just got excited over that idea first!

mittenmacher: I was making muffins this morning! So I took your advice and already started freezing some.

jewbacca wrote:
do you have someone coordinating a food drop off for you? look into it. otherwise, i found seitan is nice to have frozen for easy sammich prep, the aforementioned wash/chopped veggies, quiches, and my butternut squash lasagna-(see blog, day 6) freezes really, really well.

I love your blog!
and I'm the only vegan in my family so I'm freezing meals mostly for me so I have food to eat when I'm at my moms, or exhausted at my house. I don't want them stressing over what they can or can't cook for me, or what to feed me when I'm visiting (I see my mom a lot!). I'm sure they'll keep my husband well feed though...


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:49 pm 
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i went on a crazy sprint at the end of my pregnancy where i was making & freezing a TON of food for the first couple of months.

breakfast pockets: one meal's worth of tofu scramble, home fries, soy cheese wrapped in a puff pastry.
pizza pockets: tomato sauce, soy cheese, assorted veggies wrapped in puff pastry (like non-gross hot pockets!)
individual chik'n pot pies: chik'n, potatoes, corn, peas, & gravy in crust
lasagna: a few different kinds with different veggies, all pre-cut into meal sized portions & individually frozen


i am pretty sure i made a couple of other things too, but that's all i can think of off the top of my head. the breakfast pockets were winners. i would have made a million more of them if i'd known, & maybe some other breakfast things like waffles.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 3:50 pm 
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enchilada casserole freezes really well. i have a blog post about it: veganmegan.blogspot.com

If no one has set up a meal tree for you yet, I find this website helpful: http://mealbaby.com/


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 5:28 pm 
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Freeze some fruit and yogurt parfaits! I also make little smoothie "kits" just a ziplock baggie of my favorite smoothie fruits, cubes of frozen yogurt, etc. Pop it all into the blender when you're ready to consume.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 08, 2010 11:56 pm 
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These are all great suggestions! When I was pregnant, I just cooked double sized meals a lot and froze the extra. We had weeks of meals in the freezer after I had each baby.

Anything with a lot of liquid like soups, pasta sauces, chillis, curries, stews and casseroles freezes well. Isa's V'con Leek and Bean cassoulet is great frozen and reheated. Pizza bases can be mixed and rolled ahead of time, then frozen for quick topping and baking (pita bread is good for this too). You can make pizzas and calzones and freeze them after cooking. Spinach and tofu "cheese" pastries freeze well pre- or post-cooking. Burgers ready for cooking or cooked and only needing re-heating and frozen pre-cut bread rolls can make a quick meal. Hommous freezes well (put it in meal portions if you want) and is great with torn up pita/crackers/veges. Things that you can eat with one hand while holding a baby on the other side are good (watch things aren't too hot, babies can be burnt with stuff that wouldn't make more than a 5 minute red mark on you).

I also regularly freeze leftovers for lunch meals. Pasta with sauce, protein (tofu/seitan/whatever) and precooked vege, in a microwave safe container are pretty good for a vegan "TV meal" type option.

Be careful about onions, garlic, curry, chilli and brassicas as some babies react to breast milk with them in it. My kids never had an issue, but some people find they cause wind and pain.

Once the baby is there, eat when you can. Sometimes, you get lots of time to cook and eat, but often you need to snatch something on the go. I found I had more time in the morning and early naps, than in the evening, when mine would want to feed/be held for hours.

Good luck!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:08 am 
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it sounds like you are doing well.

i also loved having one handed food. pizza pockets, or just fill them with about anything you have around, my favorites had colcannon in them and recently i made some with a cup of cornmeal in the crust and black beans and sweet potatoes inside- yum. I also make muffins for people when they have babies- and stuff them with as much fruit or veg as i can, and some nuts too, so they will make healthy snack or stand in for a meal in needed.

i also loved having nuts on hand. my former office mate was Taiwanese and when she saw me munching on nuts when breastfeeding told me they always eat peanuts after having a baby to stimulate milk production.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 10:41 am 
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I'm bumping this thread because I need to get my freeze on stat. I love the idea of easy hand held foods for BFing. I think I'm going to go puff pastry crazy and make a bunch of hot pockets.

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 11:42 am 
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maybe some stuff with oatmeal (cookies?) to boost breastmilk. I made tons of pasta stuff but then had a hard time feeding myself that one handed-pocket stuff and wrap fillings would be awesome. I had an apple tree full of apples in my last trimester so I made a billion loaves of apple bread and froze them. No wonder why I was not one of those women that lost weight while nursing!


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:10 pm 
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Hey, i was looking at this again and thought maybe we might want to make this a sticky?

Some things i have been making lately for pregger mommas:

A vegan version of the Morning glory muffins (one handed breastfeeding momma snacks- grated carrots, pumpkin or sunflower seeds, chopped nuts and a little coconut in an oatmeal muffin). I always pack these in a tin and label them momma food because the first time i made them, the momma told me her husband and kiddos ate them all before she got to them).

Pizzas for the freezer- i did a greens and sundried tomato and pine nut one, a a sweet potato and black bean pizza with a cornmeal crust- i actually did this as calzones- i made some for us a couple weeks before and they were delicious.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:33 pm 
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ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
I'm bumping this thread because I need to get my freeze on stat. I love the idea of easy hand held foods for BFing. I think I'm going to go puff pastry crazy and make a bunch of hot pockets.


yes! but don't forget the breakfast pockets too!

i made way more dinner/lunch foods than breakfast, & i totally regretted it when i ran out of breakfast pockets!


