Yummy Mummy Monday: Gluten & Dairy Free Freezer Meal Menu

When I was pregnant with Ari I wasn’t able to stock my freezer as well as I would have liked in preparation for the busy weeks following her arrival. Luckily we had family popping in with meals for us for the first two weeks, making it one less thing we had to find energy to do. But if it hadn’t been for them, we would have probably eaten an unhealthy amount of take out due to exhaustion and lack of energy to cook. This time around we have a toddler to feed- and our diets have changed substantially since 2013- so I had to make sure we were stocked with healthy & tasty options that we could all enjoy. Pizza and takeout are just not options, so I was determined to pre- prepare as many meals as possible that could be pulled from the freezer & popped into the slow cooker or oven for those first few weeks when you need to simplify whatever you can. It took me a little while to accumulate a selection of ideas that were both gluten and dairy free- thank you Pinterest!- but I’m pretty happy with the variety of meals I was able to make.

I made these meals over a few days with the help of my Mum & Dad and as I had the time, but it’s definitely a great feeling if you’re able to put aside a few hours and pump them out all at once. Here’s how I stocked my freezer for #2:

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup*

*my Mum’s recipe- I’ll post soon) 馃檪
Shepherd’s Pie *4
Cabbage Rolls *2
BBQ Ribs *2
Chicken Fajitas *1
Mongolian Beef *1
Hawaiian Chicken *1
Asparagus & Salmon *1
Soups & pasta sauce *1 batch each (for the sauce 1 batch= 4- 6 meals for the 3 of us) 
I also made sure to stock up on dry goods like gluten free pasta, rice, rice noodles, etc to serve with the freezer meals that don’t already have them included. 
How did you stock your freezer in preparation for baby’s arrival? What are your favourite make- ahead freezer meals?

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Slow Cooker Broccoli & Cheese Soup

Even though 2 out of 3 of our family are totally gluten & dairy free, this preggo mama still has some major comfort food cravings that she has to indulge on the sly. So when Megan from Food & Whine sent me this recipe for slow cooker broccoli & cheese soup to feature I pretty much start drooling right away. And I’m talking the real sexy, eye- rolling, Homer Simpson ‘ohmygodthatlooksamazing’ drooling. Put a pregnant woman in front of Megan’s delicious- looking photos and it’s like Pavlov & his dogs. We may not be experiencing the cold & snow that others are right now, but the grey Vancouver weather still beckons for hearty & satisfying meals. Even better when they can be whipped up in the crock pot to come home to after a busy day. Here’s what Megan had to say about her recipe…
At this time of year, when the weather鈥檚 cold and dreary, I love having soup鈥nd creamy, cheesy soup is the best kind, isn鈥檛 it? I think it鈥檚 a perfect comfort food.
Another great thing about soups is that most of them can be cooked in the slow cooker.  A slow cooker can be a really handy time-saver for busy families. I have three little ones and a full-time job, plus I blog and write on the side, so life is pretty hectic right now.  I love being able to prepare a meal ahead of time and let the slow cooker work its magic. By the end of the day, when I鈥檓 tired and the kids are cranky, dinner is the last thing I want to worry about.  It makes my evenings a lot simpler when I can just dish a meal out of the crock pot without fuss. 
This soup is really fun when served in mini bread bowls. My kids get a real kick out of being able to eat their bowl. It turns the soup into a filling meal. I like that it has a lot of broccoli in it, so they鈥檙e getting a good dose of vegetables. And of course, we all love the cheese! I don鈥檛 know what it is, but there鈥檚 just something special about cheese and broccoli together.  I hope you love this soup as much as our family does.
Yummy Mummy Recipe:
Slow Cooker Broccoli & Cheese Soup
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/4 cup flour
4 cups whole milk
1 can evaporated milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups broccoli, cut into florets
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese (extra for garnish)
Small bread loaves for bowls
路         In a dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and saute for about 5 minutes until softened.
路         Sprinkle with flour and stir together.
路         Whisk in milk and evaporated milk. Bring to a boil, until the soup begins to thicken.
路         Add salt and pepper, to taste.
路         Pour the soup into a crockpot and then add the broccoli florets.
路         Cook on low for 6 hours. Or on high for 2 鈥 3 hours.
路         Before serving, add in the cheese and stir until melted.
路         Cut out the lid of the bread bowls at an angle, and pull out chunks of bread to form a bowl. The bread chunks and lid are perfect for dipping! Pour the soup into the bread bowl and top with extra cheese.
A little bit of info about the lovely Megan: 
My kids like to whine, especially when it comes to the food they eat, but that doesn’t stop me from trying to make tasty and healthy meals for them. Follow along as I share family-friendly recipes and reviews from my picky family members, who I lovingly call “The Whine Critics.” 
Hugs & thanks to Megan for sharing this amazing recipe with TPB. For more of her mouth- watering, family- friendly recipes check out her blog, Food & Whine. You can also find her blog on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram
February posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup

Before the pumpkins go into hiding for Christmas, I had to share this amazing recipe. One of my girlfriends and I were looking for some yummy Fall recipes to try together and she came across this one from Food Babe. I’ll admit I would have probably never had the guts to try it if she hadn’t suggested it, but I’m so glad she did! I ended up being the supervisor and taste tester since Ari was sick and wanted lots of cuddles the day we got together to make a batch, but my friend did not disappoint! She made up a huge pot and we got to take some home for Will to try. This soup is both incredibly flavourful and filling. If you’ve been looking for something different to try, this soup should definitely make the cut. (Major bonus: it’s a healthy & easy soup- did you pumpkin is considered a super food???)

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Spicy Thai Pumpkin Soup
We used the Food Babe recipe as a guide and made a few tweaks of our own.
See below for our version or click here for the original.

