Thursday, March 27, 2008

Help! Make-Ahead Meals

I am trying to make things as easy as possible for my mom with the kids. Between running them to practices, school and doing homework meals will be rushed. One of the things I am doing is planning a menu for each day and then premaking the meals. I have never really frozen a bunch meals so I am at a loss as to what to make. My mom does not really eat Mexican food so that leaves out any type of taco, enchiladas, etc. I also do not want to serve pasta every meal.

We will be gone 10 full days. I figure if I make 6 or 7 different items that will allow for supper, leftovers for lunch and supper and maybe a meal out.

So far I am thinking of making:
  • Pancakes (lots of pancakes. Good for breakfast or supper)
  • Baked ziti (all she will have to do is heat)
  • Meatloaf (buy some premade mashed potatoes and serve those with veggies)
  • Pineapple chicken (she would just have to heat up some minute rice)
It will be pretty warm so soup is out. Chris is able to grill so he could do chicken or burgers one night if need be. I would love some other ideas. Both for main dishes or sides. If it can be frozen that would be great. If not that is okay too.


Deborah said...

how about quiches (or stratas)? they can be made and frozen and would just need to defrost and be reheated.



Beef stew?

you could also do a roast and slice it and then freeze the slices. All she would have to do is defrost and reheat (pork loin works really well this way).

PS - how excited are you for your trip?!? Can't wait to see pictures.

Michelle Pendergrass said...

Sloppy Joes

BBQ cups (mix browned hamburger with BBQ sauce. Your mom will have to put canned biscuits--we call them whop biscuits--in a muffin pan, then the BBQ, then some shredded cheddar, bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes-til the biscuits are brown) The kids would probably love to help with this one.


Pork Tenderloin. Slice it after you bake it and it will heat up perfect in the microwave.

Stir Fry. If Chris does the chicken, your mom can just add it to those bags of pre mixed stir fry. Zane won't eat that though, so I don't know if you have picky kids like me? LOL

I make a crockpot cabbage, polish sausage, and potato meal. Put all that stuff in the slow cooker, add water and some chicken stock and let it go. It freezes well.

Sausage and Kraut? Again with the picky eater comment.

If I think of more, I'll come back.
I'm so excited for you. Don't be nervous, okay? :)

it's me, Val said...


one thing we do ALL THE TIME is make Italian Chicken or Italian Beef and freeze it. It's usually a meal in itself with the hoagie buns. We usually serve it with a canned or frozen veggie and chips! So simple for your mom!

lil ole' me..... said...

My first thought was lasagna too!

What about casseroles? Like a chicken, cheese, veggie thing or something similar? Those could be frozen and don't really need much of a side dish.

We used to make individual pita pizzas too. Just have everyone put their own toppings on and freeze. Easy to heat up and everyone has exactly what they want.

Jennifer said...

I do this allot!(I mean allot)for church members in need during a time they can't be cooking I have found this great site

Things I have done for my family in the fast:

I have made up meatballs and spag. sauce(or you could buy a jar) and froze those, so all she would have to do is boil the noodles and buy a box of already prepared garlic bread to pop in the stove!...dinner served!

make enough sauce and meatballs for the next night and serve meatball sandwiches. buy hoogie buns..lay meatballs in bread, pour sauce and top with provolone cheese and melt cheese in broiler..serve with chips!

bake a chicken or country style ribs ahead of time in a crock pot. when fully cooked, take out, cool, shred meat..add b-q sauce, freeze, now you have b-q pork/chicken family loves these!

never go wrong with BLT's!

you can make kabobs ahead of time, and freeze. de-thaw 2hours before grilling, serve with corn cob.

chicken pop-pie

hope this helps. If I think of anything I'll be sure to let you know.

Johanna said...

What about Taco Salad? Lettuce, fritos, tomatos, green pepper, ground beef (you can do this, freeze it and keep it sep., cheese, and Western Dressing) You can mix everything except the meat and the dressing and she just has to toss. Also, go to and search for frozen meals.

You are so sweet to do this for your mom!

Johanna said...

ps- I just remembered that you said that your mom doesn't like Mexican food, but that taco salad really doesn't have a traditional Mexican flavor, so it might be worth a shot if you are desperate??

SuperMom said...

You are sooooo much nicer than I am, that's all can say right now, LOL. I would not be making food ahead, even though it's the considerate thing to do.

I second the lasagna and spaghetti ideas. Another one of my favs is baked ravioli (which is linked on my blog).

Do you guys have a Trader Joe's near you? Try their mandarin chicken with basmati rice-- yum! The chicken is frozen and the rice is easy, obviously. Bonus: kids love it!

Anonymous said...

I'm very intimidated by make-ahead-and-freeze meals. But when The Wog was born, my MIL filled my freezer with spaghetti sauce & turkey tetrazzini...both thawed out very well.

Michelle said...

Well, everyone had great, great ideas! I honestly don't have anything to add that wasn't already mentioned. I will say that Val's Italian chicken is SO SO yummmy and is even better eaten as leftovers! :)

Terri said...

meatballs freeze really well. I recently made some lasagna and swedish meatballs and froze them both. They were both pretty good reheated, surprisingly (never had done that before).

Terri said...

and homemade chicken pot pies freeze really well too!