Plant-Based Make-Ahead Freezer Meals for New Parents

56 comments

makeaheadfreezerrecipes

One of the most frequent requests I’ve had over the past several months is to share my plan and tips for making freezer meals before the baby arrives. Here you were thinking I had a plan all along…hahah…I wish I was that organized! But I can thank you for lighting a fire under me to put this idea into action. With just less than 7 weeks to go, I thought I better get my butt in gear and come up with a game plan! I’ll be making double batches of many of our fave entrées below, and a bunch of smoothie freezer packs. I’m so pumped. Nothing is more exciting than having a freezer stocked with delish, healthy recipes! (Side note: This post addresses new parents, but these freezer-friendly meals are convenient for everyone—students, busy nine-to-fivers, etc.!)

The recipes I’ve selected are below. If time allows over the next few weeks, I hope to post “part 2” with photos, tips, storage methods, and more. Baby, you stay put in there until your due date, mmmkay?! My plan is to start making the freezer recipes at the end of August (right near my book launch, what could go wrong!? heh).

Note for nursing mamas: Many of the main dish recipes below contain a fair amount of spice and legumes, which can be challenging for baby to digest through breast milk. You might need to adjust the recipes. This time around I’m giving baby some infant probiotic drops as I hear they can aid digestion.

  1. Glowing Spiced Lentil Soup
  2. Golden Red Lentil Dal 
  3. Enchilada filling
  4. Enchilada sauce
  5. Freezer smoothie packs (Mighty Matcha Wheatgrass Protein Smoothie [in the app], Pink Power Detox Smoothie—newest version)
  6. Overnight Chia Oatmeal (I discovered this freezes well without the mashed banana!)
  7. Chana Masala (The Oh She Glows Cookbook, p. 163)
  8. Strawberry Oat Crumble Bars (Oh She Glows Every Day, p. 45)

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News + Updates:

1) Have you heard that the 2016 VegNews Awards are going on? We’re thrilled to learn that we’ve been nominated in two categories this year—Favourite App and Favourite Blog! Be sure to vote for your faves here. There are a ton of exciting prizes up for grabs like a Vitamix, vegan ice cream party, shopping spree, and more.

2) Curious about my fave plant-based eats in downtown Oakville? Check out my recent interview with Food Network Canada.

3) Just a quick reminder that Chapters/Indigo is giving away a big basket of my favourite kitchen things (valued at over $500!). Pre-ordering Oh She Glows Every Day through Indigo will automatically enter you in this contest. There’s also a written entry option, too. For more details, see the contest rules here.

4) Don’t forget to snag your copy of my pre-order bonus bundle, available until September 13th, 2016!

 

Let's get social! Follow Angela on Instagram (@ohsheglows + @theglowspot), Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Google+

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt August 15, 2016

Thank you for this post. I’ve got two little kids and meal planning has been an intense struggle. Your blog, books and recipes have been central to my focus on health and wellness. My freezer is already stocked with your Bean Balls and Spiced Red Lentil, Tomato, and Kale Soup. Keep up the amazing work. It is truly inspiring.

P.S. Having two kids is intense. Take some time off. lol

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2 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

Haha, thanks for the advice, Matt! ;) And thanks for the awesome comment, too. It brought a smile to my face!

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3 carolyn August 15, 2016

This post is awesome! Im 22 weeks pregnant with my first, and will definitely be doing all of this when it gets closer. I also need to google about breastfeeding more i guess because i had no idea about legumes and spice!
Thanks lady!

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4 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

Congrats on your pregnancy, Carolyn! I hope this post helps with stocking up that freezer. :)

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5 Lauren August 15, 2016

Can you share the probiotics you’ll use on baby #2? I want to give this a try as well!

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6 Vanessa August 15, 2016

Great post! I’m a long-time reader and I’m currently 34 weeks pregnant with my first and want to get on freezing some good meals for after the baby arrives. Your Glowing Spiced Lentil soup has been a MAJOR pregnancy craving for me and everyone I’ve served it to loves it- including my meat-loving Dad. Thanks so much for sharing this and all your other recipes, you bring a lot of joy to others from the work that you do. :)

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7 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

Congrats on your growing family, Vanessa! Thank you so much for the kind words. Wishing you all the best with the remaining weeks of your pregnancy! :)

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8 Danielle August 15, 2016

This is so exciting. 16 weeks pregnant with baby #3, and horribly in need of fast, healthy food! Thank you so much!

