Yummy Mummy Monday: Gluten & Dairy Free Freezer Meal Menu

When I was pregnant with Ari I wasn’t able to stock my freezer as well as I would have liked in preparation for the busy weeks following her arrival. Luckily we had family popping in with meals for us for the first two weeks, making it one less thing we had to find energy to do. But if it hadn’t been for them, we would have probably eaten an unhealthy amount of take out due to exhaustion and lack of energy to cook. This time around we have a toddler to feed- and our diets have changed substantially since 2013- so I had to make sure we were stocked with healthy & tasty options that we could all enjoy. Pizza and takeout are just not options, so I was determined to pre- prepare as many meals as possible that could be pulled from the freezer & popped into the slow cooker or oven for those first few weeks when you need to simplify whatever you can. It took me a little while to accumulate a selection of ideas that were both gluten and dairy free- thank you Pinterest!- but I’m pretty happy with the variety of meals I was able to make.

I made these meals over a few days with the help of my Mum & Dad and as I had the time, but it’s definitely a great feeling if you’re able to put aside a few hours and pump them out all at once. Here’s how I stocked my freezer for #2:

Gluten Free Chicken Noodle Soup*

*my Mum’s recipe- I’ll post soon) 🙂
Quantities:
Shepherd’s Pie *4
Cabbage Rolls *2
BBQ Ribs *2
Chicken Fajitas *1
Mongolian Beef *1
Hawaiian Chicken *1
Asparagus & Salmon *1
Soups & pasta sauce *1 batch each (for the sauce 1 batch= 4- 6 meals for the 3 of us) 
I also made sure to stock up on dry goods like gluten free pasta, rice, rice noodles, etc to serve with the freezer meals that don’t already have them included. 
How did you stock your freezer in preparation for baby’s arrival? What are your favourite make- ahead freezer meals?

April posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: Homemade Pasta Sauce

Pasta has always been a favourite meal in our house and probably gets made at least once a week. Over the years I’ve found that store bought sauces are good in a pinch but I’m not a fan of how much salt and funky sounding ingredients there are in some of them. I also have to read the labels carefully to make sure there’s no gluten in the seasonings and/ or cheese added to the sauce. Will and I have also been spoiled because his Mom makes the best sauce from scratch and we haven’t found a store- bought option that even comes close. Luckily she’s happy to share her recipes (see this post for her amazing ribs- a great slow cooker meal) and we enjoy making the stuff up in double batches & freezing it. I’ll admit we have never got ours to taste quite as good as hers, but we’ve come pretty close! Skip the beef if you want a marina that’s more versatile or add in another protein (chorizo sausage is fantastic) to mix it up a little. Buon appetito!

Yummy Mummy Recipe: Homemade Pasta Sauce



Makes enough sauce for approx. 4- 6 full meals
Ingredients:
2- 3 lbs regular ground beef
5 cloves garlic, crushed
3 yellow onions, diced
3 green peppers, diced
2 zucchini, diced
3 tbsp Italian Seasoning (add more to taste)
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper
salt & pepper to taste
4 tins crushed tomatoes (796mL)
1 tin diced tomatoes (796mL)
Add your other favourite veggies and/ or protein 
Directions:
1. On medium heat brown the ground beef & then drain out the fat. Add the garlic and onion; saute until onion is cooked.
2. Follow with green peppers & zucchini and any other veggies and/ or meat you’re adding, cook for a few minutes to soften.
3. Add seasonings & mix well, then add all 5 tins of tomatoes, stirring well as you add each tin.
4. Turn up to high heat and stir until sauce is bubbling, approx. 5 minutes.
5. Once sauce is bubbling and has been stirred well, reduce to low heat & simmer covered for 30 minutes- 1 hour. Stir & check the taste occasionally and add additional seasoning based on your taste preferences.
6. When ready, remove from heat & serve. Or allow to cool & scoop into freezer bags and freeze for an easy dinner for busy nights (we’ve cooked this sauce from frozen on many a lazy meal night). This sauce is great when enjoyed fresh and just as delish when frozen & thawed.

Have you ever made your own sauce? I’d love to hear what you put in yours! 🙂

And don’t forget to check out lots of other great foodie posts on our Yummy Mummy Recipes page!

Image source: Table for Two

March posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

Yummy Mummy Monday: BBQ Ribs

With baby #2 just weeks away from making their debut, I’ve been getting our freezer stocked up and have been trying to pick a variety of dishes that can be popped out of the freezer and into the slow cooker. Easy peasy. These are hands- down some of the best ribs I’ve ever tasted. Ah- mazing. And before you start thinking my ego has got the better of me I’ll let you know that this is my mama- in- law’s recipe. 😉 
I love  these ribs. When I was telling one of my girl friends about this recipe, she mentioned how she would love to make them, but with a pre- teen and a hubby in the house this can be a bit of a pricey meal. If you’ve got a similar scenario where you’ve got some family members (ahem, men) that could eat half a pig in a sitting, you could pick up another cut of pork (or even some turkey or chicken) and make this as pulled pork. I’m drooling just thinking about all the delicious versions you could make with the sauce in this recipe. So on that note…

Yummy Mummy Recipe: BBQ Ribs

Ingredients:
1 rack of pork ribs (again, you could try this as a pulled pork/ chicken/ turkey recipe too)

For the Sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 tsp dry mustard
1/2 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup vinegar
1 cup brown sugar (or try 1/2 cup brown sugar & 1/2 cup honey)
2 tbsp corn starch



Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut the rack into the individual ribs & pop in water.
2. Boil ribs for 45 minutes, then remove from heat & drain (this is important to help reduce the fat and make these fall- off- the- bone tender).
3. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a large bowl or crock pot, stirring to reduce lumps.
4. Toss in ribs & coat well.
5. Bake in oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees or in a slow cooker* (low 4- 6 hours, high 2- 4 hours)
6. Serve with rice & your favourite sides.


If you want to freeze these for later, allow to cool & transfer to a freezer bag or container. You can slow cook these from frozen- just add 2 hours to the crock pot cook time- or allow to thaw first.


*To make pulled pork, etc, just pop your meat in the slow cooker and cook in the sauce from raw, but keep in mind that you may want to cut up the meat to help it cook faster and more evenly. 

Image Source: Julies Eats And Treats

 March posts sponsored by Little Dreamers Consulting

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