Toward the end of my twin pregnancy, I looked ahead at life with twins and a toddler and realized that if I needed to do some serious meal prepping before their arrival! While I’ve had a ton of offers from friends to help, as well as a meal train graciously set up by a friend, I also wanted to make sure we had plenty of easy meals to grab in between. My strategy for freezing meals was threefold: double recipes I was making already and freeze them, make easy handheld meals/snacks, and buy pre-made freezer healthy meals and snacks.
Preparing To Freeze Meals – Supplies Needed & Timing
The only supplies I purchased for this project was plastic wrap and freezer bags – both the quart size and the gallon size. If you’re planning to make a casserole (I did not but received many of these from friends in my Meal Train and the throw away dish was perfect) you’d want to purchase aluminum foil roasting pans.
I started freezing meals about 2 months before my due date. Here’s a good article explaining how long different things can last in the freezer.
Freezer Meals I Doubled
Doubling recipes you’re already making is time efficient AND money efficient as often you can save some money by buying ingredients in bulk. I avoided soups and stews this time because they aren’t easy to eat while breastfeeding a baby! Instead I stuck to hearty and healthy all in one type meals – even if I didn’t have time to add a side salad or steam veggies there were vegetables in all of them.
Here are all the recipes that I doubled and stored for us:
Crockpot Turkey Enchilada Quinoa This makes a TON of food on its own so when I doubled it I had house both the crock pot and the crockpot feature on the Instant Pot. You could probably even just make one batch of this and eat it for dinner and freeze the rest.
Southwest Turkey, Vegetable and Rice Skillet I had to use a pot to combine all the ingredients because it was so much food and wouldn’t’ fit in a skillet.
Handheld Freezer Meals
One of the blogs I read while doing research for making freezer meals said that hearty snacks or small meals that you can eat with one hand are key. Given I’m going to have two babies and I only have two hands, it seemed even more important to make some handheld goodies.
This was a pretty complex recipe. To make it more simple, I didn’t make the dough myself – instead, I used Trader Joe’s homemade whole wheat pizza dough. These were one of the first things I ate after coming home from the hospital and they were amazing! Much better than I expected actually. I ate them with a little greek yogurt to contrast the spice. I microwave them for 1.5-2 minutes on high .
Chicken Sausage, Spinach and Egg Breakfast Burritos I combined a few different breakfast burrito recipes to create these. I sautéed onion, mushrooms, spinach and chicken sausage together and then cooked about two dozen eggs in a separate pan. I laid out 18 whole wheat tortillas and put a little egg and a little bit of the veggie and chicken sausage mix and sprinkled them with a Mexican shredded cheese blend. I made sure not to overfill them so they could be wrapped up. To store, I wrapped each one in plastic wrap and frozen them together in large freezer bags.
To easily freeze, I individually wrapped each burrito in plastic wrap and then put inside a gallon freezer bag. I microwave these for 2 minutes on high when I eat them.
Lactation Super Hero Muffins. This recipe is from the Run Fast, Eat Slow cookbook. I’m actually not a big muffin person but found these to be really tasty. I used chocolate chips to make them sweet. To make them “lactation” muffins, I added 4 tbsp of Brewer’s Yeast and 2 tbsp ground flaxseed (buy whole seeds and grind right before using). Oatmeal is a key ingredient in lactation cookies but the muffins already contain them so it’s perfect. If you’re gluten sensitive, these are gluten free as well and even have a small amount of veggies and no added sugar. Much healthier than the more indulgent lactation cookies I’ve made in the past.
To store, wrap each muffin in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer ziplock. I microwave these for 30-40 seconds to defrost and it melts the chocolate perfectly.
Store Bought Freezer Items
We’re already a month past the twin’s arrival and still working our way through the food! The lactation muffins are long gone but I still have some breakfast burritos and some of the bagged frozen foods. It’s been key to have these because I’m not doing a lot of grocery shopping for anything other than snacks, especially in the early days when we had the meal train. Having something to heat up from the freezer was key on the nights when we didn’t have food coming and didn’t want to order out. I also recommend keeping some bagged salads on hand when you do go to the store for an easy side dish. Broccoli is also an easy thing to pair with your frozen meals if you want a veggie since usually it takes a while to go bad.
What are some of your favorite healthy recipes to freeze?