Pre-Baby Food Prep

Those that know me know that I absolutely love my crock-pot. Now, five months living in a hotel as a family of four may be the cause behind that but I was pretty in love with it before then as well. The only thing better than being able to toss dinner in the crock-pot and forget it is already having it prepped when you wake up. I mean, who wouldn’t want to open a Ziploc bag, dump it into the crock-pot, and call dinner done some days?!? A crazy person I don’t want to meet…that’s who.

This time around, I knew my husband would be home for the entire first week after Baby Madelyn arrived. That meant a lot of cooking and a lot of dishes while chasing two toddlers and nursing a newborn. Yikes! My solution? Freezer stockpiling! Yes, pre-baby food prep. I set out on a mission to find seven recipes that were not only good to be frozen but they also needed to be approved by my rather picky husband. By doubling these I managed to end up with sixteen meals (you’ll see why it isn’t fourteen) in the freezer the day before heading to the hospital. “Whoop whoop!” (Yes, I cheer for myself sometimes…doesn’t everyone??)

Side Note:

I apologize for not including any pictures of the process but honestly I was 38+ weeks pregnant, two days from my induction when I finally got the motivation to get this done, and just did not feel like adding anything extra to my to-do list. Below, you can find the seven recipes I chose as well as my shopping list. To make these recipes I simply doubled the ingredients while buying and made two of everything. If there are no directions for assembly or prep then feel free to assume you just dump it all into a bag and either freeze flat or fold in half and freeze as flat as possible. The only rule on this part is to make sure your potatoes are coated well by the liquids in the bag to prevent them from blackening. I ended up with 10 bags of crock-pot dinners, 2 13×9 foil pans for the oven, and 4 8×8 foil pans also for the oven. Remember to start out by prepping all of the veggies possible, labeling all of the bags with what will be inside, and writing the cooking instructions on them.

Let’s Get Prepping!

Scalloped Potatoes & Ham (crock-pot low 8 hours)

  • 6 new potatoes (1/4″ slices)
  • 1 can cream of potato soup
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 ham steak (cubed)
  • 4oz cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2 cups fresh broccoli (chopped)

Chicken Fajitas (crock-pot low 6-8 hours, shred chicken for last 30 minutes, and serve on tortillas)

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 1 medium onion (sliced)
  • 1 medium green pepper (sliced)
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 1 can green chilies
  • 1 pkg fajita seasoning

Chicken Taco Chili (crock-pot low 8-10 hours and shred chicken for last 30 minutes)

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 16oz black beans
  • 16oz kidney beans
  • 16oz tomato sauce
  • 16oz corn
  • 2- 14.5oz diced tomatoes w/chilies
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 1T cumin
  • 1T chili powder
  • half bunch of cilantro (chopped finely)

Cheesy Veggies with Sausage (crock-pot low 6-8 hours)

  • 14oz smoked sausage (sliced)
  • 3 large potatoes (cubed)
  • 1 can cream of cheddar soup
  • 1 can cream of celery soup
  • 1 pkg frozen mixed vegetables (we just do peas)

Salisbury Steaks (crock-pot low 4-6 hours)

  • 2lbs ground beef (or turkey)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2T ketchup
  • 4T A-1 sauce
  • 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 1 envelop dry onion soup mix
  • 2 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 cup beef stock

Mix everything except the soup and beef stock in a large bowl. Form the mixture into round patties and lay flat inside of a Ziploc bag to freeze. When ready to cook, simply remove the frozen patties from the bag, place them in the crock-pot, and cover with the soup and the beef stock. We usually serve ours with mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli.

Cheesy Chicken & Black Bean Enchiladas (thaw completely and bake at 400° for 30-45 minutes)

  • 1lb chicken breast
  • 16oz black beans (rinsed & drained)
  • 4oz green chilies
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 1/4 cup onion (chopped)
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/2-1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 pkg taco seasoning
  • 2tsp olive oil
  • 6-8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 1/3 cup shredded fiesta blend cheese

Begin by pouring the olive oil into a skillet and fully cooking the chicken over medium heat. Shred the chicken and place it in a large bowl. Add the black beans, chilies, garlic, onion, salsa, taco seasoning, and half of the cheese before mixing thoroughly. Lay out a tortilla and scoop the mixture onto them as desired. Roll it up like a burrito and place seam side down inside of a 13×9 foil pan. Repeat until your tortillas and chicken mixture are gone or until your pan is full. Pour the enchilada sauce on top and cover with the remaining cheese blend. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap before covering with foil to prevent freezer burn. Remember to remove the plastic before baking the dish.

Lasagna Roll-Ups (bake from frozen at 425° for an hour)

  • 16oz lasagna noodles
  • 1/2lb ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1lb mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 15oz ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 5oz frozen spinach (thawed, drained, & dried)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
  • 2T parsley
  • 1T basil
  • 1/2t pepper
  • 2- 28oz jars marinara or spaghetti sauce

Cook the ground beef in a skillet until browned all the way and let cool while bringing a pot of water to boil. In a large bowl mix together the ground beef, mozzarella cheese (minus about 1 cup), ricotta cheese, spinach, egg, garlic, parsley, basil, pepper. Cook the lasagna noodles until al dente and lay them flat on a slightly greased cookie sheet. Spoon the mixture onto the noodles forming a line all the way down it. Cover the bottom of 2 8×8 foil pans with a thin layer of the sauce you chose. Spoon a small amount of sauce over the mixture on the noodle and then roll the noodle up laying it flat in the dish with the seam side down. Repeat until the pans are full and then cover with the remaining sauce. Top each pan with 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese, wrap with plastic wrap to avoid freezer burn, and then cover with foil. Remember to remove the plastic before baking the dish.

Shopping List

  • 4 – 8×8 foil pans
  • 2 – 13×9 foil pan
  • Gallon Ziploc freezer bags
  • Plastic wrap
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 8oz cheddar cheese (shredded)
  • 2lbs mozzarella cheese (shredded)
  • 30oz ricotta cheese
  • 4 cups grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2.5 cups fiesta blend cheese (shredded)
  • Eggs
  • 5lbs ground beef (or turkey)
  • 6lbs chicken breast
  • 2 ham steaks
  • 28oz smoked sausage
  • 4 pkgs taco seasoning
  • 2 pkgs fajita seasoning
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder
  • 2 envelops dry onion soup mix
  • Parsley
  • Basil
  • Ground black pepper
  • 32oz lasagna noodles
  • 2 cans cream of potato soup
  • 2 cans cream of cheddar soup
  • 2 cans cream of celery soup
  • 4 cans cream of mushroom soup
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 5 cups salsa
  • 4- 28oz jars marinara or spaghetti sauce
  • 4- 16oz black beans
  • 2- 16oz kidney beans
  • 2- 16oz tomato sauce
  • 2- 16oz corn
  • 4- 14.5oz diced tomatoes w/chilies
  • 16oz green chilies
  • 1-2 cups red enchilada sauce
  • Olive oil
  • Ketchup
  • A-1 sauce
  • 1 cup Italian bread crumbs
  • 12-16 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2pkgs frozen mixed vegetables or peas
  • 10oz frozen spinach
  • 12 new potatoes
  • 6 large potatoes
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli
  • 4 medium onions
  • 2 medium green peppers
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 8 cloves garlic

Food Prepping: 16 Meals in 1 Afternoon!

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