Prep During Pregnancy: Freezer Meals

I am planner. Most people that are close to me know this to be true. Most people that aren't even that close to me probably know that to be true as well. I plan. I make lists. I like to be prepared so I don't end looking like an idiot somewhere down the road. It's how I've always been. 

While pregnant, I became fairly obsessed with planning out certain areas of our lives once baby arrived. (I know all of you seasoned parents are probably laughing at that...) I constantly was on Pinterest (follow me if you'd like: here), pinning freezer meals and grocery lists, what to pack in my hospital bag, the minimal necessities for a newborn, etc. The list goes on and on. Seriously, what did we do before Pinterest? 

A few weeks before Marin arrived, I gathered up some recipes from Pinterest and from my normal cooking routine and planned a day where I would create as many freezer meals as possible. I knew that once baby arrived, the last thing I would want to do is cook a bunch of stuff. I also knew that I needed these meals to be decently healthy and clean because I would love to actually fit into my pre-pregnancy pants at some point in the next few months. 

I made a list. Ryan and I went to the grocery store and bought all of the supplies, which ended up being quite affordable. I wish I would have kept the receipt as a reference. 

The next day, we got home from church, and I placed all of my cooking ingredients and supplies out on the counter and went to town. I created freezer meals for about 3 hours but ended up with probably one or two month's worth of freezer meals. 

My feet hurt. I sweat up a storm. I rocked out to Pandora in my kitchen while my cat tried to avoid the kitchen and the crazy, list-making, pregnant lady. 

Here are the meals I made this time around. If I found the meal elsewhere, I will link to the recipe I used. 

Tortellini Bake: (my own creation) 
Jar of Tomato Sauce
Chicken Sausage
1 Bag of Frozen Broccoli
Shredded Mozzarella (Reduced Fat) 
Shredded Sharp Cheddar (Reduced Fat) 
1 bag of Frozen Tortellini
Italian Seasoning to taste

In a glass baking dish, place tortellini in dish. 
Cut up the sausage into bite size pieces, place over tortellini. 
Spread out bag of frozen broccoli, layering over tortellini and sausage. 
Do the same with the jar of tomato sauce. 
Add italian seasoning
Cover with mixture of mozzarella and sharp cheddar. 

When ready to eat: 
Let thaw
Preheat over to 400
Cook for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted

Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
1 ½ pounds chicken breasts
1 (16 oz) bag frozen broccoli florets
2 (16 oz) jars Alfredo sauce (I use light)
1 large green pepper, chopped

Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag and mix together.
When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 4-6 hours. 
Serve with cooked fettuccine noodles and green salad

Hearty Beef Stew
1 pound beef stew cubes
4 carrots, sliced
4 red potatoes, cut into large cubes
1 package dry onion soup mix
2 cans 98% fat-free cream of mushroom soup
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (10 oz) package frozen green peas
Place all ingredients in a resealable gallon-sized freezer bag. Mix together and zip bag closed. When ready to eat, remove from freezer and thaw in fridge for 24 hours. Cook on LOW for 7-10 hours (or HIGH for 5-6 hours).

Both of these recipes are from Six Sisters Stuff

Chicken and Sweet Potato Stew
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1⁄2-inch slices
1 can (28 ounces) whole stewed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1⁄8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1⁄8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup nonfat, low-sodium chicken broth
1⁄4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Combine ingredients minus broth and add to gallon Ziploc bag. Freeze. Thaw add broth and cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours or on HIGH for 3 to 4 hours. Serve over hot rice. Serves 6-8 people.
This recipe is found at Loving My Nest. 

Chicken Enchiladas 
3 chicken breasts
1 cup chopped onion
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
10-12 flour tortillas {medium}
2 cans of red enchilada sauce
1 can black beans

How to Make It:

Take the raw chicken breasts and place them in a pot of water, boil for 20-25 minutes or until cooked through.  
Once the chicken is cooked remove from pot and shred {I use two forks and pull it apart}. Set aside.
Drain and rinse the can of black beans.
Mix the beans, chopped onion, shredded chicken, 1 can of red enchilada sauce, and the shredded cheddar cheese in a bowl.
With a spoon fill each flour tortilla, roll them up, and place them with the seams down in an 8x8 baking dish {don’t forget to spray your pan so you don’t stick!}. There should be enough to make three 8x8 pans.
Pour the second can of red enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle some cheese over it.

Thaw when ready to eat. 
Preheat oven to 350
Bake for 25 minutes.

For the life of me, I can't find the original link to this recipe. So sorry! 

Chicken Taco Chili 
1 can No Salt Added Black Beans
1 can No Salt Added Kidney Beans
1 can Rotel (tomatoes/green chilies) 
1 can tomato sauce (the smaller can) 
1 packet of taco seasoning (try to find one that isn't packed with sodium.) 
1 bag of frozen corn
A few frozen chicken breasts (I use the smaller tenderloins) 
A few dashes of chili powder
A few dashes of Cumin 

(This is the original recipe, not already frozen. Just toss the contents of the freezer bag into the crock pot.) 

Place beans, corn, tomato sauce, and rotel in the crock-pot. Stir in the packet of taco seasoning. Add chili powder and cumin. Stir, stir, stir. 

Place as many frozen chicken breasts that can fit on the top of the chili. Don't stir it. Put the lid on and cook on high for about 6 hours or so. You want the chicken completely cooked. 

Once the chicken is completely cooked, remove the chicken pieces from the crock-pot. 

Shred the chicken. Once that's done, dump the chicken back in the crock-pot. Stir the chicken thoroughly into the chili. Let it simmer for a while longer. 

Serve and enjoy! We usually put a little bit of cheese on top and dip corn chips in the chili.

I blogged about this recipe already. It is adapted from a Weight Watchers recipe. Read my post here

Turkey Burritos: (my own creation) 
Lean Ground Turkey
2 Cans of Pinto or Kidney Beans
2 Cans of Black Beans
1 Can of Rotel
Reduced Sodium Taco Seasoning
Chili Seasing
Whole Wheat Tortillas
Reduced Fat Shredded Mexican Cheese

In a pan, thoroughly cook the ground turkey. 
Once cooked, add cans of beans and can of Rotel
While simmering, add seasoning. 

To assemble burritos, scoop contents of pan into individual burritos, add some cheese, roll up in tin foil and free. 

Let thaw a bit before reheating when you are ready to eat! Add salsa if desired. 

Pre-made Smoothies 
I also created individual ziploc bags for smoothies. 
I added some frozen fruit (low sugar) which included mangos and pineapple. 
I sliced some strawberries and whatever other berries I had on hand. 
Add a few spoonfuls of greek or low fat yogurt. 
Add a few handfuls of spinach.
When you want to enjoy the smoothie, just add a liquid of your choice: Milk, Water, Juice, etc. 
Blend thoroughly. 

This idea was from A Beautiful Mess

Alright then! That is a very long post but now I know that we have quite a stash of meals waiting for us in our freezer in our garage. Good luck! 

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