As you may know, I will be meeting my little Lexi in approximately 66 days (yippee!) and one of the things I'm focusing on now in my third trimester is stocking my new outdoor freezer chock full of delicious, fast comfort foods so I can continue to eat balanced meals when time is short.
My Home CEO modis operandi is reduce, reduce, reduce as much manual labor as possible and prepare, prepare, prepare. It's the project manager in me "mitigating the risks" of potentially feeling overwhelmed and undernourished due to sleep deprivation and disconnected sleep impacting the quality of the food I eat.
During the second trimester I finished all the "heavy lifting" with the nursery (in terms of the painting, hardware installation and furtniture moving that was necessary), leaving things like washing the clothes, sterilizing bottles and the meal preparation for the third trimester.
So I'm still in the beginning stages of my freezer meal preparation. For starters, I've pulled out all my cookbooks and done a lot of research on freezer meals over the past week (I catch 30 minutes in the evening after dinner and I also have a reading hour between 6:30-7:30 AM after hubby leaves for work). I purchased a Taste of Home special edition on freezing and also reviewed several websites, such as Favorite Freezer Foods and Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms. Favorite Freezer Foods also offers a free eBook on freezer meals and an exhaustive review of freezer cookbooks that I found helpful. I will be purchasing Don't Panic - Dinner's in the Freezer: Great-Tasting Meals You Can Make Aheadto add to my Freezer Stocking List.
Freezer Stocking List Criteria
-A bit more calories than my normal fare to support breast feeding requirements
-Lots of quick breads for morning and afternoon snacks
-Sources of protien (I will also be supplementing with Isagenix protien shakes)
-Four week supply
-Easy for others (hubby and helpers) to reheat
Freezer Stocking List as of August 10, 2012 (not complete, but so far)
-Banana Bread - several
-Cinnimon Raisen Bread - several
-Cornbread - several
-Homemade Buttermilk Biscuits - several
-Homemade Blueberry Muffins - several batches
-Quiches - several batches
-Ham and Cheese Croissants
-Lasagna - several (turkey meat, low fat mozzarella and ricotta)
-Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
-Chicken Enchiladas - several batches
-Potato Chicken Casserole
-Penne Chicken Casserole
-Penne Sausage Casserole
-Beef Filets w/ Seasoning - Several
-Season Pork Loins - several
-Twice Baked Potatoes
-Homemade Mashed Spiced Sweet Potatoes
-Rice - Seasoned (yellow, wild, etc)
-Green veggies - still researching how best to freeze these as their high water content apparently can cause quality degredation.
This is just the beginning because it won't cover four weeks. I'm going to add some recipes from the Don't Panic book. I will also be printing out an Inventory Sheet to post to the freezer and posting pictures of my freezer's progress. All of the breads and meats will be homemade (hand-seasoned, etc) as opposed to the overly salty pre-fab items available in the grocery freezer section. You just don't know what kind of preservatives and weird things are in those!
Because I'm giving myself two whole months to get this stocked up, I have plenty of time to make some wonderful meals by doubling my recipes and cooking two meals each night in order to freeze the second portion. I might also throw in the sour cream coffee cake recipe from my Williams and Sonoma Breakfast cookbook, which is a little time consuming but incredibly delicious! I'm using this cookbook for their blueberry muffin recipe, too. Honestly, I haven't been a daily quick bread eater (I make a quick bread about every two too three weeks or so), but with the breast feeding, I am going for a bit more calories, provided I know the incredients and they are all homemade without all the weird oils and preservatives that would be in pre-fab processed food options. I do plan to have some of these quick breads on hand for breakfasts and snacks in addition to my protien shakes and fresh fruit on a daily basis at least for the first three months. Once I'm getting more sleep and can get back to my egg white omlettes, I'll transition back into those for breakfast.
I also bought a lot of disposable metal tins that I will place the cooked frozen meals in so I can reheat straight from the freezer and then toss the dish!
[caption id="attachment_580" align="aligncenter" width="484" caption="My Seventh Month Bump"][/caption]