I’ve just completed my second restricted diet due to my thyroid being unbalanced and as with most things, the second time was avoidable had I learned my lesson the first time. That’s ok though, because now that I know “a little bit of gluten” WILL actually hurt I’m much more willing to go through the hassle of preparing three meals a day that I can safely eat.
The biggest meal hassles come during the times when our family is in-season. This year We’ve had someone in-season for 10 out of 12 months and the two out of season months were November and December. Add that to the fact that my boys now eat like men and I’m working full-time for the first time with kids and this Mama needed to implement an easily executable plan for any season.
- Gluten free when possible
- Mama doesn’t cook on Sundays
- I’m ok with eating something completely different than my guys
My three top breakfasts are listed below. I rotate these with protein shakes and usually have a piece of fruit.
1.Healthy Pumpkin Muffins (with Gluten-Free oats)
2. Banana Muffins
- Gluten-free yellow or chocolate cake mix
- Frozen fruit or mini chocolate chips
- 3 mashed bananas
Bake 350 for 15 minutes
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
- Vega or Go Macro Protein bars
My favorite lunch rotates, I usually have grilled chicken strips in the freezer that I will heat up with roasted veggies. 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, carrots; add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper)
- Prep fresh veggies (carrots, celery, mini peppers) and Dip
Grab and Go:
- Fruit, protein bar/shake, veggies, almonds
- Gluten-free pretzels
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. While I find that some meals aren’t good when frozen first, there is almost always at least a portion that can be made ahead of time. There are endless options for meal plans so I decided to just give you an idea of what I made this time.
- Ground chicken tacos (frozen)
- Chicken and veggie “fried” rice (in fridge to eat this week)
- 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 day of meal. I swap refried beans for black beans and pinto beans. (combined with frozen chicken)
- 3 pizza doughs
- Pizza sauce
- Chicken pot pie (double filling/freeze 1)
This list here is 12 meals. I baked chicken to add to the fried rice and chicken pot pie fillings. I also made the taco and added them to the freezer. Everything in the freezer can be taken out and thawed day of consumption. Instant pot or baked will work.
On hand Ingredients for quick meals:
Even when I haven’t had time to prep the week’s meals I’ve found that a well-stocked freezer will keep my guys happy. Meatballs can be added to pasta with frozen veggies or mixed with marinara for sandwiches. Tator tots are a quick side dish that can also double as a filling in some casserole dishes.
- Chicken patties/GF nuggets
- Frozen veggies
- 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 breads)
When the guys are eating chicken pot pie I’ll eat leftover chicken fried rice. When they have pizza I have my own on a gf crust. While burgers make the rotation a few times a month they weren’t on this week’s menu. They are also a great quick meal and can be prepped ahead of time.
Through the summer this will adjust to incorporate grilling several times a week and roasted veggies will be exchanged for grilled veggies and fresh salads.
Good luck and remember in whatever season you are in, this too shall pass. Eating chicken nuggets and apple slices at home is always better than from a restaurant, but when a drive-thru is needed it’s always appreciated.