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 2:38 pm 
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sunshower wrote:
ismloveyoubobbybrown wrote:
I'm bumping this thread because I need to get my freeze on stat. I love the idea of easy hand held foods for BFing. I think I'm going to go puff pastry crazy and make a bunch of hot pockets.


yes! but don't forget the breakfast pockets too!

i made way more dinner/lunch foods than breakfast, & i totally regretted it when i ran out of breakfast pockets!


yes, i'm already bad at breakfast! also, i could eat breakfast burritos pretty much any time of day. i also plan on freezing a stack of pancakes (probably buckwheat).

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:13 pm 
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it is "stuck". My baby is 11 months old and I am thinking some breakfast pockets sound fab.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 6:08 pm 
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i love that this is a sticky!

i made the cheezy rice and broccoli casserole from the uncheese book for the first time the other day. it was good and SO easy. AND, toddler liked it (he lives almost exclusively off peanut butter sandwiches). totally going on my post-baby easy meal list.

my in-laws got me appetite for reduction this xmas, and it looks like it's almost all awesome, easy meals. i'm starting to feel pretty good about what i'll be eating after this baby arrives!

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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:02 pm 
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i got that book too and I can not wait to try things from it!!

last night I made samosa pockets with pre-made dough (you could easily make your own) and I was thinking how great they would be frozen and reheated. it was just potatoes and peas and spices. so yummy. you could add chickpeas or tofu too!


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:36 am 
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this thread is amazing!! we're due in 8 weeks and i'm panicking about food!! thank you all!!

one question.. could someone please tell me.. how do you cook these fabulous sounding breakfast pockets when you're ready to eat them?


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:05 pm 
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emumly wrote:
this thread is amazing!! we're due in 8 weeks and i'm panicking about food!! thank you all!!

one question.. could someone please tell me.. how do you cook these fabulous sounding breakfast pockets when you're ready to eat them?


if a pocket is with a tortilla you can nuke them right out of the freezer for a bit until warm, i think my husband likes to wrap things in a damp paper towel when he does this. I don't tend to use the microwave, or have tortillas in the house, so for yeasted dough pockets ( what i usually make), take them out at least 3 hours before (counter) or overnight in the fridge to defrost, they will rise a second time that way, then bake as normal. I have this hazy memory of baking things straight from the freezer and it working out just fine too, but i can't remember what adjustments i made- sorry i'm not more helpful.


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 Post subject: Re: The baby is almost here! pre-made meal Ideas?
PostPosted: Fri Dec 31, 2010 1:37 pm 
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I do the shopping usually. So, I typed up a list in the direction/layout of the store. Then I can circle what I want. My husband loves it.

Thanks for this post. I really need it! I really want little pot pies now.

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 Post subject: Books, blogs, recipe sites, etc. Freezer Meals before baby??
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 11:19 am 
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I am scouring the internet looking for some good sites, books, blogs, etc. that offer a large selection of vegetarian freezer meals. I am going to veganize several recipes I have found, but would love something specifically geared toward vegetarians. I really need to get on the ball and start freezing meals before this baby arrives (I'm 38 weeks and 3 days).

I worry about how certain things freeze and thus what freezes well and what does not...I love the sticky, but I would like to find a larger collection of recipes and information about freezing. I'm clueless. I make everything fresh for the most part and I am worried about caring for my twins, my teenage daughter and a newborn and finding the time to feed everyone. My dh works late so I will be on my own a lot. I am really looking for some good recipes that freeze well.

Any suggestions? Has anyone bought one of those omni freezer cookbooks and found recipes somewhat easy to convert to veg/vegan?

Help!?

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 Post subject: Re: Books, blogs, recipe sites, etc. Freezer Meals before ba
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 2:14 pm 
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There are quite a lot of recipes here:

http://www.earth.li/~kake/cookery/freezer_meals.html

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 Post subject: Re: Books, blogs, recipe sites, etc. Freezer Meals before ba
PostPosted: Mon Jan 03, 2011 10:28 pm 
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i checked a bunch of those books for the whole cook for a month in a day concept when i was getting ready to student teach (that was over 10 years ago). i didn't end up finding a lot of recipes that i veganized, but i did get a lot of ideas about what freezes well and what doesn't, what prep things need, how to cook them, and how to get everything into the freezer. at that time, doing a lot of components was the best path for us (just me and the husband at the time), since we had a tiny apartment freezer- and i prepped for 3 months of meals!. I think we ate lots of italian, and i had lots of pizza dough, tomato sauces, fake meatballs, burgers, and bags of soups.

i don't have any blog suggestions, but i think this is a great idea, although i don't think i'll be expecting anytime soon, i would also appreciate having more ideas of things i could stash in my freezer for thise days when i don't feel like/don't have time to cook.

Oh! there is one muffin recipe that i use as a basis for 95% of my muffins that i make that i veganized from one of those books. I will post it tomorrow.


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 Post subject: Re: Books, blogs, recipe sites, etc. Freezer Meals before ba
PostPosted: Tue Jan 04, 2011 9:54 am 
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Thanks for the suggestions. I am still on my quest and today will be a long day of cooking. It is turning out to be a lot of soups and sauces. I may make a few casseroles for the family, but they often use so much cheese and Daiya is expensive! Dh still eats cheese on occasion so I may make a few things just veg, but I am terribly lactose intolerant so it wont be something I can even consider eating.

I'm hoping to find some more healthy, freezable entrees. I think I might try to check some omni books out from the library to find out what freezes well and what does not.

Again, if you find anything amazing let me know! I will be living in my kitchen for the next few days ha!

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