As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m currently in full-on “prep for baby” mode , and since I’m getting tired of cleaning, for the next several weeks I am going to be turning my attention to meal planning.
I’ve always been a little bit weird about meal plans. I’ll make a neat little calender with our meal plan for the week, and no matter how prepared I am, it never goes exactly as I planned it. Typically, I’ll wake up in the morning, look at my menu for the day and decide promptly that I don’t feel like eating that and swap it out for something else. Somehow it still usually works out, even though I only go grocery shopping once every week or ten days. Still, that being said, as I’m attempting to “plan” meals for after our little Wigglebutt joins us, I’m planning with a grain of salt.
Anyways, long story short, several days ago I sat down and started my master list. I love lists. Even when I don’t stick to them, I just like having lists for everything. Several things I quickly realized were that traditional casseroles weren’t going to cut it for several reasons. Firstly, our freezer is not that big. If I try to stuff it full of casserole pans it will just be a mess, and I’ll only be able to fit a couple meals in. Secondly, since we try to maintain a very low-carb diet, the tried and true casserole/slow-cooker meals that I was most familiar with growing up just wouldn’t cut it without some serious tweaking.
Most of the meals that we eat consist of large amounts of vegetables plus some kind of meat. We like using the grill, and even though the slowcooker isn’t something I have used very much for meals to this point, I definitely intend to start using it more. My basic plan is to stock up on veggies and meat, separate them into meal size portions, bag them and freeze them. The main idea I’m going with here is that the less preparation necessary to assemble a meal the better. I’m really only trying to have enough easy meals to get us through the first ten days. My Superman will have some time off for those days, and even though he is an awesome cook, I don’t want either of us to have to be spending big amounts of time cooking. That just doesn’t sound like the best way to enjoy the first days with a new member in the family, especially when I can have meals ready to throw into the crockpot or on the grill with a teeny tiny bit of extra planning.
My main-dish meal choices so far are: BBQ pork (slowcooker), Chicken/Sausage Gumbo (stove-top or maybe slowcooker. more research required on the effects of slowcookers on gumbo) Beef&Veggie Kabobs (grill), Cheeseburgers&some veggie or salad (grill), Beef stew (slow cooker), Chicken Taco soup (slow cooker), Beef Roast w/ veggies (slow cooker).
Side-dishes: seasoned green beans for the grill, cheesy broccoli, stuffed peppers, bacon&broccoli salad, cauliflower a la mashed potatoes (low-carb heavenly goodness if you don’t know), cucumber salad, fresh salad, tomato salad
I will have the sauces/marinades for things like the BBQ pork or the Kabobs made up and added to the bags before they go in the freezer. The important thing about these recipes is that their components can all be prepared by simply chopping vegetables and adding some seasoning. Everything is dumped into a labeled gallon size freezer bag, frozen until the day of use, and then presto! Dinner is served.