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9 Abby August 15, 2016

I’m pretty sure that there aren’t good studies behind limiting foods like spices or legumes for breastfed babies-am I wrong? My understanding is that breastmilk doesn’t work like that.

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10 Stacy @ Nourishing Health August 15, 2016

Awesome post! Thanks Angela! I just had our first baby and love having so many of your recipes stocked in the freezer including My Favorite Vegan Chili, Taco Chili with Nacho Cheeze Sauce, and Italian Bean Balls. :)

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11 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

Congrats on your little bundle of joy, Stacy! :)

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12 Anne August 15, 2016

Hi Angela, What type of tortillas do you use for Next Level Vegan Enchiladas? Corn or flour? Whenever I use corn tortillas in enchiladas, they always crack no matter what I do (warm in oven with damp towel, soak in sauce, etc…). You don’t give special instructions, so I’m wondering if maybe you just use the flour ones. Do you have any special tips if using corn tortillas?

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13 SLEEG August 15, 2016

When I use corn, I make them lasagna style – so stack the layers instead of rolling them like enchiladas. I put sauce on the bottom, layer of tortillas, filling, tortillas, filling.

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14 Anne August 15, 2016

That’s a good idea!

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15 Angela Liddon August 22, 2016

Hi Anne, I typically use Rudi’s Organic Bakery Spelt Tortillas. I’ve definitely heard that corn tortillas can be a bit tricky to work with, though! I’d scroll through some of the comments on this recipe and see if anyone has any helpful suggestions. Maybe there’ll be something you haven’t tried!

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16 SLEEG August 15, 2016

Just curious – have you discovered the Instant Pot yet? I just got mine today and haven’t tried it, but if it is as amazing as I have heard, I would think it would be a life saver for a new mom.

Plus, selfishly, I would love if you had one and gave us some good recipes :)

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17 Amanda August 15, 2016

I actually made both the chana masala and the enchiladas when I was stocking my freezer before my now 16-month-old daughter’s birth. They were delicious and it was so nice to be able to have a warm hearty meal ready to go when I was exhausted and my body was working overtime to feed my baby!
You’re recipies have never failed me. I can’t wait for the new book.

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18 Julia August 16, 2016

Hi Angela, I’ve got a burning question for your Friday FAQ-series: How do you manage to prepare and cook all of your meals with a toddler by your side? I hope your answer will be something like “It gets easier when they’re walking”, haha. I have a one year old daughter and most of the time, she’s not very content sitting on the floor, while I try to work in the kitchen. Even giving her pots and pans to bang on only entertains her for about 5 minutes. Do you have any tricks up your sleeve? Or do you only work in the kitchen when Adriana is napping? I love cooking and it’s some sort of meditation for me, therefore I find it so frustrating at times when I can’t get a single thing done in the kitchen. I’d be more than interested to gain a little insight on this one…Thanks a lot, love, Julia

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19 Amanda August 16, 2016

I am starting my Masters this September and want to prepare by freezing meals now, so I will have healthy plant-powered food ready for lunch and dinner. I also was excited to see that its possible to freeze the Sweet Potato, Chickpea, and Spinach Coconut curry from the recipe bundle! Thank-you for all that you do Angela!

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20 Sara @ saralouyoga August 16, 2016

This could also be named plant based make ahead freezer meals for busy women because I sure need these too…you’re awesome!

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21 Kristi August 16, 2016

Great post! Can’t wait to see part two of this post. Thanks for all the work you put into this site. The recipes you put here and in your cookbooks have become some of our family’s favorites. They have become part of our family’s culture and I know I will be sending them along with my kids when they get older and are on their own. Wishing you all the best!

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22 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

Thanks so much for your heartfelt words, Kristi. They brought such a big smile to my face!

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23 Alexandre Marques August 16, 2016

Hi! I’m a vegan athlete :)
Can follow me on instagram: @_alex_marques_

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24 Jessie August 16, 2016

Hi Angela. It’s so hot here and I like the idea of grabbing something off the freezer to cool off. I love smoothies myself but have a hard time getting the kids to like them and more so when they learn there’s avocado and beets in it.
The other day I tried the same recipe for the pink smoothie but made popsicles instead. Now they love it! They can’t get enough of it! It’s amazing what a little popsicle stick can do…

Thanks for the recipes!

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25 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

Haha, I love that the popsicle stick helped!

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26 Ali August 16, 2016

I’m so excited for your new book to arrive and just downloaded the recipe bundle! Your first book was such a hit when I made recipes for my family. My dad (Mr. Meat & Potatoes) didn’t even notice that the food was vegan! :) I’m not a new parent but my work sometimes takes me away from the house 18+ hours a day so freezer meals like these will be really helpful for me.

