If you eat a gluten free diet, or even if you don’t, you’ll want to check out these tips for making your meal prep easier!
You may recall that a few weeks ago I shared that my husband, Matt, was experimenting with a vegan diet to see if that helped some minor health issues he was having. I personally found that trying to cut meat, dairy, and eggs from his meals was pretty challenging! But that’s probably because I’m such a meat-loving, dairy-loving girl! So I was only able to come up with a few ideas for meat free, dairy free, egg free meals.
The results? That particular diet experiment didn’t really help, but it did boost our vegetable and fruit intake! So we’ve held onto that and been even more determined than we already were to be sure we’re all eating plenty of fruits and veggies!
Meanwhile, we visited our wholistic doctor in Lincoln to see what she might have to offer Matt. We are so thankful to have this resource closeby, and her remedies have been making a difference, praise God! Along with her remedies and treatments, she also recommended that Matt try cutting gluten for the short term to at least give his digestive system a break as it heals.
So our pendulum swung! Matt didn’t necessarily go back to eating lots of meat, dairy, and eggs, but it would be pretty tough to cut out gluten and not at least eat some meat and eggs! So he went cold turkey on gluten (without a complaint, because it truly wasn’t very hard – oh except for that one day someone took hundreds of fresh donuts to his work!) and added back in some meat and eggs, with the occasional dairy product.
My personal opinion is that eating gluten-free is MUCH EASIER than eating vegan. I didn’t have the least bit of difficulty making gluten free meals for Matt, and most of the time, the entire family eats what he’s eating because most gluten free meals are just…normal. Rice dishes, meat and potato meals, tacos made with corn tortilla shells? Normal. Easy. Tasty.
So that I could easily stay on top of our gluten free meal needs, I started making a few naturally gluten free foods in any spare moment so I could put meals together at night without much effort.
You guys, this isn’t just about eating gluten free. I do this any day, any time, and that’s where all these Simple Real Food Recipes came from. If we all – GF or not! – spend a few minutes here and there getting ahead when we can? We can make are meal prep so much easier!
So you’ll notice that while these are the naturally gluten free foods I have been prepping ahead, these are also the normal foods I prep ahead. These just happen to be normal and gluten free at the same time. (Is it ok that I’m using the word “normal” here?! It’s just that many, many foods we normally eat are naturally gluten free. We don’t have to make this difficult! Let’s just eat normally! And also gluten free. Ok.)
Tips for Making a Gluten Free Diet (or Any Diet) EASY!
1. Make rice ahead of time
I make a batch or two of this Amazing Stick-of-Butter Rice, store it in the fridge, then pull out spoonfuls to make:
This make meal prep incredibly easy, especially if I:
2. Make hamburger meat ahead of time
You know that for years I’ve been cooking hamburger meat ahead of time and storing it in meal-size portions to pull out for easy meal prep. But now that I’ve learned how to make it in my Instant Pot? Wow, is it easy! And such a time saver!
I often have several pounds of cooked hamburger meat ready to grab and use. I can stir it in with the cooked rice as mentioned above, and we can have a meal ready in just 5 minutes! I love this!!
Here are some naturally gluten free meals I can make with my cooked hamburger meat:
- 20-Minute Taco Soup
- Calico Beans
- Cheeseburger Macaroni – if I use gluten free pasta
- Cheeseburger Soup
- Cheeseburger Zucchini Boats
- Cheesy Beef and Rice
- Cheesy Salsa Enchiladas – if I use corn tortillas
- Simple Crock Pot Taco Pasta – if I use gluten free pasta
- Crustless Pizza
- Hamburger Cream Cheese Dip
- Hamburger Sauerkraut Dip
- Pizza Soup – if I use gluten free pasta
- Real Food “Velveeta” and Rotel Dip
- Simple Spanish Rice Bowls
- Skillet Taco Pasta
- Sloppy Joes – Served over corn tortilla chips instead of on buns
- Spanish Rice
- Taco Corn Fritters
- Taco Potatoes
- Taco Rice Dinner
- Taco Salad
3. Put meat in the crock pot early in the day
Then I can just add some fruit and veggie side dishes at meal time and we can quickly sit down and eat! Some of our favorite naturally gluten free meaty main dishes are:
- Busy Day Baked Chicken
- Simple Hawaiian Crock Pot Chicken
- Simple Crock Pot BBQ Spareribs
- Simple Overnight Saucy Crock Pot Chicken
- Simple Overnight Melt-in-Your-Mouth Beef Roast
- Simple Crock Pot Shredded Ranch Chicken
- Simple Barbecue Beef Roast
- Simple Hawaiian Beef Roast
- Simple Crock Pot Salsa Shredded Beef
Now, I didn’t tackle gluten free breads or pancakes. Those take special-ish ingredients and I didn’t feel the need to “go there” because Matt was fine with all that we’ve had to offer. I did purchas some gluten free pasta to have on hand and I purchased a gluten free pizza crust for him to eat on days we were making pizza for ourselves. I’m thankful these are readily available to buy!
Gluten Free Snacks and Treats
Oh, and for years I’ve kept Coconut Flour on hand because it’s nourishing and fun to work with! Since it’s naturally gluten free and I have fun recipes we like to make with it, I have tried to keep any variety of these fun treats made and in the fridge:
- No-Bake Chocolate Fudge Cookie Bites
- No-Bake Snickerdoodle Bites
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Cookie Bites
- No-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bites
Tapioca Pudding (which, for the record, makes a great breakfast!) is easy and we love it! So I made a big batch to grab from our fridge to eat as needed…
These Super Moist Flourless Brownies and Super Moist Flourless Peanut Butter Brownies are a favorite of ours also! They are completely grain free and I’ve made them for a couple of years now just because they are delicious and nourishing!
While I’m writing this, I am remembering that I have a fantastic Coconut Flour Muffin recipe that has been on my site since 2011! Time to dust that one off and make it again. They are so good!!
Ha! And I just remembered I have this recipe also for Coconut Flour Chocolate Cupcakes. How have I forgotten about these??!
See, this is why I started a Club Membership Site!! All these fantastic recipes and resources get buried and forgotten. Shucks, if I’ve forgotten them I’m quite sure you probably have. The Club Membership site makes it SO MUCH EASIER to access all of these recipes! Check it out and join us!
What are your favorite tips to get ahead to make meal prep (gluten free or not) easier?