Simple, fast, cheap recipes! Need help from you awesome moms out there!!

Kalie - posted on 08/16/2009 ( 6 moms have responded )

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Hello Everyone! I have 18 more days until my second angel arrives via C Section. I'll be pretty busy with a 16 month old runnin around! I am trying to get everything in order! I have been searching online for simple, quick and cheap meal ideas and haven't found much. The moms on here always have such great ideas and advice so I thought what the hey!



What are your meals ideas? Also any tips about how to prepare. I've cleaned the home and trying to stock up on things I will need.Any other ideas?

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Jannessa - posted on 08/16/2009

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hey just a few ideas.....maybe like cook pasta,stirfrys, caeroles etc. in ur free time put in the freezer in portions big enuf for ur family n just cook it again to reheat when u need them n u can gradually build up ur stock n just date them :D......or my mum tells me to pre cut veges when u buy them, then u can buy steam bags to cook them in the microwave in 4 minutes my 14month old loves em......also i find it really useful when i have a bit of extra cash to buy extra baby bath, baby wash, baby powder nappies wipes etc. way easier :D

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Hanna - posted on 08/17/2009

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by the way, with lasagna, if you want to be health-conscious, you can make eggplant parm instead (same recipe except instead of the pasta you use eggplant that's thinly sliced, the long way, and quicky pan-fried in very little oil, don't forget to put it on a paper towel afterwards to get rid of the excess fat), and then u layer it like you would a lasagna & bake it off the same way -- it tastes very similar to a lasagna and it's a great way to get kids to eat their veggies. same goes for regular lasagna -- just put bunch of veggies in the tomato sauce and make it more "chunky" and you can put almost anything in there -- onions, peppers, celery, carrots, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.

alternatively for starches, you can make mashed potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes (nice alternative and is great for you because it is much more low-fat/low carb for when you're trying to eat healthier postpartum).

if you like asian food, then i would buy some noodles (clear rice noodles) -- those are easier to make than pasta because all you do is soak them in hot water while you're making the rest of the stuff and it's a one-pot dish (if you don't count the bowl where you're soaking the noodles) and you can throw pretty much anything in there, quickly sautee it in a pot/pan with some kind of meat (again thinly sliced so cooking time is quick) add some soy sauce/peanut sauce/sesame oil, drop in noodles & dinner is ready in under 15 minutes -- i used to make it 2 weeks after delivery because i didn't have too much time or energy to cook.

couscous is great that way too, because again, you soak it in boiling water, cover it up while cooking or reheating whatever protein & sauce you have and dinner is ready in under 10-15 minutes.

also, i would make and freeze some stocks (broths) -- chicken, vegetable, beef, whatever you like. if you're making chicken soup, pour some out (through a strainer) and then either put it in a container & freeze it or reduce it and freeze it in ice-tray -- that way you'll have a base for any sauce in minutes and adds enormous amounts of flavor to virtually any meal. good luck!

Kalie - posted on 08/17/2009

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Oh Thank you all so much! I am racking my brain trying to get as ready as I can for these weeks ahead. At least I am staying active! lol This are alll great ideas. Thank you so much!

Hanna - posted on 08/17/2009

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pastas are fairly cheap & easy to make -- if you want to be fancy, you can go get fresh pasta sheets & make ravioli it'll cost you $3-$5/sheet (if it's big sheets) but you can definitely make 3 meals for 3 people out of 3 big sheets. then make whatever filling you want -- pumpkin, meat, mushrooms -- pumpkin is really cheap and all u do is steam some or bake some, add salt & pepper and do an egg wash (egg w/a bit of water) and seal them (except one thing to remember is that you seal from inside out to push out any air bubbles. but those you can freeze & maybe your family won't be able to cook them, but you will once u come back from the hospital -- a bit of tomato sauce, boil some water throw them in & dinner is ready in minutes.

lasagna is cheap too and you can make a big serving tray & either bake it off, portion it out & freeze it or make it and freeze it whole if you prefer to bake it later. or if you don't want lasagna, you can make those big shells or cannelonis and stuff them with either meat& veggies or ricotta cheese w/herbs, add tomato sauce, cheese, bake it off & again portion it out & freeze -- and when u're ready just microwave a portion and you're good.



you can also roast a whole chicken, that makes a great meal & relatively easy to make and again, portion off & freeze and maybe make some rice with it -- or rice & beans -- you can even use red kidney beans out of a can as a shortcut -- caramelize some onions in a non-stick pan, add the beans (i usually rinse them off), let them cook a bit, add some water, tomato paste, salt, pepper & garlic and maybe some cayenne if your family likes spice and maybe some fresh chopped cilantro. and voila -- dinner for several days.



any roasts if you have time -- my husband usually likes to buy those big pork leg roasts -- it's $9-10 in "hispanic" supermarkets but you eat it for at least 3 days. do a nice marinade with some oil, spices, oj, put it in the oven at 350 degrees (basting int periodically & cover it with foil towards the end so that it doesn't burn) & just let it bake a few hrs. and then you can make it as a roast, leftovers you can make sandwiches with or tacos or eat it in the morning with eggs -- meals for at least 3 days for 2.5 people, we even gave leftovers to the dogs because we just couldn't eat it anymore.



any stews, chilis are great too -- you do have to cook it up front but then it's just pull out of the freezer, warm up and you're good to go and it's cost-effective. and most of the work is just chopping, then put in the pot and just let it cook, so you don't have to stand there for hours stirring it. all these dishes i made while i had my son with me (and granted he's still a baby, but back then he was very needy & wouldn't sleep more than 30 mins at a time).



also, if you're worried about them eating veggies, make a soup and again portion it out into containers where they can just pull one out of the fridge/freezer, warm it up in a microwave or in a pot on the stove, add alphabet pasta or vermicelli and they're good to go -- i used to love that when i was a baby.



you can even do desserts and freeze them if you really want to be fancy, like an apple pie (just buy a frozen crust & it'll save you a ton of time) and then pan cook the peeled apples w/ a bit of butter, brown sugar & cinnamon, fill it up, bake it another 15 minutes and your pie is ready -- again can be portioned out and frozen or just left in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.



as far as what you need to do -- i would check that you have enough medicines (just in case), paper towels, toilet paper, laundry detergents, cleaning products, tooth paste, shampoos, etc. as well as juices, bottled water (or filters if u use them) to last you at least 3 weeks -- last thing you want to be worried about is the fact that you need any of those and have to go to the store with 2 kids when you're still barely walking. same with meals -- start stocking up so that you have a few fully cooked ones that your husband can make while you're in the hospital or first few days when u just got home, and some part-cooked ones where it won't take you more than 15 minutes to make lunch/dinner for another week or two before you get your strength back to at least go to the store.



make sure you wash everything as far as your older baby's clothes are concerned, so that again, you don't have to come from the hospital and do laundry first thing because your baby doesn't have anything to wear. and if i were you, i would also stock up on some activities for your older baby (i,e, coloring books, cartoons, maybe even videos) so that you can have him occupied with something long enough to be able to feed/change the baby and not worry about the fact that he just got himself in some kind of trouble.

sorry for the novel, good luck to you and congratulations on your second baby!

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Sorry this is not a recipe, but try what i do...when you cook... cook so big amount of food that you split it to half and then stick the other half to freezer. Soon you´re having loads of ready-made meals just to take and warm up. Easy, faster and saves up money. For the baby i would do veggie-mash and just freeze it (pure mash with no milk products in it) in portions. When feeding the baby..just melt in microwave, add some butter and milk and that´s it :D

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