Today is a busy day including a midwife appointment (I am currently 37 weeks pregnant), but I know that it will be nothing in comparison to having a new baby. That’s why I am starting to put together a few freezer meals for us for after our baby is born. I don’t normally do a lot of freezer meals just because I like my food to be freshly cooked (and I am just not that “type” of cook, I guess. Many of the types of meals I enjoy would freeze very poorly). However, realistically I know that if I have freezer meals on hand that are nourishing-as well as premade-we will eat a lot healthier.
In fact, when I met with a nurse midwife/nutritionist, she informed me that I needed people to bring me meals for a whole month after the baby was born as well as have all of my laundry and cleaning done by others. Wouldn’t that be nice! But since I wasn’t going to ask my friends and family to feed us for a whole month, I thought I had better do some meals for the freezer before this baby is born.
So today I am doing just a few little projects for the freezer to get me started, but meanwhile I would love to hear dairy free, nourishing freezer meals from you! While I always love ideas, even better would be time tested recipes. I find that many typical freezer meals have a lot of dairy in it, so dairy free recipes are a little more limited.
So if you have ideas, or, better yet, time tested recipes, please share!
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After both of my births, I craved pasta and comfort foods, like chicken stroganoff and cinnamon rolls. Since pasta doesn’t usually freeze very well, I like to make complete sauces freezer ready with chicken or other meat, so all there is to do is boil some pasta and you’re set. But breads usually freeze very well, and I usually made muffins, healthy cinnamon rolls, and other easy breakfast breads for the freezer so my husband had quick breakfasts ready.
Here’s my absolute favorite stroganoff recipe. If goes great with chicken, meatballs, steak, ground beef, pretty much anything. I bet it would be great over salmon too!
It calls for sour cream, and I’ve never tried this, but I bet you could use coconut milk and sour it up with a dash of lemon juice or something like that. Since coconut milk is not as thick as sour cream, you would probably want to increase the thickener to compensate for the extra liquid.
1 1/2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter
4 tablespoons flour (or 1 1/2 tbsp arrowroot powder), divided
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups beef (or chicken) broth
1 cup sour cream (or non-dairy substitute)
In a saucepan saute mushrooms and onion in butter until tender. Stir in 3 Tbsp flour (OR 1 Tbsp arrowroot powder) until blended. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook and stir for 2 minutes; reduce heat.
Combine sour cream and remaining flour/arrowroot powder until smooth; stir into mushroom mixture. Add meat if desired, cool completely and freeze in Ziploc bags or mason jars.
Thaw and heat to serve over cooked pasta, rice, or grain of choice.
I’m going to have to disagree! Our family and many others in the community have thrived with the gift of postpartum meal exchanges, even for families with significant dietary restrictions. it has been a rite of passage and honor to serve as the meal angel coordinator, and a meal angel participant for friends and family, and one of the greatest gifts we can offer.
Too often in our culture we shy away from asking for help or receiving support from others. The postpartum time is a wonderful opportunity to open the doors and break down those assumptions around what is “appropriate” and be fully present for one another in a truly nourishing way.
Wishing you delicious freezer meals AND at least a few homecooked feasts delivered warm to your doorstep.
I am sure I will have friends bring me meals. 🙂 I just don’t think I have enough friends to get 31 dinners out of it. LOL
I second that – we always do meals for women who have had babies at our church. We set them up for at least 2-3 weeks, every other day (or more if needed). All of us who cook are very careful to cook according to each family’s dietary needs. It’s a great way to bless each other and get to know each other. I’ve made a lot of friends through taking and receiving meals. When I had our daughter, I was so ill that several people who came by saw me in my robe and with my house a bit of a mess. It was actually a wonderful way to just be real with people and many of the women who came ended up doing many “motherly” things for me while they were over. I sure needed it, since most of my family lives out of town.
Many blessings as you prepare and get your freezer loaded up with good things so that you can take it easy afterward. But don’t be afraid to have a friend get a list of people together to bring over some meals the first few weeks. (If a friend does it, you won’t feel as though you’re having to ask people yourself and that’s much better, too.)
I work full time and cook for just myself, so I find freezing time saving and a practical way to manage leftovers. Soups freeze well (pureed split pea, lentil & potato, thick minestrone). I also freeze brown rice which goes well with soup. Cuban black beans freeze well too, as do casseroles like lasagna or enchiladas (any fresh herbs, etc. can be added after reheating), even egg dishes like quiche. I freeze pesto in ice cube trays and cooked beans and spaghetti/pizza sauce in containers.
