Meal Prep and Planning for Any Season

When you have a food allergy, part of ensuring that your body thrives is choosing to eat the foods that will help rather than harm your body. Even though I work remotely I don’t have a lot of flexibility during the week to spend on elaborate meals. This is especially true during the football season. Thankfully, Ordell and I have found a cooking rhythm that works for both of us, even during football season.

Meal Prep and Planning Rules:

  • Cook gluten-free when possible
  • Leftovers twice a week, at least once on the weekend
  • Avoid cooking ruts
  • We don’t always have to eat the same thing, but no one is a short-order cook.

Breakfast:

Breakfast is usually something that I eat once the work day has started. I like to re-heat something while my coffee is brewing and go from there.

1.Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (with Gluten-Free oats) and organic chicken sausage from Costco

2. Banana Muffins (almond muffin mix omit all ingredients and replace with banans) and organic chicken sausage from Costco

3. Frittata if not having eggs for lunch (eggs and veggies baked in a pie dish, 4 servings)

Grab and Go:

  • Raw fusion protein shake with unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • Protein bar (no cow ones are pretty good!)

Lunch:

My favorite lunch rotates, I usually have grilled chicken strips in the freezer that I will heat up with roasted veggies or toss on a salad. The next option is a lettuce wrap (check out this tutorial from Against All Grain). Hummus with gluten-free crackers and veggies is another easy choice.

  • Egg salad (Instant Pot: 6 eggs, 1 1/4 c water, 4 min on manual; quick release and put eggs in an ice bath)
  • Roasted veggies (2 trays at a time, my favorite combo is: sweet potatoes, peppers, onion, and Brussel sprouts; add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper)
  • Prep fresh veggies (carrots, celery, mini peppers) and Dip
  • Hummus
  • Fresh salad topped with protein

Grab and Go:

  • Fruit, protein bar/shake, veggies, almonds
  • Gluten-free pretzels and Justin’s Peanut Butter Pouch
Meals PrepPlan for AnySeason

Dinners:

Dinners are the only meal I prep for our family. Thankfully the boys are all capable of getting breakfasts and lunches on their own and cleaning up for themselves. Some meals don’t work as freezer meals, but there is almost always at least a portion of the meal you can prep and freeze ahead of time to reduce your overall cooking time in the kitchen. Check out my quick meal prepping strategy here.

Our favorite meals to keep in the freezer include:

  • Ground chicken tacos  (frozen)
  • Chicken and veggie “fried” rice  (prep the chicken ahead of time, sub riced cauliflower for grain-free)
  • Chicken and banana pepper sandwiches  (combined with frozen chicken)
  • Satay chicken, peppers, and onions (combined with frozen chicken)
  • Chicken enchilada bake -freeze rice separately or make rice the day of the meal. I swap refried beans for black beans and pinto beans.  (combined with frozen chicken)
  • Grilled chicken, burgers, sausages, or pork chops
  • Calzone filling (Crescent rolls for the boys, gluten-free phyllo dough for me)
  • Marinated pork tenderloin
  • Smoked pork (thanks to Ordell we can count on this in the freezer at least once a month)
  • “Baked” chicken and spinach parmesan

On hand Ingredients for quick meals:

Meal prep is ideal but isn’t always possible. I’ve found that a well-stocked freezer will keep my guys happy. You can add meatballs to pasta with frozen veggies or mix them with marinara for sandwiches. They are great on top of the pizza as well. Tator tots are a quick side dish that can also double as a filling in some casserole dishes.

Here’s a list of freezer and pantry staples

  • Chicken patties/GF nuggets
  • Meatballs
  • Marinara
  • Frozen veggies (Broccoli, spinach, asparagus)
  • Fish
  • Tator tots (gluten-free)
  • GF Pancake mix
  • Frozen fruit (side dish, smoothies)
  • Tortillas for quesadillas
  • Tuna Cakes – thanks to Aldi gluten-free stuffing mix these are a quick meal the whole family can enjoy!
  • Almond-dijon chicken bake
  • BBQ sauce for sandwiches
  • Pizza Dough
  • Gluten-free cake mix (used for desserts, muffins, quick bread)
  • Pizza sauce

We aren’t always going to create the best meal plans. Some weeks we’ll run short on time to get to the store. Other weeks ingredients will spoil before we have the chance to use them. However, when there are a few things stashed away in the freezer we can reduce the times we need to depend on takeout and stretch our grocery budgets.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on April 10, 2018, and has been updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and completeness.