Freezer Ready Meals

Preparing for a new member of the family we get asked all the time, what is the number one thing you suggest we do now? We always respond with a quick… MEAL PREP!

Meal prep is perfect for quick dinners with a little prep work, you can save time later and still have an amazing meal with minimal effort.  This round of recipes are all quick freezer ready meals for the crockpot, casseroles in the oven, and one pot meals. Easy for those who also want to make something for a friend as the best postpartum gift you can give!

Teaming up with local food blogger Ashley Lecker of Cheese Curd in Paradise for some of her favorite and easy meal prep ideas. If you love these ideas, she does regular meal planning on her blog, giveaways, and I have to say I’ve never had a bad meal when she’s suggested it. Ashley has been featured in Taste of Home, Wisconsin CSA, Festival Foods, Reader’s digest,  featured in various sponsor recipes for national brands and her blog has 25,000 views monthly.  Enjoy these 5 simple recipes and stay tuned for more meal prep ideas!


CROCKPOT

Tex-Mex Chicken

Instructions

Place chicken breasts in the slow cooker and sprinkle taco seasoning over the top. Layer the other ingredients evenly over the chicken, except the cream cheese.

Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 8 hours.

Remove chicken from slow cooker, shred and return to slow cooker. Add cream cheese, stir, cover and continue to cook on high for 30 minutes.  Stir well and over rice with desired toppings.

Freezer modification: Place all ingredients in a freezer-safe zip lock. When you are ready to make it, thaw and follow preparation directions.

 

Pesto Ranch Chicken

Ingredients

2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts

1 cup prepared pesto

1 package Ranch Dressing Mix

1/2 cup chicken broth

Instructions

Place chicken breasts into crockpot. Mix pesto, ranch dressing, and chicken broth into crock pot. Stirring gently to combine all seasonings. Cover with the lid and cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. Tip: Sprinkle some feta on top!

Freezer Modification: Place all ingredients in a ziplock and freeze. To cook, thaw and follow prep directions.

Teriyaki Chicken

Ingredients

2 1/2 lbs chicken breasts

3/4 cup brown sugar

3/4 cup soy sauce

½ cup pineapple juice

1 tsp minced garlic

1 tsp minced fresh ginger

1 medium onion, chopped

Instructions

Place chicken breasts into crockpot. Sprinkle onions evenly over chicken.  In a medium bowl mix all other ingredients. Pour over the chicken.  Set temperature on low for 6-8 hrs.

Serve with rice.

Freezer Modification: Place all ingredients in a ziplock and freeze. To cook, thaw and follow prep directions.


Casseroles

Million Dollar Spaghetti Casserole

Ingredients

1 – 1 1/2 lb Italian Sausage

1 (28oz) crushed tomatoes

1 1/2 tsp sugar

1 Tbl Italian Seasoning

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup cottage cheese

8 oz cream cheese softened

1/4 cup sour cream

2 Tbsp parsley

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 lb spaghetti

2 cups mozzarella cheese

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and set aside.

In a large skillet brown Italian sausage. Drain fat from skillet. Stir in crushed tomatoes, sugar, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and onion powder. Simmer 7-10 minutes. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cottage cheese, softened cream cheese, sour cream, parsley and garlic powder.

In a lightly sprayed 9×13-inch pan, place half of the cooked pasta in the bottom of the dish. Spread cream cheese mixture over noodles. Top with remaining noodles. Pour meat sauce over noodles and top with mozzarella cheese.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Freezer Modification: Prepare casserole in a freezer friendly pan with a cover. Thaw before baking and follow baking instructions.

 

Meatball Sub Casserole 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Cut biscuits into 8 pieces and spread evenly into the baking dish. Pour marinara sauce over the biscuits and stir to evenly coat. Evenly layer meatballs over the biscuits and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese.

Bake uncovered for 35-40 minutes or until bubbly and biscuits are cooked. Remove from oven, garnish with chopped parsley, and serve.

 

 

King Crown Burrito Casserole

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.

In a large rimmed skillet, brown beef with onions, peppers, and garlic. Drain excess grease. Add corn, beans, and tomatoes. Add seasonings and allow beef mixture to cook for a few minutes.  Spread beef into the casserole dish and top evenly with cheese. Arrange tater crowns over the casserole.

