I’ve been pouring over my meal planning notebook (or.. scraps-in-book). I’m finding my pattern of foods and comfort speedy foods as well. I thought this might be the best place to put together a mini-list of the ones I have found to be the most reliable for our family.
I am REALLY curious to know this: What are you eating?
PS. If you see me mention brand names, it is because people have asked. I have received NO monies to endorse any of these companies/items. I’m just relating our meal plan items.
1. Annie’s now makes PACKETS of gluten-free macaroni and cheese! Such a sweet deal for me. I can toss an extra pack in my desk drawer for nights when I’m stuck at school or I bring them in for lunch. (NOTE to SELF: Quit trying to make them in your coffee cup (it overflows), but bring a bowl for the microwave and leave it at school for your mac-n-cheese needs.)
2. Truly we are in love with Al Fresco‘s meats. Particularly because many of the items come pre-cooked, are gluten free (of course) but WOWzer are they TASTY! Lately it seems that many gluten-free options are well.. lacking in taste, but these sausages are not. We use their meats for quick frittatas, “breakfast for dinner”, chopped up in salads or quinoa or rice, added to chile or pizza, etc. Or just eaten grilled with a side salad or fruit. By the way, we also like Aidell’s. They have mini-dogs (which appeal to the toddlers) and this awesome pineapple & bacon chicken sausage that is to die for. Sadly, it has disappeared from the shelves at our grocer. =( Ah well. I shall hunt it down. Promise.
3. Baked spaghetti. So freakin’ fast and easy to make. Our favorite pasta is Schar’s. We have tried Jovial as “everyone” is raving about it. But meh. It’s okay. The girls, however, prefer Schar’s by far, so the family vote goes to them. Why bake it? Well, the pasta tastes so much better when the sauce is absorbed a little by the noodles. Really. Just make your regular spaghetti (boil noodles, heat/adjust sauce – add meats, veggies, etc) then mix it all together, pour it into a casserole dish, sprinkle the top with your favorite cheese (parmesan!) and bake at 325F until the cheese is melted and browned (like pizza). Serve. Try not to lick the pan. It’s hot. :D
4. Food Should Taste Good Multigrain chips + hummus for lunches. Even the littlest of the girls enjoys the hummus (the chips are merely her transport-to-mouth devices). In fact, I just had that for lunch today. No photo, sorry. But YUM!
5. Thanks to the sunshine, I’ve been willing to head outside and grill up dinner. The girls are now old enough that I can easily step outside without fear of impending doom or tug-o-war behaviors over toys, etc. My favorite grill easy-to-grill weeknight meals include:
- Honey mustard and wasabi chicken
- Diabla Dulce Chicken
- Gluten free Teriyaki Chicken (or whatever)
- Lemonade chicken wings (so easy! When I forget to marinate the chicken, I add 2/3 cup of lemonade, 1/2 cup of gluten-free soy sauce, 1/4 cup sugar and garlic/ginger/salt/pepper to taste into a bowl. Add the chicken. Make your other items while it sits for 20 minutes or so… then grill away! YUM!
- Grilled pork loin
- Grilled tenderloin with parsnip “fries”
- Chipotle London Broil
- Bleu Cheese & Cherry Burgers
On the weekends (or when I remember to marinate the meat longer), I enjoy making:
6. I always have a fall back plan. I’ve noticed that when I think I’ve got it all together and I’m ready to go, something happens to throw it all off kilter. Really. I’m a Murphy’s Law kind of gal in practice, but I truly don’t go with the flow all that well. It’s not that I freak out… but well… I hate it. :D So now, I plan for a back-up meal. One that takes less time for either of us to throw together or that allows us to eat MUCH early or LATER than anticipated – depending on the girls. THIS has saved us money by avoiding the last-minute run out to get something. My back up meals include:
- “Favorite Hot Dish” with a twist: In lieu of chow mein noodles, I use Simply Potatoes that I brown.
- Lettuce wraps (yes, more chicken for me here too)
- Spanish Tortilla Patata – make it faster with Simply Potatoes too!
- Polenta + poached eggs: varied seasonings based upon availability (and who’s cooking!)
- Taco salads (ground meat, canned beans, green chiles, etc + chips, avocado, corn, etc = done!)
- Breakfast for Dinner (eggs, somehow, someway and honey-GF oat mini-pancakes)
7. Amy’s gluten free and dairy free frozen burritos. OMG. Addicting. Even my Love (who does not have to eat GF) craves these goodies!
8. A Taste of Thai: Ginger Noodles (for lunches at work) or Ginger Rice (to accompany dinner)… or the pad thai…or….. well… okay. I will stop.
What are you eating? I am so curious. Really. My Love and I were thinking about some new friends of ours lately. They are expecting their newly adopted son to come home from South Korea sometime this summer. And they don’t eat much rice (if at all) or Asian-inspired foods. We were trying to figure out what they might eat – because it might be a big transition for their little one to change food (or not – totally depends on the person!).
So I’m curious: What’s your go-to menu look like?
Happy GF Eating!