Easy Meal Ideas?

Friday, August 24, 2012

Maybe this is me nesting, but I have been trying to make sure things are ready for when Baby #3 arrives.  I've been washing itty-bitty baby clothes and blankets, cleaning out the infant carseat, pulling out the swing and pack-n-play, picking up teeny dipes, making a calling list, and prepping Max for doing the majority of the meals and kid care when he is on paternity leave.

I feel like everything is mostly in order, and if the baby came out today, we would be well-prepared (although still maybe discussing a name, ha!), which makes me feel ready and eager.  The only thing I am having a bit of a challenge with is coming up with easy meal ideas.

I have some basic things that will be ready: a couple freezer meals I've put together, as well as having basic ingredients to make sandwiches, cheese crisps, pasta & sauce, etc.  Max knows how to make food for the kids, even if he tries to tell me they will only eat pizza the entire time.  He is plenty capable and is good in the kitchen.

But I still want to make up/have ready a few more meal ideas that are easy to take out and heat up or throw in the crockpot for the day, so that the first few days/weeks are made just a little bit easier, and so we can stay relatively healthy!

So, I come to you, my dear friends and family - what are some easy, healthy meals that can be frozen or made ahead or that I can have the supplies on hand to be made quickly?  Any good ideas that you personally have used or heard of?  I would love any suggestions...

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  1. I'll have to go through my list (which I need to do for us anyways) and make a list of some things for you. That baby's going to be here before you know it!!

  2. Taco Soup: taco seasoned ground beef, can of corn, black beans, pinto beans, chili beans, tomato sauce, and chili seasonings. Can make it spicy or hot.

    Zuppa Toscana: kale, sausage, bacon pieces diced, chicken broth, potatoes chunked/sliced, splash of cream, onion chopped, and red pepper flakes that are easily omitted.

    Pierogies!! Mrs. T is awesome, they even have sweet potato ones. We toast them and spray on butter and parm cheese.

    Chicken stew: Cream of chicken, carrots, celery, poatoes, boneless skinless chicken chunks, salt, pepper. Serve over rice.

    BBq Steak tips: bbq sauce and steak tips serve over rice or buttered noodles.

    Wow, I just realized these are some midwest meals. LOL

  3. Depending on how much prep you want to do now...I try to keep a stock of
    Twice baked potatoes,
    Ham loaves,
    Picnic pasties (kind of like a hamburger mixture pocket thing - I really like them), Meatballs (can be paired with many things)
    Sausage sandwiches (ground beef, sausage, cheese, oregano, worcestershire sauce on rye bread),
    Any kind of soup (just made Cheddar Chowder the other day - Potatoes, carrot, onion, celery, make a white sauce add cheese, add ham (we use deli ham)
    I got a chicken and rice dish from pinterest that I have turned into a freezer item,
    Any kind of bar or cookie (right now I have cookie dough balls frozen to eventually make cookies but I've just been eating the cookie dough).
    Oh another idea since I love bacon... I prep all my bacon at once and put it into the freezer... makes BLT prep or any recipe that involves bacon A LOT quicker and cleaner (also ready to put on the twice baked potatoes).

  4. These are all things I made and had in the freezer (or had all the ingredients on hand) when Asher was born.
    Taco meat cooked, seasoned and frozen. For tacos or this casserole: http://eatathomecooks.com/2010/04/beef-and-black-bean-taco-bake.html

    Chicken pot pie

    Shepherd's pie: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/shepherde28099s-pie-10/

    Tater Tot casserole: http://cravingcomfort.blogspot.com/2010/01/tater-tot-casserole.html

    Chicken Tortilla Casserole: http://www.southernplate.com/2011/06/microwave-chicken-tortilla-casserole.html

    Mini Meatloaves: http://myblessedlife.net/2011/08/mini-meatloaf-recipe.html

  5. Fall Fry - http://www.5dollardinners.com/2010/11/fall-fry-skillet-dinner-10.html

    Chicken Cacciatore - 1 16oz jar marinera sauce (or homemade), 1 med onion chopped, 3 coves garlic minced, mushrooms, quartered, 4-6 chicken (I usually do a mix of boneless skinless breast and thigh) quartered, 2Tbs flour (or a bit more) 4Tbs water, wine, or chicken stock.
    Layer 1/2 sauce on bottom of slow cooker. Add onions garlic mushrooms and chicken. Top with remaining sauce. Cook 3 hours on high or 6-7 hours on low. Remove chicken, whisk in flour and wine. Set to high for 15 min to thicken. Shred chicken and add back in. Serve with yummy bread.

    Spicy Slow Cooker Sausage - 1lb sausage links, 1 15oz can diced tomatoes, 1 15oz can diced tomatoes with chilies (or no chilies), 2 10 oz bags of frozen onion& pepper blend. Salt and pepper to taste, Bread to serve on (sandwich style, or on the side)
    Place sliced sausage links in slow cooker, cover with tomatoes and onion mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Cook low 8 hours. Serve over bread.

    Let me know if you have any questions! All of this I usually have on hand, and they are pretty easy to make (20 min or less prep time)



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