I was thinking today about how Sketchie is doing! I don’t think he’s made an appearance on the blog recently and I always loved how beautiful he is. My 9-year old cat is undergoing treatment for a progressive disease and “lymphoma” has been mentioned as a possibility as well for the past month or so. We haven’t done exploratory surgery because of his other health issues but we are still searching for ways to make him comfortable and increase his quality of life for as long as we can. I hope he’s doing well.

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27 Carla August 17, 2016

I am new to vegan recipes. I am not vegan, but wanted to build more plant-based recipes into my family’s weekly meals. I made the Black Bean and Sweet potato Enchiladas from the Oh She Glows cookbook last night, along with the homemade Enchilada Sauce and it was AMAZING! I can’t wait to try more of the recipes in the book!

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28 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed the enchiladas, Carla. Do you know what you’ll try next? Whatever it is, hope you love it, too! Happy cooking :)

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29 Carla August 18, 2016

Yes! I’ve made the Glowing Mojo-ito Green Monster and the Banana Soft Serve in the past couple of days. I’ve never been a big smoothie fan, but the Mojo-ito green monster was great! I plan to make the Classic Green monster next. As for the soft serve; first of all, I have been lactose intolerant my whole life and this is an awesome alternative to regular ice cream or frozen yogurt. I’ve already told many people I work with about the recipe because it was so simple and amazing! I’m now looking at your yolo’s and glo-bars for snack items! I’ve already pre-ordered your next book and really look forward to trying out more and more plant-based recipes both from the books and the blog. Thank you!

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30 Julia August 17, 2016

Hi Angela, I’ve got a BURNING question for your Friday FAQs: How do you cook and prep meals in the kitchen with a toddler by your side? Does it get easier when they’re walking? My daughter is one year old now and she’s not very content sitting on the floor while I try to get things done in the kitchen. Giving her kitchen supplies to bang on only entertains her for about five minutes. Do you have any tricks? Or do you only cook when Adriana is taking a nap? I’d love your advice on this…Love, Julia

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31 janet @ the taste space August 17, 2016

Great meals for the freezer, Ange. I also made your 10-Spice Soup while I was packing my freezer for my baby which was fabulous. Also, pro tip, assuming you are thinking of BioGaia for your little one is that it is found at Costco (the cheapest place I found it). Good luck with your book launch and beginning your family of 4.

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32 janet @ the taste space August 17, 2016

Also there is no need to decrease spices as a BFing mama, it adds flavour instead! http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2016/03/28/how-breast-feeding-can-broaden-a-childs-diet/

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33 Gail H. August 17, 2016

First time commenting, so I just wanted to say how much I love your recipes and that I promote them to all my friends.

Just tried freezing your Basil Cashew Cheese Lasagna and it came out of the freezer and into the oven great! I am single, so making a whole pan of the lasagna at once is overkill. So I put it in two 8x8s and froze one. Just made the frozen one last night and loved it just as much as the original! I don’t know if you planned to put this on the “make-ahead” list, but it would work well.

And I recommended the lasagna to a friend, who tries to cook vegan when she can, and her whole family loved it. Her 10-year-old, who never asks for seconds, asked for more! Thanks so much for making the best lasagna I have ever eaten in my life.

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34 Rachel August 17, 2016

Do you have a lactation cookie recipe for after baby arrives? I love all of your recipes and am struggling to find a lactation cookie recipe I like (and feel ok having multiple cookies a day!). Thought about reworking your Jumbo Chocolate Chunk cookies but would love a fool proof recipe if you have one. Thank you!

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35 Allison August 18, 2016

Rachel,
Most of the lactation cookie recipes (I found on pinterest) contain rolled oats, flax seed and brewer’s yeast – i would think you can just add them to your favorite cookie recipe (maybe replacing some of the flour or almond meal with rolled oats and ground flax, and adding a few tablespoons of brewer’s yeast?) one issue i had is that it took me awhile to get used to the Brewer’s yeast, its pretty bitter. so a lot of the recipes i found have a LOT of sugar and chocolate chips to counteract the bitterness. which was fine with me, and i still ate like 10 a day haha. yep, still haven’t lost the weight…. i wonder why…. :-)

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36 Lisa August 29, 2016

Could you use nutritional yeast instead of brewer’s yeast? The flavor is much better.

