Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Quick & Easy Dinners

Just as important as it is to learn how to replace allergens (like eggs) in cooking and baking, it's also important to learn how to cook in general as eating out and eating prepackaged convenience food may not be an option for those with food allergies.  It is not for us in our family.  With Baby #3 on the way, I've realized I am going to need to have some quick and easy dinners up my sleeve for when I turn into new-baby-mom-zombie.  Cuz pulling out a frozen pizza or going to McDonalds isn't happening in this family.  And we can only eat Kraft Macaroni and Cheese so many times.

There are SO many neat ideas and recipes out there.  I've come across some great tips that have helped me prepare freezer meals.  Some things that are handy to have in the freezer for us are: 

cooked shredded chicken
cooked ground beef
rolls/hamburger buns (they only keep for 1 month though)
pizza dough
pizza sauce
alfredo sauce
cookie dough  :)

to name a few.  One neat tip I found that I am trying now that we are approaching summertime is to assemble uncooked meat and freeze with a desired marinade.  When ready to cook, remove from freezer a day or two in advance to thaw.  It will marinate as it thaws and then just grill as instructed.

As I've been preparing for our new little one to come, I've been stocking up my freezer with a few of these things:  (Free of eggs, nuts, soy, mustard and legumes)

Crockpot: (Meat from these dishes can be cooked & then frozen, or you can assemble uncooked with seasoning ingredients & freeze.  When ready to eat, throw in the crockpot all day)

Freezer/Make Ahead:
Baked Creamy Chicken Taquitos
Baked Chicken Strips (watch out for a recipe to come soon)
Italian Meatballs (with or without sauce) serve over pasta or in hoagie rolls with mozzarella 
Pizza Dough + Pizza Sauce 
Pork Chops with Garlic & Herbs
Hamburger Patties
Italian Lasagna Rolls (omit egg) 
   *Be sure to slightly under cook pasta noodles if you are going to be freezing
Freezer Burritos (omit beans, if necessary)

*Soups are another good freezer/make ahead meal.  I haven't made any because we are heading into summer and "soup season" is so totally over.  But these are some good ones to try freezing:

Creamy Tomato Soup
White Chicken Chili

Breakfast Freezer Meals:

Quick & Easy: (For nights when you are short on time-- or energy.  Make even quicker by using cooked meat from freezer)

Beef Tacos (with this tasty homemade taco seasoning)
Spaghetti with garlic & oil (also from Food Allergy Mama's Easy, Fast Family Meals Cookbook-- you can beef it up by adding diced chicken or ham) 
Chicken & Veggie Quesadillas (once again from Food Allergy Mama) 
Pizza Burgers
Hawaiian "Pizzadillas" 
Regular Roast Beef Sandwiches 

This list is going to be a work in progress and I will add things as I come across them, but this is what I have for now.  Feel free to add suggestions or links in the comments if you've found something that has worked well for your family.

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