Preparing gluten-free meals can sometimes be a painstaking process, with worry about cross-contamination and ingredient lists. The next time you're in the kitchen, make a double or triple batch of whatever you're cooking without gluten and put another night's meal in the freezer. As with any gluten-free food preparation, check labels each time you buy a food in case one of the ingredients has changed.
Soups and Chili
Make a large pot of delicious minestrone or vegetable soup. Eat some tonight and freeze the rest for another meal. The main ingredients of these soups are beans and vegetables, fresh choices that have no gluten. If you know of companies that you trust as gluten-free, you can use canned broth, or you can make you own broth from scratch. Add fresh Parmesan cheese to the bowl when serving the leftover soup. Chili made with ground beef and kidney beans is another meal that freezes well. Make several batches and put into individual freezer bags for quick lunches. Top with fresh cheese and cilantro at mealtime.
Prepare a gluten-free meatloaf and freeze the leftovers. Meatloaf freezes well provided it is eaten within three months. Beef stew is another meal that can be frozen. The meat, potatoes and tomatoes will be fine the next time you want to enjoy the stew. The fat contained in the broth will keep the meat moist when it's reheated. Celery doesn't have the right texture after freezing, so add freshly cooked celery to your stew when you serve it the next time, and spices tend to get stronger after freezing, so lightly spice your foods the first time around.
Make a double batch of lasagna and freeze half of it. People on gluten-free diets typically use rice noodles in lasagna to avoid wheat. Rice noodles freeze well as long as they are not overdone the first time around. If you keep the noodles al dente, when they are reheated they won't be mushy. Freeze the lasagna in a pan, or cut it into individual squares for quick meals for one. Enchiladas made with gluten-free corn tortillas can be made ahead of time and frozen. Complete the recipe using everything but the sauce so they don't get soggy; add the sauce before the enchiladas are reheated.
Use freezer paper, freezer bags or heavy-duty plastic containers for storage. Never use regular plastic bags. Keep items labeled with dates and ingredients used so you'll never have to wonder what you've got. Rotate the items in your freezer and use the oldest items first. If you use high-quality and fresh ingredients in your recipes, the food tastes better when it's defrosted. If you use cheaper fare, the meal may suffer. When making foods to freeze, be certain they are not overcooked. Frozen foods cook a little bit more each time they're heated up.
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