Meal prepping for our family is totally my thing! Follow these easy steps below to have healthy, gluten free meals stocked in your freezer!
I meal prep in a big way about every two to three months. YES, it takes a few hours on a weekend day and YES, it will be a more expensive shopping trip at the grocery store. But let me tell you… It is SO WORTH IT! Cooking and meal prepping gluten free can be easy, let me help you!
- If you are a busy mom, taxiing kids around to various sports and activities…
- If you work….
- If you are looking to save money by NOT eating out as often…
- If your goal is to save you some time in the kitchen…
- If you need some gluten free recipes and meal prep tips…. THEN THIS IS FOR YOU!
Step #1 Find your recipes
Search my Pinterest boards https://www.pinterest.com/amyereid/ “GF Crock-Pot Cookin” and “GF Meals” for some new inspiration.
Or head over to my Website https://amygfgirl.com/recipes/ where you can purchase one of my recipe bundles (only $4.99 (through the end of January) for 4 instant download recipes PLUS a grocery shopping list!) Check out the “Crock Pot Cookin” category and “Mexican Fiesta” category for some new, tasty recipes that are perfect for meal prep’n!
Step #2 Make your grocery shopping list
Simply lay out your recipes and write your list. I like to divide my list into catagories, such as: Dairy, Produce, Meat, Dry Goods, Canned Goods, etc. It just makes it easier for me while I’m making my way through the grocery store, then I’m not backtracking and wandering the store for too long.
Make sure to add FREEZER ZIPLOCK BAGS and EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL to your list. You will need them in almost every recipe! Why Extra Virgin Olive Oil?? It is beneficial to add EVOO to your Crock-Pot to prevent your ingredients from sticking to the bottom and sides of your Crock-Pot. No more using plastic Crock-Pot liners! This is much more healthy! So, you can do this two ways… Add a heavy drizzle of EVOO to your Ziplock bag (I will explain further) OR give a heavy drizzle directly into your Crock-Pot when you turn it on to start cooking your meal.
And check out ALL of the added health benefits of Olive Oil:
Step #3 ON MEAL PREP DAY~ Choose which recipe you are going to start with, don’t forget to get out your freezer bags and EVOO.
Here I have prepped Gluten Free BBQ Pulled Pork. It is such a simple recipe and only uses 4 ingredients! We use it to make slider sandwiches. Then, if there are leftovers, I re-purpose and top a salad with it for a BBQ Salad to enjoy at lunch. Recipe is as follows:
- Pork Tenderloin- cut into large chunks (I use 2 tenderloins for my family of 6 and we do have leftovers)
- BBQ Sauce of your choice (I use Stubbs- Gluten Free and No high fructose corn syrup)
- Onion- sliced into larger pieces
- 1/2 cup water or Bone Broth for moisture
I like to start by writing the name of the dish on the outside of my Ziplock bag with a sharpie. Add the cook time and temperature as well. This particular meal should be set to HIGH for 5 HOURS. Then, simply load your bag. I like to add meat last, so that it is on top. Then drizzle your meat with the EVOO. This way, when you dump the contents of your bag into your Crock-Pot, it will be on the bottom and already coated with the EVOO for non-stick! WIN WIN!!!
After the 5 hours cook time, simply pull apart the pork with two forks. It should fall apart very easily. Use a slotted spoon to strain the juices from your serving before loading it in between your GF buns or bread to make your sandwich. No one likes soggy buns! 😉
Step #4 Store all of your prep’d freezer meals in the freezer until you are ready to enjoy them
They will last in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Step #5 When you know that you will have a night when you will need a freezer meal
Take your ziplock bag out of the freezer THE NIGHT BEFORE and place it in your refrigerator, to help thaw. If it is still frozen before you place it in your Crock-Pot, then just sit it on your counter for an hour or so, while you are getting ready in the morning.
Then set your Crock-Pot to the proper temperature and cook time and dump your meal in. Remember that a Crock-Pot is a slow cooker, however; you can overcook meals fairly easily in the Crock-Pot. If you overcook your meal, you will loose the flavor and the meats can become rubbery. So, if your meal only needs 4 hours to cook, then wait until later in the afternoon to turn on your Crock-Pot to prevent over-cooking.
Here’s another recipe for you to try: Gluten Free Chicken with Butternut Squash, Pears and Cranberries:
This meal is going to be prepped in 3 separate ziplock bags, according to how you will layer the ingredients in your Crock-Pot. On the outside of BAG #1 Write Bottom layer: Into the bag place 1 lb. cubed butternut squash (you can purchase it already cubed from various stores, such as Sprouts Farmers Market, found in the refridgerated area in the produce dept.) Then drizzle about 2 Tbsp. EVOO into the bag. Add 2 tsp. of cinnamon. Then roll up the bag to let the air out and seal. Set aside. When you are ready to make this meal, the contents of this bag will be dumped into your Crock-Pot first, on the bottom.
BAG #2 Write 2nd and 4th layer: Into this bag place 1 sweet onion- sliced, 1 bosc pear- sliced, 1 cup raw cranberries, 2 bay leaves, 1 tsp. sea salt, 1 tsp. ground pepper, 2 tsp. garlic powder. Then roll up the bag to let the air out, seal and set aside. When you are ready to add this layer into your Crock-Pot for cooking, add half of the bag for the 2nd layer, then reserve the remainder of the contents for the 4th and final layer.
BAG #3 Write 3rd layer: Into this bag you will add your boneless, skinless chicken breasts- cut in half. (My general rule for this meal is 1 breast per adult, 1/2 breast per child.) Lastly, add 1 cup chicken bone broth. (I love using Bonafide Provisions, found in the freezer at Sprouts Farmers Market.) Then roll up the bag to let the air out and seal closed. When you are ready to add this bag to your Crock-Pot simply dump out the contents as layer #3. Then, add the remaining ingredients from the previous bag as layer #4.
Lastly, I place all three rolled and sealed bags into one bag to easily store in the freezer. On the outermost bag, write the name of the dish and how long it is to cook for. Then store in your freezer. Will store for up to 6 months.
For cook time and temperature: Set the temperature on Low on your Crock-Pot and cook for 6 hours. This meal will serve 4-6 people. Serve with a simple green salad on the side to round out your meal.
Make Meal Prepping FUN not a CHORE!
Invite a friend over to meal prep with you, turn on the music and catch up while you prep. Or, if you children are able, enlist their help! Kids are capable of measuring, washing produce and adding ingredients to your bags too. It can be a great teaching experience on the importance of healthy eating habits as well! 😉 If you have one old enough to write, have them label your bags.
ENJOY! Follow me on Instagram and on Facebook at Amygfgirl!
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Full of ready to make recipes, ALL GLUTEN FREE