Meal Planning and Prepare
Lately I’ve seen so many posts saying that y’all have problems with meal planning. So thought I would share a few of my recipes and planning tips.
The key to sticking with a Gluten Free/Allergy Free diet is planning. As adults we are ultimately responsible for our own health and the health of our children. I know its not easy, but the benefits are well worth it! So lets get started!
I’m beginning with some very simple main meals. We will tackle the sides in a later post. Here’s my menu. I have even been known to post a menu on the fridge, just to get some input from my family. It’s really nice to get them involved and let them choose what they want to eat.
Tip #1: Make sure to clean out your fridge before you go shopping.
Tip #2 Always check your pantry, Fridge and Spice cabinet before you go shopping. You may already have items on your list.
Tip #3, I like to take a pic of the recipe before I go shopping, just to make sure I get everything. Or I even save the link to the recipe or recipes so that I can click on it to check ingredients while I’m in the store.
Whole Chicken (5-6 lbs.) $6.31,(if your family can eat a whole chicken at one meal, then get 2)
2 Lbs. Lean Ground Beef $7-$8
1 Lb. Gluten Free Sausage ( in our area the brand we have us JC Potter) $2.98
8 Pack Pork chops 2-3 Lbs. $9-$10.00
1 Package Gluten Free Canadian Bacon ( the one available to us is Jones Brand)
8oz. Block Cheddar Cheese $2.38
Butter or Butter Substitute $3_4
1 Dozen Eggs $1.00
One Box Velveeta Cheese $4.98
FRESH or FROZEN VEGETABLES:
10Lb. Bag of Potatoes $4.44
3Lb. Bag of Yellow Onions $1.94
2-3 Fresh Jalapenos $0.50
4-5 Sweet Potatoes $2-$3.00 ( you may want to get the frozen. They are already cut up for you)
32oz. Bag of frozen Fries ( I like OrIda they are labeled GF) $3 Or a large bag of GF Tortilla chips ( you will serve these with the Chicken Taquitos.)
1 -20oz. Bag Frozen Peppers and Onions $2.30
1-2 Lbs. Frozen Broccoli $2.50
PANTRY and FRIDGE:
Brown Sugar $2.17
Gluten Free OatMeal $5.58
Gluten Free Corn Bread Mix $3.78
28oz can Tomatoes $1.65
2 Cans Whole Corn $1.00
2 Cans Cut Green Beans $1.00
1 Can Sliced Carrots $0.50
1 -28oz. Can GF Baked Beans ( I use Bushes)$1.98
1 Can Rotel original $0.98
1 bottle Ketchup $2.88
Light olive oil $2.56
Garlic Powder $3.32
Regular or Sea Salt $0.98
Ground Black Pepper $1.98
Chili Powder $2.50
Ground Cumin $2.50
Seasoning Salt $2.28
Approximate total for 7+ meals
$75-$100.00 depending on portion size, area you live in and where you shop.
Be prepared to do some cooking! I like to make several main dishes ( the meat) all in one day. You may want to spread it out over several days . It’s your choice, whatever works for you and your family.
Tip#4 Use every cooking appliance in your kitchen when you meal prep. We have even used the smoker, grill, oven, air fryer and crockpot all at the same time. (Be aware you will have a lot of clean up to do all at the same time)
We will start out with just a couple of main dishes at a time. Until you get into the swing of meal prep, it takes a little practice.
First up is Meat loaf and Roast Chicken. Here are the links to the recipes below.
I like to start the dish that takes the longest to cook first. Which would be the Roast Chicken. Get it going on the grill or in the oven, which ever you prefer, then make the Meatloaf. Which would be your first meal. We like mashed potatoes and a vegetable like canned green beans for side dishes.
After getting the meat in the oven then start your sides. Which would be the Mashed potatoes and Green Beans. Here is the link for my Mashed Potatoes.
For the Green Beans, just open the can and add to a small sauce pan. I like to take one of the slices of Canadian Bacon and chop it up into the green beans, season to taste with salt or pepper. Set pan on medium/high heat bring to a boil, remove from heat and serve.
First Meal :Meat Loaf should be ready by the time you get both sides made. This would be your first meal. Don’t for get about the Roast Chicken, it is your next meal. Let it cook while you eat and do your clean up. When done remove from oven and let cool. Wrap in foil or large bowl and refrigerate.
Second Meal: The Roast Chicken that you made the day before will be your second meal. Take chicken out of fridge and cut into pieces; legs thighs, chicken breasts etc. Save any small pieces of meat as well as any left overs and store in refrigerator bag for later use. ( Chicken Taquitos)
Place large pieces in oven and bake with Broccoli or heat in Microwave. I’ve also added another side recipe below using some of the onions. This is your second meal!
Be sure and bag up the corn muffins or corn dodgers that you had left from the onion rings, to have with the Beef Stew.
Third Meal: Quick Beef Stew
This is so quick and easy, it has become a staple in our family for years!
Tip#5: If you have Meat Loaf left from earlier in the week, and you haven’t used it for sandwiches. then chop it up and add it to the stew. You use most of the same spices and there is no sense in wasting it.
Tip#6: While the Stew is cooking on the stove top, if you want to get a jump on tomorrow nights dinner, the pull out a skillet and start the pork chops. Heat large skillet on medium and add as many pork chops as the skillet will hold, cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes. Then turn pork chops over and season with Salt and pepper about 1/4 teaspoon, or to your taste. Let meat cook another 4-5 minutes or until cooked through. ( I cook all 8 of the chops.) Let cool and store in fridge for your next meal.
Fourth Meal: Pork Chops, Fried Sweet Potatoes and Baked Beans. Take out 4 of the Pork Chops you made previously, lay them out on a sheet pan and broil them to crisp and heated through, or put them in the air fryer or oven just until warm. Which ever way you like them. Open the can of Baked beans and heat until hot bubbling. We like Fried Sweet Potatoes with Pork Chops. The recipe link is below.
Fifth Meal: Chicken Taquitos. Using the left over Roast Chicken to make Taquitos will make this an easy quick meal. Along with the Taquito recipe I’ve included the Cheese Dip recipe below.
Sixth Meal: Shepherd’s Pie. With the Beef Stew and Mashed Potato left overs in your fridge you will be able to make the shepherd’s Pie. This is a one dish meal, so you won’t need a side for this one. Recipe below.
Seventh Meal: Pork Fajitas. Using the pork chops that you made earlier in the week and the spices from your grocery list you will be able to complete this dish. Recipe below.
Tip#7 Using the rest of the sausage, eggs, Oatmeal, Canadian bacon, and possibly left over tortillas, you should be able to make several breakfast dishes from these ingredients.
I know this has been a long series and an ongoing cycle of food and ingredients, but hopefully it has been helpful! By now you should have been able to make at least 7 dinner meals. And with the Sausage, Canadian bacon, Oatmeal, Eggs, and a few other ingredients left from your shopping trip, you should have been able to make several meals for breakfast. Altogether with all of the ingredients on your list I can squeeze 10 meals for four using my meal planning tips. Which would amount to about $2.50 per person per meal. It is possible to eat Gluten Free, without costing a fortune!