As a new parent, getting time to prepare a meal from scratch is almost impossible, if not a fantasy. Making prepared meals is one of the smartest and most worthwhile things you can do. You may not get enough time to sleep, shower, or even use the bathroom, but you’ll have food you actually like in the freezer, and that counts as a huge win.
Prepared meals only require one to pop something in and take something out of the oven. This allows you to focus on the baby. The following are six prepared meals for new parents:
Meal #1: Meal Delivery Service
Meal delivery services send customers frozen or fresh, prepared meals to their homes. New parents can take advantage of such services as they reduce the hassle of having to prepare a meal from scratch. They individually package pre-portioned meals, which ensure the new parent eats a healthy diet.
Best of all, the prepared meal delivery service is quick, responsive, and available near your home. You can have a prepared meal delivered no matter where you live or how short on time you have.
Meal #2: Pizza Stuffed Peppers
Pizza stuffed peppers is a popular meal for new parents. Pizza stuffed peppers are the perfect combination of big flavour healthy meals. For the ingredients, you’ll need ½ chopped yellow onion, 2 yellow bell peppers sliced in half, 2 red bell peppers cut in half, ½ cup mozzarella, ¼ cup grated parmesan, 1 cup pizza sauce, and 1 lb ground hot or sweet Italian chicken.
Mix parmesan, chopped onion, mozzarella, pizza sauce and ground chicken/turkey. Next, seed, devein and clean the bell pepper halves. Finally, divide the chicken filling among them and try to ensure the portions are even. You can freeze them in a zip lock bag, or a disposable aluminum pan, which allows you to pop them straight into the oven.
Defrost this delicious meal one day ahead of serving it, then place in a casserole dish and bake on 375F for about 45 minutes, or until the core temperature is 165F. Drain any excess liquid halfway through the process and at the end. Before serving, let it sit for at least 5 minutes, then garnish with fresh parsley leaves if desired.
Meal #3: Oven Fried Chicken Tenders
This recipe can be cooked frozen and it will still turn out great. For the ingredients, you will need 1 lb chicken tenders, 1 cup almond meal (not flour), ¼ tsp ground cumin, ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper and 5 tsp salt.
Place the chicken tenders in a large zip lock bag. In a small bowl, combine seasonings and a 1-cup almond meal. Next, pour this mixture into the large bag over the chicken. Seal the large bag and then shake until the chicken is well coated. Gently shake off the excess coating and lightly spray a parchment-lined baking sheet on which you will place the chicken tenders.
Finally, freeze them overnight and then store them in a container or a ziplock. To cook from frozen, preheat your oven to 450F and then bake on a greased sheet pan. Bake for 35-45 minutes.
Meal #4: Chicken and Cheese Taquitos
You will love how easy it is to prepare this meal. Start by getting some taco seasoning to season your chicken. Next, toss it in your slow cooker, then add some broth or water. Once the chicken is cooked, give it a good shred using two forks. Place equal amounts of the shredded chicken on your tortillas and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese, then roll them up. Next, place them in a zip lock bag and leave them to freeze. When ready to serve, pop your chicken and cheese taquitos in the oven for a few minutes, then take them out and enjoy.
Meal #5: Spicy Tuna Hummus Cake
For this recipe, you can choose to cook it first before freezing it. Alternatively, freeze it uncooked to cook it later. You can eat it as a snack or a meal. Ingredients include 2/3-cup mashed sweet potato, 2 cans of drained tuna in water, each weighing 5 ounces, 1 sliced green onion, ½-cup roasted red pepper hummus, 2 large eggs, ¼ teaspoon onion powder, ¼ teaspoon garlic powder, ½ deveined, deseeded, and finely chopped jalapeno. Once everything is ready, preheat the oven to 350F. Place either silicon muffin liners or paper liners on a muffin tray.
Alternatively, grease the tray using cooking spray and then combine all your ingredients in one bowl. Next, divide them evenly among 12 muffin cups. Bake for about 35-40 minutes and then perform the toothpick test to ensure they are ready. Once they completely cool off, place them in the freezer. To eat, defrost them in a microwave or heat them directly to 165F. Enjoy your meal.
Meal #6: Pork Carnitas
This is an easy-to-prepare meal that freezes well before or after cooking. You will need olive oil, 5 cloves garlic, lime juice, 1 yellow or white onion, 3/4 pound pork shoulder, orange juice and hot sauce. To season, get oregano, salt, cumin, pepper and chilli powder. Once you have everything, place them inside your slow cooker and cook on low heat for about 7-9 hours, then shred.
Next, place the carnitas into a zip lock bag and pour in the leftover juices from the slow cooker and freeze. To enjoy your meal, thaw it in the microwave over low heat or in the slow cooker. Serve and enjoy.