Tuesday, February 19, 2013

cooking with a baby {ideas?}

When I was pregnant, I prepared some freezer meals to make life easier (and to be sure we weren't eating out every single meal) once Mia was born. I can't tell you how glad I was to have those meals prepared, because it took me a good month to figure out how to cook with a baby to take care of at the same time :) Those babies really are quite the adjustment! Anyway, I wanted to share some of the recipes I used, and I'd love to get some ideas from you because freezer meals are amazing to have on hand!!

Brown Bag Burritos (original recipe from Amy's blog)
  • 2 lb chicken (I'll be honest, I just cooked/shredded a whole bag of chicken from Costco, so I just threw in what looked right instead of measuring the amount.
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 1 1/3 c. enchilada sauce (I used green enchilada sauce)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/3 c. minced onion
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 c. shredded cheese (I used Mexican blend)
  • 20 flour tortillas (I used taco and enchilada size)
* Next time I make these (and there will definitely be a next time, these were the BEST to have on hand!) I'll be adding brown rice just to make them a little bit more filling.

Cook chicken. Add remaining ingredients (except tortillas). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.
Heat 3-4 tortillas at a time. Spoon 1/4 c. chicken mixture down the side of each tortilla.
Roll up. Wrap each burrito in a paper towel, then wrap in foil. 
Refrigerate or freeze.
When ready to eat, remove foil and microwave for a minute on each side. If you don’t use a microwave, skip the paper towel and just wrap in foil. Then heat burritos in the oven with foil. For a sit down meal they are nice topped with lettuce, cheese, salsa, and sour cream. If you’re eating on the run, just grab and go!

Sweet and Tangy Meatballs

* I'm probably the last person in the world to find out about this recipe... but my sister in law shared the recipe and I'm so glad she did! They are so easy and so yummy!
  • Approximately 36 meatballs
  • 16oz Grape Jelly
  • 20oz BBQ sauce
Cook in crock pot 2-4 hours on low. Serve over brown rice.

* I just bought a big bag of meatballs from Costco (I usually make my own, but that wasn't happening with the baby, ha ha) and put meatballs in gallon sized zip lock bags to freeze (I made up 2 bags). We had left over meatballs that we'd bake in the oven and serve over spaghetti. So I got multiple easy meals out of 1 bag from Costco!

* I highly recommend buying the biggest bag of chicken you can find and cooking/shredding the whole bag! I divided mine into zip lock bags, each holding 1-2 cups of chicken. It was so nice to grab a bag out of the freezer, throw together some simple ingredients and have dinner ready in no time! One simple recipe I always fall back on is:

Chicken Roll Ups
  • 1c. shredded chicken
  • 1/3pkg cream cheese
  • 1 can croissants
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
Mix chicken and cream cheese in bowl until smooth. Spoon onto croissant dough, roll into a ball. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes. While the chicken roll ups bake, I bring the cream of mushroom soup mixed with 1/2 can of milk to a boil. Spoon over roll ups and enjoy!

* You can also dip the roll up in melted butter, then bread crumbs before baking to add a little crisp.

What are your favorite freezer meals? Or what meals do you always fall back on because they are super simple to throw together? Even though I kind of have things figured out with Mia, I'd still like to have new ideas for those days when nothing goes my way ;)


Laurie @ Stylin Savanna said...

Those sweet and tangy meatballs sound yummy! I'll def be trying that:) Thankfully I'll have my mom around once baby girl is here to help with cooking and cleaning. I know babies are demanding so I'm thankful!

Julie said...

Beef stew is always a good one that you can cook and freeze and its also a crockpot meal so you can prepare it the night before and it can cook all day and be ready whenever you are!

A+J said...

love all of these meal ideas. I might have to give freezer meals a try.

Kate @ Daffodils said...

I love freezer meals or meals I can make during naptime and be ready for dinner! Good ones: chicken tortilla soup (pioneer woman), chili, bbq chicken (I a huge batch in the crock pot eat some for dinner that night then freeze two meals for later!). Good luck!

lori said...

this is a great idea! i like to cook a big pot of soup or chili and freeze the leftovers in individual ziploc containers so that we still can have a homecooked meal on nights i don't feel like cooking

and chicken n dumplings in the crockpot is one of my favorite easy go to recipes. not the healthiest, but oh so delish.

Whitney Tomlin said...

I have been looking for a few ideas for when Charlee comes! Also, look on skinny taste and she has lots of freezer meal/crockpot ideas so you can make a lot at once :)

Courtney Gordon said...

I'm a huge fan of my crock pot when making pulled pork or my Le Creust when making a roast. The same can be done with chicken as well. Just brown meat and stick in there with a little bit of liquid and let it simmer away while you go about your day. Not to mention it makes your house smell awesome like you've been in the kitchen all day.

Carlie said...

All of those recipes sound tasty! Glad you found some easy ones!

Eryka said...

Mmmm Im hungry now. haha!

❤ Meghan said...

these sound great! i'll keep these in mind for my friends having babies soon. it's so nice when friends and family can bring freezer meals over so the new mama doesn't have to cook (or reheat!) at all!

from head 2 toe said...

Even though I don't have a baby, my Mom has given my great advice. "If they baby is crying in your arms, let them cry in the swing while you worry about YOU for 5 minutes." That really has hit me hard. It's so true! Mia seems like a great baby, but I have friends who have really colicy babes and are constantly complaining about themselves. If the babe is crying being held, put it down and go wash your hair. I guess the same could be said for cooking! Check out my blog under "FOOD" for a ton of freezer crock pot meals! :) Glad you are happy and loving on your sweet angel!

Maria said...

Everything sounds awesome!! Especially those brown bag burritos!! Thanks so much for sharing the recipes. I plan on making some freezer meals in the next few weeks too. I just am learning how to cook (kinda lol) and I will definitely keep these recipes in mind.
Have a great day! Xoxo

Unknown said...

Those burritos are right up my alley. Great post!

Allison said...

I've never heard of that meatball trick, but YUM. I'm definitely trying these!

Anonymous said...

I have never heard of freezer meals. Clever Idea! :)

Tiffany @ Austin Family Diary said...

I definitely plan on making some freezer meals before baby A arrives. Thanks for posting your recipes!

oomph. said...

my quick and easy fallback is goulash. brown ground beef/ground turkey or even chicken breast with garlic and onions, drain fat, add cream of mushroom soup, and frozen corn/peas/veggies, boil and simmer. serve over rice. super fast, super easy...and when your little one gets older, she'll love it. my kids do!


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