Make Ahead Meals
To remedy this in our house, I started making meals ahead of time.
Between work, school and daily obstacles, this makes it much harder to get dinner on the table than when I was simply doing one or the other.
Reasons for making meals ahead of time:
- When you are in jam there is something on hand. (Rhyme not intended...well maybe a bit)
- Prevents your family from ordering takeout or getting fast food. ( In my case this applies to my husband).
- Saves money because you can plan meals around what is on sale and you are not spending extra money on expensive convenience food.
- Healthier than many gluten & dairy free freezer meals.
- Can help with your waistline because you have something nutritious on hand.
Last year when I started a new job, I literally realized three days after working, I completely failed to eat lunch and dinner because I was so busy. I just felt as if I did not have time to eat and my husband was forced to visit a few fast food and take out places for about a week. I find it a bit difficult to make dinner now that I am GF and DF because I make almost two of everything. I refuse to deprive my husband of certain things because lets just be honest folks, sometimes cheese just tastes better!
Six months after my Celiac diagnosis I began to see many blogs that discussed once a week, once a month, or freezer cooking. I was very intrigued and a bit skeptical, but decided to give it a try. Once I did, I honestly became hooked. It worked so well for us, that my husband always suggests that we do it.
The first time, I made three weeks worth of food. Not only was the food very delicious, but we saved soooooo much money on our monthly budget because we were not shopping every week or picking up quick meals because we already had some ready to go.
Unfortunately, there tends to be a stigma about cooking food ahead of time. Many people believe it will taste disgusting or they simply feel weird about it. Whenever I encounter people who feel this way, I ask them if they eat anything from the frozen food section. When they say yes...and they always do...I remind them that there truly is no difference. Whenever something tastes "off," it is usually because it was incorrectly handled or stored improperly. One of the first things that you learn in culinary school is about food storage, and freezing meals is not as horrible of a thing as many people think. I also read about people who say that they do not have the time or the room to do this, but as cliche as it sounds: "where there is a will, there is a way". Foods that freeze beautifully are:
- Taco Meat
- Marinated meat (chicken, pork, beef roast etc) to throw in the oven or slow cooker or bake
- Bean dishes such as chili, or red beans and rice
- Pasta sauces
- GF Pizza Dough
- Healthy protein treats
I try to keep these meals healthy. Sometimes you find recipes that are loaded in calories and sugar. Try to come up with tasty and healthy recipes. I always pair many of these dishes with salad or some type of vegetable. It does not take very long to prepare.
I will provide a more detailed post about my healthy e but if you are interested, simply google freezer cooking or make ahead meals and tons of tips, tricks and recipes will pop up.Hopefully this will help you have an easier gluten and/or dairy free evening!