With a baby arriving in only a few months, the cosmetic renovation of our kitchen isn’t the only way we are readying that particular space.
What is my project of the moment? Perfecting my repertoire of frozen meals, items that are quick and easy to heat up when neither of us feel like cooking after a long day of working and caring for a newborn. While I really won’t need these meals for another few months, now is a good time to start practicing and honing in on our favorites, especially since we’ve been pulling long days at work and renovating the house after-hours. Having these easy meals on-hand and pre-portioned make having a home cooked meal fast and accessible at the end of the day when we really don’t feel like cooking. All we have to do is reheat and maybe cook up a quick side or two. We can have dinner ready in about fifteen minutes, without any other prep that day other than defrosting in the fridge or microwave!
What’s in my freezer right now?
- Pulled pork, portioned out enough for pulled pork sandwiches. I had cooked a pork shoulder with a bunch of spices and a bottle of beer in the crock pot. That night, we had slow cooked pork shoulder, and then saved the rest for pulled pork sandwiches. To reheat, we defrost the pork, then warm in a small pot with jarred barbeque sauce until hot. We make our sandwiches on our bread of choice with some shredded cheddar cheese, and serve them with a side salad, soup, or vegetable.
- Split pea soup. I used the bone from the pork shoulder to cook the soup (a ham would also work well for this recipe), then froze it in portions. We often eat this soup with the pulled pork sandwiches. It might be a little bit of pork overkill, but it’s still so good!
- Lasagna. I can never claim to be Italian, so I just make a basic lasagna out of layers of seasoned and browned ground beef, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, and no-boil lasagna noodles. Reheated, this makes a great leftover meal.
- Homemade pasta sauce. Nothing beats having my grandmother’s recipe to go with some quick cooking pasta. We also use this sauce on the lasagna above and on homemade pizza. I love having plenty of sauce on hand in my freezer.
- Enchiladas. My hubby hates cream cheese, otherwise I’d make enchiladas out of cream cheese, shredded cheddar, shredded chicken and homemade enchilada sauce. Instead, I substitute ricotta for the cream cheese. I make up a bunch uncooked, then put them in the freezer for a later date. I also have the sauce ready to go so I can defrost, pour, add cheese on top of the enchiladas, and bake until warmed through. A quick side of steamed veggies goes perfectly with this meal.
I’m realizing the importance of being prepared in every aspect of our lives. Birthing class? Scheduled. Registry created? Well, not yet, but there’s a plan for that. Home renovations done? Bwahahahahahahahaha! But, we’re working on it. After all, we have a pretty clear deadline for all of this to get done. At least when the time comes, our freezer will be fully stocked and we’ll have lots of home cooked meals to choose from!
Want more freezer-ready meals? Click here!