Bake 35-40 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

Freezer Modification: Prepare casserole in a freezer friendly pan with a cover. Thaw before baking and follow baking instructions.

 

Chicken Bacon Ranch Tot Casserole

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 casserole dish and set aside.

Mix cream of chicken soup, ranch packet and sour cream. Gently stir in the chicken. Spread chicken mixture evenly into the casserole dish. Top evenly with grated cheese and follow by topping with chopped bacon. Evenly arrange tater tots on top of the casserole.

Bake uncovered in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Freezer Modification: Prepare casserole in a freezer friendly pan with a cover. Thaw before baking and follow baking instructions.


One-Pot

 

One Pot Chili Mac

Instructions

In a medium to large pot, brown the ground beef. Drain excess grease and add remaining ingredients besides the pasta.  Lightly simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the pasta, cover and cook till pasta is tender stirring a few times to avoid sticking while the pasta cooks. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.

Serve immediately. Top portions with sour cream and grated cheese.

 

 

One Pot Chicken Feta Alfredo (source: Plain Chicken) 

Instructions

In a large rimmed skillet or medium pot cook the pancetta and drain the fat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook 15-20 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

One-Pot BLT Tortellini Skillet

Instructions

Place pasta, cream, water and garlic powder into an oven safe skillet. Simmer 8-10 min until the liquid has reduced and thickened.

Add spinach, cheese, 1/2 cup tomatoes and gently stir until cheese melts. Season with salt and pepper (remember you will add bacon at the end so careful with the salt).

Top with remaining cheese and Romano.  Broil for 3-5 minutes. Watch the pasta carefully because it will burn easily and you want a nice light brown top.

Remove from oven and top with remaining tomatoes and chopped bacon.

 

 

Skillet Sweet and Sour Meatballs with Pineapple (Source: All Recipes) 

Instructions

Open pineapple, drain, and  juice. Set pineapple aside. Add water to juice if needed so it equals 1 cup; and pour into a large skillet. Add 1/3 cup water, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar and cornstarch; whisk until smooth.

Cook over medium heat until thick, stirring constantly. Add the pineapple, meatballs and green pepper.

Simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until heated through. Serve with rice.

 

One Pot Baked Ziti 

Instructions

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a dutch oven or other heavy bottom pot, add the olive oil and cook the beef and sauce till no longer pink. If there is a heavy amount of grease, drain a bit from the pot. Add the garlic and gently stir in the uncooked pasta and marinara sauce. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper if desired.

Add the water and the cream. Stir well. Bring to a slow simmer and cook for 6-7 minutes or until pasta begins to soften. Top with cheeses and cover. Bake for 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and serve with a crisp green salad and crusty bread.


Also, check out this great article from our friends at Groom & Style, called Awesome Recipes That Freeze Well try these recipes out and let us know which ones were your favorite! If meal prep seems daunting, the postpartum doulas here at Green Bay Doulas are professional preppers! From making the grocery list, getting the items, and assembling them. We can help you get a leg up and fill up that freezer! 


				

Celebrating You This Mother’s Day

Celebrating You This Mother’s Day

Looking for the perfect way to celebrate Mother’s Day? Whether you want to give a gift or receive a gift, we have rounded up a few of the many events happening to honor that special woman in your life or yourself!  A mix of family based or mom’s only, you can’t go wrong with these offers.

Pampering:

Elite Wellness and Spa: Gift certificates work but so does their “My Amazing Mom Packages” which includes a Himalayan Foot & Leg Treatment, 90 min Aromatherapy Massage, Goddess Body Wrap w/ Facial and Spa Lunch!

Pure Barre: Bring your mother, or your child to a class this weekend and it’s complimentary for them! Sign up today, these will fill up fast! 

Weiler Academy: Their Mother’s Day WOW MOM Package includes a Soothing Hand and Foot Treatment, Weiler Academy’s exclusive energizing Chromalift facial and an Au Naturale makeup touch up! Only $199.00!

YMCA Mother’s Day YogaSunday at 10:15 AM – 11:15 AM Free Class at the East Side YMCA S. Huron Rd.  Contact: Sarah Voet 920-436-1250 or Sarah.voet@greenbayymca.org

Shopping:

Mother’s Day Out Event: The Heritage Village Shoppes  

Eats:

Seroogy’s Chocolate will be giving $10 gift cards with every $30 purchase and other great deals like build your own baskets!

