Baby on the way? Make dinner today!

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Brooke says, “I am due to have a baby soon. Can you point me in the direction of a few good meal options to make now and freeze for later when the baby arrives?”

Of course I can help you.  If your tired the last thing you want to be worrying about with a new baby at home is what to serve for dinner. Here are two well loved favorites. I make these in large batches and freeze them in easy to serve portions to make thawing faster. This weeks Impressions at Home Newsletter is also on this topic as well. You can sign up by sending a email to info@impressionsathome.com if you don’t already receive it.

 

This is a family favorite make a head meal

This is a family favorite make ahead meal

Stuffed Shells

This is the basic cheese recipe but feel free to add 1lb of cooked italian sausage or 16oz cooked and drained spinach to the cheese mixture for more interesting flavor combinations.

2 box jumbo pasta shells

2 16oz ricotta

4 cups grated mozzarella

4 cups grated cheddar

3 eggs beaten

2 cups Parmesan

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon onion powder

1 Jar of your favorite marinara sauce

 

Cook the pasta shells to the package directions.

In a large bowl mix the ricotta, 3 cheeses and eggs together, season with salt, pepper and onion powder.

Cool the cooked shells by running them under cold water. Stuff cooked shells with cheese mixture by using a tablespoon.

Place stuffed shells in pan cover with marinara sauce

Bake 350 for about 30 min till hot, or 45min-1 hour if frozen

To freeze stuff shells as directed and place in a freezer zip lock bag without sauce. To serve take as many as you need out, cover with sauce in pan and bake till warm.

 

Sweet Potato Walnut burritos

These take a bit of time to make so go for at least a double batch or invite some friends over and make it a party. Wrap and freeze them in sets of two for easy freezing and eating. They are a wonderful vegetarian option that even your meat lovers will enjoy.

1/2 cup green lentils sorted, rinsed well and drained

1 large sweet potato about one pound peeled and cut into 1 in cubes

2 T Olive oil

1 medium onion chopped

salt and pepper to taste

2 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 c grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese

3/4 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

3/4 can crushed tomatoes

6 (8in) flour tortillas

1/2 cup  grated cheddar or monterey jack cheese

chopped fresh cilantro

 

Place lentils or peas in 1 1/3 cups water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until tender yet firm 25-35 min for lentils, 1 hour 15 min for peas. Drain and set aside.

Please sweet potato in a medium saucepan with just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until cubes are soft but still hold shape about 20 min, Drain and mash them into a large bowl. set aside.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion salt/pepper and sauté, stirring occasionally until the inion begins to soften about 2 min. reduce heat and stir in garlic and all spices. Saute till onion is translucent about 6 min more

Add the onion mixture, lentils/peas, 1/2 cup cheese, walnuts, crushed tomatoes to the mashed sweet potatoes and mix well.

Pre heat oven to 350. In a 9×13 pan fill a tortilla with about 1 sixth of the filling and roll it securely. Place it seam side down in the baking dish. Continue until tortillas and filling are gone. Cover dish tightly with foil bake for 30 min until heated through. remove foil from pan place 1 -2 sliced tomatoes on top of each burrito and sprinkle with cheese. Return to oven to melt cheese and garnish with cilantro. Serve with salsa and sour cream if desired.

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