2 tsp coconut oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups pumpkin, peeled & diced or 1 can of pure pumpkin puree (make sure you buy the kind that’s not seasoned to use as a pie filling!)
4 cups vegetable broth
3 cups coconut milk
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp dried thyme
2 tbsp red curry paste (less or more depending how spicy you like it!)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
salt & pepper to taste
For garnish:
4 tbsp pumpkin seeds
4 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

1. In a large pot, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add the onions, garlic, and pumpkin. Cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add the vegetable broth, coconut milk, bay leaf, thyme, and curry paste and cook for 15- 20 minutes.
3. Remove from heat and scoop out the bay leaf. Puree soup in a blender or using an immersion blender (you can skip this step if you used the pumpkin puree).
4. Return to heat and add the nutmeg and salt & pepper.
5. In a pan, heat some more coconut oil and roast the pumpkin seeds until golden brown.
6. Serve soup topped with roasted pumpkin seeds & cilantro

We wanted our little ones to be able to enjoy this soup, so added extra broth and coconut milk than the original recipe called for. With or without the extra hot kick, this soup will leave you feeling content & full. <3

Thanks to my lovely friend Marian for the fun play/ make soup date! (And for letting us take some home with us!)

What recipes have you tried to shake things up and been happy with??? 
November posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique

Yummy Mummy Monday: Minestrone Soup

With the cooler weather comes cravings for warm & hearty food. One of my favourite things to make in the Fall is soup- I love combining ingredients to create comfort in a bowl. One of my all- time favourites is the classic minestrone- I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love this soup that’s chock- full of nutrient- rich veggies. Perfect for anyone seeking full- flavoured vegetarian or paleo options, this yummy soup doesn’t disappoint (for a ‘set it & forget it’ version, mix this baby up in a crockpot or slow cooker for busy work/ school days).
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Minestrone Soup
Serves 6- 8

1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fennel bulb, diced (discard the greens at the top)
2 leeks, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
3 cups stock (veggie, chicken, or beef are all fine options for this soup)
3 cups water
2 carrots, peeled & sliced
1 cup green beans, cut into 1″ long pieces
1 can diced tomatoes
2 small zuchinni, sliced
Pepper to taste
2 medium potatoes, peeled & diced
1 can of your favourite beans, such as kidney
1 cup pasta, cooked (best to add cooked & at end, so noodles don’t absorb too much liquid)
1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, fennel, leeks, & celery; cook for approx. 5 minutes. (If using a slowcooker, complete this step, then add all ingredients & cook on low for 6- 8 hours).
2. Add stock & water, followed by carrots, beans, & tomatoes with juice (if using potatoes & canned beans, add them now as well). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer for 25 minutes.
3. Add zuchinni & bring back to a low boil. If using, stir in pasta. Season with pepper & serve.
This is a great simple soup to start the season with, and your kids will enjoy helping prep and add all of the ingredients.

September posts sponsored by Cutie Pie Boutique 

Image Source: Shop Girl Maria

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Thai Coconut Curry Soup & Salad Rolls

I have officially shifted my cooking to the fresh, lighter options of Spring & Summer. I’ve also been trying to find healthy options that accommodate our new dietary restrictions. I have discovered some amazing international cuisine in the past few months and have been wanting to try some curry recipes & find other ideas that would go well with them. This week’s Yummy Mummy Recipe is not only healthy, it is full of flavour and will leave you feeling satisfied. It’s great because you can do a lot of the prep work in advance (roast the squash & cook the rice) and have the soup simmering while you construct the wraps.  I hope this inspires you to try something new with food!
Yummy Mummy Recipe: Thai Coconut Curry Soup & Salad Rolls
Soup Ingredients:
1 tbsp oil
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch piece of fresh ginger, crushed

4 cups chicken broth
1cup coconut milk
1 can (28 fl oz) diced tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp curry powder (more or less to taste)
1 tsp cumin
1/2 butternut squash, roasted
Salad Wrap Ingredients:
Makes 8 wraps
rice paper wraps 
1 cup rice, uncooked
1 carrot
1/2 cucumber
bean sprouts
handful spinach
1 cup shrimp, cooked (optional)
2 strips imitation crab (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees; scoop out seeds of squash & roast 1/2 the squash covered with foil for 45 minutes (this is great to do ahead, so you can just add the peeled/ diced squash to the soup)
2. While the squash is roasting, cook your rice (add 2 cups of water to the 1 cup rice; bring to a boil, then cover & simmer for 15 minutes); when cooked set aside & allow to cool
3. In a large pot, heat oil & add onions, garlic, & ginger. After 5 minutes add broth & coconut milk
4. Stirring well, add canned tomatoes (with liquid), cilantro, curry powder, & cumin
5. Bring soup to a boil, then reduce heat & simmer; when the squash is finished, peel, dice & add to soup (if you wish, you can puree this soup, time allowing)
6. Using a mandolin or a sharp knife, cut the carrot & cucumber thinly slice the carrot & cucumber into pieces approx. 1/8″ think by 5″ long (think of how veggies are sliced in sushi)
7. Soak your rice paper wraps according to directions on package; line each wrap with 2 spinach leaves & approx. 1/4- 1/2 cup rice close to one side
8. Add bean sprouts, carrots, & cucumber on top of rice; top with shrimp and/ or imitation crab if using
9. Roll the wraps by tucking the top/ ingredients & folding in the sides as you go; the wraps should hold themselves together
10. Serve together; the wraps have a very subtle flavour & are delicious dipped in the soup; you can serve the soup with some fresh chopped cilantro for garnish 
I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!!!

April posts sponsored by Gary Gallant Travel

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