As many of you know, my gourmet hubby Dean is an amazing cook. He makes the most delicious meals for myself and our four little ones. And, when our babes were infants, I depended a lot on Dean to make dinner while I was busy with feedings and other new mommy responsibilities. And after having five little ones, Dean has become quite the expert on family meal planning. (They don’t call him The Gourmet Dad for nothing!) So today I wanted to share some of Dean’s tips for feeding the family when you’ve have a new baby on board (including his yummy make-ahead lasagna recipe). I’ll let Dean take it from here…

Becoming a parent is one of… well, hey, let’s go ahead and say THE most intense, amazing and overwhelming experience of a lifetime. I’ve had a lot of people ask me lately for some advice on how to transition into this new phase, so I thought I’d put together a list of some of the best tips and advice I’ve heard and learned in my five-time dad experience! We’ll cover my first tip in today’s post.

Plan Ahead
Unless your experience is crazy different from everyone else’s, you’ll have a good nine months at least to prepare, so use it well! Throw a potluck party (or a few!) and have everyone bring a freeze-able meal. This way you can stock up on ready-made meals with half the work—and this will really come in handy for those first few months with a new baby. Not having to worry about cooking will save you a ton of stress—and all that time you would’ve spent cooking meals you can now spend with the little one! Here’s a great ready-to-freeze meal idea to get you started—it’s healthy, gourmet and awesome comfort food to boot!
Make-Ahead Lasagna for New Parents

Spinach Mushroom Lasagna


For the ragu:

  • 1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 portobello mushroom caps, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

For the lasagna:

  • 3 ounces parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 pounds part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 8 ounces asiago cheese, shredded
  • 2 pounds ricotta cheese
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 pound frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 12 ounces dried lasagna noodles

Doesn’t that sound delicious? Now head over to Dean’s website, The Gourmet Dad, for the complete instructions for this recipe.

Do you have any tips for meal planning with a little babe?


Photo: Pink Parsley
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