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jaten

Melt Down

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One day at a time is an AA motto but I'm finding myself having to use it right now. My family went to Cracker Barrel for dinner last night and I got teary watching them all eat biscuts and cornbread. My brother in law didn't help by getting the Roast Beef which was what I always got. I don't think that's one resturant I'll be going to for a while.

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I'm fairly new to this as I've only just started the gluten free diet. But I understand how you feel. Our once a week adventures eating out with family have always been my favorite times. I miss being able to pick what I want, but I don't miss feeling like I've been poisoned the next day. Thats what I remind myself every time I start feeling bad. Also that I could have been diagnosed with things that are a whole lot worse. But I feel for you and i'm sure I go through my times of feeling sorry for myself too and asking God "Why Me!".

Thankfully, my family has been making a lot of quick preperation foods for years. We wanted to avoid the costs and health issues related with to much eating out. We have a second fridge in the garage that we keep extra things in to make it easier to have stuff on hand when it's needed. Like some of you, we make big batches of food all at once and then freeze / fridge the leftovers for use latter that month/week. The trick is finding items that you can do that taste as good after they've been in the fridge or freezer for a bit. So here are a bunch of ideas we use.

Why do a BBQ with just enough for that meal. Do enough for 4 -5 meals just add more coals as the old ones start to go. Hamburgers and chicken we've done this way but i'm sure other meats would work too. Freeze what you don't use and it makes great fast warm up ideas for the next month. Defrost some in the microwave or pull some out of freezer and put in fridge a day or two ahead. Cut it up and add to some salad mix you made earlier and you have a quick salad with meat without warming up an already hot house ; D Pull a few pieces out to have with some rice cooked up in a rice cooker (even my husband can make good rice in one of these ; D) Add some vegetables tossed into the microwave in a container with a bit of water to steam them. Or maybe instead of rice you use the microwave for a few baked potatoes, just pierce them with a fork and pop them into the microwave on a plate for 10 min. Make a fast chicken wrap with a steamed corn tortilla (few seconds in a ziploc in microwave does a great job) and whatever other things you want to toss in.

If you have time in the morning or the night before you can do prep for a meal latter. Stews or chilli or a potroast in a crock pot are all fast dinner ideas but take some quick morning prep. If you know a good gluten free bread recipe a bread machine is good too. That takes a bit of prep a few hours before but you can always set it up 5-6 hours early if your machine has a delay time. Cutting up a lot of salad fixings on one day and saving the rest in the fridge for latter meals is great too.

You can also make large batches of some meat and bean things. We make taco meat with beans (black or pinto) and a tomato meat sauce thing that we do over corn chips that freezes great and can be cooked in large quantities. I think we've had success with jambalaya that way too. They warm up in the microwave real fast. If you can't have corn chips or tortillas, try putting it over rice, it's really not that bad. Some stews and chili's freeze pretty well too if they don't have rice in them to start with (cooked rice, frozen, rewarms mushy ; D). I've also done a huge batch of homemade fish sticks and/or chicken nuggets and put bags of the frozen leftovers in fridge. You'll spend an evening doing it but you'll have several quick meals out of it latter.

OH and as for taking meals on picnic when you can't really do sandwiches or crackers and cheese. Try Thermos's, I do it for my girls school lunch. They have some wide mouth thermos's that are designed to keep hot things hot. Works great for hot dogs, taco meat, soup, stews, and I'm sure it'll find more uses latter ; D

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