Make ahead meals

  1. Megs and I welcomed our baby boy earlier this month and wanted to share the news with the TPF community. Come say hello to Baby Vaughn!
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  1. I'm going back to school next week and a lot of my classes fall in the evening. My husband will be in charge of making dinner for our two boys but I want to prep some stuff he can just heat up, maybe even some I can put in the freezer. Anyone have some recipes or hints to share?
     
  2. How about lasagna or casseroles, or even soups? You can prep/assemble those ahead of time and keep them in the fridge or freezer and then pop them in the oven once ready to use. If you have a slow cooker with a removable insert, you can prep that before as well (store in fridge) and you or your husband put it into the heating element the next morning.
     
  3. I've got one great casserole recipe I was just looking to branch out a bit. I wonder if all pasta freezes as well as lasagna :thinking:
     
  4. There was a bestselling book in the late 1970s called something like Make Ahead Meals that offered recipes and menus for an entire week for things that one could prepare ahead of time on the weekends and freeze. Something like this:

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Dont-Panic-Dinners-in-the-Freezer-Great-Tasting-Meals-You-Can-Make-Ahead-S-/350604808239?pt=US_Nonfiction_Book&hash=item51a1acd02f


    I bought my husband a crockpot and a crockpot recipe book. I prepared all the ingredients in the evening--chopping up the meat and vegetables, and gave him instructions to mix everything together in the crockpot in the morning, plug it in and turn it on. Unfortunately this didn't work out as well as I had hoped. For instance he would put the crockpot on "High" instead of "Low" for eight hours. Or he would forget to actually plug it in. But it might work for you! :graucho:
     
  5. I make big batches of bolognese and freeze them until needed - when all you'll need to do is cook the pasta and re-heat the bolognese.

    Another recipe I make and often freeze is chicken and vegetable soup - based roughly on Nigella Lawson's "praised chicken" recipe which is available from her website.
     
  6. Yes...soups, lasagne, chili, sauces.

    You can freeze almost anything. You can even cook an entire chicken and freeze it after its cooked...I've done it, with gravy on the side. Yum. Can your husband barbecue? He can always grill stuff you leave.
     
  7. I freeze lasagne all the time as it's only DH and I...I make a batch of lasagne, we have our helping that night then I put it in the frige over night(it makes it SOOO much easier to cut into single servings!!) I wrap each serving(I do single servings as DH has to fend for himself one night a week) and freeze. Reheating is easy, take it out the night before, thaw and then put in a pan, cover with foil, 350 for about 30-45 min...it turns out great!

    I also do chili, smoothered burritos(same steps as above for freezing and reheating), homemade soups and stews...another idea might be some crockpot dinners. Put it on in the morning and dinner is ready and DH doesn't have to "fix" much of anything.
     
  8. Mmmm the burritos, grilling and bolognase are all good ideas. I'm going to cook and freeze a bunch tomorrow for the upcoming weeks. When it comes to my husband cooking I just visualize smoke rolling out the windows and the kids sharing saltines:hrmm: