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Thread: ideas for make ahead meals before surgery

  1. #1
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    ideas for make ahead meals before surgery

    I am scheduled to have surgery soon and would like to make and freeze some meals for my family. I will have an 8 week recovery. I've thought of chili, stuffed shells, but need a few more suggestions. We're a family of seven and I have one with severe food allergies, but I know I will probably just have to cook him separate meals. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Knowing what kind of allergies could be helpful. Also, are you trying to prepare meals for the entire 8 week period or just the initial week or two? Are any of the children old enough to help prepare meals -- from reheating to boiling water for pasta, etc.?

  3. #3
    How about quiche or meatloaf?

    You could assemble some ziplock bags full of items to just throw into the crockpot in the morning (chicken & vegetebles, pork, beef, etc). I saw that idea on the Internet somewhere. You could do a google search for specific ideas and recipes.

    If someone in the family can help with the cooking, you could always have an easy night of breakfast for dinner (scrambled eggs, pancakes, bacon/sausage, etc).

    Or, make up some pasta sauces to freeze - marinara, pesto, etc. and someone can put a pot of water for pasta.

    I hope your surgery goes well and you have a full and speedy recovery!

  4. #4
    To continue with Beth's questions ... do you have a crockpot?

    A friend told me the other day that she preps several crockpot meals 2 Sundays a month, then freezes them. When her family has a busy day planned, she just pops one out and puts in the crockpot in the morning.

    What does your family normally eat?
    ______

    Elizabeth

    Walking Towards Wellness, my personal challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day in 2014 while living with and managing a chronic illness. Walk with me.

  5. #5
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    I love the crockpot idea. Also, who will be doing the grocery shopping? Or as someone asked, are you planning to have 8 weeks worth of meals tucked into a freezer somewhere?
    Buying a whole chicken and roasting it with some veggies would be easy. Same for a pot roast.
    If you make your own pizzas, you can make and freeze.
    Are any of the kids old enough to help out? You can maybe keep ideas going and have one of them flesh out the full meal.

    Hope the surgery goes well.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  6. #6
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    Without knowing more, I will add some ideas to the consideration:

    Roast a turkey or a few chickens now (or cook a batch of chicken breasts) and freeze the meat in meal or recipe sized quantities for later use -- perhaps some in slices and some chopped for quick additions to salads, casseroles, tacos, burritos, enchiladas, sauces to serve over noodles or rice, etc. Cook up some ground beef the same way. When I was about to have my kitchen torn out, I precooked taco meat and sloppy joes and froze them in ziploc bags too. I was concerned about not having to clean up dirty cooking pans without a sink or dishwasher as much as (or more than) the cooking itself, but the convenience was great. You can precook hamburger patties and chicken breasts for sandwiches too.

    If you don't have a crockpot, it might be a good time to get one. One or two night's eating out could pay for a decent crockpot - especially with a family of seven.

    You could make pizza dough -- even shape out the crusts (prebake for a few minutes if you like them that way) and freeze them and pizza sauce for some kid friendly meals -- as long as you have one old enough to help with them in and out of the oven.

    Casseroles like chicken tetrazzini, tuna casserole, mac and cheese, King Ranch chicken (a tortilla casserole -- I prefer the lightened not-really version and can post that if you like), baked ziti, lasagna -- there are a ton of options, but finding some that will suit all of your family and not require a second meal prep would really make your life and theirs easier while you are recovering. If all of the ideas conflict with the allergies of the one child, perhaps we can suggest some ways to have something ready for that child also. At least for the first week or two.

  7. #7
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    thanks everyone for the ideas! They were all so great! My youngest is allergic to milk, eggs, peanuts and tree nuts. There are alot of meals that I have to cook separate for him. the older ones can help a bit even though they are so busy with sports and schoolwork. I wont do the whole 8 weeks. I'm hoping to be back on my feet before then. I think the first week or two. I'll try all the suggestions. Thank you again!

  8. #8
    I've only had major surgery once but even after the first week or so when I was ambulatory, I still didn't have much energy.

    My advice would be to go easy on yourself - the world isn't going to come to an end if you feed your family easy stuff - sandwiches, soup, bagged salad, take-out, prepared foods. It's only for a finite period of time.

    Meal preparation and eating also requires prep and clean up so you might consider how many dishes, utensils or whatever would be needed and have to be cleaned and put away for each meal.

  9. #9
    With the requirements of no dairy and eggs, that leaves a lot of casserole type stuff out.

    I agree with the taco meat or sauces for spaghetti.

    The other thing that came to mind was soups. I have at least 4 that come to mind that I am fairly certain meet your allergic requirements.

    Stuffed Pepper Soup from Skinnytaste.com (has beef, rice, peppers, I use beef broth)

    Sauage Gumbo from Eating Well (rice, turkey sausage, broth, okra)

    Pumpkin Sausage and Sage soup from Better Homes and Gardens (pumpkink, sage, andouille sauage)

    a beef/mushroom barley

    I have heard stuffed cabbage is freezable, but I have not done it.

    If there is someone that can do minimal cooking, I have a couple simple side dish suggestions...frozen greens come out great in hot skillet with some oil. Heat 1 TBS oil in a large skillet. When hot, throw in the frozen green beans. Saute until done and season the last minute or so. No need to steam, very easy.

    Also, Bob's Red Mill has awesome mashed potato flakes...you need milk and butter.

  10. #10
    I would try to do things that can serve as two meals each ... roast a chicken (or two), one for a night of roasted chicken with salad as a side, and the other for shredding to be put in a casserole or soup or salad.

    Do a pot roast in the crockpot one night and then chop the meat and leftover veggies for a pot pie the next.
    ______

    Elizabeth

    Walking Towards Wellness, my personal challenge to walk 10,000 steps per day in 2014 while living with and managing a chronic illness. Walk with me.

  11. #11
    How about big batches of soup which you can freeze?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by momof4 View Post
    I am scheduled to have surgery soon and would like to make and freeze some meals for my family. I will have an 8 week recovery. I've thought of chili, stuffed shells, but need a few more suggestions. We're a family of seven and I have one with severe food allergies, but I know I will probably just have to cook him separate meals. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    Hi momof 4, I have a couple 100 recipes or so that make and feed 12 or more people. If I list some, title only and how much it makes, would you please let me know if you would like the recipe? Too much typing otherwise Darn, DH is home with dinner. Later

  13. #13
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    Cookiee,
    Thank you that would be great!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookingchef View Post
    I hope your surgery goes well. I personally don't think that big batches of soup would be good since anyone will be tired of the taste after a few meals.
    I think it would be ok if you froze some and spaced them out. Don't you?

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieee View Post
    Hi momof 4, I have a couple 100 recipes or so that make and feed 12 or more people. If I list some, title only and how much it makes, would you please let me know if you would like the recipe? Too much typing otherwise Darn, DH is home with dinner. Later
    Some of these make too much. I'm sure you can cut them down to size.

    Morning Glory Muffins - Makes 30
    Chicken Ham Casserole - 24 servings
    Sloppy Joe Sandwich - 100 servings
    Hawaiian Baked Beans - 80-100 servings
    Crowd Chicken Casserole 24 servings
    Glazed Carrots for a crowd -45 servings
    Carrot Sheet Cake (can be frozen) 24-30 servings
    Make Ahead Vegetable Medly 16-18 servings.

    Warning: Most of them use canned stuff if that is a problem.

    more later if you want

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by cookieee View Post
    I think it would be ok if you froze some and spaced them out. Don't you?

    You can freeze them in 4 cup containers which is like 3 servings. You don't have to eat a whole batch at once.

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