Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Pre-Baby Freezer/Bulk Cooking and Baking Plan

I know I have not been extremely diligent about my menu plans lately, for that I apologize!  Life is moving at a fast pace with the baby arriving in 6 weeks.  Whether you will have a new little one in your house soon or if you know you are in for a crazy couple of months with the holidays right around the corner, you may be interested in my plan, outlined below.  Because I have a child with food allergies, I have to be extra planful when it comes to mealtime.  With a newborn, I realize I will not have any time during the first 4-6 weeks to be cooking, so the plan below will help relieve me of my kitchen duties, at least for a little while!  Outside of this plan, I am trying to be conscious as I cook on a day to day basis - if I make a big pot of soup, for example, I freeze and label it to add to my stockpile.  The more bulk cooking I do now, the better off I will be! 

It is critical that I also have snacks and whole food meals on hand to nourish my body, since breastfeeding takes so much effort and energy!  I plan to have nourishing snacks (recipes also linked below) that I can pull out of the freezer to defrost or quickly warm up as I pass through the kitchen. 

I hope this plan helps you and your family during the busy months ahead!

Week 1:  Prepare Crock Pot Pulled Pork
Week 2:  Prepare Chickens/Bone Broth
Week 3:  Prepare Marinara Sauce (Use your favorite sauce recipe, freeze in 2 cup portions, easy to defrost and add to bulk sausage, shredded or frozen veggies, etc. to ladle over noodles)
Week 4:  Prepare Sloppy Joes and Chicken Nuggets

Snacks:  Schedule a kid-less day/weekend, dedicated to baking and cooking.
Prepare crock pot meals (add all ingredients to Ziploc bags and freeze) on baking day/weekend 3-4 weeks prior to my due date

Snacks for Mommy

Lactation Muffins (makes two dozen!)
Breakfast Sandwiches (I'll use thin sliced nitrate-free ham to make them a little more compact)
Stock freezer with frozen fruit for smoothies!

Snacks for the Family

Allergy-friendly granola (2 batches)
Pumpkin Muffins 2 batches
Personal Size Oatmeal Bakes (sub with flax eggs) 2 batches

Crock Pot Dinners (freeze, defrost, into crock pot, done!)

Healthy Mama BBQ Chicken
Italian Beef (scroll for recipe)
Flank Steak Fajitas

Other Dinners:
Crock Pot Pulled Pork (separate into two bags, freeze flat)
Two whole chickens, roasted and meat shredded, separate into 2 cup portions (for quesadillas, soup, etc). I'll make two batches of bone broth from the chickens.
Marinara Sauce for freezer
Super Sloppy Joe's
Chicken Nuggets

***Make a list of all of the groceries you will need for your baking/cooking day so you have everything on hand.  Each week during the plan outlined above, make sure you add the things to your list that you will need to prepare the recipes as outlined.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Menu Plan Week of 10/8

It's better (very) late than never!  My little guy's birthday is tomorrow - he will be three years old!!!  I just cannot believe how time has flown by!  It is a time of reflection for me, as it has now been exactly two years since his food allergy diagnosis and about 18 months since his first major asthma episode.  We continue to manage all of this with diet, supplements, and Western medicine as needed.... and he is such a trooper!  I am so proud of him each day - even as an almost three year old he has been forced to process how he is "different" than other kids in so many ways, and he takes it all in stride and uses reasoning skills to do so that put him well beyond that of an average three year old.  He takes his supplements (a 5 minute morning and evening routine) without batting an eye.  And his little sense of humor and constant state of activity keep us on our toes.

I am looking forward to another year of fun and wellness with my little man....  and the little lady that will grace us with her presence come December! :)

Here is our menu plan this week!

Monday:  Butternut Squash and Sausage Soup (DF version with coconut milk, I did not strain it, just used the immersion blender - delicious and tons leftover!  I used Ferndale Market Italian Turkey Sausage - my favorite local sausage!)

Tuesday:  Chicken "Hurry" with green beans (Use just 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey, no sugar.  I also only use 1/2 cup of  organic ketchup.  And bone-in chicken breast)

Wednesday:  Birthday quesadillas with raw veggies

Thursday:  Baked Oatmeal

Friday:  OUT

Saturday:  Birthday Party leftovers (grass fed burgers, grass fed beef hot dogs, potato salad, corn chips and salsa, fruit, veggies)

Sunday:  TBD (I have all eyes on the birthday party, can't really plan past Saturday!) :)