Monica's Nest

Make-ahead Meals and other Food for when the Tot arrives

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I’ve been ramping up with prepping easy meals for when the Tot arrives. I’m pretty sure I’m not going to have any desire whatsoever for food prep for those first couple weeks, so I’m determined to make it as easy for myself as possible. To be honest, I already have no desire to cook..or clean…or do anything but sleep. I think my fatigue is drowning out my nesting instinct – Mr. Nest seems to be nesting more than I am!

I know that needing to eat milder food (not spicy – which isn’t a huge problem for us since Mr. Nest isn’t into the super-spice) and go dairy free are some common things that Mom’s need to do while nursing – so I’m trying to prep mild, low/no dairy foods in case I fit into either category. Because of this I’m leery of prepping some of my favorite dishes (turkey & spinach lasagna, eggplant parmesan, etc), but those might be a bit heavy for late spring/early summer anyway. Mr. Nest keeps talking about soup, but It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll actually eat that. He might make some anyway.

So, here’s the plan so far:

I’m working on stocking up on some staples – so I have a big bag of tortellini in the freezer, multiple cans of black beans (no-cook protein and fiber! Add brown rice & some salsa and you’re good-to-go), tortillas, bread, frozen fruit, oatmeal, cereal, spaghetti sauce, pitas – and that’s where it’s at so far. I might think of something else we need. I’m also going to do my best to make sure we have an ample supply of perishables like bananas and other whole fruit, eggs, fresh greens (spinach most likely) and milk on hand for the next few weeks, as well as plenty of food for Balou (the dog).

Mr. Nest is also planning on picking up a few of the pre-made frozen meals from Costco. We haven’t tried any of them yet, but they should be good in a pinch, and we’ve been very impressed with almost everything we’ve gotten from Costco so far!

Already Made:

-           Banana bread (2 loaves in the freezer)

-          Individual Chicken Pot Pies (3 or 4 in the freezer)

-          Whole wheat waffles (a batch in the freezer, I might make another one)

March 26 – April 1 (36 weeks)

-          Make marinade & freeze -  Hula Steak – a recipe from a friend who was kind enough to send me a whole list of ideas! Since I’ll be having a late spring baby I’m prepping more stuff for the grill – less dishes and no heating up the house. Hopefully Mr. Nest will have enough energy to be grillmaster.  (Wednesday – DONE)

-          Prep/marinate flank steak for beef w/ snow peas & freeze (Wednesday – DONE) We’ll probably end up eating this w/ frozen green beans instead of snow peas, but it’s just as good!

-          Oven Roast cherry tomatoes  - I love to throw these in pastas and on sandwiches. Yum. (Wednesday – DONE)

-          Make a bunch of Pesto – this has some parmesan cheese of course, but not too much! (Thursday)

-          Make Mexican rice for stuffed peppers (Thursday)

-          Make & Freeze stuffed peppers  - I’ll make these cheese-free and then if I need to be dairy-free I’ll just add cheese to Mr. Nest’s portion when we reheat. (Friday)

-          Breakfast burritos: 2 kinds (Thursday, Friday or Sunday) I’m hoping these will be good to heat & eat one-handed.

  • Regular egg, reduced fat sausage & maybe cheese – I’ll probably add some veggies and the remainder of a bag of hash-brown potatoes that is sitting in the freezer
  • Black beans, spinach/veggies & egg. -Dairy free & high in protein. Hopefully Tot doesn’t have a problem with black beans.

-          Make marinade & freeze Hawaiian Grilled Chicken (Make this chicken today. It’s utterly delicious – another grilled recipe!) and Teriyaki Chicken (another recipe from that lovely friend who sent me a nice long list!) (Sunday)

April 2-8 (37 weeks)

-          Crockpot Shredded BBQ Beef (Monday)  - I’ll make a big pot and freeze some of the leftovers.

-          Pizza dough  – freeze individual pizza sized blobs – (During the week)

-          Make mashed potatoes – freeze in muffin tins (Friday)

-          Meatloaf in Muffin tins (Friday) No specific recipe here, just some meatloaf. Hopefully these will be easy to heat up for a quick dinner or crumble over some greens for a salad.

-          Make beef enchilada filling (beef, onions, spices) & enchilada sauce (I may jar some extra if I’m ambitious) I’m  not sure if I’ll prep a pan of enchiladas or not. If I do, I’ll make it dairy-free and cheese can be added later. Luckily, the enchilada sauce is super-flavorful but not spicy at all in my opinion. (Saturday)

-          Mini -Oatmeal Raisin Cookies, some of these Raspberry Breakfast Bars (I LOVE these, plus they have some nutrition in with the dessert-ishness  - hey oatmeal and raspberries have nutrition!) and maybe some chocolate-white chocolate chip cookies (Ok these? No nutrition. Unless you decide to buy into the whole recent “people who eat chocolate regularly are thinner” business. I’ll take it! Sometimes a girl just needs chocolate!)- freeze (Saturday)

April 9-15 – 38 weeks

This week isn’t planned out as well yet, but there are a few things I’m planning on making.  I’m expecting to be even more fatigued and and uncomfortable, so I’m thinking I’ll wind down on my prep this week. Or he could arrive/have arrived by this point. Who knows?

-          Spanish Chicken & Rice - This recipe sounds good, and we’ve always got chicken thighs on hand. I’ll probably use boneless/skinless since that’s what we have.

-          Meatballs – make, brown, & freeze – then I can toss them in a pot of marinara for sandwiches or pasta if I want.

So – there’s my plan! I’m hoping it’ll set us up pretty well. Of course things could change if Tot decides to arrive prior to his due date, or I might reorganize a bit if my schedule gets thrown off.

Suggestions/recommendations are always welcome of course!

Monica

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Author: Monica Renee

I'm a twenty-something new Mama with a passion for my husband (Mr. Nest) and my son (Tot), my weimaraner (Balou), great food, sunshine, the outdoors, a good post-workout endorphin high, my bicycle, rollerblades, farmer's markets, and best friends. I'm currently struggling to balance motherhood with working full-time, staying healthy and keeping up with other things that bring me joy.

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