{Make Ahead Meals} Veggie Stuffed Shells

We’ve received a couple different types of stuffed shells: Mexican style, cheese, spinach & these veggie stuffed ones. All were excellent, but since I have this recipe, on hand, I’ll share this one first. Beth found the recipe from makeaheadmeals.

Veggie Stuffed Pasta Shells
24 uncooked pasta shells
1 10 oz can vegetable broth
1 carrot, minced
1 potato, peeled & diced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
1 egg
1/2 graded parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1/4 c parmesan cheese
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese

Cook pasta according to directions. Rinse, drain & set aside to let cool.

In a big saucepan, boil broth. Add in carrots, potatoes, & onions. Cook for 3-4 mins or until veggies are tender. Drain veggies well. Combine with egg, ricotta, mozzarella, & parmesan cheese, & seasoning in a large bowl.

Fill each shell with cheese & veggie mixture.

Beth then put shells in a freezer safe bag, four at a time. She refrigerated until they were cold, then froze & brought them to us. To cook them, we placed the shells in a microwave safe bowl, topped with spaghetti sauce & parmesan cheese. We microwaved at 40% until thawed, topped with mozzarella then microwaved for an additional 1-3 minutes until it was hot.

If you wanted to cook the shells immediately {or want to bake thawed shells vs microwave the frozen shells}, add half the sauce to a baking dish. Place the shells in the dish in a single layer. Top with the cheeses. Bake on 350 for 20 mins covered then 15-20 mins uncovered. We did this Tuesday night & they were awesome. Enjoy!

{Make Ahead Meals} Bean Burritos

Another great meal thanks to my sister in law. She found the recipe on allrecipes. These have been fabulous as a quickly microwaved lunch or dinner.

2 c uncooked brown rice
4 c water
4 cans black beans
2 cans pinto beans
1 can whole kernel corn
1 can diced tomatoes & green chiles
16 flour tortillas
1 lb shredded pepperjack cheese

Combine rice & water in saucepan & bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover & allow to simmer for 35-40 mins. When tender, remove from heat & allow rice to cool.

Strain & rinse the beans in colander; add the corn & diced tomatoes with green chiles. Toss to mix. Pour into bowl & mix with rice & cheese.

Divide mixture evenly among the tortillas & toll up. Wrap individually in plastic wrap & place in freezers safe bag. Freeze & reheat in microwave.

I topped with salsa & found pineapple salsa was my favorite.

{Make Ahead Meals} Spanish Chicken

We’ve been very lucky & blessed that friends & family have dropped off plenty of meals for us over the last 11 weeks. And lucky that everything has been super delicious ~ although at 3a or after going almost all day without having the chance to eat, just about anything tastes wonderful! I haven’t gotten recipes for everything, but I did want to post recipes that I have gotten.

I’m going to post a bunch of recipes coming up that were all made by my sister in law & brought down frozen when she came to help for a long weekend. It’s been awesome having the freezer stocked. She found this recipe on makeaheadmeals.blogspot.com.

Easy Spanish Chicken & Rice
1 lb boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
1/2 lb Italian sausage or chorizo {she used turkey sausage}, cut into slices
8 oz package of Goya yellow rice mix
3 tbsp olive oil
Medium yellow onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 c hot water
1 c frozen peas
1/2 c Spanish or manzanilla olives, chopped {if I remake this, I’d either omit or just add 1/4 c}
Salt & pepper, to taste

In large skillet, heat olive oil over medium high. Season chicken cubes generously with salt & pepper & add them & the sausage to the skillet. Cook a few minutes, until chicken browned but not cooked through.

Lower heat to medium. Add onion & garlic & saute for about 5 minutes. Be careful not to Brown the garlic or it will get bitter.

Add water, rice mix & seasonings. Add hot sauce to taste if you’d like. Stir well to combine ingredients. When it starts bubbling, cover, lower heat to low & let simmer for 20 minutes.

Remove pan to heat & add in peas & olives. Pour into 2 & 1/2 quart baking dish. Once cool, cover tightly & freeze.

Defrost in frig for no less than 24 hrs & no more than 2 days. Bake on 350 for 45-60 minutes.

Food for the Family {Chicken & Rice Casserole}

Our families are so excited about the babies upcoming arrival, that they couldn’t miss coming into town to celebrate our first shower all together. My parents came down Friday night {& slept at my aunt’s house}, my OIB grandparents came Saturday morning {& stayed with us} & my husband’s mom & sister arrived Saturday afternoon {they got a hotel room for the night}. So while everyone wasn’t sleeping under our roof, from early am to late pm, we were all together at our house.

That meant breaking out a few 9×13 pans that had been gathering dust so far in this pregnancy! Since all the recipes were LOVED by my family, I thought I’d share them with y’all too.

Mom & my aunt came over early Saturday morning & helped me put the Chicken & Rice Casserole together. This is a recipe Mom gave me based on a few different chicken & rice casserole recipes she’s tried over the  years. I wasn’t awake enough to remember to take photos in process or after it baked, but I can promise you there were just barely any leftovers!


3-4 c diced cooked chicken {we cut up a Costco rotisserie chicken}
1 medium onion, diced {used 1/2}, about 1/2 c chopped celery, container of sliced mushrooms
8oz can diced water chestnuts, drained
2 cans French green beans, rinsed & drained
4oz can pimentos, rinsed & drained
1 can condensed cream of celery soup
1/2 c mayo
1/2 c sour cream
box of Uncle Ben’s long-grain & wild rice, cooked according to package directions
1 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 t salt & 1/2 t pepper
Corn flakes


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Saute the onion, celery & mushrooms. Mix all ingredients together {minus the corn flakes} & pour into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with crushed corn flakes. Bake for 25-35 minutes.

After a day of shopping with my Mom, aunt, & Nana at a few local baby stores then visiting with everyone, it was nice to just throw out a Costco veggie tray for an appetizer while this casserole was cooking.

We served the casserole with a big salad & Sister Schubert’s rolls. Nana had made & brought up a pound cake which we had topped with strawberries & blueberries for dessert.

{I’ve decided to cut this off here. I’ll talk Sunday brunch food tomorrow!}