Several readers have asked that I put together a list of what I stocked our freezer with before baby arrived. I've become a big fan of having a full freezer to pull from. It takes the temptation away of getting take-out and brings grace to those days when I'm feeling too wiped out to make meals (which is many a time with little infant man, here). Without further ado, here are some things I've found helpful to pull out of my freezer during those busy, tiresome days:
**Hint: when making any of these recipes to eat right away, simply prepare a double or triple batch and stick the extras in the freezer. Without having to set aside an extra kitchen session, your freezer will fill up in no time.**
Waking up (if you can call it that) to "starving" children after nursing every two hours all night long can be... rough. The solution? Stashing some of these dishes in the freezer to quickly defrost and serve.
Sourdough Pancakes, English muffins, and bagels, and grain-free waffles. Just stick 'em in the toaster to defrost and viola! Breaky. These grain-free orange muffins freeze well, too.
We keep a supply of a variety of crispy nuts (nuts soaked in saltwater for 24 hours, then dehydrated until crispy) and seeds in the freezer. The kids can grab them whenever they're hungry. We also have frozen berries on hand. Freezing smoothies in popsicle moulds is a happy, healthy treat, as well. Here are some smoothie recipes you can try. In the fridge, I'll keep a supply of sliced organic, raw cheese that's easy to grab and nibble. We also have a steady supply of in-season fruit in a bowl that's easy to snack on.
Our freezer almost always has jars of refried beans in it. Thaw them out and you (or your kids) can make quesorritos, a quick and hearty meal.
- Sourdough flat bread. These freeze well and can be taken straight from the freezer and thawed on the stovetop burner to be used for any kind of sandwich.
- Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets. Cook them up and tuck them away in the freezer. Reheat in a 425º oven for 12 minutes.
- Slow cooker chuck roast supreme. Cook this up, shred it, and freeze it. Thaw it out and throw it on top of lettuce, wrap it up in a tortilla with cheese, or just eat it with a fork.
- Soups. Make a big pot and freeze some for later. We do this on a weekly basis.
- Chicken Enchiladas. Pull them out of the freezer, stick them in the oven, turn it to 350º, and bake for 45 minutes. Dinner is served.
- Meatballs. Make these gluten-free by using almond flour instead of breadcrumbs. Bake and freeze for later. Thaw and use in sandwiches, with rice noodles, or by themselves.
- Taco meat. Freeze in 1-pound containers to thaw out for, well, tacos, or to throw on top of lettuce for a quick meal.