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Gluten Free Mega Cooking?

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Hi-

I am expecting a baby in the next couple of months, and would really like to do some mega cooking/freezing prior to the birth. Prior to our family being gluten-free I had done this on several occasions with a very helpful cookbook that laid out the process, ingredients etc. Is there such a thing for the gluten-free diet that anyone knows of, or suggestions of how to do this. We also need to avoid egg and dairy due to allergies in the family, but I think I can manage those adjustments without a specific cookbook. Thanks.

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First off - congrats on the upcoming little one!

Beyond that... I don't know of any cookbooks that cater to the gluten free bulk cooking method - but in the last little bit I HAVE been working out a few 'big cook' ideas that may help.

First off - if you haven't been there before Crock Pot 365 is a wonderful gluten free site (and I bought her resulting cookbook the day it came out) that is strictly crockpot cooking. I remember when my sil was pregnant how the crockpot kept my brother and she from starving! I've also found that once you find a recipe you like, it is often easy enough to put all the ingredients (barring pastas, rice, and potatoes) into freezer bags and keep those in the freezer ready to pop into the crockpot later. I made a LOT of bags of chicken dinners and the like for them - all they had to do was make some rice to serve alongside and possibly a salad.

Next - if you have a favorite baking recipe, its a cinch to make your own mixes of all the dry ingredients. One of the biggest time consumers I've found in gluten free baking is getting all the myriad of ingredients located, poured, and put away. When a recipe can have 15-20 ingredients it can be a serious pain! But if you are already dragging out the ingredients - go ahead and make baggies of more to keep in the cupboard (remember to include what it is, and the wet ingredients required!). Now that I have gotten into the habit, I can have muffins going into the oven 5 minutes after the craving hits.

Last (sorry to be a chatterbox) but the biggie really - most freezer meals really ARE easy to switch over to gluten free. Think casseroles: enchilada's made with corn tortillas freeze beautifully. You can even make your own home version of those fancy freezer bagged meals the store sells. For a simple stirfry kit? Easy peasy (takes a little time, but after the first its easy to go assembly line fashion!) Cut up the veggies you like - lay them out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. Slice the meat or meat subs (thin strips of chicken, beef, tofu) and flash freeze those next. Mix the two sheets of goodies once everything is hard but seperate and store in dinner sized amounts in a freezer bag (I love my vacuum sealer with an unholy passion). If you sliced things thin, you won't even need to thaw before stirfrying, just dump into the pan. A simple sauce can be made after the food cooks - or you can go ahead and make batches of that, place in small bags inside the big main meal bags, and be ready to roll when the mood strikes.

Really the last, I promise. But somethings to keep in mind - freezing can dampen some flavors (you might want to ramp up the garlic and the spice) while others can go wonky (onions get stronger, oddly enough). Also - home freezers are not really set up for potatoes. Why? I have no clue. BUT if you want to make a freezer meal that needs potatoes (beef stew for example) you can either add them at the point in cooking OR buy a bag of the appropriate store bought potato goodie.

Hope this helps... and again - congrats on the baby!

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What I do is cook up ground beef and chicken breasts for the freezer. Then all I have to add is some rice (I often buy precooked in a pouch), pasta or potatoes and a vegetable.

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First off - congrats on the upcoming little one!

Beyond that... I don't know of any cookbooks that cater to the gluten free bulk cooking method - but in the last little bit I HAVE been working out a few 'big cook' ideas that may help.

First off - if you haven't been there before Crock Pot 365 is a wonderful gluten free site (and I bought her resulting cookbook the day it came out) that is strictly crockpot cooking. I remember when my sil was pregnant how the crockpot kept my brother and she from starving! I've also found that once you find a recipe you like, it is often easy enough to put all the ingredients (barring pastas, rice, and potatoes) into freezer bags and keep those in the freezer ready to pop into the crockpot later. I made a LOT of bags of chicken dinners and the like for them - all they had to do was make some rice to serve alongside and possibly a salad.

Next - if you have a favorite baking recipe, its a cinch to make your own mixes of all the dry ingredients. One of the biggest time consumers I've found in gluten free baking is getting all the myriad of ingredients located, poured, and put away. When a recipe can have 15-20 ingredients it can be a serious pain! But if you are already dragging out the ingredients - go ahead and make baggies of more to keep in the cupboard (remember to include what it is, and the wet ingredients required!). Now that I have gotten into the habit, I can have muffins going into the oven 5 minutes after the craving hits.

Last (sorry to be a chatterbox) but the biggie really - most freezer meals really ARE easy to switch over to gluten free. Think casseroles: enchilada's made with corn tortillas freeze beautifully. You can even make your own home version of those fancy freezer bagged meals the store sells. For a simple stirfry kit? Easy peasy (takes a little time, but after the first its easy to go assembly line fashion!) Cut up the veggies you like - lay them out on a cookie sheet and flash freeze. Slice the meat or meat subs (thin strips of chicken, beef, tofu) and flash freeze those next. Mix the two sheets of goodies once everything is hard but seperate and store in dinner sized amounts in a freezer bag (I love my vacuum sealer with an unholy passion). If you sliced things thin, you won't even need to thaw before stirfrying, just dump into the pan. A simple sauce can be made after the food cooks - or you can go ahead and make batches of that, place in small bags inside the big main meal bags, and be ready to roll when the mood strikes.

Really the last, I promise. But somethings to keep in mind - freezing can dampen some flavors (you might want to ramp up the garlic and the spice) while others can go wonky (onions get stronger, oddly enough). Also - home freezers are not really set up for potatoes. Why? I have no clue. BUT if you want to make a freezer meal that needs potatoes (beef stew for example) you can either add them at the point in cooking OR buy a bag of the appropriate store bought potato goodie.

Hope this helps... and again - congrats on the baby!

Thanks so much! These are great ideas, and thanks for taking the time to pass them all on!!

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I cook large batches of spaghetti with meat sauce, lasagna sauce, chili, white beans, red beans, gumbo, stews (chicken and beef), pinto beans, ground meat for pizza, premade hamburgers, crab patties, meatloaf, and many other dishes. All of these freeze well. When ready, cook pasta or rice or potatoes and VIOLA! dinner is served with a vegetable or a salad. I do this because of my work schedule and it works out well, where I only need to cook a meal from scratch about once a week. (I usually cook a large batch of food and freeze the leftovers for the next few weeks)

Wemin

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Hi-

I am expecting a baby in the next couple of months, and would really like to do some mega cooking/freezing prior to the birth. Prior to our family being gluten-free I had done this on several occasions with a very helpful cookbook that laid out the process, ingredients etc. Is there such a thing for the gluten-free diet that anyone knows of, or suggestions of how to do this. We also need to avoid egg and dairy due to allergies in the family, but I think I can manage those adjustments without a specific cookbook. Thanks.

I love The 30 Day Gourmet Cookbook for bulk cooking. Many of the recipes are gluten free or easily converted.

Google-- 30 Day Gourmet or go to http://www.30daygourmet.com/

The newsletter recipes (tons) are all open view.

The member only section is for cookbook owners. The password is published so you can see all the recipes online as well as the hardcopy cookbook. You can go to the library and check it out to get the password.

Taco Rice is a family favorite. It is in the member section, but I googled it and the link popped up without the password.

http://www.30daygourmet.com/Members/Download_Recipes/Taco_Rice.pdf

Always in a hurry, I use Minute brown rice or Success brown rice (1 bag= 1cup). I don't simmer it for 30 minutes. Serve with corn, black beans, shredded lettuce, salsa, and cheese(for dairy people).

Deb

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