I got an email from a friend/reader who had this question:
My baby is due early February. I would like to make some freezable meals in January that I can shove in the oven straight out of the oven once baby is here. I’d like to make them paleo-friendly, to see if I can combine the power of breastfeeding with a paleo diet to maximize weight loss. Do you have any recommendations for make-ahead meals?
I told her I would think on it, come up with some ideas and then turn to you guys for some help.
My first thought, especially since it’s going to be winter: SOUP, STEW, CHILI. Lots and lots. They are SO nourishing and can be packed with tons of protein and veggies and can offer you a really-well balanced meal in a short period of time. You know, like the 30 seconds you have after nursing before your baby spits up and then the dog barfs and then the toddler puts Scotch tape all over the cat and the phone rings and then the baby starts crying to eat again because he just spit up all his food. (AHMAHGAH, PTSD FLASHBACKS! TAKE COVER!) (I mean, yay new babies!).
And they don’t have to be plain chili or boring chicken soup (although who doesn’t love a chicken soup? Well, except chickens, I guess. I digress.) Here’s a link to my soup/stew database and here are some other great soup/stew/chili recipes I’ve come across and recommend:
- Health-Bent: Pumpkin Chili with Orange, Coriander and Avocado Cream
- Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen: Potato and Leek Soup
- Sweet Potato Curry Apple Soup
- Cosmopolitan Primal Girl: Fiesta Stew
- Everyday Paleo: Caribbean Seafood Stew
- Joyful Abode: Comforting Cauliflower Soup
- Primal Kitchen: Smoky Autumn Beef Brisket Soup
Meat sauce is also a great way to get protein and veggies in and you can throw it on top of spaghetti squash in a pinch. You can use the one I made this week as my “filling” for spaghetti squash pie. It’s super easy.
I’d also recommend making some of my Grain-Free Biscuits – maybe some without the savory ingredients – so you can make a quick “sandwich” with some leftover meat or pick up some nitrate-free deli meat at the store. My local SuperTarget has started carrying AppleGate Farms Organics and Hormel now makes an uncured, nitrate-free line. I can confirm that the biscuits do freeze well. Just put them on a cookie sheet individually, freeze, and then bag up. Let sit on counter for 20 minutes or so and toast to make extra yummy! Or just slather with some butter and serve with a couple of fried eggs to get a high-protein high-fat meal.
Fritaatas/Quiches! Eggs, veggies, even potatoes if you want some extra carbs, meat! But instead of making them in a big casserole dish, bake them in muffin tins. Freeze and bag! You really can use any ingredients you want, but here’s a great one from The AnitHousewife: Italian Frittata and two from Jan’s Sushi Bar: Roasted Red Pepper and Poblano Quiche. and a Sweet Potato and Caramelized Onion one!
Also, homemade Lara bars or grain-free granola bars. I’ve been living on these for breakfasts lately – they’ve got protein, fats, and good fruit carbs. Note that my Lara bars DO contain an egg so they can spoil. Keep infreezer until ready to eat if not going to eat all within two days. Um, not that I’ve ever done that before. Nope. Not me.
Okay, I’m all linked and puttered out. Now it’s your turn, my trusty Real Foodies! Help out a fellow momma here and offer some suggestions for some make-ahead meals so she can enjoy her beautiful new baby this winter. Links would also be great if you’ve got them.