Despite all my efforts to maintain some semblance of organization, I admit defeat in being able to do it all. I just can't. But I made a discovery the last couple months that I think will make eating gluten, soy and sugar free immeasurably easier. It's called Once a Month Cooking. I dare you to Google it. There is a plethora of sites and recipes, literally at our fingertips. I tried it out just for two weeks and the last minute trips to the store for "such and such" were pared down to just one for the whole two weeks. This month I prepared a whole month's worth. I'm trying it out and so far am loving it. Here's the menu I started with:
Chicken Enchilada Casserole
Teriyaki Chicken Stir Fry
Salmon with Lemon, Rosemary and Capers
BBQ Pork Ribs
Greek Lemon Chicken Soup
Ground Turkey and Rice
Breakfast Mini Frittatas
I made two shopping trips. One at Sam's Club for everything in bulk, meat, bacon, cheese, eggs, etc. And the second for all the smaller things that go in the recipes that I didn't necessarily want or need in bulk.
Then I cooked about 30 lbs of chicken and pork, (separately) in the crockpot, shredded, and then bagged them in quart sized bags. I made about 6 meals' worth of spaghetti sauce, let it cool and then bagged in quart sized bags for pasta meals. I put 6 drumsticks in each bag, with different homemade marinades. Since the chicken legs were on sale, I had 6 dinners of those. I made 5 lbs of meatloaf and froze them in 1 1/4 lb. sized loaves, unbaked. I made 3 dozen eggs' worth of mini frittatas for breakfasts. Since we are still using some of our frozen, previously purchased meats that cannot be refrozen, I took a bag of onions, three red bell peppers, and three green bell peppers, chopped them up real fine and then bagged them in snack sized bags. I also bought a 10 lb pork loin from Sam's Club and cut it up into 1 1/2 lb chunks for roasts. When all is said and done, I believe I prepared about 90 lbs of meat. I made two stir fry meals, which didn't pan out. I will have to do some research on how to not kill my veggies by freezing them. I think blanching is required first.
Anyways, because the sales and amount of meat we were able to prepare, this month is almost gone and we still have over 30 meals left. As I post the meals above, I will hyperlink the recipes and try to list all my recipes and steps each month. This process allows me to just pull a frozen meal out of the freezer each morning and it cuts my dinner prep time easily in half. I also have the peace of mind knowing that I put each and every ingredient into the meals myself. My family is eating better and feeling better. And I don't have that mad rush at 5pm when the day has somehow slipped away from me. Some people are gourmets. I am not. But eating gluten, sugar and soy free requires fresh ingredients all the time. This solution is a gift from heaven for me. Maybe it will be for you, too!