Most women go through the “nesting” phase before labor begins. We clean our houses and scrub the nursery from top to bottom and we triple check that checklist to make sure we have absolutely everything to bring baby home. I did all of this near the end of my first pregnancy.
We lived away from our family for the birth of our first little one and I realized that when everyone was gone, cooking was the hardest part of my day. Now that I’m two weeks from welcoming our second into the world, I’ve decided to turn my “nesting” into something more practical – cooking!
Here are a few of my favorite simple and delicious recipes to stock your freezer with before your bundle of joy arrives. Trust me, you’ll say thank you when you don’t have to eat another granola bar, turkey sandwich or even sneak the last sip from your toddler’s pureed fruit pouch!
1. Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese – Not only does my toddler love this veggie packed recipe, but so does my husband! This creamy delicious dish can be made into individual portions (or use muffin baking tins) and frozen. When you need a quick lunch for your little one, afternoon snack, or even a side for dinner just pop them into the microwave to defrost and serve. They freeze perfectly!
2. Pulled Chicken – I love this recipe for pulled chicken sandwiches by Rachel Ray. If it’s a busy day in your household you can simply throw the recipe in a crock pot on low for a few hours and return to a fabulous meal. I always make extra servings of this recipe and put one or two containers in the freezer for when I’m at a loss as to what to cook for dinner.
3. Chipotle Beef and Beer Chili – This chili is a sure hit on game day and everyday at dinner time. You can easily substitute turkey for beef to make this recipe leaner and healthier. Freeze into family size portions and simply defrost for a hassle free meal time.
4. Creamy Anything Vegetable Soup – John Besh’s master recipe for creamy anything vegetable soup provides the perfect base to keep in your freezer to create a decadent soup in minutes. The base alone is fantastic as a potato and leek soup, but we easily turn it into a roasted corn soup or loaded baked potato soup in just a matter of minutes.
What do you stock your freezer with? Please be sure to comment and let us know! We are always looking for suggestions (and lasagna alternatives).