Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Preparing Food for Recovery from Surgery & Freezer Meals

In preparation for recovery from surgery (I was told that I would be home from work for about 3 weeks), I did quite a bit of cooking and freezing.  I was told that I would not feel like cooking (or cleaning, although who ever feels like cleaning) and that I should have a few meals in the bag.  I avoid most traditional frozen foods because of my allergies to preservatives (except for frozen foods from Trade Joe's and plain frozen vegetables, those are safe for me to eat).  Therefore, had to make my own.  I knew I had to make meals that were low-fat (for general health reasons and because I no longer have a gallbladder), high fiber and high in protein.  I still don't have much of an appetite or much energy and am so thankful that I had the forethought to plan ahead.  I made two different soups and two main dishes. I also was taken to the grocery store before coming home where I picked up skim milk, whole wheat bread, raw vegetables and a roast chicken (you can eat off of one of those for days!!).  I had cereal and lots of fruit (my mother sent me a fruit basket) as well as some shelf stable snacks at home. 
Here are the recipes that I made to freeze:
Honey Garlic Chicken  I'll make some rice in my rice cooker and frozen broccoli to serve with this. 
Shepard's Pie  This recipe even lists "freezer directions."  I froze it in my 9" x 9" pyrex dish and can just pop it in the oven when ready to eat, after thawing.  (This is the first thing I defrosted and it is very good!  Lots of flavor!)
Slow Cooker Lentil Stew
Tortilla Soup  Inspired by this recipe.  I actually made this in my crock pot (those Midwestern roots run deep) and added chicken (high in protein). 
I also have frozen berries, frozen bananas, frozen spinach and pomegranate juice so that I can make smoothies.  I like these recipes from Whole Living Magazine
And while I try not to use these normally, I had a good supply of paper plates and plastic cups on hand.  No need to do dishes!

And finally, I am not great at drinking water.  I know, I know.  It's not that I don't, I just don't like it.  So while I do drink lots and lots of water, I also have lots of herbal tea bags on hand, bottles of Yumberry Pomegranate SoBe Lifewater, lime Perrier and San Pellegrino Limonata sparkling water.  Here's the recipe for my favorite mocktail.  It's pretty easy.  Fill a glass with ice, fill mostly with Blackberry Raspberry sparkling water and top with a splash Cran-Raspberry juice.  Delish!

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