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) πŸ™‚
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: 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. πŸ˜‰ 
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

Yummy Mummy Recipe: BBQ Ribs

It’s officially that time of year: BBQ Season. I can’t say that word without thinking about the mouth- watering smell that marks the lead- up to Summer. We recently had my bestie and her hubby over for dinner and I couldn’t resist the opportunity to break out the barbee. And what better way to do that than with ribs??? Because we’re trying to eliminate as much processed food as possible, I even tried my hand at making my own BBQ sauce. It’s taken me a few tries to get it the way I like, but I’m pretty happy with the version I’ve posted below. Just a little heads up: cover the pot when you’re mixing the sauce- mine bubbled so much that splatters made it to the ceiling & walls! 
Hint: Give yourself some time to make these babies; the longer they marinate, the better! These are a great make- ahead meal (they’d also be tasty as a slow cooker meal).
Yummy Mummy Recipe: BBQ Ribs
Ingredients:
1 package of pork ribs (mine had two large slabs- enough for 2- 4 people)
1 can crushed tomatoes (28 fl oz)
1 can tomato paste
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp each:
– ground chipotle pepper
– ground chilli powder
– smoke seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s dry smoke mix)
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp honey
*For a sweeter sauce use more honey; for a more bitter sauce add some mustard
Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; carefully place ribs in water & boil for 20 minutes; for really tender ribs reduce to a simmer & cover for an hour or two
2. While ribs are boiling, place all of the sauce ingredients in a pot & heat through
3. When bubbling, cover & simmer for 30 minutes (Be careful or you could have a sauce volcano like me!)
4. When ribs have boiled for desired amount of time, drain water
5. In a large dish, ladle a scoop of sauce & add ribs. Pour & rub more sauce over the ribs, coating well. Save a little bit for later
6. Cover & let marinate for a few hours (once ribs have cooled, place in fridge)
7. When ready, heat BBQ & place ribs on grill; rub/ brush on remaining sauce
8. Remove & serve
Serve with rice & your favourite sides. 

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