Homemade Aspirations Girl
Have you thought of simple chicken rice soup? You can also make some homemade bread (rosemary bread goes great!) to freeze. That way it tastes just as good thawed and reheated! Depending on where you live, if it’s cold, this may be a perfect, relaxing winter dinner!
Some things I freeze: Hummus (I do large batches in the food processor), meatloaf, lentil/pea soup, baked beans, sprouted and cooked beans (again, done in large batches!) that can then be added to things like salads, soups, etc. I also like to always have lots of turkey bratwurst in the freezer (from free range turkeys!) because it is so easy to thaw and then fry with canned sauerkraut and add a starchy side and/or salad.
Jaime @ Like a Bubbling Brook
I would probably be more apt to cook my meats and then freeze them, so they’d be ready to pull out for a quick meal assembly.
Just posted about how I grill and freeze my chicken (http://likeabubblingbrook.blogspot.com/2010/10/my-latest-kitchen-secret-in-more-detail.html ), but you could also cook roasts and shred them, then freeze them for easy meals like beef tacos, beef stew, etc.
Plus, just freezing the shredded or chopped meats takes up less space in the freezer 🙂
Make a “cream” sauce:
1/4 cup butter or coconut oil
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 and 1/3 cup Almond Breeze Almond Milk (can use rice milk if you prefer)
2/3 cup chicken broth or beef broth
Optional: garlic, onions, mushrooms
salt & pepper to taste
Follow these direction from Kitchen Stewardship:
Set sauce aside. Pour some butter or oil in a skillet and add your veggies (onions, garlic, carrots, peas, celery, etc.) and cook for a few minute. Add 1lb ground beef and brown until cooked through. Stir in the cream sauce with the veggies and beef.
Pour this mixture into a pie pan. Top with leftover mashed potatos (about 2 cups). Freeze this. And when you’re ready to eat it, you can heat it for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Yum!! And my hubby LOOOOVES it!
Also really any chili, soup, stew is great for freezer meals! I make meatballs (with lentils mixed in to stretch the meat further) and freeze those. You can use those later in pastas, meatball sandwiches, etc. Another idea is shredded beef in the crockpot. It can be added to wraps later, chopped beef sandwiches, tossed with salsa and made into taco night or taco salad, tossed with some soy sauce and served over rice, etc.
Also, don’t forget breakfast! We are completely dairy free in our house, so breakfast can be hard at times. We cook little quiches (no cheese) in muffin cups and freeze those. They reheat well in the oven (or toaster oven!)
I’m big on freezing. Having Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, there are many days when I am too tired to cook, the freezer is my best friend! I find the best food to freeze is soups, particularly pumpkin soup. I made a soba noodle mussel pasta about 3 months ago, and froze single portions of it. I just pulled it out of the freezer, set it in the toaster oven, and it was still delicious! Over at the nourished kitchen, her baked oatmeal freezes amazing. I always cook large batches of beans, freeze little baggies of them, and have ready made beans for throw together rice and beans etc. I always keep sourdough bread in the freezer.
I made Beef Bourginon…(spelling?) by Julia Child. You can google it…absolutely delicious and super satisfying!! It would make 4 or 5 meals for your family! The flavors just build on each other and it is awesome!! 🙂 I’m freezing it…the only thing I would change is to throw some potatoes in there with it…we like potatoes!! 🙂
my Dad has always frozen leftover stir fry and it has reheated well. I love soups and stews. My favorites are chicken curry with peppers onions and yams in a tomato and coconut sauce over brown rice, spagetti sauce with mushrooms, lentil soup, pot roast, chicken noodle or chicken and rice, vegetable and tomato basil. I also like to freeze nut bread and muffins and quickbread and serve with jam/apple butter. Could freeze pancakes as well and pull them out for a breakfast for dinner night along with some eggs or sausage.
I suggest doubling whatever meals you make for the next few weeks, and freezing the extra. You won’t be able to do that every night (especially if you’re having a salad!), but the meals will quickly add up. And you will be very glad to have them after your little one arrives. 🙂
Some of my favorites to freeze are mini-meatloaves (use a well-greased muffin tin), soup, homemade broth, mini-pizzas or calzones (you can make them without cheese), breakfast burritos, salmon patties and turkey sausage patties. Recipes for the last two are on my blog at http://askauntalice.wordpress.com/2010/10/22/two-to-freeze/.