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37 Jessica August 17, 2016

I’m definitely not a new mom, but i’m about to go back to college and healthy, plant based freezer friendly recipes will probably be my lifesaver! Last year i made rookies mistakes and gained about 20 pounds in potato chips/muffins/soy lattes/energy drinks, and i am for sure not going to let that happen again! Thank you so much for this post, and all your other freezer and make ahead recipes too!!

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38 Angela Liddon August 17, 2016

You’re so welcome, Jessica! Best of luck with back-to-school. :)

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39 Paula August 17, 2016

What about the lentil loaf from your cookbook? Has anyone tried freezing it? I’m 32 weeks…one week being Angela. Ha.

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40 Paula August 17, 2016

I mean, behind Angela. Argh

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41 Angela Liddon August 22, 2016

Hi Paula, Lentil loaves tend to freeze well! Just make sure to fully cool the baked loaves before wrapping and freezing. PS – Congrats on your pregnancy! Wishing you all the best.

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42 Jessie August 17, 2016

Hi Angela! These recipes look delicious! Could you please let your readers know that foods that might cause gas in adults (like legumes) do NOT cause gas for nursing babies? That’s a persistent myth that is not based in science :)
http://kellymom.com/nutrition/mothers-diet/mom-foods/#gassyfood

Thank so much, really enjoy reading your blog!

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43 Lucie August 17, 2016

This is such a great resource Angela! Bookmarked for future use :) I think I’ll need a seriously big freezer when the time comes because I can’t imagine doing much cooking for the first couple months

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44 Sarah August 18, 2016

Hi Angela! I have a question for your Friday FAQ. I’m getting married soon and when I’m getting ready with my bridesmaids I would like to have some snacks for everyone to nibble on throughout the day. Any suggestions for some light snacks that will keep everyone going all day? Thanks!

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45 Angela Liddon August 25, 2016

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding, Sarah! I’m sure everyone will appreciate some snacks to fuel them through what’s sure to be a beautiful (but busy) day. You can’t go wrong with either my Out-the-Door Chia Power Doughnuts (The Oh She Glows Cookbook p. 41) or Crunchy Seed & Oat Flatbread (p. 51). Try spreading the doughnuts with jam, coconut oil, or nut butter, and topping the bread with hummus, avocado, and/or tomato. Some other great options include my Glo Bars (p. 215 and p. 217) or Banana Bread Muffin Tops. Or, for a super simple snack, you can set out a tray with fresh fruit, veggies, and dip/hummus (try the Classic Hummus in The Oh She Glows Cookbook—you can scale back the garlic or omit it entirely if that’s a concern!). Best wishes on your big day!

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46 Kathy August 18, 2016

Love love love this post. Anytime I try to find freezer meals they are ALWAYS heavy on the cheese and a little too casserole-like for my family. Can’t wait to give some of your recipes a try.

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47 Elizabeth August 20, 2016

Hi Angela, I have just made the Enchilada recipe from your app. Could you tell me if the amount of chilli is correct 1 1/2 tablespoons plus cayenne pepper. I adjusted the chilli but it still blew our heads of it was so hot. We all agreed that is would be delicious with much, much les chilli so I wondered if this is a mistake.
Many thanks,
Elizabeth

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48 Allison August 20, 2016

Hi Angela, great suggestions! One question… what do you mean by a ‘smoothie pack’??

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49 Angela Liddon August 29, 2016

Hey Allison, By a smoothie pack I mean that I freeze some of the smoothie ingredients in a freezer bag. A fun little trick for make ahead smoothies! :)

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50 Paul August 23, 2016

Hi Angela, great post! I’m a new reader to your blog so I’ll be back again soon. My friend has just had a baby boy called Reggie. I’ll be sending her this link now! Thanks, Paul :)

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51 Angela Liddon August 23, 2016

Congrats to your friend! And welcome to the blog!! :)

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52 Debbie Lee September 4, 2016

I made your broccoli & cashew cheese – quinoa burritos. Can you tell me if I can freeze the filling?

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53 Angela Liddon September 20, 2016

Hey Debbie, I haven’t tried freezing the filling before, so I can’t say for sure! If you decide to give it a go, I’d love it if you’d report back. :)

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54 Carla September 8, 2016

Why are these for new parents, lol? I’m happily childfree and I love em.

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55 Cassie September 9, 2016

Being a new college student, I would definitely need these recipes as well! Thanks so much for the help, Angela!

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56 Ask Helen September 20, 2016

OMG! Everything looks so delicious! I think my children will enjoy the smoothie packs and strawberry oat crumble bars. I need to try them! Thanks for sharing! :)

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