Last week I stocked the freezer with some delicious COOK ready meals and this week I am cooking up a storm myself. With a little spare time on my hands now (given I have washed all the baby clothes as well as cleaned and re-cleaned the nursery!) I thought it would be good to get some home cooking on the go so that we had plenty of dishes to heat up once baby arrives or if people stop by and need feeding.
The list below includes seven of my favourite batch cook freezer meals:
- Chilli con carne – I made a massive vat of this last week. With minced beef being cheaper if you buy in bulk, this is one of the most cost-effective meals you can make in my opinion. I like this recipe from the Hairy Bikers. Don’t scrimp on the spice as you can always cool it down with some natural yoghurt and mint when you serve it.
- Cottage pie – Another staple and perfect to make in bulk at the same time as your chilli. Just don’t add the kidney beans and replace with some winter vegetables. I like peas and carrots in mine, but have been known to bulk it out with lentils too. BBC Good Food has a good recipe for this and I just add the extra vegetables/ lentils in as I go along. I also bought some tin foil pie dishes too, so I didn’t have to put my lovely china ones in the freezer. They are cheap as chips and you can just throw them away once you are done, so no washing up! Ok yes I know that is lazy, but if you can’t be lazy in the kitchen with a new-born then when can you be?
- Chicken, chorizo, olive and chickpeas casserole – I’m making this one later today so we’ll see how it goes, but as a list of ingredients, I don’t think it could get much better. Click here for how to make it.
- Spaghetti bolognese sauce – Another staple of course, but everyone’s favourite supper especially going into winter. Once defrosted this one is as easy as anything, so long as you have some dried pasta in the cupboard. Simples!
- Fish pie – Fish pie is a great option for after the baby is born, especially if you have been like me and slightly conscious of eating seafood throughout your pregnancy. I like to put eggs in mine too (something my mum does) which makes it even more yummy. This recipe from Delicious Magazine is a great one, because the eggs are soft-boiled (another treat I am looking forward to after the baby is born).
- Bean and sausage hot-pot – As we are going into winter, this seems like a great shout and really simple too. Find the recipe and what you need to buy here. Cheap and cheerful but seriously tasty.
- Butternut squash soup – I just love butternut squash, but it is a mission to cook as you usually need to roast it first. So get ahead with this one now and then enjoy this for lunches when the baby comes. Some of my friends have warned me that you barely have time for lunch when you are breast feeding, so my top tip with this one is, once defrosted and reheated, get it in a thermos so you can have it throughout the day in case you miss lunch.
Hope you enjoy the above and they prove to be ‘food for thought’…. I’m off to get cooking!