Zesty’s – Free custard for Mothers with any purchase.

Brunch at Hagemeisters: Enjoy downtown Green Bay!  

Brunch at Thornberry Creek :  The menu is nothing short of amazing so check this one out!

Reservations Required: 920-434-7501 Ext.101

Out of Town

In Kohler, they will be hosting a Mother’s  Day weekend with toddler yoga, mommy and me tea and we can’t forget to mention the American Club for an amazing Mother’s Day Brunch.

Free Admission for Mom

Green Bay Botanical Gardens: Mother’s get free admission and the tulips are in full bloom! 250,000 blooming flowers cannot be missed and are perfect for those family pictures to celebrate the special women in your life.

DeYoung Family Zoo:  This zoo is a must for those who like to be up close and personal. I love the animal encounters where you can meet and hold some of the newest members of the zoo. Where else can you feed a Hippopotamus? It’s only about 25 minutes north of Marinette in Wallace, Michigan. 

Mulberry Farms: Baby animal, baby animals…. Did I mention baby animals? This is an all day activity for anyone to enjoy! Milk a cow, take a tractor ride, cuddle with some kittens, and enjoy this amazing farm. 

N.E.W. Zoo Another family outing and close to coming is at the NEW Zoo & Adventure Park, mothers get in free and also will get free gifts and family-friendly fun. Feeding the giraffes is one of the many highlights! 

If you want a family day or a day to yourself, there are a plethora of things to suit your individual taste!

Happy Mother’s Day from the Green Bay Doulas.

Let’s Talk Anatomy: Pelvic Floor

A huge thank you to Jeanette Knill, PT for guest blogging for us on this important topic!

I am a Physical Therapist that specializes in treating women with pelvic floor disorders (PFD) which means most of the women I see in the clinic have UI or pain in the pelvis, especially during intercourse.

Here are some research findings related to UI:

  •    Nearly 30% of the female population in the US has a problem with urinary incontinence.
  •    It takes the average woman up to 7 years before she tells her healthcare provider that she has a problem. Why? She is embarrassed or thinks it isn’t a problem because many of the women she knows also pee in their pants.
  •    Kegel exercises are only part of the solution to help you regain continence.

Let’s talk anatomy: The pelvic floor muscle is the bottom of the body. In a female, it is the muscle structure that supports the uterus, vagina, bladder and rectum. It controls when we use the toilet and is important in sexual satisfaction. This muscle is like a hammock. It attaches in the front to the pubic bone and in the back at the tail bone. The sides attach to part of the hip bone and a hip muscle (obturator internus) on each side of the body. Other hip muscles that attach near the pelvic floor muscle are the gluteal muscles (your butt) and the piriformis muscles. The low abdominal muscles attach to the pubic bone, just above where the pelvic floor muscles attach. Your low abdominal muscles and hip muscles are very important in the function of the pelvic floor.

Usually, the first recommendation for women who report UI is to do Kegel exercises, tightening the pelvic floor muscles like you are trying to stop pee or gas from escaping. Why gas? Remember I said the pelvic floor is a hammock from front to back. When you tighten the muscle in the front-around the urethra (where pee comes out) you also tighten the muscles in back around the anus (where gas and poop come out). The person next to you knows when you pass gas but you can hide pee in a pad! Thinking about stopping gas can send a stronger signal to the brain and gets a better contraction. Do not tighten your butt cheeks when doing a Kegel exercise.

Some other Kegel tips for success: When you tighten your pelvic floor it is a squeeze and lift. Imagine you are sitting on a grape and you want to pull it up into your vagina. Silly, right? I bet you just did it!

But…it isn’t just about Kegel exercises. Strength at the low abdominal and hip muscles are also important. Crunches are not an effective way to strengthen the low abdominal muscles. Planks and challenging the muscles with leg movements are more effective. Hip exercises that work your “butt cheeks” are beneficial. Stay tuned for future blogs that will highlight the best way to strengthen your abs and butt.

-Jeanette Knill, PT, works at Bellin Health Generations clinic as a physical therapist specializing in the treatment of pelvic floor dysfunction.