Find healthy gluten and dairy free meal prep tips and meals you can prepare at home in order to save time while maintaining your clean eating diet.
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It’s really exhausting and stressful when you’re trying to eat clean on a specific diet (like gluten and/or dairy free, egg or sugar free) while having kids and on top of that taking care of other family members or pursuing a career. Time is at the price of gold these days.
I remember the very first few days of being new parents were so challenging, preparing food is the last thing you have to worry about. But hey, we need to survive somehow and be healthy by some miracle. I would say trying to keep the cooking time short and productive is essential.
So I learned some healthy gluten and dairy free meal prep tips along the way that made my days a little easier:
Organizing grocery shopping so there is always something in the house. For example I’m always stocked with leafy greens as I’m trying to have them with every meal, these can’t be frozen or kept for a long time in the fridge.
Having pre-made salad ingredients like: mixed greens, some nuts/seeds, cooked grains or vegetables is perfect for assembling quick healthy bowls as dinner or lunch. I always like to include at least one nutrient rich food in my every meal like fresh leafy greens, vegetables, fruits or seeds.
As gluten free and dairy free snacks I’ll always find in the fridge some nut or seed butters, pre-sliced fruits or veggies. Sometimes I make some homemade crackers, energy balls or cookies. And when I’m really tight on time, I choose some healthy gluten and dairy free store-bought snacks.
My favorite containers that will organize foods by categories are these stackable bins, they can be used in the freezer as well.
Preparing Meal Elements In Advance
Preparing as many meal elements as possible in advance over the weekend or when I have some free time. Such as chop and bag a few veggies the night before, cook lentils, beans (white, black, green), cook grains like buckwheat, oats, quinoa, rice (rotate white, brown, black), boil some eggs for salads or breakfast, stir together spice mixtures or sauces.
If I’m pre-portioning my meals in advance I use these compartment containers which are freezer safe, dishwasher safe, and even oven safe.
Stock Up On Frozen Foods
Buying frozen fruits and vegetables is very convenient.
Frozen vegetables work well in cooked dishes like casseroles, stir-fries, pastas and soups. My favorite options are broccoli, peas, corn, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, squash and bell peppers.
I’m trying to eat fresh as much as possible but sometimes I use some frozen fruits in my smoothies.
Thaw Meat Products In Advance
The best way to defrost meat is overnight in the refrigerator. By thawing meat products the night before the texture will remain the same and you will not feel the difference whether it’s fresh or it was frozen. If you attempt to cook with frozen meat, it may cook unevenly, leaving parts overdone and other parts underdone.
I usually like to use ground meats, they are really useful in making quick meals that require meat as condiment such as gluten and dairy free meatballs, stir fries or meat patties.
Preparing a larger batch of pancakes, crepes, pies, waffles and freeze them for future breakfasts or lunches. It can also be grains, beans, proteins, sauces and then creatively combined into full meals. Those items will become your core ingredients and will be the building blocks for creative recipes.
Once you have your meals /ingredients ready, they can be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Glass and plastic containers (BPA free) are preferred as they come with airtight lids, sanitize easily, stack well, and can be used repeatedly.
Prep Your Produce
It might reduce your prepping time if after a grocery store trip, you’ll wash, chop, store and organize the produce right away for the whole week, BUT, try to delay chopping and consume everything within 3-5 days, because:
- The longer we keep vegetables before using them, the more nutrients they loose. They already spent many days in transport and storage.
- When a vegetable is cut, it activates enzymes which destroys it’s own nutrients.
If possible, delay cutting up fruits and vegetables and preparing salads until shortly before they are to be cooked or served (like 1-2 days) in advance.
Gluten And Dairy Free Meals You Might Like
Gluten Free Dairy Free Cookbook
284 pages total: 128 gluten free and dairy free wholesome recipes with beautiful high quality photos (including paleo, whole30 and vegan recipes: all without refined sugar and no highly processed foods or additives.