I have long overlooked the bar. Easier than a cake, just as tasty as a cookie and easy to make in stages (hello cooking with a newborn).
Will you need easy snacks? you bet. Will you need weird things ready to add to leftovers you may already have? Probably. To give some ideas, here are the rest of the things I prepped for the freezer and our weekly game plan to keep us all eating properly.
MEALS + SNACKS
- MUFFINS- they defrost quickly and then you can have a tasty mostly healthy treat. throw some nut butter on there for extra protein. I wanted to get around to making a savoury muffin but I didn’t get there. I went for 2 kinds: a whole wheat blueberry muffin and a morning glory style muffin (carrot, zucchini, apple, nuts)
- DATE ENERGY BALLS (see previous posts)
- SOUPS (see previous)
- BROTH- Any flavourful broth for a soup night! Sautée some veg, add a bean or tofu, maybe a noodle, DONE. A plain veg broth, pho, thai coconut, whatever. We only froze 1 of these because I’m running out of space and we just happened to have it.
- STEAMED CUBED SQUASH, SWEET POTATO- sort of a random thing to have but handy. I did both of these (frozen separately) and think they’ll come in handy to throw into soups, sauces, burrito bowls or smoothies to change it up or make something more filling. Creamy squash pasta sauce? Easy.
- FROZEN FRUIT- this is something you likely already have. I made a point to get summer berries and freeze em up.
- PASTA SAUCE- Nothing fancy here, just go with your fav. I like a puttanesca and do a very quick lazy one where I sautée a LOT of garlic (think 5-6 large cloves) with a couple heaped tbsp of capers, a tbsp crushed pepper flakes. Add a large can of good quality crushed tomatoes and simmer until thickened. Season with salt and pepper and a tiny splash of caper brine. (Pesto freezes really nicely too. Freeze in an ice cube tray and then transfer to another container)
- PIZZA DOUGH AND SAUCE- Making pizza is such a laborious job but HAVING pizza to eat it so great, fridge-clearing and often a whole meal unto itself. Have the sauce and dough frozen for a quick dinner that feels slow. I made a double batch of dough last time we had pizza and froze 2 balls. Make note of what size pizza the balls make (I make mine 1/2 whole grain flour).
- Other ideas that I never got around to/didn’t have room for
- -cooked beans
- -other sauces
Here are a few small things that we can do once a week that I think will help carry us through after baby is out. Pick a day when you have support to prep a few things and set yourself up for quicker cooking throughout the week.
- Wash, prep and separate salad greens and cooking greens. Easy salads and easy to throw a handful of dark leafies into whatever you’re heating up for some added nutrition.
- Pick a whole grain and cook a pot of it for easy lunches (with soup, salad, quick burrito bowls, etc).
- Pick a bean or lentil and cook a pot of it (same uses as above!)
- Make a jar of salad dressing (we are not very exciting and make the Hollyhock dressing almost exclusively but it tastes good and has lots of B12)
- Make chia pudding (if you like it. I do a really quick one, 4 tbsp chia to 1 c. fortified almond or soy milk, 1 tsp hemp seeds. If i’m feeling fancy I’ll throw in 1/4 tsp good vanilla and 1 tbsp yogurt. I put everything in a jar and shake it up then throw it in the fridge)
- Chop a ton of onions (or carrots or celery depending on what you cook with the most). This might seem like an easy thing to do later but it makes a difference to have your base ingredients prepped and ready when you’re one-hand no-sleep cooking.
EASY NUTRITIOUS MEAL + SNACK IDEAS
this is a list I’ve made for myself to remind me what kind of things I can throw together. at the best of times I am uninventive at lunchtime (but hungry).
- steel cut oats with fruit and nuts
- chia pudding with coconut yogurt and fruit
- burrito bowl (grain + bean/tofu + tomato, avocado, whatever shredded veg you have on hand and some salsa or hot sauce)
- salad over a grain
- soup over a grain
- toast with sautéed greens and avocado
- hummus and veg with toast/rice cakes/crackers
- nuts + dates
- an apple with a few tbsp nut butter
- roasted veg (do a big sheet pan, throw on some firm tofu even and a couple heads of garlic).
I better get moving on posting everything I’ve made before my own baby comes out and I need to eat the things in the freezer instead of writing about them.
These are really easy to make and I take them to new families all the time. They are nutritionally jam packed, easy to grab and eat quickly. Also they taste like a treat (but are actually really good for you).
I chose to make 3 kinds of smoothies for us. You could easily switch up the combinations to suit your tastes or even just prep the components and assemble things in your blender as you go.