Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cooking Ahead: Meals for after baby Part 1

As promised, the mamouth cooking ahead challenge of cooking for a several months worth of meals after the baby comes has arrived. If you are new to cooking ahead, check out Tips for Beginners and Menu for Beginners, to get taste for how easy this can be. The amount of cooking involved in the following post is intimidating and probably best done over several days.

Meals (NC=no cooking; PP=Pre-Prep; FC=Fully cooked)

Zesty Turkey Burgers (17)
Salmon (6)
Roasted BBQ Beef (2 roasts)
Spinach & Cheese Lasagna
Thai Stirfry (2 full meals)
Roasted Chicken Pieces (1 pack serves 4)

Pizza (White Mushroom Garlic; Pepperoni; BBQ Chicken) (12 of each)
Turkey Pies (16)
Sweet Potato Burritos (9 meals size; 7 snack size)
Turkey Mushroom Pasta Bake (4, each serves 4)

Sloppy Joes
Turkey Soup (9, 2 cup portions)
Meatballs (40)
Butternut squash soup
Channa Masala
Sweet Potato Coconut Thai Soup (8 servings)

I divided the tasks into discreet sets that will allow me to complete this over multiple days: Shopping, chopping, prepping, cooking, and assembling. My schedule looks like this:

Day 1 (Friday):Shop
Day 2 (Saturday): Chop & Prep (with the odd cooking + assembling because I ran out of fridge space)
Day 3 (Monday): Cook & Assemble

Breaking this up over several days also allows for flash freezing which preserves the quality of the food and allows for better organization.

Grocery List:

11-12 onions
1 green pepper
4 red peppers
3 mushrooms
1 jar Garlic
1-2 heads celery
1 bag carrots
2 large butternut squash
4c. +4 lb (about 10 cups chopped) Sweet potato
1 egg
3 c. milk
1 tub sour cream
1500g cheese (mozzarella)
500g Cheddar cheese
2 ricotta cheese
5 lb ground turkey
8 lb poultry (8 turkey drumsticks)
2 beef roasts
2 whole chickens
1 pack large tortillas
1 pack small tortillas
3 cans kidney beans
2 cans coconut milk
1 big bag flat rice noodles
1 pack lasagna noodles
2 L chicken stock/broth
2 cans chickpeas
1 can tomatoes
1 pack shortening
1 BBQ sauce
Red wine vinegar
1 bag Oats
4 jars spaghetti sauce
2 Packs Stirfry veggies
Pie tins
Tin foil
Medium ziplock freezer bags
Large Ziplock freezer bags
Cling wrap

Task List: 
Night before:
  1. Place Turkey drumsticks into slow cooker (4 in each cook for me), 
  2. To each cooker add 2-3 ribs of celery , 1 onion, 1 bay leaf, 1 tbsp parsley, 1-2 tsp thyme, a shake of chili flakes, cold water to cover contents
  3. Set slow cooker on low for 6-9 hours
  1. Remove turkey meat from bones and chop (make sure to remove all the tiny bones and cartilage)
  2. Strain stock, cool, and remove fat
  3. Chop 2 squash (2 cm cubes)
  4. Chop all sweet potato (2 cm cubes)
  5. Chop 11-12 onions finely
  6. Chop 1 green pepper (finely)
  7. Chop 4 red peppers (medium-fine)
  8. Slice 4 tubs of mushrooms
  9. Chop 1/2 head celery (finely)
  10. Chop 1/2 head celery (coarsely for soup)
  11. Chop 3 carrots (finely)
  12. Chop 3 carrots (coarsely for soup)
  13. Slice Pepperoni 
  14. Break down chicken into legs(skin on), thigh(skin on), Drummettes, Wings, and boneless breast.
  15. Chop chicken breasts into 2cm cubes
Prepping (part 1):
  1. Make 3-6 batches of pizza dough (depending on how thick you want your pizzas)
    1. Set aside to rise for 1 hour
  2.  Put turkey stock into a large pot, bring to a boil.
    1. add coarsely chopped carrots & celery, 1.5 c. of chopped onion, 2 tsp cumin, 1-2 tsp chili flakes, 1 tbsp parsley, 1 tbsp thyme, 1-2 tsp salt (to taste), 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp rosemary, 1 bay leaf, and 2-3 cups of chopped turkey. 
    2. Simmer for 10 min. 
    3. Cool and package.
  3. Boil a medium pot of water.
    1. Add 4 cups of chopped sweet potato
    2. Mash & set aside
  4. Make pizza crusts
    1. Divide dough and make into balls
    2. Roll out on a floured surface and bake for 7 min at 400F
    3. Cool
  5. Boil 1 large package of pasta according to direction, set aside
  6. Make 8 cups of mushroom cream sauce, cool and set aside
  7. Make bean mix for burritos
    1. Fry onions and garlic
    2. Mash beans with spices
    3. Add enough water to get a pasty consistency, set aside
Assembling (part 1):
  1. Assemble Burritos, wrap individually in cling wrap and place in a large ziplock bag with instructions
  2. Combine pasta, 4-6 cup mushroom sauce, and 2 generous cups of turkey. 
    1. Pour into tin pans and top with grated mozzarella cheese
    2. Add lid, label, and freeze.
  3. Top crusts with remaining mushroom sauce, a few extra mushrooms and grated mozzarella.
    1. Freeze between sheets of waxed paper
  4. Top crusts with pasta sauce, cheese and pepperoni
  5. Top crusts with BBQ sauce, red peppers, turkey, and onions
Prepping (part 2):
  1. Prepare pie crust dough, refrigerate
  2. Prepare Turkey stew
    1. Cook finely chopped celery, carrot and 1.5 c. onion in a large pot.
    2. Create roux, add liquids, and thicken
    3. Add spices to taste and stir in remaining turkey
    4. Cool
  3. Mix shake & Bake ingredients and place in a ziplock bake with instructions
Assembling & Cooking (part 2):
  1. Make sloppy joes, set aside to cool
  2. Make  meatballs and put in oven to bake
  3. Set rice boiling
  4. Set butternut squash soup cooking
  5. Make burgers (flash freeze)
  6. Cool and flash freeze meatballs
  7. Set Sweet Potato Thai Coconut Soup cooking
  8. Set Channa Masala cooking
  9. Package Salmon
    1. Write instructions on foil
    2. Top frozen fillets with pesto sauce
    3. Seal packages & return to freezer
  10. Assemble Lasagnas, label, and freeze
  11. Assemble Pies
  12. Portion and freeze sloppy joes, butternut squash soup, Sweet Potato Thai Coconut soup, and Channa Masala

Recipes to follow

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