Thursday, August 8, 2013

What I Gather New Mom Meals - Freezer Fare, Slow Cooker Favs and Quick Meals

Problems I am having right now:

1) The part of my brain that used to create recipes has been reassigned to creating ways to make my baby boy smile all day.
2) The amount of time I have to cook went from THIS MUCH to this much over the past two months.

3) My maternity leave stash of freezer meals has long been depleted.

4) I don't have a personal chef. do I solve these problems? Especially the last one. If you have a strong desire to cook all of my meals for me, come on over. I'll pay baby smiles. Until I get that one worked out, I've been relying on quick meals and anything that can be made in the slow cooker to keep our bellies full.

Baby smiles just for you!

These are a few of my favorites:

Slow Cooker Meals: What I like about slow cooker meals is that they make large enough portions that Kevin and I can usually get two or three dinners out of each one. So while I do have to take the time to prepare all of the ingredients, I don't have to do any cooking for the next day or two. Score! You can also freeze any of these meals and thaw as needed.

Chipotle Chili

Taco Soup

Roasted Red Pepper and Tomato Soup with Swirly Basil Oil

Okra Beef Stew

Paleo Pumpkin Chili

Kevin's Famous Chocolate Chili

Freezable Breakfasts: Any of these breakfasts can be made ahead of time in a big batch - just double or triple the recipe (if you have a big enough pan!) and freeze in individual portions. Let it thaw in the refrigerator overnight and you'll have a quick, healthy breakfast waiting for you in the morning. Smoothies can be made ahead of time and frozen in air-tight containers or freezer bags and thawed overnight in the refrigerator. They should be the perfect consistency by morning.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hash

Zesty Italian Brunch Bake

Salsa Verde Sweet Potato Hash (I would cook the eggs separately when you are ready to eat instead of freezing them)

Hauswarming Sweet Potatoes and Apples

Pumpkin Blueberry Protein Smoothie

Peachy Keen Smoothie

A Trio of Super Paleo Smoothies

Quick Meals and Snacks: All of these can be thrown together fairly quickly and, again, you can make large portions that will last throughout the week. I like to make a large salad early in the week and have it for lunch all throughout the week. I'll do the same with stir fry so that we can have leftovers for a few nights. If I want to mix it up, I'll add chicken one night and fish or shrimp the next.

Jamaican Jerk Stir Fry

Mexican Chicken Salad (can be made with jarred salsa instead of fresh to make and even quicker meal)

Sunny California Salad with Strawberries and Avocado

Paleo Brownie Bites (a great on-the-go snack)

Now it's your turn! What are your tips for finding time to cook as a new parent?